At Iron Chef Jose Garces’ Asian-influenced restaurant Chifa, tease your palate with fusion delights like scallion pancakes with sesame mayo or the “naughty” Chicha Movado (a spiced rum drink with purple Peruvian corn and pineapple). Then take your taste buds to the limit with the Thai sausage sandwich with avocado and pickled papaya, or try it sans bread with flavored rice and sweet and spicy tamarind chile sauce (707 Chestnut St., Philadelphia; 215-925-5555).
The first thing you’ll notice about Dhaba is the ambience. Nestled in the Flatiron district of Manhattan, the cozy atmosphere makes it a perfect first-date or date night location. Wait service is very attentive—before you’re nestled into your booth, there will be warm naan (leavened bread) on your table with assorted sauces. Go for the classics: Dhaba’s chicken tikka masala is expertly prepared and will not disappoint. The desserts may leave much to be desired, but fortunately, you’ll be too full after dinner to even bother (108 Lexington Ave., New York, N.Y.; 212-679-1284).
Pierchic, part of Dubai's spectacular Madinat Jumeirah hotel, delivers on the fantasy element promised by the hottest playground in the world. Visually arresting, accessible only by a long pier suspended over ice-blue water, with glass light fixtures that resemble beautiful, undulating jellyfish inside, diners will appreciate such choice picks as the smooth, creamy shellfish bisque and wild sea bass with braised baby calamari on violet potatoes with as much delight as the warm—and chic—ambiance (madinatjumeirah.com; 971 4 3668888).