You may be thinking that grabbing a little something from Duane Reade will surely suffice for Valentine's Day this year. Isn't this a made-up holiday anyway? But the person you really like (and maybe even love) is throwing not-so-subtle hints your way that a little more effort is required. Take advantage of one of the specials in this guide, and you should have a perfectly lovely evening. Crisis averted.
If you and your date love sushi but think Valentine's Day calls for something more than California and yellowtail-scallion rolls, Nami Nori has plenty of creative hand rolls that you've probably never seen before. Their dine-in Valentine's specials include a lobster bisque and berry panna cotta with chocolate ganache. There's also a $135 take-home kit that includes everything you need to build your own temaki. Another outpost in Williamsburg opened not too long ago, and you can make reservations a week in advance for either location here.
Who doesn't like a view of the Manhattan skyline during a romantic night out (especially since most restaurants in NYC have a view of a bike lane)? Bar Blondeau at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg will provide that view, and they're offering a special three-course prix fixe for $90. You can pick from a selection of dishes like salmon tartine with smoked trout roe, filet mignon with foie gras, and an apple sorbet with Polish vodka.
Those little colored heart-shaped candies that say things like "Be Mine" are charming, but is that really what you want to be consuming for sweets this Valentine's Day? Grab some stuff from this Austrian-influenced bakery instead, like donuts, bee sting cake, or cookies with rolled oats and rum raisin. Be sure to get here early, as some items will probably sell out quickly.
That Olivia Rodrigo album is pretty damn good, and she's only been on this planet for 18 years. This place is overseen by a ninth-generation soba maker, so imagine how good the noodles are here. For $175 (with an optional $75 sake pairing), you can get a seven-course Valentine's tasting menu that includes lobster tempura and your choice of hot or cold soba. The romantic Gramercy Park is about a block away, which is completely useless to you since you can't get in anyway.
This Mediterranean spot in Dumbo is offering a three-course prix fixe menu featuring oysters with black truffle, dry-aged ribeye, and a raspberry cream tart. This special menu is available for $75 on the 12th and 13th, and it increases to $90 if you opt to come on the big day. We don't know why bridges are romantic, but they are, so be sure to take a stroll under the nearby Manhattan Bridge after dinner.
This East Village spot opened recently, and the food here is cooked using Mexican ingredients and French techniques. A $90 six-course menu with green pozole risotto, roasted scallops, and a cheese course will be available for only one night (and we'll let you guess which night).
The Grid just opened at Great Jones Distilling Co., which is the first whiskey distillery in Manhattan since Prohibition. Yes, alcohol used to be illegal, and it caused no problems whatsoever. The $147 Valentine's Day meal involves sparkling rose, white tablecloths, flowers, and a live jazz trio. Oh right, the food: expect oysters, seared yellowfin tuna, and braised short rib.
When it comes to Valentine's Day menus, you can always count on seeing a lot of oysters. The $75 prix-fixe at this Latin American restaurant at the Freehand Hotel in Flatiron is no exception. In addition to oysters with yuzu mignonette, you can have uni with salsa fresca and a chile relleno stuffed with cheese in a pecan and pomegranate sauce. If you want to start celebrating early, this same menu is available for brunch (and you can add a pitcher of red mezcal margarita for $25).
In the spirit of two Disney dogs sucking on the same piece of noodle, Rolo's in Ridgewood is offering a six-foot long single mafaldine noodle with grilled meatballs and spicy tomato sauce. You can get this dish and other specials like whole sea bass with salsa verde and a baked Alaska between February 11th and 14th. We're not going to tell you whether or not you should try to recreate that scene here (but don't do it).
It's a long Valentine's Day weekend at this seafood spot on Pier 17. From February 11th to the 14th, you can get a three-course menu with lots of choices including a mini caviar bagel, pink shrimp and mushroom risotto, and a chocolate peanut cake with roasted banana ice cream. The menu costs $158, and you'll get to stare at bridges and water as you enjoy your dinner.
Sweetbriar is an upscale American restaurant on 27th and Park that specializes in live-fire cooking. Their $115 menu (only served on Monday the 14th) has items like roasted beet salad, grilled beef tenderloin, and salmon mi cuit with horseradish sauce. You'll probably get some charcoal, smoke, and wood notes in a lot of these dishes—even the chocolate bonbons are reminiscent of BBQ ribs.
One of the best new bars in NYC is offering its first ever Valentine's Day dinner on February 11th, 12th, and 14th. The five-course menu, with items likes bresaola carpaccio, lobster ravioli, and panna cotta with blueberry preserve, costs $85. You can also add a bubbly flight for two for $78. You should know that this place is a little tricky to find as the entrance is hidden behind a fake deli.
This French-Korean restaurant in the East Village will be serving a $158 tasting menu with a lot of luxury ingredients. Along with dishes like tuna and caviar, foie gras over crispy rice, and duck wellington with shiitake mushrooms, you can opt for a $96 wine pairing. This special menu is offered only on February 13th and 14th, and they also have heated outdoor dining.
Loreley Restaurant & Biergarten
For a more casual night out, this beer garden on the Lower East Side is going all out with decorations for Valentine's Day. They're spreading a few hundred red roses and thousands of rose petals around their heated outdoor garden. Heart-shaped pretzels with warm beer cheese dip will be available to eat along with your beers from February 13th-15th.
The Estela team has this more casual Italian spot in Soho, and they're offering a four-course meal for $125 this Valentine's Day. Some items that you can choose from include radicchio with dates and pistachios, ricotta gnocchi, branzino, and an almond torta with Meyer lemon marmalade. If you want to take advantage of the wine selection, opt for an $80 wine pairing.
Jack & Charlie’s no.118
This American restaurant recently opened on the corner of Greenwich Avenue and West 13th Street. A special à la carte menu is available from February 11th-14th, and it includes a black truffle and sunchoke prosecco soup, lobster fra diavolo bucatini, and cinnamon donuts. This place is pretty close to the High Line, so consider an after-dinner stroll with your favorite person.
If your go-to thing for dinner is usually pizza, why should Valentine's Day be any different? Known for being one of the only places in NYC where you can get Chicago deep dish pizza, Emmett's in Soho is offering two special heart-shaped pizzas on February 14th. You can choose between a deep dish or tavern-style pie (the latter has a thin and crispy crust), and both start at $30 without toppings.