- The Dove
228 Thompson St.; 212-254-1435
Slightly off the beaten paths of the West Village and Soho, the Dove time-warps patrons to a moment when drinks were sipped slowly and Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra crooned on the airwaves. The mood at the Dove, with its red-velvet wallpaper, gold molding, and dim sconce lighting, is a bit bordello-cum-speakeasy, but it works. On weekday evenings, the bar has light traffic—giving you a chance of snagging the couch next to the fireplace or the window nook. Ward off premature intoxication with a cheese plate and other posh bar snacks. If your date passes the test and you’re ready to move on to dinner, Thompson Street is lined with candlelit Italian restaurants to sneak into.