Dear Grub Street,
Where should I go for an anti–Valentines Day dinner? My girlfriend of four years just broke up with me, and I want to eat somewhere where I won’t see any couples, or think of couples, or anything connected with couples. I want to eat out somewhere that is a million miles from Valentines Day.
Cupid’s Sworn Enemy
Dear Cupid’s Sworn Enemy,
We’re with you! Having railed against Valentine’s Day in the past, we continue to fervently wish that Valentine’s Day would just go away — as do most chefs, if not restaurateurs. Traditionally, it’s been our habit to go dine alone at Sparks steakhouse, a vast and clamorous room whose main decoration, a series of nearly indistinguishable paintings of dead trees in winter, is no more conducive to seduction than the gorgeously browned steaks and chops plated starkly without garniture. The problem with Sparks is that, inexplicably, there are some couples who show up there on Valentine’s. We would therefore send you instead to Robert’s Steakhouse, at the Penthouse Executive Club, an equally adept hand at serving great meat, and in a setting sure to extinguish any romance before it could possibly begin. For women, we would recommend the communal tables at New Green Bo or Seymour Burton: restaurants where they can eat shoulder to shoulder with strangers more interested in soup dumplings or butter burgers than this cruel and tired annual rite.