You know the nights where you can't help but dreamily reminisce on that night's newly-formed-but-already-core-memories before you've even had the chance to change into your pajamas and chug water before bed? We just wrapped up one of our best nights to date in New York City - it was the kind of night where each person individually + separately said "I needed a night like this" and "...only in New York!" on numerous occasions. Included below are all of the details that made our girl's night out, unforgettable. As always, we call it a "girl's night out" because that's what it was for us, but the same night could be just as enjoyed as a date night, solo outing, guy's night or group hang - all that matters is that you have the right people by your side.
Stop 1: [Unique Dining Experience] Tokyo Record Bar
Easily the coolest place that we've ever dined. Tokyo Record Bar is a teeny tiny restaurant accessed only through the basement of Air's Champagne Parlor. They offer $65 prix-fixe 7 course omakase dining to an intimate venue of max ~20 restaurant-goers at any given time and 6:30, 8:30 or occasional 10:30 reservation slots. Nailing down a reservation proved tricky but doable as we were sure to log on to their Resy page exactly two weeks in advance at 10AM and score a 6:30 reservation with bar seating. Aside from its speak-easy feel, cozy ambiance and chef-selected dishes, what makes Tokyo Record Bar SO unique is that they also offer diners the opportunity to each choose a song to be played for the restaurant on vinyl from their extensive list of records by writing your song choice down on your chopstick wrapper. Our choices for the night were Beggin' by Frankie Valli + the Four Seasons, Bennie and the Jets by Elton John and More than a Woman by the BeeGees and we were SO excited each time we heard one come on - it was a truly, can't stop yourself from dancing kind of vibe. Each dish that Chef Eddie made was to.die.for and captured the perfect blend of unthinkable flavors together. It was some of the best food that we've ever had and the intimacy of it all made it all that much more special - it's not every day that you get to share sake with your chef, after all.
All in all, it was the perfect place to kick start our night - we left feeling full, but not stuffed, fuzzy from the sake, and with a newfound confidence from feeling like part of New York's "in-crowd" (if only for a fleeting moment). That confidence would come in handy with our second stop.
Transparently - the meal cost us more than we typically spend, though not TOO bad. With a carafe of sake split 3 ways plus a generous tip, we averaged at around $100 per person, making this a special occasion place by our standards (but thankfully, we had a lot to celebrate to justify the cost).
Stop 2: [Unbeatable Drinks] Cocktails at Dante's
Dante's is easily one of the hottest spots for cocktails in Manhattan and their MacDougal Street location is only a few blocks from Tokyo Record Bar. Though we had no reservation and should've known better, we figured that we were feeling lucky and it was worth a shot. When we got to the hostess' stand, we were told that it would be an hour wait or more so sadly we were prepared to bail and head to our back-up spot (Hidden Lane Bar), but that newfound confidence that we spoke of earlier ended up saving the day when we were approached by a group of 20-30-something-year-old guys also waiting to be seated and struck up a conversation. To this day, we're still not sure if they were "somebody important" or it was merely just luck but after a short conversation exchanging pleasantries, the men were seated at their table at Dante and the hostess let us know that she miraculously found a table for us as well.
We adored the ambiance of Dante with their greenery wrapped outdoor patio, old Hollywood inspired cocktails and cafe vibes and it was easy to understand why it's such a New York favorite. Drink prices were on par with most NYC cocktails at around $15-20 each and oh soooo delicious. Best of all, we walked right through the filming of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" en route to the restaurant, which made it feel all that much more like an old-school New York kind of night.
Stop 3: [Entertainment] Comedy Show at the Stand
Walking from Tokyo Record Bar to Dante, we must have passed a dozen people advertising for comedy shows in the few short blocks we walked but we had already secured tickets weeks in advance to see Hannah Berner (of Giggly Squad, Berning in Hell + Summer House), Ashley Hesseltine (of Girls Gotta Eat) and Preacher Lawson (of America's Got Talent + Unleashed) and more at The Stand. Candidly, we had no idea what to expect from The Stand as most every comedy show we've ever been to has been in an unassuming, cramped basement, so boy were we surprised when we strolled up to a bustling, crowded + modern bar with multiple event spaces. The comedians of the night had us CACKLING and doubled-over laughing, our drinks were phenomenal and we were even impressed with the side of french fries that we ordered to share. We loved that tickets for the show were only $15 and there was no drink/food minimum (split four ways we each paid about $22 incl. tax and tip for the fries + cocktail that we did get). The show lasted about an hour and a half and afterwards we were so hyped that it was a relief that we walked upstairs to the main bar space to find that it was still buzzing with a rowdy crowd.
We ended the night by quite literally doing pull-ups for a crowd of onlookers (to prove a point, of course) and giggling the entire cab ride home. Best of all, Tokyo Record Bar sent us home with a slice of [UNREAL] pizza in a takeaway box so we were able to really indulge ourselves when we got home tipsy at nearly 2AM.
Truthfully, it was the kind of night that could never be replicated, but with the right outing template at its core of Unique Dining Experience + Drinks + Entertainment, a night equally as uniquely wonderful can be created by your group of friends. Other ideas with a similar foundation can be explored in Disco Frank's Master Guide or make your own night out + share your experience with us! Always remember to put a little disco in the details of your life and surely you'll be in good shape.