Even something as basic as meat on a stick gets upscale treatment in New York City. For your next romantic night out, head to Yakitori Totto, where the humble skewer soars to such great heights. Anticipation builds as you climb the stairs, with your date wondering what kind of speakeasy you’re headed to. Inside, the many Japanese faces signal the authenticity of the experience to come. The space is small, allowing for intimate meals. Grab a quiet spot to the side, or a seat at the grill bar, where you’ve got front row for all the action. Start out with seaweed salad, tart and loaded with sesame, in a beautiful medley of green and red strands. For skewers, you’ll have plenty to talk about, as you browse through the encyclopedic selection. Cast your vote for green pepper and miso, followed by asparagus wrapped in decadent Berkshire bacon. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can test each other’s limits with forays into delicacies like livers, gizzards, and necks. The savory seasonings will prime you for a smart sake list, or maybe an exotic shochu cocktail made with pickled plum and tea. The warm staff makes sure you feel right at home, even if what you’re sampling lies just outside your comfort zone.