Coppelia, NYC

1 month ago

The Vibe

A 24/7 diner in the heart of Manhattan’s most dynamic crossroads – Chelsea, Greenwich Village and Meatpacking. You’ll be pleased to know of this spot for that late night hunger hit or the rolling drink date when someone needs to sober up quick. It might not be a particularly sexy restaurant but this Latin diner with a Cuban twist can pack a punch in both it’s extensive menu and spiked milkshakes.

The Order

Start with some cocktails – a spicy margarita, smoky negroni or a pitcher of sangria. If it’s 3am, this will keep you ticking and the night alive whilst you eagerly wait for the food to come. If it’s 8pm, you’ll get the night started right.

Order the guacamole which is served with corn, boniato and plantain chips giving you that sweet, sweet crunch. Their ceviche limeno with flounder, beef empanadas and croquetas de queso will get served hard and fast so make sure you’ve got enough space at the table.

The finish with a serving of their Tacos Campechanos. With crispy pork crackling (or chorizo as they phrase it), it’s both crunchy and served with a full side of rice and beans.

You’ll leave feeling stuffed, refreshed and ready to hit the town again… or the closest bed!

The Game

This is a late night spot, perfect for finishing a boozy date when you’re not quite ready to end the night, just yet. Arrive together to grab a table or you’ll be sat at the bar like a lemon waiting. Grab a pitcher of margaritas. Stare at each other over the crowded tables, touch hands over the sloppy food and get to the question part of the date.

You’ll remember this dinner for the laughter, good food and intimate questions flowing as the buzz of the room gets louder and louder.

Grab a boozy milkshake for the road and head home, together.

The Faults

This isn’t a first date kinda spot, unless it’s breakfast after the night before…

The Sex Factor

3.

Señor Ceviche, Fitzrovia

1 month ago

The Vibe

Who doesn’t like free-flowing Belinis on a Saturday?

Situated in the happening heart of Fitzrovia is this intimate, vibrant Peruvian restaurant, Señor Ceviche.

On arrival, you’re greeted by a bar serving an array of Pisco cocktails. In the restaurant diners are crammed close to each other creating a cosy and lively atmosphere. Top tip – if it’s a sunny day, try and get a table near the front of the restaurant where the windows are flung wide open making it feel as if you are outside, perfect for summer vibes.

The Order

Tuck into the brunch menu which not only includes free flowing Peach Bellinis, white wine and red wine but also all you can eat Peruvian fare. Yes, that’s right, all you can eat! You’re spoilt for choice – with street food snacks and fresh ceviches – you won’t be leaving hungry.

The menu is a selection of nibbles, ceviche and BBQ options. The top dish was the Pachamanca Pork Ribs, which fall of the bone and are sticky and FULL of flavour. As they’re slow cooked they’re tender and succulent in the middle, crispy on top, with an added crunch to the dish from the garnish of peanuts.

For veggie lovers, try the Repollo a la Parrilla, which is charred hispi cabbage with burnt butter, garlic miso and roasted peanuts. This is an incredibly flavourful dish, sweet at first, moist in texture, with burnt butter leaving you with a charcoal aftertaste.

The Game

Show your adventurous side and order the Kizami Tiradito which is a beef tiradito with kizami wasabi salsa, onions and crunchy enoki mushrooms – it really has an extra kick of spice. Alternatively, for fish lovers enjoy the Señor Ceviche which has sea bass and octopus with amarillo tiger’s milk and crispy baby squid. This dish is light, refreshing and one of the healthier options on the menu. The garnish of coriander, red onion and sweet potato puree adds extra zing to the dish.

If you are experimental with your food selections and open to trying new dishes then this is the place for you. The sharing nature of the menu makes it perfect for a 3rd or 4th date where you can dig into each other’s dishes and challenge one another’s pallets.

The menu has options if you’re health conscious and trying to get your summer body back in shape, or alternatively a little hungover and looking for hearty meat options.

Friendly staff, artistic menu and intimate vibe – what’s not to like?

The Faults

The hot wings were a touch dry but you can’t win em all.

Sex Factor

4. The Latin spirit was in me.

Sugar Momma, NYC

2 months ago

The Vibe:

Coffee shop by day and intimate restaurant by night, this new hot spot in FiDi is a force to be reckoned with. Saddle down next to each other on wooden benches and appear radiant in the red toned lighting. Be sure to take the perfect instagram shot under the neon ‘Hello Gorgeous’ sign and graze hands over sharing plates. This cool Aussie spot gives the impression of a well thought out first date. With strong cocktails, small plates to share, a killer hip hop playlist and a chilled out atmosphere, there’s nothing pretentious about this spot.

The Order:

Be ready as their ‘small’ plates are far from small. If you’re hungry or looking for a slow date then this is the spot. Order up the Crispy Farm Raised Pork and Shrimp & Crab Crackers, both of which will melt in your mouth and be better tasting than you’ve ever tried. Dip into the hummus and cauliflower dip to add a little spice to the palate and end with a cool satay chicken curry. Everything here tastes incredible so you can’t go wrong. And is over ordering even an issue anymore? Take for lunch the next day to reminisce over last night’s perfect date.

But of course, to wash it all down you must accompany with spicy margaritas all night long. Appearing out of gold curtains behind the bar, these jalapeno peppered cocktails are light and dangerous. Great to help you recover after a long day in the office.

The Game:

See who can guess the female centric movie on the wall first. This place is all about putting women first so let Sugar Momma take you for a night you won’t forget. Arrive together and grab the table in the window. Sit on the corner seats so you’re almost next to each other and watch the restaurant come to life. Keep the orders of cocktails coming and end the night with a peck in the courtyard out front.

The Faults:

As a natural Aussie hot spot, don’t be surprised if the date next to you looks hotter than yours. It’s the accent I swear!

Sex Factor:

3. This place isn’t meant to be sexy. It’s made for getting to know your date in a low key vibe.

Mahiki, Kensington

4 months ago

The Vibe:

It’s a Wednesday evening in the middle of a London winter. It’s raining and I’m heading half way across London in search of the new Mahiki. Tucked off the main high street, it’s easy to miss but once you’re there be ready to transport through waves of Caribbean coconut smells. The vibe is similar to their original in Mayfair but smaller, giving it a more intimate vibe and the springboard for some wild affairs.

You could perch at the bar and glug down very strong cocktails but I’m glad I didn’t. Instead we drifted towards a booth, nestled in and ordered some of the best sushi around.

It may be a club, but their menu is far from tacky. Instead it’s refined, fresh and perfect for a sharing date.

The Order:

We racked up quite the order with tapas style plates of California Rolls, Spicy Chilli edamame and rock shrimp to get started. If anyone looked over it were as if we hadn’t eaten for weeks. Chop sticks flying it’s easy to crack jokes over the failed attempts of picking up the food. Washed down with ‘The Night Rattler’ and ‘Missionary’s Rescue’, the cocktails were strong and moreish and went straight to the knees. The Wagyu beef and truffle gyoza we’re the overall best plate of the night, so much so we ordered double! Dragging the gyoza through the truffle sauce time and time again, and chasing with the fresh grilled spicy octopus.

The Game:

The Wednesday night vibe was chilled if not a little empty. But book in for a late night snack, grab a booth and get ready for when the DJ kicks in at 11pm. Perfect for a date you might want to escalate quickly.

The Faults:

The cocktails are strong and the plates small. A recipe for over indulgence but not necessarily a bad thing when the first date nerves set in. Oh, and don’t wear something Hawaiian – even if the trend this summer is the following – you might be mistaken for the staff!

The Sex Factor:

3 early evening. 4 late night.

 

Sophie’s Steakhouse, Soho

5 months ago

The Vibe:

Fancy entrance, glitzy bar, low key dining area and stripped back tables – this place gets more butch as you delve deeper. Which means, as a female diner, I could have easily stayed perched up on the barstools under a chandelier sipping on Skinny Bitches all damn day.

But I didn’t – and I’m thankful – for the steakhouse itself is a gastronomic fist pump for meat lovers. By the time the waiter had flexed his extraordinary knowledge of both the cut and weight of the steaks, my date was putty in his hand and I was quietly confident if I couldn’t win him over with chat, the food would help.

As the place is new, it wasn’t packed, which meant we could dine side by side on a table for four, facing the open kitchens and people watching until our own chatter picked up pace.

The Order:

Steak you fool. Porterhouse for us. Ask the waiter to advise you on the right weight so as to leave feeling happy, not ill. Bearnaise sauce on the side, beef-dripping fries to share and a nod to greenery with some black garlic steamed broccoli. Start with something light like the sea bass carpaccio (literal heaven) and gravadlax. If it’s lunch, a glass of good red. If dinner, do the pre-drinks at the bar thing first, then split a bottle.

The Game:

In the evening it’s pure swag so dress up and start on martinis. One excellent date night touch is the bar hidden below the restaurant. Skip dessert – you’ll kill the momentum – and head down to Jack Solomon’s Club, a dimly lit, jazz-filled basement cocktail bar which you can access through a vacant deli. Hard to find, so massive cool credentials for suggesting it.

The Faults:

Just needs more people in the day – nothing a daytime brunch offer won’t fix.

Sex Factor:

3 at lunch. 4 at dinner.

Eight Over Eight

6 months ago

The Vibe

At first look like your typical Chelsea hangout, with no carbs on the menu and everyone looking surprisingly similar. In actual fact, behind the blossom facade is a local hotspot for exceptional food and family affairs. This long-standing restaurant offers a perfect collection of Pan-Asian bites, from dim sum to Okra, Aubergine and Green Bean Curry to a pad thai that packs a punch. With both the time and appetite, it’s the perfect place to eat your way through an extensive menu, set to laid-back house beats and an affordable cocktail menu.

The Order

For a short and sweet decision, take your lead from the chef. Kimchi Edamame followed by the Sushi Boat was just enough for a light bite over first date nerves. But if you’re looking for something more hearty, follow with Special Pad Thai, Egg Fried Rice and Beef Buri Bop. Keep it flowing with glasses of Prosecco or their house cocktail of the month, but when you hit a wall, remember to stop. Whilst the food is indulgent, the atmosphere is more like a spot in Chinatown. The mirrored walls and booth seating make the Louis Vuitton shoes on the guest next to you feel shabby. 

The Game

Leave your winter jacket behind in coat check and dwell in the darkness of candle-lit tables and sweet pre-dinner cocktails. Grab a booth, order chef’s choice and double dutch on the bill. And for an aperitif, stagger down to Bluebird for a final Espresso Martini and a cab home. Great for a 3rd or 4th date. Just make sure your date likes fish as the sushi is top on my list of must-haves.

The Faults

The family atmosphere reminds you that this spot is more about the cuisine than the party vibes.

Sex Factor

2.

Graphic Bar Residency, Ask For Janice.

7 months ago

The Vibe

If you’re a lover of gin, then you’ve come to the right place. Set in the basement of quirky but cool, Ask For Janice, Graphic Bar has taken over the basement, creating a dimly lit, concrete haven to get completely gin saturated. After walking through the artsy Wednesday night crowd upstairs, we were led by a hand-written cardboard sign into a pit of drunkeness. With a top notch hip hop playlist and the chance to pin your polaroid up on the wall, this place screams FUN. Since it’s relatively unknown, we were the first to walk into the room, until joined by a few other couples an hour later. An empty room can be nerve racking on a first date, but the level of gin in the cocktails will be sure to make them disappear quick!

The Order

The order is simple. Stick to gin. Their seasonal Rumple Pumpkin cocktail with a savoury gin and Halloween vibes et the tone for the night, followed by a not-so-typical Gin & Tonic and finished off with an egg white-topped Gin Sour. And to keep the conversation flowing, order some food from the AFJ small plates menu such as spiced lamb shoulder, slow cooked chorizo, pork belly and AFJ potatoes. All are mouth watering and sure to soak up some of the alcohol, ensuring the conversation can keep flowing. You’ll leave savouring the flavours but not feeling stuffed.

The Game

Arrive together and bustle through the upstairs crowd and into the basement bar. Choose a table under the light so there’s a chance you’re able to read the menu. Then slowly go through the cocktail menu, hitting each gin cocktail one by one. Share stories of drunken nights gone wrong – hoping this one doesn’t fall into the list – get chatting to the couple on the next table about the winning playlist and stumble out together to catch the last train home. A casual and perfect environment for that cheeky first kiss, which you can laugh off as alcohol induced. Wake up the next day with little memories of the night, besides the laughter.

Sex Factor

3.

 

Madison, St Pauls

9 months ago

The Vibe
Perched atop One New Change is Madison, one of Europe’s largest roof terraces that boasts one mighty view of St Pauls. Naturally, floor-to-ceiling glass windows are used to capitalise on the surroundings – a design that adds plenty of romance to the night when the sun begins to set behind the city’s famous skyline. It’s a Tuesday night but the place is buzzing with an after-work crowd. Groups of City boys and girls blow off steam at the end of a long day making for a rowdy atmosphere. Rather than fight them, join the party and make this a night to unwind with a new flame.

The Order
Famed more for its views than for its food, the menu at Madison had us pleasantly surprised. The starters are light and refreshing. The potted crab and crayfish mixed with a cucumber and lemon balm jelly is a delight, and sits well next to a glass of Ca’di Ponti. For mains, the Sirloin is a real crowd-pleaser and should be accompanied by a side of Mac & Cheese – a combo I picked up from a previous date that has been life changing. Finish with an indulgent dessert. The chocolate and praline fondant is a fine choice; a soft velvet sponge with a shattering of praline and pool of melted chocolate.

The Game
Dress smart or feel completely out of place for the entire night. Men should arrive in a tailored suit and women, a go-to cocktail dress. As the crowd is mainly made of professionals there is a danger of this turning into a post-work meetup (which doesn’t scream lust). So, direct conversation to light and flirtatious topics making sure thoughts of mounting deadlines are left at the ground floor. If everything goes well, the glass elevator is the best place to enjoy a kiss as the view of St Pauls falls into the background.

Sex Factor
3.


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Bunga Bunga

9 months ago

The Vibe
Bigger and bolder than the original, Bunga Bunga in Covent Garden lives up to its Berlusconi-inspired name. The crowd is beautiful, rowdy and come prepared for a riotous time. The main venue is grand and Vegas-esque, featuring marble interiors and a speedboat fashioned into a table (complete with orange life jackets – of course). Staff are outlandish, yet charming, and spend the night encouraging all sorts of “Italian” mayhem. Expect plenty of booze, fun and a dash of debauchery.

The Order
An Italian sharing feast like no other! Tuck into mouth-watering metre-long pizzas, authentic Italian antipasti and a delicious drunken tiramisu. Pair your meal with a quirky cocktail from the bar by picking your favourite Italian icon, shaped in the heads of ‘The Godfather’, ‘Balotelli’ and more! Even better, you can order a ‘David is Goliath’ sharer cocktail served in a life-sized chiselled replica of Michelangelo’s David, complete with a very surprising tap …

The Game
One for the fun seekers. Meet in BungaTini, the Italian bar upstairs, for a delicious pre-cocktail to start your evening. When ready to move on you’ll be led through the meat locker at the back of the restaurant and enter an immersive world of Burlesque, Broadway or Variety – depending on which day of the week you visit. Watch the night unfold around you, join in if you wish and bond with your date over a sweet rendition on Bunga-oke! By the end of the night your inhibitions will have been truly lost, take advantage and stay out in West London until the early morning.

The Faults
Not one for the introverts. Bunga Bunga is a night of themed fun and a very bold first date choice.

Sex Factor
4.


Download our “virtual clubhouse” and become a SC eligible for entry to private parties, dinners and extra Black Card benefits like access to members’ clubs.

Quaglino’s, Mayfair

10 months ago

The Vibe
It’s rare to find a place that is both decadent and approachable. Yet, Quaglino’s somehow marries both with blissful ease. The grand amber staircase, goblet-like vases bursting with fresh flowers and Titanic-esque décor are all guilty of Mayfair opulence, but are softened by the charming and friendly staff that make sure you never feel out of place. The restaurant’s crowd may have moved on from its Royal past but there’s still a generous offering of attractive professionals and the odd SW family to keep you and your date entertained, as well as a house band that brings some Jazz Age romance to the night. Think glitz, decadence and a touch of the informal.

The Order
The bar menu is expansive but well worth the read, boasting some of the finest cocktails around. A favourite is the No.85, so smooth and indulgent that it drinks like pure liquid dessert thanks to an inspired mix of bourbon, cacao dark and a slathering of peanut butter that crowns the glass. Messy? Yes, but worth the ungraceful moment. With so much choice when it comes to drinks make life a little easier by selecting the set evening menu. Starters include a light and refreshing salmon tartare with a chilli emulsion and the spicy harissa & agave glazed aubergine with coconut, peanut and pulses. For a main, the zucchini risotto decorated with crumbled goats cheese and truffle is a comforting choice. Whilst for dessert, the raspberry crème brûlée is both sharp and rich and left us vying for our date’s attention.

The Game
Start with a cocktail in the upstairs bar. The space is dark, cavernous and has plenty of private corners to sneak off into. This is where any introductory conversation should take place and then left, ready for a more debauched night in the sunken dining room. A charming waiter will escort you to your table and be on hand throughout to make sure everything runs smoothly, meaning you only have to focus on the flirt. Share stories of wild nights and early mornings, London past and London present, making sure to mirror the playfulness of your surroundings. If all is going well, a talented band will soon add a soundtrack to your date indicating that you’ve lasted long enough to see the night’s entertainment.

As you leave enjoy a kiss at the stairs and exit onto the quiet streets of St James’.

The Faults
For those wanting a late-night date in the heart of Mayfair this place is pretty faultless.

Sex Factor
5. There’s a sparkle to Quaglino’s that makes it a difficult place not to impress with.

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