user's guide

How Not to Have a Soul-Crushing Valentine’s Day

A table for ... three? You kinky thing!Photo: Jennifer MacFarlane

Valentine’s Day is typically the busiest restaurant night of the year, so of course it sucks. But the food, rendered an afterthought, suffers most of all: The restaurateurs are busy counting their money, not watching the kitchen, and the couples, well, they’re wondering why they’re participating in this charade in the first place, seeing as how the flame flickered out years ago, and … what were we saying? Oh, right. We understand why Valentine’s dates might not seem to be worth the trouble, so we thought long and hard about which holiday recommendations to make.

These are places with V-Day menus so special, ambiences so beautiful, service so extraordinary, that we guarantee all your wildest romantic dreams will be fulfilled by meal’s end. At the very least, you’ll eat well. Our selections follow. Book now. Rain gratitude upon us later.

• A traditional French meal, served by the good people at Orsay.
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• An ultraswanky scene, with small plates to match, at the Monday Room.
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• Culinary fireworks with a luxe Japanese feel, courtesy of Josh DeChellis at Sumile Sushi.
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•The epitome of casual but cosmopolitan eating amid the cozy townhouse space and creative, globalist cookery at 5 Ninth.
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•For a more subdued and homey but equally French dinner, try Cafe D'Alsace.
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• Rain or shine, there is no more romantic location than the Central Park Boathouse. If it snows, even better.
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• German is rarely thought of as the language of love, but Blaue Gans is doing all they can to try to defy the stereotype with a seven-course meal ranging from foie gras to chocolate lollipops.
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Paint the Town Red: our complete Valentine's Day Guide [NYM]

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