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Ed Szymanski and Patricia Howard Do Date Night with Ted Baker

Husband and wife, Ed Szymanski and Patricia Howard, are adding some British flare to the New York food scene, one meat pie at a time. The couple currently own two English restaurants in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, Dame and Lord’s. Ed is the chef, originally from London, and has most recently been nominated for a James Beard Award as “Best Chef in New York”. Patricia manages front-of-house, restaurant design, and marketing. While in and out of their chaotic kitchens, they make the perfect pair and manage to escape for a date night. Take an
inside look at their story.


A Love Story

“We met working at the Beatrice Inn, a steakhouse in the West Village, in 2017. Patricia worked mostly during the day and Ed cooked on the line at night, so we didn’t have much overlap. That all changed when we went to Aspen for a work event and hung outside of the restaurant for the first time. We started going to dinner on Ed’s one night off each week. Relationships were not allowed at the Beatrice Inn, and we were one of many secret romances, which made it all the more exciting.” 

“I (Patricia) remember hearing Ed talk about the parts of a cow at one of the pre-shift
meetings before service and marveling at how smart he was. Ed went to the London School of Economics and Patricia went to Columbia University, so we gravitated towards each other in an industry where that kind of background is rare. We saw in each other a similar determination but also very different skill sets, that when combined we thought would take us far. Ed first viewed me as a strong business partner, but over time I convinced him we could be partners in business and life.” 

“Over our weekly dinners, we crafted our dream restaurant and set out to open it together. At the end of 2019, we wrote a business plan, filed the LLC, and started raising money. We launched our first pop-up in March of 2020. Ed had been sleeping over most nights out of convenience because the pop-up was down the street from my (Patricia’s) apartment. When Covid shut everything down, Ed never went back to his old place, and we’ve been living together ever since. In June 2020, we launched Dame as a fish and chips pop-up to raise money for the Black Lives Matter movement. Its success snowballed into a brick-and-mortar location in June 2021 and our second restaurant Lord’s opened in October 2022. Along the way, we got engaged in April 2022 and got married in Austin, TX (where Patricia grew up) in May 2023.” 


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Adventures In Love

From cooking in the kitchen, traveling the world, hosting fun dinner parties, and going to the theater – Patricia and Ed’s are always in motion.

“We are both city people who go stir crazy sitting on a beach. We enjoy exploring new places on foot, spending long days wandering from restaurants to bars to shops and back again."


“Every time we see a play, we say why don’t we do this more often. Ed is great at buying tickets months in advance and putting them on the calendar. We have one booked for February 13 because we’ll be working Valentine’s Day at our restaurants.” 

Date Night Outfit Approved

"I love floral prints and this springy suit is the perfect statement look that’s versatile enough to break apart and wear as separates. The black dress is an easy item to pack when traveling or to toss in my tote in the morning if I won’t have time to come home before date night. The print can go with boots and tights in the winter, heels or flats in the spring, and sandals in the summer.”   

"We like to get dressed up for date night because when you work with your partner, and business and personal are one in the same, it’s very easy to slip into a sweatpants and t-shirt routine 24/7 – and to feel like we’re always working.” 

- Patricia

 

LOOKING AHEAD TO SPRING

“I prefer simple, understated pieces that fit well but aren’t flashy. Comfort is a major consideration because often I’m getting dressed in the morning, working in the kitchen for 10-12 hours, then going out to eat. It’s key to have staple pieces like the wool trousers that can be worn all day then dressed up for dinner.”

"I usually have my date night sweater and shoes folded in the office to change into at the end of my workday. Soft, solid-colored sweaters are my winter uniform. Black leather shoes provide a much-needed upgrade from my kitchen Crocs.”

- Ed


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Go to Date Spots

Being in the restaurant business, Patricia and Ed know the best spots in the city.

“Our schedule means we’re working most nights, so instead of date nights, we have lunch dates before heading into our restaurants. One of our favorite weekend routines is walking to Yellow Rose for breakfast tacos – and maybe a frozen margarita.”

“We like to walk-in and sit at the bar at Estela or Torrisi after a long day at work. After 10:00 pm, it’s pretty easy to get into both!”

“Whenever we have something to celebrate, we book a table at Cosme. Anything above 14th Street
feels like a special occasion, so we usually dress up. Mexican food is our favorite cuisine, and whenever we can’t escape to Mexico City, Cosme fills the void.”

“On Sundays when both restaurants are closed, we’ll venture to Palmetto in Bushwick. All of their cocktails are amazing, but the negroni sours in particular are worth the trip.”

“When we really need to get away, we’ll fly to London for a few days. The Town Hall Hotel has become our home away from home. After meals at Planque, Noble Rot, St. John Bread & Wine, Manteca, Mountain, seeing a play in the West End, and a few martinis at Duke’s, we’re ready to get back to the grind.”