Dinner and a movie is so 2010s. Make date night more entertaining, active and memorable by taking advantage of some of these offerings across Long Island.
It was a date night that first inspired the themed dinners at this literary-themed restaurant in Atlantic Beach — which features five courses and cocktails based off a movie, show or book, along with decorations and a staff that dresses in costume.
When owners Heather and Ben Freiser were dating, before the now-married couple’s restaurant opened, they shared an appreciation for the somewhat obscure movie, "True Romance." Heather later rented out a cinema for Ben’s birthday, played "True Romance" and themed all food and drinks to the movie. "He always jokes that’s the night he knew he was going to marry me," Heather says. They now offer a similar experience to couples and diners every Wednesday night.
On Nov. 10, the "Ted Lasso" theme includes "Biscuits With the Boss," Ted’s recipe for English shortbread, and "More Open Than the Jar of Peanut Butter on my Counter," a peanut butter bacon burger. Other upcoming themes, all priced at $65 per person, include "The Crown" (Nov. 17), "A Very Mean Girls Thanksgiving Eve" (Nov. 24), "Schitt’s Creek" (Dec. 1) and "West Side Story" (Dec. 8).
With advance notice, Beginnings will do custom-themed menus for couples based on a movie, show or book of their choice. "If you just want to surprise somebody with something they care about, we can do that to and make the night really special for you," Heather says. "We enjoy the challenge of someone coming to us with some obscure movie."
INFO: 1986 Park St., Atlantic Beach; 516-239-7483; beginningsrestaurant.com
North Village Tavern
Music is the key to the heart. So, serenade your date at karaoke night at this Rockville Centre tavern on Nov. 19 from 9 p.m. to midnight, either by singing a love ballad or perhaps something a little more up-tempo to show off some dance moves.
"It kind of breaks the ice," says North Village Tavern owner Gina Wuestmann. "Instead of going to a movie where you’re not going to talk to the person, you’re gonna hear some people get up and have fun and let loose. " If thirsty after all that signing, the venue offers 34 beer varieties and a cocktail menu that includes drinks like The Big Apple (salted caramel vodka, toasted apple purée, vanilla bean, brown sugar). Favorites off the food menu include the marinated skirt steak bites and the ahi tuna. Happy Hour is every Monday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and all day Sunday.
INFO: 40 N. Village Ave., Rockville Centre; 516-766-0181
WINE AND BEER NIGHT
Sand City Brewing Co.
Sand City Brewing Co. offers handcrafted ales on both the North and South Shore. Their more intimate brewery is tucked away in the downtown village of Northport, "which in and of itself is a pretty romantic getaway," says part-owner Bill Kiernan. A perfect stop for after dinner or a show, the quaint venue offers a tasting room, bar, a handful of indoor tables and outdoor deck. To the south, in Lindenhurst, is their much larger and airy brewery with a beer garden and roughly 30 tables that overlook the production floor. There you’ll find live music, trivia and plenty of food trucks.
INFO: 60 Main St., Northport and 150 S. Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst; 631-651-2767; sandcitybeer.com
WINE & TRIVIA
No need to drive all the way to the East End for a winery thanks to Harmony Vineyards in Head of the Harbor, which is open year-round and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. "Whether you pop in before dinner and have a glass of wine, or have dinner early and come by afterward, we are open a little later than the other wineries, which is great for a date night," says manager Nita Simoes.
On Friday nights in the fall, while the weather cooperates, watch a classic movie outdoors and enjoy some wine during their Drink in Theater event. Once it gets too cold, Fridays are for trivia night. Or simply cozy-up indoors by the fireplace and enjoy some chardonnay aged in stainless steel or Bordeaux-style red blend, as well as some small plates and wraps. Upcoming events also include a Fall Festival on Nov. 13 and Valentine’s game night on Feb. 14.
INFO: 169 Harbor Rd., Head of the Harbor; 631-291-9900; harmonyvineyards.com
Forget wine and dine, try wine and design. Show off your creative side at Pindar Vineyards in Peconic during their Paint & Sip event on Dec. 5 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Guests will hand-paint a pair of wine glasses in a winter theme, assisted by instructor Maggie with Wine of a Kind. The cost is $40 per person and wine will be sold by the glass or bottle. Every Sunday in November, the tasting room will also host a Champagne and Doughnut Pairing in collaboration with NoFo DoCo. The sessions, at noon and 2 p.m.; cost $30 per person.
INFO: 37645 Main Rd., Peconic; 631-734-6200; pindar.net
COFFEE AND GAMES
The Cup Coffeehouse
Take your date for a cup of coffee and a side of nostalgia. The Cup Coffeehouse in Wantagh, founded in 1996, brings guests back to a time before there was a Starbucks at every corner. "We try to keep the nostalgia of the '90s coffeehouse," says part-owner Kevin Kaufmann. Listen to '90s music, play board games like Connect 4 or Guess Who?, enjoy the work of a local artist that hangs on the walls each month, all while dining on cakes, pies, specialty lattes, cappuccinos and much more. Be sure to try the Rainbow Cookie Cake or the Smushed Pie in a Mug, which is a heated piece of cake or pie that’s smushed into a large coffee mug and topped with two scoops of ice cream, chocolate sauce and whip cream.
INFO: 3268 Railroad Ave., Wantagh; 516-826-9533
WATCH LIVE SPORTS
Be among the first to have a date night at Long Island’s newest billion-dollar arena, located at Belmont Park. The New York Islanders debut at their new home on Nov. 20 at 7 p.m., against the Calgary Flames.
Other upcoming events include WWE Monday Night Raw on Nov. 29, the St. John’s men’s basketball team against the Kansas Jayhawks on Dec. 3, and concerts such as Eric Church on Dec. 4 and Genesis on Dec. 10. Or head to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale on Dec. 4 to attend the season-opener for the New York Riptide of the National Lacrosse League, with tickets starting at just over $20.
INFO: 2400 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont; ubsarena.com