Lord knows you should not go on a blind date with a person and a place at the same time (see: eHarmony-Ninja NY debacle of 2007). Let us do the scouting for you.
Drop by: Lani Kai, a bilevel drinking lounge (from the Clover Club crew).
When you want: a hint of Hawaii in your not-so-tiki cocktails, big booths, room to mingle.
In the company of: your new office mates; your old colleagues; your birthday party.
Note the: white rum, hibiscus tea, rose hip swizzle; mai tai; luau platters; crispy crab wontons.
Address: 525 Broome Street, between Sullivan and Thompson Streets (646-596-8778).
Drop by: The Lambs Club, a new red-leather-wrapped deco restaurant and bar designed by over-the-top architect Thierry Despont.
When you want: a social club vibe; a post-theater splurge à la 1930; a classy Times Square experience.
In the company of: media moguls; fastidious out-of-towners; sexy, madcap flappers.
Note the: upstairs bar (Wi-Fi, Petraske cocktails, and Zakarian snacks), which makes for a courtly Midtown office.
Address: 132 West 44th Street, between Sixth Avenue and Broadway (212-997-5262). Tour the place.
Drop by: Jeffrey’s Grocery, a jam-packed grocer and luncheonette that feels like a blast from 60 years past.
When you want: to charm a client; a break from Twitter; a champagne-and-oyster breakfast (at noon).
In the company of: your retro-outfitted girlfriend; sentimental mom; lads-who-lunch.
Note the: raw bar, jumbo salads, charcuterie, artisanal pantry, men with beards.
Address: 172 Waverly Place, at Christopher Street.
Drop by: Flex Mussels, a noisy, mollusk-loving dinner spot channeling Prince Edward Island.
When you want: authentic fish shack flashbacks.
In the company of: dear pals who won’t judge your getting elbow-deep in a Parmigiano cream-scallions-shallot-toasted-garlic broth; landlubbers ready to take the oyster plunge.
Note the: pastry chef, Zac Young, who will serve you half a dozen donuts with fillings of your choice.
Address: 154 West 13th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues (212-229-0222).
Drop by: City Sandwich, a Theater District Portuguese-leaning hoagie shop that packs a wallop (cured meats, yogurt sauces, delicate greens) between excellently crafted (not too dense, perfectly crusty) bread. (Run by an Italian from Lisbon who learned to cook from his mom.)
When you want: to upgrade your weekday bagged lunches.
In the company of: the guys from accounting; the girls from dance class; the cast and crew.
Note the: alheira (vinegar sausage) with collard greens, grilled onions, and melted mozzarella.
Address: 649 Ninth Avenue, between 45th and 46th Streets (646-684-3943).
Drop by: Burger & Barrel, Lure Fishbar’s ’50s-era, Hopper-esque “wine pub” with casks of reds, whites, and whiskeys to wash down hearty American fare (short rib taco, Sloppy Joe, cherry cheesecake).
When you want: a damn fine burger.
In the company of: your bros; your girls; your Meetup group.
Note the: classy diner vibe, awesomely stacked condiments.
Address: 25 West Houston Street, at Mercer Street (212-334-7320).
Photos: Courtesy of Lani Kai; Janelle Jones; Courtesy of Jeffrey’s; Courtesy of Flex Mussels; Courtesy of City Sandwich; Courtesy of Burger & Barrel