A Dozen Dreamy Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in New York City
Bad weather, busy schedules, forgetfulness…. All can put you in a position to need a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift or reservation. Not to worry – we’ve got you covered with these incredibly interesting and available fun things to do for Valentine’s Day (or later) in New York City.
Dining out is a no-brainer, unless you can’t get a reservation. Since this special lasts for three days, you might have a chance. At the glamorous, truly gorgeous import from London, Bluebird London, Valentine’s Day will be a special evening. Offered from February 13-15, the special prix fixe menu features four courses of decadent offerings, like Oscietra caviar served on warm buckwheat blini with sour cream; duck foie gras and chicken terrine with Sauternes jelly and toasted brioche; beef Wellington for two with mushrooms, truffle and red wine jus; and dark chocolate and passionfruit mousse with Champagne. Pair the indulgent menu with a selection of shareable cocktails like the Thyme for Tea with Johnnie Walker Black Scotch, Drambuie, Rishi Tea Earl Grey, honey and thyme and you’ll have a memorable evening. The Columbus Circle restaurant’s been packed since it opened – it’s on everyone’s “hot” list. Now’s your chance to score some points!
As they say, here’s one that you’ll see “only in New York, kids, only in New York.” Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse in the Theater District, in partnership with Judges For Love, Inc., will be performing private vow renewal ceremonies in a private dining area at the restaurant. Of course, a special prix fixe menu and Champagne options accompany these celebrations. Ribeye and romance, anyone?
Since pizza is a New York favorite, why not celebrate Valentine’s Day with a heart-shaped one at Sorbillo on the Bowery. On February 14, the Naples-inspired restaurant will be serving a four-course prix fixe menu including the pizza, a Prosecco toast, antipasti like fried calamari and Fiori di Zucca Ripieni (ricotta-stuffed zucchini flowers), a main dish such as Fettuccine alla Bolognese or Saltimbocca alla Romana, and the pièce de résistance, Sorbillo’s angelini (crispy pizza dough with Nutella) for dessert.
If you’d like a more relaxed and perhaps more private celebration, consider Sir Henri Penthouse for a boozy special. On the penthouse floor of Hotel Henri in the Flatiron district, you’ll soak up the speakeasy vibe in this dimly lit space filled with cozy nooks perfect for snuggling up with your sweetie. Sir Henri’s Valentine’s Week cocktail specials include fun drinks like Tickle Me Pink, Glow of Love, and Lovely Lilac. If you decide to spend the night in the hotel, you’ll get two free cocktails.
For a seductive overnight gift, book the “Fifty Shades of Pink” package at the Moxy NYC Downtown in FiDi. You can start your evening at the retro-inspired bar Recreation where you’ll enjoy a specialty Valentine’s cocktail, bar bites and even a movie. Recreation’s half-court sized basketball court will be transformed into a cozy movie theater showing a special Valentine’s Day movie. After, your hotel room awaits along with the evening’s special toys: romance play cards, handcuffs, a blindfold and sexy chocolates.
The Pierre Hotel is giving you lots of choices to book your last-minute celebration. You could surprise your sweetie with a stay at the hotel for a truly romantic evening, and, if you do, you’ll be treated with a decadent bottle of Taittinger Champagne and a pair of crystal flutes from Tiffany’s, yours to take home as a souvenir of your romantic evening. The following morning, you’ll breakfast at charming Perrine, the hotel’s swanky restaurant. And what’s better, you can book this romantic getaway any time through February 28 so you don’t have to stay in the middle of the week.
If you’d rather do something on Valentine’s Day itself, however, the Pierre’s Two E! Lounge will host a special afternoon tea menu featuring heart-shaped sweets, extending the hours until 8pm. Or choose dinner, instead, at Perrine with a romantic three-course menu of seasonal favorites and the aptly named Temptations Four Ways dessert: orange dark chocolate mille-feuille, warm single origin chocolate hazelnut cake, milk chocolate crème and white chocolate lavender ice cream. It’s as pretty as it’s decadent.
What would Valentine’s Day in New York City be without a party with an international twist? At Fonda in Park Slope (Brooklyn), the East Village and Chelsea, you can indulge in a traditional Mexican celebration of El Día del Amor y la Amistad (the Day of Love and Friendship). Each dish of the meal takes on a cheeky, romantic significance starting with the Sopa Marte y Venus which pays homage to Mars and Venus (a twist on the traditional soup with a Venus love overlay), Lovers’ Guacamole mixed with mango and red grapes, and Shrimp Apasionados adorned with passionfruit. The dessert is Chef Roberto Santibañez’s Valentine’s Day version of a lava cake with bright red raspberry sauce and whipped cream.
Also embracing the Mexican spirit, at the Dream Downtown, Bodega Negra’s Executive Chef Brad Warner has created a romance-inducing menu of guacamole made with white chocolate, hibiscus, pomegranate and almond tostadas; lobster ceviche; and sarape, a seductive combination of delicata squash, hen of the woods mushrooms, mole and queso Chihuahua. For a sweet finish, Chef has some fun with a selection of limited-edition conversation desserts, reminiscent of the candy hearts traditional for Valentine’s Day. Diners will pre-select a personalized saying such as “Mi Amor” (my love), “Te Amo” (I love you), or “Besame” (kiss me) to be embossed on their celebratory Tres Leches dessert. Book your dinner and pre-select your dessert message by February 13.
Since Valentine’s Day and chocolates go hand-in-hand, you could buy your SO a gift from the luxurious bean-to-bar chocolate company, MarieBelle in SoHo – they’ll even deliver to you if you live in Manhattan — but you might actually want to go to the shop together; MarieBelle is a feast for the eyes as well as the appetite with its gorgeous room and tantalizing choices. Pick out some artisanal ganache, lavish truffles or chocolate bars, or indulge at the Cacao Bar in the back where you can also select from a menu of desserts, pastries and hot chocolate drinks. This is one of Manhattan’s hidden gems.
Another way to satisfy a chocolate lover is to reserve a table at the luxe Alsatian-inspired Gabriel Kreuther restaurant near across from Bryant Park where you can try Chef Kreuther’s new Chocolate & Liquor Pairing. Guaranteed to wow any foodie, dinner and dessert here will be evening to remember. And you can take the experience home, too, from the next-door Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate emporium where pastry chef Marc Aumont has created some of the most beautiful chocolates and pastries you’ll find anywhere. For Valentine’s Day, there will be many special chocolates including Chocolate Heart Locks inspired by the love locks lining Paris’s iconic Ponts des Arts bridge; Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Pops, a molded dark chocolate heart lollipop decorated as a chocolate-covered strawberry; Pink & Red Confetti Heart yogurt chocolate bars; Cherry Cola Dollhouse Donuts coated in pink and red; and a Chocolate “Hug” Sculpture inspired by the copper statues in NYC subway stations. www.kreutherchocolate.com
If all this isn’t enough to win a New Yorker’s heart, the Seaport District’s iPic movie theater and Tuck Room restaurant are offering two over-the-top packages for Valentine’s Day. If you’re sure that you’ve picked your mate for life, you can pop the question here. You can choose the Big Screen Proposal Package, where you create your own proposal to be shown on the big screen with a surprise “movie trailer,” an extravaganza that will make any romantic filmie swoon. This celebration can be as large as you’d like, too, by including friends and family (unknown to your sweetie, of course) and arranging a catered meal with cocktails.
Or go completely crazy with the “I Do” package in the secret Green Room at the Tuck Room at iPic, where a four-course aphrodisiac dinner includes a diamond ring tucked inside a golden apple cloche with the words “Will You Marry Me” written in chocolate and gold dust on the outside. That’s truly “A Night to Remember.”