If you haven’t done so already, you might want to nail down your Valentine’s Day plans. ( Ladies, don’t depend on your significant other to plan ahead.) Whether you’re looking for a romantic night out, a
low key evening, or a cocktail and dessert, there are lots of creative options that won’t make either of you cringe. Since Valentine’s Day falls on Sunday this year, you can celebrate your love over brunch.
Prune (DIY Valentine’s Day)
Address: 54 East 1st
Street, nr. First Ave.
Phone: (212) 677-6221
This East Village gem is known for its eclectic brunch menu, but Gabrielle Hamilton has outdone herself this year with a do-it-yourself themed meal. Take your pick, guests can be transported to
Istanbul with nibbles like fried whitebait, or you can head to CapeCod
with grilled hard-shell lobster and anchovy butter. Want to stay in New York? They’ve come up with a menu
titled, “City Hall, NYC, December 2002” and “IKEA, Red Hook,
Brooklyn circa, perhaps 2012?”
Address: 430 Lafayette
Street, nr. Bond St.
Phone: (212) 505-5111
Enjoy a romantic and thankfully affordable dinner at this
timelessly chic Soho fixture. Besides, what’s more romantic than exotic plants and French-Vietnamese food?
You can start with a seafood trio of raw oysters, hamachi
sashimi, and seared tuna cube. For entrees, there’s a venison
carpaccio, Vietnamese bouillabaisse or seared
filet mignon with namako mushrooms.
Do save room for the chocolate truffle mouse cake for two.
Address: 9 Doyers St., nr Bowery
You could just forgo the dinner part of the evening and do a cocktail tasting instead. This sexy, Chinatown apothecary is the perfect place to do just that. They’ll be scattering rose petals on the floor and serving aphrodisiacs made with house-made infusions and exotic spirits to celebrate the romantic occasion.
Inside Park at St.
Address: 109 East 50th
Street, at Park Ave.
Phone: (212) 593-3333
Go back to an old New York for the evening for
dinner and dancing in this landmark church on Park Avenue. Start on
Valentine’s eve with retro,
$58 (per person) four-course menu and a 1930’s orchestra. It’s the perfect excuse to break out your cocktail dress and stilettos.
The Bourgeois Pig
Address: 111 East 7th
Street, btwn. 1st & A Aves.
Phone: (212) 475-2246
Snuggle up in one of their plush, velvet armchairs at this bordello themed bar in the East Village. Guests can sip cocktails, like
Charlemagne’s Cup or La Better Noire, from Champagne Punchbowls, while dipping into warm, savory fondues, including the
French Onion or the Mushroom Royale.
When you’re ready to move on to something sweet, there’s a dark chocolate
fondue laced with cinnamon and chili.
Address: 6 Extra Place, nr. 1 St.
Phone: (212) 260-7103
If you’re going with chocolate, Bespoke is one of the finest chocolatiers in the city. We recommend the passionfruit white chocolate hearts made with a unique
white couverture. Each heart-shaped confection has a complex, earthy
flavor that pairs exquisitely with the tart passionfruit ganache. Or you can just go with their trademark, pretzel-covered sea-salted caramel coated in pretzels from the Union Square Greenmarket.
Address: 155 Varick
Street, nr. Spring St.
Phone: (212) 608-0555
If you’re looking for something not so romantic (at all,) head to City Winery for their Sunday Klezmer
brunch. You can pair their extensive selection of wines with this classic Jewish brunch fare, like lox and bagels, as well as more traditional offerings, while listening to the Klezmer sextet.
Address: 401 Bleecker St., nr 11th St.
If you prefer to leave the baking to the
professionals, Magnolia Bakery has an elegant and delicious, “Love Note
Box” with six stylish cupcakes (three vanilla and three chocolate) iced
with white vanilla buttercream icing. The best part is they spell out
the word LOVE. It’s like a gift and dessert in one, wrapped in whisper-pink tuille with a custom holiday
tag and bow. The only catch is you have to get your order in before the 14th.
Water’s Edge (Romantic Views)
Address: The East
River at 44th Drive (Long Island City)
Phone: (718) 482-0033
This destination restaurant has good food and breathtaking views of the New York skyline. It’s an intimate evening with an $85 prix-fixe menu in the Main Dining Room. If you want to go all out, there’s a full price, prix fixe in the private ballroom with an open bar, live entertainment, and dancing.
Institute of Culinary
Address: 50 West 23rd St., btwn. 5th & 6th Aves.
Instead of buying truffles, learn how to make them yourself in a class entitled “Truffles, Truffles, Truffles.” If truffles sound daunting, there’s also a “Best Brownie
Workshop,” where you will make supernatural brownies, espresso brownies, and
white chocolate chunk brownies. It’s the perfect activity to do together or with your single girlfriends.