New Brunswick Night Out

New Brunswick isn't just for college students out on the town—world-class dining and premier theater experiences present a tempting reality for romantic couples eager for entertainment-laden evenings.

The Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick.
Courtesy of the Heldrich Hotel/Darren Edwards.

It’s easy to associate New Brunswick with college bars and football games, but this resurgent city has a plethora of options for an adult night out, all within walking distance of each other.

To really make a night of it, consider an all-inclusive package from the luxurious Heldrich Hotel (10 Livingston Avenue; 732-729-4670, theheldrich.com), located in the heart of New Brunswick’s theater district. Starting at $199 a night, the New Brunswick Rocks package at the Heldrich includes overnight accommodations at the hotel showcasing views of downtown, valet parking and $100 in food and show credits.

Start your night by using your $25 credit at Christopher’s, the Heldrich’s in-house restaurant and bar, where you can sip handcrafted cocktails. Next, apply your $75 dinner credit at one of New Brunswick’s top-notch restaurants, including Stage Left, the Frog & the Peach and Catherine Lombardi—each on New Jersey Monthly’s 2010 list of the state’s best restaurants—as well as local favorites Old Bay, Panico’s, Steakhouse 85 and Tula. You can also dine right at Christopher’s, where the hambuger was judged number 2 in the state in our recent Great Burger Showdown.

Enjoy your dinner, then catch a show at the State Theatre (15 Livingston Avenue; 732-246-7469, statetheatrenj.org), located directly across from the Heldrich. Upcoming attractions include the romantic comedy Lovers and Other Strangers (May 1) and Chinese music and dance troupe Shen Yun Performing Arts (May 6-8). The season is coming to an end at the State Theatre’s neighbor, the Crossroads Theatre (7 Livingston Avenue; 732-545-8100, crossroadstheatrecompany.org), but it will return with new programming in October. In the mood for a laugh? The Stress Factory (90 Church Street; 732-545-4242, stressfactory.com) has featured some of the best stand-up comedians, including Jim Breuer, Chris Rock and Artie Lang.

After your show, stop in for a nightcap at Harvest Moon (392 George Street; 732-249-6666, harvestmoonbrewery.com), which serves up seasonal house-brewed selections, or Clydz (55 Paterson Street; 732-846-6521, clydz.com), which offers more than 55 martinis, such as the green tea-ni or the Cajun martini. As you make your way back to the room, check in again at Christopher’s, where live jazz artists perform every last Friday of the month from 9 pm until midnight.


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