Click here for our Valentine's Day 2013 story. It’s that time of year again -- Valentine's Day. No other holiday strikes as much fear in the hearts of men and sends women to the comforts of chocolate and shopping. But never fear, we at City Guide are here to help you convey just the right message to the one you love -- or you just "like like" -- on Feb. 14.
Keep your chin up, because the stars are in your favor since you’re already in a place with the most romantic potential in the world. (Well, we suppose Paris is nice, but Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr didn’t meet at the top of the Eiffel Tower, did they?)
A laid-back option nestled under the grandiose Riverside Drive bridge awaits up in Harlem, where you can try some of NYC's best barbecue at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, a genuine rib joint featuring slow-smoked ribs, pulled pork, brisket, and 23 beers on tap. For Valentine's Day, they're offering a "Sweetheart's Deal": a rack of ribs and four side dishes for only $25.50 per couple. 646 W. 131st St. at Twelfth Ave., 212-694-1777; www.dinosaurbarbque.com
Gallagher's Steak House General Manager Terry Condon will give all of New York's ladies a hug on Valentine's Day, offering a complimentary box of chocolates and a rose to those taking advantage of the special menu on Feb. 14. The Valentine's Day three-course menu, priced at $150 per couple, also includes a glass of Mumm sparkling wine for all lovers dining at Gallagher's and partaking of the special. Here's the menu: appetizer - choice of classic Caesar salad, lobster bisque with fresh crabmeat, or fried calamari; the main course - surf and turf: 10-ounce filet mignon and 8-ounce lobster tail and claws served with herbed lobster sauce and clarified butter; and dessert - choice of New York cheesecake or chocolate mousse cake. Reservations are strongly recommended by calling 212-245-5336. 228 W. 52nd St. btw. Broadway & Eighth Ave.; www.gallaghersnysteakhouse.com
Since oysters are nature's ultimate aphrodisiac, Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant General Manager Mike Garvey and Executive Chef Sandy Ingber have fired cupid's bow with an assortment of Valentine's Day specialty items for all day Wednesday, Feb. 14. The Aphrodite Platter, named for the goddess of love, features a variety of six oysters on the half shell, specially selected by Ingber and priced at $10 per order. Couples are encouraged to feed each other with these precious pearls of the sea to get into the spirit of this couples holiday. The Cupid-politan (a Cosmopolitan with an intoxicating splash of Chambord) will be one of a pair of drink specials, both priced at $10. The Romeo and Juliet is to die for -- a wild mystery libation with an oyster splashed at the bottom of the glass. Garvey is also offering the Grand Central Viagra, which is a combination of the Aphrodite Platter and a sparkling wine, priced at $20. The main course is Ingber's Narcissus surf & turf, lobster tail paired with veal scallopini, priced at $32.95. For reservations, call 212-490-6650, and for more information log onto www.oysterbarny.com. Grand Central Terminal, Lower Level (42 St. btw. Lexington-Vanderbilt Aves.)
Combining innovative and traditional French cuisines, Madison Bistrot is a cozy midtown nook decorated with warm colors, candles, and its own art gallery. Their special three-course Valentine's prix-fixe dinner ($41) includes an entree choice of lobster-and-sea-scallop ravioli, stuffed trout filet with salmon roe, roasted duck breast with honey and orange sauce, sautéed beef tenderloin, braised short rib "Bourguignon" style, or sauteed loin of venison with cranberry sauce, and a “Valentine's Day Surprise” finale: raspberry parfait, caramelized orange crepe, and white-chocolate mousse. 238 Madison Ave. btw. 37th & 38th Sts., 212-447-1919; www.madisonbistro.com
Who knew more about romance than Frank Sinatra? Take your sweetheart to Old Blue Eyes’ favorite restaurant, Patsy’s Italian Restaurant, and enjoy their spectacular seafood or remarkable signature dishes. They’re celebrating Valentine’s Day by offering a special aphrodisiac menu, which features Arugula Salad, with shaved parmesan cheese and basil vinaigrette and Baked Clams, Chicken Fra Diavolo. For dessert, chef Sal Scognamillo will prepare Patsy’s famous Warm Chocolate Cake served with strawberries, honey and whipped cream and served with coffee. The Valentine’s Day special costs $59 per person and will be available from 12-10 pm on February 14. 236 W. 56th St. btw. Broadway &?Eighth Ave., 212-247-3491; www.patsys.com
The Valentine’s Day menu at Benjamin Steak House will have four courses, and a Valentine toast with Moet Chandon, for $99 (not including tax and gratuity). Their entrees include Dry Aged Porterhouse Steak, Chilean Sea Bass, Filet Mignon, and a Surf and Turf plate, followed by a special Valentine’s Day dessert. 52 E. 41st St. (Park-Madison Aves.), 212-297-9177; www.benjaminsteakhouse.com
If you’re looking for more exotic fare, Pranna (79 Madison Avenue; 212-696-5700) will be offering a Valentine’s Day four-course meal for $65, which includes a chef’s amuse bouche and chocolate dipped strawberries, in addition to a wide selection of desserts they will offer.
New York offers a number of other special setting for a romantic meal, including but not limited to: AJ Maxwell’s Steakhouse, 57 W. 48th St. (5-6 Aves.), 212-262-6200; B. Smith’s, 320 West 46th St (8 & 9 Aves), (212) 315-1100; Dave & Busters, 234 W 42nd St., 646-495-2015; Spirit Cruises’ Bateaux, 23rd St. & the Hudson River, 866-399-8439; Tavern on the Green, Central Park at W. 67th St., 212-873-3200