We asked you for ideas. And you came through—with dozens of them. So many inspired cheap dates, in fact, that selecting the winner of our Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway ticket giveaway was tougher than casting a Tony vote for best sound design.
We really liked Lee’s suggestion to see some live Jazz at the Inkwell Café in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, where $5 gets you in the door, and there’s no drink minimum. “Just lean back on the couch for a snuggle while all that good music rolls over you,” Lee writes. Nice.
We also dug the idea from Anna, who suggests a free kayak trip [here's a link to free canoe tours] on the Gowanus Canal; not only will the toxic water be a conversation starter, she points out, but you will have your date in a swimsuit right off the bat. (No, Anna did not post her phone number, guys.)
Props to Cassie, who suggested going to Wombat on Grand in Williamsburg on Tuesday night for their $13 lobster dinner. Better still, though, was Cassie’s third suggestion, and the winning entry: a trip to Greenpoint’s Lomzynianka restaurant (646 Manhattan Ave. at Nassau Street):
It’s a tiny little Polish restaurant off the Nassau G stop and the food is a-mazing. The decor is kitchy, but oddly romantic . . . it’s intimate and there’s no loud music playing. It’s BYOB and the huge Polish platter is only $7.50 – you can easily get away with spending less than $20 for a dinner for two!
In fact, said platter is the most expensive thing on the menu (typical—am I right, guys?), leaving plenty of singles in your wallet to hit the bodega up the street for a half-liters of Okocim or Zywiec beer.
As it happens, this place is something of a favorite around here. Cassie’s Polish platter comes with pierogi, kielbasa, stuffed cabbage, bigos (Polish stew) and potatoes, but take it from us: the boiled beef in white horseradish sauce is much better than it sounds. But don’t order “veal cutlet in Hungarian style” expecting paprika—it’s breaded, fried, and served with American cheese and a slice of tomato on top. Just like in Hungary.
But don’t shy away from Lomzynianka on account of its oddly named dishes, because your date will think you worldly and savvy for knowing about such an authentic little hole in the wall in an area so over-saturated with intentionally cool things. As Cassie points out, part of Lomzynianka’s charm lies in its kitsch factor—its walls covered with what could only be described as Polish papel picado, and a large, worried-looking deer head on the wall.
After dinner, Cassie writes:
…take a long walk up Manhattan Avenue and go to the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory on Commercial Street (the strawberry is the best I’ve had). Enjoy your ice creams while walking back down beautiful Franklin Street!
That really does sound like a winning date. Thanks to Cassie and all of our readers for all your ideas, and to Season of Savings for sponsoring the giveaway, which included $100 gift certificate to Tony’s Di Napoli restaurant in Times Square. Everyone else, we’ll see you at… whatever it’s called!