Ask the Critics: Where Can I Have an Interactive Date?


Steve S. asks: I want to impress my lady with a non-boring date. Something like Korean barbecue where it’s not just the same old dinner. What are some interactive options for us?

Dear Steve: I love interactive dates where you get to cook your own food. There’s always more to discuss mid-meal and it just creates an overall element of fun. Here are some spots where you can get your hands dirty (literally) and have a tasty meal, too.

My go-to joint for Korean barbecue is New Wonjo. It might not be the best out there, but I always have a good time, chowing down on the beef kalbi and seemingly endless banchan that come with the barbecue options. The kimchi fried rice is also pretty good, but do skip the sushi side of the menu.

Should your tastes lean more Japanese than Korean, you might want to check out Gyu-Kaku or the still slightly Korean Takashi, where if you’re feeling really ballsy, you can opt for the “tongue experience.” (After all, who doesn’t want a tongue experience?)

Hot pot is always a great adventure. Flushing offers several spots. My favorites are Happy Family and Shanghai Tide (135-20 40th Road, Flushing, 718-661-0900). You can even get bull penis at the former — what better conversation topic than that!

And while Vietnamese hot pot doesn’t get much attention in the press, lau is actually very common, eaten along the lakeshores in Hanoi. Pho Grand offers a version that’s pretty good, and definitely filling.