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Valentine’s Day Dining

Screen Shot 2012-02-04 at 4.53.42 PM.pngThe holiday many love to hate is fast approaching.  If you’re single, Valentine’s Day can be depressing.   If you’re coupled, it can be a lot of pressure to buy roses at inflated prices or fancy chocolates.  And, of course, you have to pick the perfect restaurant with a pricey prix fixe menu, a romantic setting, and aphrodisiacs of the oyster and fig sorts.  Instead of giving into a “sucker’s night out” meal, we found a few great options we could actually get excited about. Valentine’s Day could be an excuse to sample sexy Austrian food at Edi & The Wolf or take a couple’s cooking class at DeGustibus.  Here’s a few of our favorite options…


92 Madison Ave btwn 28th & 29th St


Millesime has a reputation for being one of the most romantic date spots in the city.   This Valentine’s Day chef Laurent Manrique plans to up the ante on romance with a $75 prix fixe menu that starts with a  tuna tartar prepared table side.  The menu will also feature a lobster pot de feu for two and a Parfait Glacer L’orange to end the evening.  There’s even a special XOXO cocktail, a blend of  tequila, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur with a white chocolate rim.

Edi & the Wolf

102 Ave C


This Austrian East Village spot is embracing the romantic occasion with a three- course menu for just $65.  Not bad at all, especially when you consider their serving poached egg with caviar, pumpernickel, and baby beets and a ribeye with celery root puree and zweigelt jus.   Finish with a molten chocolate cake drizzled with dark chocolate sauce and sour cherries. Sounds good to me.

De Gustibus

151 W 34th St btwn Broadway & Penn Plaza

8th Floor


Why not mix things this Valentine’s Day and learn to cook together?  Instead of eating out, prepare a meal together at De Gustibus Cooking School.  Chopped winner and CIA instructor James Briscione,  and his wife, food writer Brooke Parkhurst, are hosting a Valentine’s Day couple’s class.  (Singles sadly need not apply.)  The duo will focus on how couples can play to each other’s strengths in the kitchen to create romantic weeknight dinners.  The cost is $190 per couple, which includes a cooking lesson and dinner rolled up into one.


430 Lafayette Street btwn 4th St & Astor Pl


If you’re more of a classicist, we highly recommend Indochine.  After twenty-five years, this French-Vietnamese restaurant is just as sexy as ever.  Perhaps it’s the playful finger foods and exotic cocktails, like the ginger berry sangria or the “black and blue” with bourbon, crushed blackberries and blueberries.  Split the Vietnamese baby back ribs or the summer rolls with king crab and black bean sauce to start.  Follow that up with the crispy whole red snapper in a sweet and sour pimento sauce with a side of sticky rice studded with mushrooms and Vietnamese sausage.  End the evening with one of their unusual sorbets or a seasonal fruit tart.

Saxon + Parole

315 Bowery btwn Bleecker St & 1st St


If you haven’t checked out the new and vastly improved makeover of Avroko’s Bowery spot, February 14th is a great excuse to.  If you’re significant other is a romantic, you’ll score major points for picking choosing Saxon + Parole because they’re pulling out all the stops with drippy candles and plenty of roses.  The $90 Valentine’s Day menu includes a carrot and ginger soup topped with homemade chili marshmallows, a shaved beet salad with spiced pecans and feta, grilled scallops with roasted cauliflower puree, and sweet potato tortellini.  For dessert, there’s cinnamon sugar donuts with vanilla cream and chocolate sauce.


415 Lafayette St btwn 4th St & Astor Place


 Butter may be better known for its scene, but its Alex Guarnaschelli’s cooking that’s kept it exciting all these years.  This sexy downtown spot is the perfect place to celebrate Valentine’s Day if you can afford it.  Alex has designed a four-course with a complimentary glass of wine for $150 per person.  A few highlights are the marinated sea scallops with blood orange and celery hearts, a dreamy sounding burrata cheese sandwich with black truffle, and a raspberry semifreddo with buttery shortbread to seal the deal.



53 W 19th Street btwn 5th Ave & Americas


Boqueria is a great option for the newly coupled.  After all,  Spain created tapas, the perfect food for commitment phobics and we’re still partial to Boqueria’s flagship location in the Flatiron District.  For $75, you can share a smattering of tapas, dessert, and a cava toast.  The small plate lineup includes oysters escabeche, lobster paella with clams and mushrooms as well as Spanish classics, like bacon-wrapped dates and patatas bravas with roasted garlic aioli.   For dessert, there’s freshly baked churros con Chocolat and whipped ricotta  with local honey and berries.  And if you’re not ready to commit to a prix fixe menu, there’s always the SoHo Boqueria with the usual a la carte menu and plenty of Spanish wines and sangria.


158 Eighth Avenue, btwn. 17th & 18th Streets


This classic French bistro in Chelsea is a perfectly romantic place to spend the 14th, especially if you can snag a table in the garden room.  To celebrate Valentine’s Day, they’re offering a very affordable, three-course menu for just $55.   Gascogne stays true to its Provencal roots with a choice of oysters or salmon tartar with ginger and roast duck, or braised lamb shoulder, and that’s just the savory side of things.  For dessert, there’s warm flour less chocolate cake, a quintessential Valentine’s Day dessert that works every time.


251 W 50th St btwn 8th Ave &



If you’re opposed to overly romantic gestures and dinners, this Mexican midtowner is a fine alternative with a reasonably priced, $40 prix fixe menu.  This three-course meal features a mixed seafood ceviche, roast chicken with an almond-chile de arbol romesco, and bacon-poached

oysters.  But our favorite dish on the menu is dessert: A chocolate nutella torta infused with passion fruit and
topped with a coconut sorbet.

One Comment

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