Manhattan – West Village
447 Hudson St at Morton St
Some restaurants open with trumpet blasts to the press while others are stealth operations, appearing out of nowhere and popularized by whispering campaigns. Hudson Clearwater is of the latter classification, as tricky to find as any speakeasy during Prohibition. No secret password is required to enter the unmarked green door, but crossing the threshold can still be intimidating. The phone tends to go unanswered, so it's best to email for a reservation or just take your chances. The rustic American menu is quite accessible, with dishes like black-eyed pea bisque, duck confit and cured pork belly. Lead a date to this magical, candlelit space and win points for being so in the know.