D42: What’s your favorite date night restaurant?
Laura: My favorite restaurant in the whole city? Actually I have two. The NoMad in the NoMad Hotel is an excellent restaurant, it’s really beautiful. It’s huge, but what’s interesting is they’ve kind of separated the restaurant into these little rooms. So no matter where you are you feel like you’re in a little alcove, in your space. It’s very opulent but in a modern way. And the best dish on the menu is a dish for two, which is romantic. It’s the chicken, which I know might not sound very interesting but it’s a truffle chicken with foie gras, it’s amazing, I keep going back for it. And they also do really beautiful weddings on the rooftop as well.
My other favorite is called Blue Hill in Greenwich Village. It’s actually a favorite of Sarah Jessica Parker and the last time I was there, she was sitting right next to me celebrating her birthday. The food there is absolutely fantastic. It’s tucked down a side street so it’s very out of the way, very romantic. And everything that they do there is absolutely fantastic and it’s all locally sourced.
D42: Which Broadway shows do you recommend for couples?
Laura: Kinky Boots is a lot of fun and was a Tony Award winner for best musical. So if you’re going to come here and just see one show that’s a definite pick of mine. The Lion King is a favorite of everyone, it’s one of the best sellers on Broadway. I also really love Once. It’s a little bit sad but the music is so beautiful, when I left I immediately had to go buy the soundtrack.
D42: And what if you’re coming to the city on a bit of a budget?
Laura: The city pass is great, it’s one fee with different options. I recommend getting it for three days, that’s usually the right amount of time to make the best use of it. And it’s just one fee so you’re not spending tons of money to go into all of these different attractions that the city has to offer. So you can go to the statue of liberty, the 9/11 memorial, you get to see the museums. So that’s a great way to save money and plan ahead.
I recommend checking out our site for Broadway show tickets in advance. There are plenty of places to get discount tickets around, but if you wait until you’re here you might not even get tickets or you might get more expensive tickets. So if you want to see a Broadway show that can be a good way to save.
And then one of the great things about New York in terms of dining is that you can eat really well at any end of the spectrum. The two restaurants I threw out are both splurge worthy. But if you want to save more we have a whole dining channel with about 14,000 different restaurants you can sort by budget.
D42: When is the best time of year for honeymooners to visit New York?
Laura: I would recommend spring because that’s when a lot of the restaurants are setting up their outdoor spaces and then you really get to take full advantage of the city’s parks and walk around when it’s not too cold.
That said I also think that fall can be a really great time to visit the city, specifically September because that is the slow time in New York City so it you’re more likely to get a better deal on a hotel, all of the Broadway shows are more likely to be offering discounts and it’s also a time when there aren’t quite as many tourists so it’s not as hectic as it is during the holidays and the spring when everyone else is coming.
D42: What are your must-dos in spring?
Laura: I really like our dinner cruises. They are nice any time of year but they’re especially nice in spring and summer because you actually enjoy being outside. You’re going in a boat around Manhattan while the sun is setting which is really beautiful, you get a different vantage point of the skyline. It’s also very popular with proposals, but I think it’s a great activity for couples coming on their honeymoon in the spring.
We also do a brunch cruise which is really fantastic and a lot of fun. New York City also really comes alive in the spring because that’s when all the restaurants and the bars come out on the sidewalk. There are a lot of great rooftop venues in New York, some are open year-round because they have heat lamps but others are only open in the spring in summer.
D42: Any favorite rooftop bars?
Laura: There are so many and I love them all but there are two that I love especially. One is the La Quinta Hotel in Midtown, it’s right beneath the Empire State Building, so you get an up close view of the Empire State Building. And then there’s a neat one in Long Island City, called Z Hotel. Because you’re right outside of the city you get a really fantastic view of the skyline.
D42: And what would you recommend for honeymooners coming around the holidays?
Laura: New York City is all about the holidays. The lights are a big draw, we have people come from all over to see them. Just walking around the city you can get a good sense of the lights, but we do carry a number of holiday lights tours [on NewYork.com] and they give you a full perspective of all of the beautiful scenery here as well as the window displays. I would recommend a tour, especially for honeymooners, because it’s romantic, you start at night, you’re driving around so your feet aren’t getting tired and then you just get to cuddle together on the bus.
And there are a number of holiday shows that are really hot this season. The Nutcracker is a classic that’s been going on forever and each season they do a different take on the show so it’s a reason to go even if you’ve seen it before. A Christmas Story the Musical is big, and the Rockettes of course.
D42: Finally, what advice do you have for couples planning a New York City honeymoon?
Laura: Planning in advance is important especially in New York, it’s such a popular place to visit and get married. If you’re booking a venue I would say a year in advance minimum. If you’re just booking a hotel room for your honeymoon then you have a little more flexibility. Booking a couple months in advance is the best way to go.
Also, familiarize yourself with the city. If you don’t know the city well it can feel very overwhelming, so just getting to know the neighborhood that you’re in, what’s nearby, so when you’re here it’s not like you’re trying to find a restaurant and getting stressed out by that or trying to navigate the subway and figure out how far things are.
For more help planning your New York City honeymoon, visit NewYork.com.