Valentine's Day, dreaded by some, longed for by others, is one of those unexpectedly wonderful eating holidays in New York City. Chefs cook up romantic specials, pre-fixe menus are set, and you have ample opportunity to indulge in an old favorite or discover a new one.
Treat your special someone on Valentine's Day with dinner at Telepan (72 West 69th St). Chef Bill Telepan will serve a four-course menu with romantic dishes including roasted quail, lobster bolognese, turbot for two and strawberry granita parfait. $95/four courses; $150/with wine pairings
Rosemary's (18 Greenwich Ave) will offer a five-course menu of chef Wade Moises' Italian dishes for guests on Valentine's Day. To help set the mood, a jazz trio will play romantic tunes throughout the evening. $65/person
Celebrate Valentine's Day at The Breslin Bar & Dining Room (16 West 29th St) by enjoying classic and special dishes from chef April Bloomfield. Specials include lamb heart, beef tongue and crab, and classics like pig's foot for two and dry aged ribeye for two. Reservations for groups of any size can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
A special prix-fixe menu will be available at Scarpetta (355 West 14th St) on Valentine's Day. Guests can choose among signature dishes such as raw yellowtail, braised short ribs of beef and spaghetti with tomato & basil. The a la carte menu will be available at the bar for walk-ins who prefer a more casual night out. $150/person; $65/wine pairing
At Tiny's & the Bar Upstairs (135 West Broadway), the romantic restaurant in a centuries-old pink Tribeca townhouse, chef Paul Nanez has created a prix fixe menu for Valentine's Day dinners in the cozy fireplace room. ($75 per person, including a glass of Champagne). The à la carte menu is also available in the rest of the restaurant. A tip for lovebirds: reserve tables 24 & 28, they are the most romantic tables in the house. $75/person
Husband and wife co-chefs Ann Redding and Matt Danzer have special Ya Dong shots for Valentine's Day at Nolita Thai hotspot Uncle Boons (7 Spring St). Their version is known as Mah Grateub Rong ("Horses Trampling the Stables"), and is a secret Thai liquor made from infusing rice whiskey with herbs and honey, and is thought to increase strength and libido ($5 each).
Guests can cozy up at chef George Mendes' intimate ALDEA (31 West 17th St) whether they're sitting at one of the low-lit booths or side-by-side at the chef's counter and enjoy his modern Iberian fare as a three-course prix-fixe menu or special tasting. $95/person (three-course prix fixe); $125/person (tasting).
At Michelin-starred newcomer The Musket Room (265 Elizabeth St), Kiwi chef Matt Lambert has created six-course ($125) and ten-course ($195) prix fixe menus for Valentine's Day lovers who want to sample his modern approach to New Zealand cuisine in a rustic yet elegant setting. Wine pairings available for an additional $90 and $145, respectively.
At Riverpark (450 East 29th St), executive chef Sisha Ortuzar will serve romantic dishes including a roasted lobster for two, Piedmontese ribeye steak for two and a chocolate soufflé for two allowing guests to share a romantic Valentine's Day meal while taking in the restaurant's stunning East River views. The standard a la carte menu will also be offered.