Omari Hardwick's Idea of Date Night? McDonald's on a Park Bench

The Power star is one of PEOPLE's Sexiest Men in the Kitchen

Omari Hardwick’s idea of the perfect date night has nothing to do with a candlelit dinner or a bill with a lot of zeroes at the end of it.

“You know how you can be romantic? You can be romantic by going to a beautiful setting, sitting on a park bench and getting good ole fashioned golden arches a.k.a. McDonald’s,” he tells PEOPLE in this week’s Sexiest Man Alive issue. “That’s probably the best I can do romantically.”

He does, however, have other skills to spice up the night: “I can play music!” says the Power star. “I am a music-ie while my wife [Jennifer Pfautch] is a foodie, so the combination works.”

Hardwick’s modest taste is reminiscent of his humble beginnings as a struggling artist living out of his car. “[I ate] 99 cent chicken sandwiches from Jack in the Box on a regular consistency,” he says. “I don’t know necessarily if it was that healthy but it said chicken, so I ate it. It was 99 cents and I was struggling. And showering at the YMCA — that’s sexy.”

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Now the actor keeps the refrigerators in his New York and Denver homes fully stocked with ice cream, grilled chicken, a variety of fruit, and leftovers from his favorite Manhattan restaurants. “We frequent Buddakan in the Meatpacking District, which is incredible and we tried when we first got to New York … to not repeat a restaurant. I think we counted 5,000 restaurants,” he says. “It is very hard to accomplish that goal.”


He finds dining out, and food in general, sexy because of it’s “connect-ability.”

For more from this year’s Sexiest Man Alive — and to see who else made the cut — pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday

“That point of life when I learned I could cook, that always made me understand what cooks felt like feeding other people. It’s okay to receive but it’s really cool to give, so food is to me sexy because it’s the fact that someone is giving it to someone else,” he says. “It ends up being something that figuratively brings folks together but also physically brings people together.”

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