Celebrating Valentine's Day in NYC: Champagne to Sake to BYOB

by Jessica Klein on Feb 9, 2015 in Roundups for Bear
Celebrating Valentine's Day in NYC: Champagne to Sake to BYOB

Valentine’s Day—the Hallmark holiday of hearts, Hershey’s and that kind of disappointing meal you spent too much money on (not to mention the sub-par bottle of sparkling white wine you washed it down with). In the spirit of drinking and dining unprecedentedly well this February 14th, we sorted through the clutter of prix fixe meals in the city (just about every halfway decent restaurant has one) to bring you a list of those worth checking out with your significant other.
Prix fixe meals here on Valentine’s Day go for either $45 or $65 (definitely on the cheaper end for prix fixe), and they come with a two-hour open bar that includes sangria, wine, beer and mojitos. Food is tapas style, and if you feel like deviating from the open bar (unless it’s included on this special night), the house jalapeno-infused tequila margarita will spice up your evening in all the right ways. (324 Bowery; 212-677-6773)
 
With a dining room upstairs and cabaret (“love songs,” as they describe) downstairs, this place offers a comfortable but stylish setting for your Valentine’s Day dinner. The three-course meal goes for $55, along with a flight of four wines for $25. (29 Cornelia St.; 212-989-9319)
 
Between 5 PM and 10:30 PM, this to-the-T romantic restaurant is offering a five-course dinner with wine pairings for $295. We know that’s a little steep, but it will be worth the high cost. The food here is perfection, the ambience dim and candlelit with a leafy side yard and a pianist setting the tone, and the service is impeccable. This restaurant has been around forever, tucked safely away on a quiet street in the West Village, so it will never get tacky. (17 Barrow St.; 212-255-86-49)
 
The vibe here is fun and lively—DBGB is a place you can go for high-end taste without the stuffy “nice restaurant” atmosphere. The prix fixe menu for V-Day includes three courses for $65, and is available between 5 PM and midnight on the 14th. You can start off with oysters, and still get in on the place’s signature sausage and beer (22 drafts and many more in bottles) with course two. (299 Bowery; 212-933-5300)
 
With mirrors and murals, the set-up of this restaurant is such that you feel tucked away in your own corner with your dining partner even though you’re surrounded by stimuli…it all just becomes your personal, warmly tinted backdrop. The three-course dinner menu ranges from $88 to $120 (depending on what you choose for your entree, giving you a bit of wiggle room). The extensive wine list and creative cocktails should also serve as a significant draw. (50 Commerce St.; 212-524-2301)
 
If you’re looking for some Asian fusion, SakaMai offers sturgeon caviar with sea urchin and sashimi with bacon vinaigrette as part of a six-course special menu for $95 (includes mochi and mascarpone for desert). The emphasis on sake means you should definitely order some this Valentine’s Day. If you’re going for a cocktail, try the plum saketini. (157 Ludlow St.; 646-590-0684)
 
Just to throw in a wild card, Bear is located in Long Island City, and serves Russian/Ukrainian-style fare (with various other European influences). The prix fixe meal on V-Day extends from 6 PM to midnight, and includes three courses with choices like duck, scallop and lobster and stroganoff for the main, along with a bottle of champagne and a box of chocolates, all for $65—that’s a better deal than you’ll get in Manhattan (and the box of chocolates is quite a compelling incentive). (12-14 31 Ave., Long Island City; 917-396-4939)
 
Make your reservations NOW for this one. White Castle has become a Valentine’s Day hot spot in the city, getting plenty of press (from Gothamist to Buzzfeed) and offering red tablecloths, a temporarily changed moniker (“Love Castle”), table service, a special menu and the opportunity to BYOB. If you feel like actually have a great time without spending much more than ten bucks, this beloved home of the slider is your best bet. (525 8th Ave./351 East 103rd St./42-02 Fort Hamilton Pkwy.; 908-753-0822, Ext. 103)
 
Photo via Flickr

 


Tags: Beer, Cocktails, Dinner, Food, Holiday, Parties, Spirits, Wine
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