235 W. 12th St., nr. Greenwich Ave.; 646-476-8731
When owner Jacques Doassans morphed his 30-seat Tea Set into a French Colonial–themed bar last fall, he decided to go sexier with L’Amant (“the lover”). Intimate, quiet, and dark, with leather armchairs and shadowy corners, the space is a perfect date option, even if the pagoda-print wallpaper, faux-vintage wall sconces, and Asian fans make the décor a touch theme-ier than you’d expect for the West Village. The ambience is saved by the relaxing jazz soundtrack, chatty bartenders, and inventive drinks, many fashioned with housemade syrups. Prices are about what you’d bargain on for quality cocktails these days: Order a duo of $14 Remedies (cognac, rum, honey, and ginger syrups, and lemon juice), and if things go well, a round of Black Snakes (Earl Grey–infused gin, brandy, and bergamot juice; $16).