Microbrews, oversize benches, and old-school arcade games get video-game geeks out of the house and keep the foppery at nil.
• The Diamond
Sans attitude, the bartenders give lessons in rare imported beer and a bar game called rubber-ring quoits.
• Alligator Lounge
A date at this grimy, tacky pool joint is romantic suicide — but it suits any other occasion where rowdy fun is on the itinerary and you don't mind a free personal pizza with your drink.
WHERE TO EAT
• Momofuku Ssäm Bar
Plus-size tables accommodate all of your friends, and you won't be surrounded by daters—who might be concerned with pieces of pork butt getting stuck in their teeth.
• Fette Sau
No sugary sentiments at this buzz-worthy Brooklyn BBQ joint—the drinks come in Mason jars, and the décor is barnlike.
• Chelsea Market
This gourmand’s mecca is a fun place to graze in groups; order pad see ew to go from Thai Wholesale and stroll through the meatpacking district.
WHAT TO DO
• National Design Museum
Housing a 250,000-piece design collection (including a seventeenth-century Japanese tsuba), this clandestine old mansion is the perfect hideout for playing hooky for the day.
• ‘The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island’
This surreal Off Broadway hit investigates—among other topics—love in a postmodern world, but as viewed through author/illustrator Ben Katchor’s absurdist, unflinching eye.
• Rubin Museum Guided Tour
This monument to Himalayan culture offers free romps around its quiet corridors.
• For Non-Romantics
Books, cigars, DVDs, and more.