I doubt she'll want my input, but this is what I wrote in . . . *
1) Where was it?
This is sort of cheating, it was a *dessert* date. Chikalicious, East Village.
2) Why was it so incredible?
An adorable husband and wife team run the place: the husband is a consummate host, the wife this amazing and superpetite whirlwind in the kitchen. The ambiance is enjoyable inside, except when the waiting people start shooting you death-ray glares to hurry up and eat your dessert. The wine pairings are done with a deft hand. And, finally, obviously, the desserts are out of this world. We're not talking gooey, five kinds of chocolate on top of bananas and marshmallows ... we're talking molten chocolate cake with a red wine glaze and pink peppercorn ice cream, or grapefruit sorbet served in a champagne bath. The portions are as petite as the Chef, so it's best to get two and then, you know, cutely and romantically taste each other's dishes.
3) What makes a really special dinner out in New York?
I think it has to be a combination of getting dressed to the nines, being amongst other people dressed to the nines, atmosphere, delicious food, a skillful wine list, and not ending up too stuffed to continue the (ahem, ahem) romance of the date.
Good luck with the column.
* Maybe because I've blogged about her a few too many times, although I have to say the least maliciously of the many people that blog about her on the Internet.