WILL YOU BE MINE?
Love is in the air in NYC this February as hearts melt the Polar Vortex for Valentine’s Day. Here is our roundup of the best dinner dates and treats to choo-choo-choose from.
MarieBelle (484 Broome Street, 212-925-6999, www.mariebelle.com): Because like diamonds, chocolates are a girl’s best friend, MarieBelle New York launched a luxurious Valentine’s Day Ganache Collection inspired by the romantic holiday. Each chocolate is truly a piece of edible art printed with a whimsical and romantic screen image of a love-inspired painting. Made from the world’s finest and most valuable cocoa beans, unique flavors range from Jasmine, Lavender and Passion Fruit, to Matcha Tea and Champagne. The Ganache Collection is available in a 4-piece Tote Box ($20), 8-piece Tote Box ($28) or 16-piece Box ($48.50, pictured). The Cupid’s Heart Box ($14) is a single mini chocolate ganache cake stamped with a festive edible gold dust arrow. Both collections come in a stunning pink box with MarieBelle’s signature metallic gold lattice print, and are sure to sweeten your honey’s day! Available in their Soho shop or online.
Neuhaus (500 Madison Avenue, 212-644-4490, www.neuhauschocolate.com): Fall in love with legendary Belgian chocolatier Neuhaus’ Valentine’s Day Collection of jewel-like pralines presented in elegant heart-shaped gift boxes. The timeless foil-wrapped Coeur Praliné (heart praline) is back in classic milk or dark chocolate Hazelnut and Almond flavor and two new flavors for 2015 – Dark Chocolate with Almonds & Honey Ganache and Milk Chocolate with Vanilla Ganache. Get them alongside assorted classic Neuhaus pieces in the new 20-pc. Heart Shaped Box or more petit 6-pc. Gift Pocket, each featuring a gorgeous ruby necklace print. A sophisticated new Leather Square Box is perfect for him or her, while the keepsake Red Heart Tin Box can be filled with a choice of 10 pieces. Leather Heart Boxes are also available from 2-pc. to 80-pc. sizes to share the love!
Don’t have the heart for sappy, red V-Day gifts? If your sweetheart is a fine spirits aficionado, consider the When Neuhaus Meets Single Malt Whisky collection. Designed to pair perfectly with Scotch and other fine spirits, it comes presented in a chic brown leather box with an informative tasting guide. Or, if your Valentine is a history buff and chocoholic, consider a limited-edition 100th Anniversary Ballotin, celebrating Neuhaus’ invention. Available in six vintage Neuhaus designs, from the original 1915 version to 1920s art deco to the understated elegance of ‘30s, they hold up to one pound of Neuhaus chocolates and each ballotin is a culinary collectors’ item with a unique serial number! All items available in-store or online.
Tuome (536 E. 5th Street ; 636-833-7811 ; www.tuomenyc.com): At Tuome, the East Village newcomer that received a glowing 2-star review from The New York Times this year, chef/owner and EMP alum Thomas Chen will offer a six course prix-fixe for Valentine’s Day. Tuome’s intimate interior, with warm reds and browns offset by antique mirrors, candles, lavender vases and a chevron red and black wall made from antique wool spools, will enhance romantic, rustic charm of the East Village, perfect for the holiday. An early seating available between 5:30 and 7pm will be $85. A later seating available between 7:30pm and 11:15pm, which will include a glass of champagne, will be $105. The prix fixe menu includes: Parnsip soup, pear, crispy chip, Uni pork shu mai, dash, Oyster watercress, pomegranate, yuzu, Black Bass broth, bamboo shoot, yam, Duck sunchoke, blood orange, chinking gastrique, Chocolate mousse, citron, lemongrass.
The Gander(15 W. 18th St ; www.thegandernyc.com): At The Gander, famed chef Jesse Schenker’s most recently opened restaurant in the Flatiron District, he showcases his imaginative and inventive approach to new-American cuisine. This Valentine’s Day, diners can celebrate with their loved ones with a prix-fixe, four-course menu with various options for each course for $95. Dinner includes:
FIRST: Oyster Pan Roast with bacon, celery root, uni; Butter Poached Lobster with potato salad, caviar, tarragon; Roasted Foie Gras with swiss chard, pomegranate, spiced tuille
SECOND: Beluga Lentil “Risotto”with snap peas, Porcini mushrooms and Parmesan; Spaghetti & Clams with bisque, guanciale and fennel; Open-faced Suckling Pig Ravioli with chorizo and pickled apple (optional black truffle supplement for $45)
THIRD: Sirloin with garlic puree, Hen of the Woods mushrooms, sherry butter; Branzino with mussels, lobster, salsa verde and herbal broth; Duck, with confit leg, pickled beets, foie gras sauce; Dover Sole for Two with grilled lemon and thyme (supplement $40)
DESSERT: Chocolate Cremeux with yuzu, almonds and ginger ice cream; Roasted Pear Cake with cassis, mascarpone and hazelnuts
Recette(328 W. 12th St ; www.recettenyc.com): At Recette, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month, Jesse Schenker creates a unique menu of boundary-pushing small plates. This Valentine’s Day, impress your significant other with a prix-fixe, five-course menu for $125. Dishes include:
FIRST: Kampachi Crudo with compressed beets, finger lime, stracchino crème, caviar and almond-onion streudel
SECOND: Roasted Dorade, shellfish Étouffée, scallion pistou
THIRD: Fregola, braised lamb belly, Maitake mushroom, broccollini, jicama (white truffle supplement, $60; black truffle, $35)
FOURTH: Veal Tenderloin, mushroom-foie gras mille-feuille, salsify puree, black truffle jus
DESSERT: Chocolate Pave Semifreddo, passion fruit coulis, almond crisp
Boqueria(multiple locations ; www.boquerianyc.com): At Boqueria, NYC’s top tapas bar, executive chef Marc Vidal transports diners to his native Barcelona through an authentic and flavorful Spanish tapas menu. This Valentine’s Day, Vidal will offer a special menu for parties of all sizes guests can select any six tapas dishes from the below menu for $65 (plus beverage, tax + gratuity):
Ostras en Escabeche: Pemaquid oysters with pickled vegetable relish
Crudo de Vieiras: Scallop crudo, blood orange, coriander cress, watermelon radish
Pan con Tomate: Grilled bread rubbed with tomato, garlic and olive oil
Datiles con Beicon: Dates stuffed with almonds and Valdeon wrapped in bacon
Torrada de Cangrejo: Country bread, Peekytoe crab, avocado, citrus allioli, basil, kohlrabi
Pimientos de Padron: Blistered shishito peppers, coarse sea salt
Espinacas a la Catalana: Sauteed spinach, garbanzos, pine nuts, garlic, golden raisins
Gambas al Ajillo: Shrimp, garlic and Guindilla pepper in olive oil
Patatas Bravas: Crispy potatoes, salsa brava, roasted garlic allioli
Raya a la Plancha: Skate wings, rutabaga, fingerling potatoes, herb yogurt, dill, pickled cauliflower
Ensalada de Remolacha: Roasted beets, farro, Mahon cheese, radish, mint, basil, cherry tomatoes, citrus vinaigrette
Pato con Lentejas: Seared Hudson Valley duck breast, celery root, puy lentils, smoked paprika vinaigrette
Arroz de Bogavante con Almejas: Maine lobster paella with Manila clams, sepia, sofrito and picada
As well as a selection of desserts (both are included) including Sopa de Maria Luisa, lemon verbena soup with lemon sorbet, lychees and almond meringue; and Churros Rellenos, churros filled with Nutella and cinnamon sugar.
The Meatball Shop (200 9th Ave ; www.themeatballshop.com): This Valentine’s Day, cult-favorite meatball destination The Meatball Shop will be hosting “The Single Jingle” from 8pm close at Underballs, the bar located under the Chelsea shop. The event will be MC’d and hosted by special guest, Peppermint the Drag Queen, and will feature drink specials and $2 jello shots.
Red Rooster Harlem (310 Lenox Ave ; www.redroosterharlem.com): At Marcus Samuelsson’s acclaimed Red Rooster Harlem, a four course Valentine’s Day dinner prix-fixe menu ($55 per person) will be offered on the holiday, starting with an Oyster Duo, featuring fried west coast oysters, creamed spinach and sea urchin, and east coast oysters with cucumber horseradish, wasabi broth and osetra caviar. Guests can choose between first courses including Mutsu Apple Celery Root Soup with brown butter croutons, winter truffles and crème fraiche; Foie Gras Terrine with candied pistachio and elderflower vinaigrette; or Curried Lobster and Crab Fried Rice with fresh water chestnuts, duck sausage, and baby bok choi. Mains will include a choice of Five Spice Hudson Valley Duck with butternut squash grits, wilted swiss chard, and cranberry mostarda; Black Garlic Rubbed NY Strip with oxtail ragout, smoked potato puree, marrow emulsion, pickled carrots and cress; or Hearth Fried Black Bass with turnips and wild mushroom broth. Dessert options will include Red Rooster Doughnuts with sweet potato filling and cinnamon sugar; Passion Fruit Mousse with citrus salad and rum raisin croutons; or Sweet & Salty Love Pie with wafer cookie crust.
Edi & the Wolf(102 Avenue C ; 292-598-1040 ; www.ediandthewolf.com):At the East Village’s beloved Austrian tavern, Edi & the Wolf, Michelin-starred chefs Eduard Frauneder and Wolfgang Ban have crafted a Valentine’s Day prix for $65/pp. Offering couples an oasis from the city in the cozy space on Avenue C, the décor features reclaimed objects, a distressed copper bar and fabric-seated booths inspired by Heuriger, or rustic wine taverns, bordering the chef’s native Vienna (photos below). Highlights include but are not limited to:
Shemogue Oyster, Kalamansi Mignonette, Micro Cilantro
Tagliatelle, Wild Mushrooms, Bone Marrow, Winter Truffle
Roasted Beet Salad, Yogurt, Fennel, Champagne Vinaigrette
Rack of Lamb, Butternut Squash, Baby Mustard
Branzino, Caper Butter, Almonds, Quinoa
Black Forest Parfait, Sour Cherries, Yogurt
Pear Crumble, Vanilla, Lemon Thyme Ice
‘21’ Club (21 W. 52nd Street, 212-582-7200, www.21club.com): Dazzle your date as you gaze into each other’s eyes at tables where movie stars, presidents, and captains of industry have all wined and dined while sipping on speakeasy cocktails that date back to the actual Prohibition! Sparks fly at the iconic ‘21’ Club’s Valentines Day celebration, featuring Executive Chef Sylvain Delpique’s 4-course prix fixe menu for $125 per person. Appetizer choices range from rich Butternut Squash Bisque with duck confit to lighter Oysters & Clams and Valentine’s Salad with baby red romaine, Brussels sprouts, chopped kale and vegetable petals. A mid course of Montrachet Goat Cheese Terrine is followed by choice of King Crab Ravioli, Colorado Lamb Loin, Amish Chicken, or Filet Mignon “Rossini,” prepared with foie gras emulsion and puff pastry over wilted spinach and hen of the woods mushrooms, entrées. Valentine’s Day would not be complete without sweets, and the desserts do not disappoint: Red Velvet Mille Crêpes, Raspberry Soufflé or a Chocolate Meltaway Bomb made with cookies & Cream ice cream perfectly cap the evening.
Cherry( 355 West 16th Street, 212-929-5800, www.cherrynyc.com) at Dream Downtown:Will have a special prix-fixe Valentine’s Day menu for $80 a person. The menu will include a choice of appetizer, sushi/sashimi, entrée and dessert.
Talde (369 7th Ave, Brooklyn, 347-916-0031, www.taldebrooklyn.com): The restaurant will be offering their regular menu as well as a prix-fixe menu with four courses for $95.
Delicatessen (54 Prince Street, 212-226-0211, www.delicatessennyc.com):Will offer a $65 prix fixe menu, beginning with a complimentary champagne toast paired with a chilled oyster with pomegranate granite. It will also include a sweet take-home for later.
Benoit Bistro (60 West 55th St, 646-943-7373, www.benoitny.com): Will offer its special “For Two” menu featuring Executive Chef Philippe Bertineau’s signature Roast Organic Chicken for Two, in addition to a Choucroute Garnie and Dover Sole both prepared for two and available exclusively for Valentine’s Day weekend. Couples can share in Benoit’s award-winning French bistro cuisine.
Adalya (55 Irving Place, 646-896-1441, www.adalyanyc.com): The new Mediterranean-inspired restaurant on Irving Place, will feature a special four course, prix-fixe Valentine’s Day menu for $75, with dishes such as Braised Short Rib with Red Beet Puree and Glazed Carrots; and Poached Halibut with Squid Ink Risotto. An optional $40 wine pairing featuring international wines can be added on. Seatings will be available at 6pm, 8pm and 10pm in the main dining room. The bar/bar area will offer a smaller bar menu as well as the four-course menu.
Rainbow Room (30 Rockefeller Plaza, 212-632-5000, www.rainblowroom.com): Legendary American restaurant with striking decor & views plus dancing will offer a glamorous evening of dining and yes, you guessed it.. dancing on Valentine’s Day! With a special five-course prix fixe dinner menu featuring items like Shigoku Oyster (Horse Radish Cream, Passion Fruit Jelly), Salad Landaise (Foie Gras Rolled in Black Truffle, Roasted Amish Chicken, French Beans, Water Cress), and Poached Dover Sole Filets (Peekytoe Crab Tortellini, Artichokes and Pink Grapefruit). It also includes a choice of a select Valentine’s Day cocktail, for $350pp. Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks will provide live entertainment for the evening. Reservations can be made by calling 212-632-5000.
Rainbow Room’s adjacent lounge, The Gallery, will offer flexible seating as an alternative. Menu offerings include aphrodisiacs like Petrossian Caviar Egg (Warm Blinis, Crème Fraiche), Plateau Fruit de Mar (an expansive array of raw bar items), and desserts like Manjari Chocolate Tart. $275pp includes dinner, entertainment, and half bottle of champagne for two (375ml) and all soft beverages. Reservations can be made by calling 212-632-5000.
American Cut (363 Greenwich St, 212-226-4736, www.americancutsteakhouse.com): Will offer a special, three-course Valentine’s Day menu for lovers, priced at $125 per person. Dishes include Chili Lobster with Texas toast; 50oz. Porterhouse Steak for 2 served with bone marrow butter; and, ending on a sweet note, the restaurant’s famous Crackerjack Sundae with popcorn ice cream.
Barchetta (461 West 23rd St, 212-255-7400, www.barchettanyc.com): Will feature a four-course, prix-fixe menu on Valentine’s Day, priced at $75 per person. A partnership between acclaimed Chef/Partner Dave Pasternack and John Meadow’s LDV Hospitality, the restaurant will offer mouthwatering fare such as Polipo Alla Galicia – charred octopus, Tim’ smoked peppers; Pappardelle with veal ragu, Meyer lemon and green olives; Branzio Per Due – a whole Mediterranean branzino for two with crispy potatoes; and, for dessert, the Torta di Cioccolato – warm chocolate cake with gianduja.
Toloache Thompson (220 Thompson Street, 212-420-0600, www.toloachenyc.com): Say te amo and shower your baby with besos at Mexican Chef-Owner Julian Medina’s ever-popular Toloache, offering a 4-course prix fixe Valentine’s Day Menu for $150 per couple, including unlimited Toloache margaritas. Indulge with Caviar Montadito on avocado crostini for the table before moving on to a choice of top Appetizers like Ceviche de Atun, tuna ceviche with crispy oysters, chilies, yuzu and Thai basil, Tacos de Langosta, tacos filled with plump butter-poached lobster or Quinoa Risotto de Pato, with braised duck, butternut squash, manchego, crunchy pumpkin seeds and black truffles. Entrées include surf: Black Sea Bass, and turf: Rack de Cordero rack of lamb with lamb chorizo potatoes or Filet Mignon with seven chilies glaze and chimichurri mashed potatoes. For dessert, Pastel de Chocolate is a next-level take on the classic Mexican chocolate layer cake with aromatic hibiscus sorbet and berry coulis.
Tacuba Cantina Mexicana (35-01 36th Street, 718-786-2727, www.tacubanyc.com): Medina’s newest outpost in Astoria will offer a similar Valentines Day Menu prix fixe for just $100 per couple, including unlimited Tacuba margaritas and a live Mariachi band. To start, fresh Guacamole de Frutas made with chunky avocado, mango, apple, pomegranate, habanero pepper and Thai for the table. Starters like Tacos de Pato, duck carnitas tacos, and Tamal de Langosta, tamales stuffed with lobster, make way for entrées of Pollo Relleno, chicken breast filled with Mexican cheeses, spinach, potatoes with chorizo and salsa, and Enchiladas de Mariscos seafood enchiladas filled with lobster, shrimp, octopus and sea bass. The Pastel de Chocolate ends the meal with your sweetheart on a sweet note. Specially for Valentine’s Day, Tacuba will also offer La Chica Fresa, a coconut infused margarita with fresh strawberries, peach schnapps and a coconut rim.