Courtesy of Baita
By Ezzys Photography
Nerai's Valentine's Day Spread
We usually steer clear of restaurants on Hallmark's favorite holiday, but these menus might change our minds.
Nothing says “I love you” like an unforgettable meal in a romantic setting. In New York City, there is no shortage of special menus targeting the Valentine’s Day crowds, but it can be tricky to tease out which of these is worth shelling out the big bucks for. We’ve rounded up seven of the best menus the city has to offer, from opulent brunches to over-the-top dinners, and from a parents’ night out to a sexy aphrodisiac tasting. Wherever you decide to go, do yourself (and your relationship) a favor and make reservations ASAP.
Situated next to the Museum of Natural History, chef John Fraser’s Michelin-starred restaurant Dovetail is worth a trip any day of the year. The tasting-menu only format means that diners will have ample opportunity to sample the refined American nouveau cuisine throughout their leisurely meal. For Valentine’s Day, they are offering special menus at both brunch and dinner. Brunch (from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) features a $68 three-course prix-fixe with unlimited champagne, signature canapés, choice of entrees like lobster omelet or crab benedict, and a dessert. The $150 five-course prix-fixe for dinner includes delectable options such as filet mignon with sunchokes and bone marrow emulsion and red velvet beet cake.—103 W. 77th St. | (212) 362-3800 | website
4. Maison Premiere
For those who don’t want to leave Brooklyn, or who want to see and be seen, head to the trendy Williamsburg spot Maison Premiere. Though absinthe and oysters are usually their specialty, for Valentine’s Day they are offering special menus for both brunch and dinner. The $55 brunch comes with a pastry tray, coffee or tea, and mimosa or bloody Mary as well as your choice of entree (how about a mushroom and caviar strata?) and Malva pudding for dessert. Dinner, which is offered on both Saturday and Sunday evenings for $125, is a four-course tasting that includes options like fluke tartar, seared foie gras, and absinthe panna cotta.—298 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn | (347) 335-0446 | website
Celebrated as one of the best modern Greek restaurants in the city (which has no shortage of Greek spots), Nerai (pictured at top) is a New York treasure located near the Museum of Modern Art. For Valentine’s Day, Chef Chris Christou (who has worked in some of the city’s best kitchens) has concocted a $135, five-course menu that highlights natural aphrodisiacs to add a little sensuality to your meal. The meal includes oysters, a kale and pomegranate salad, and salmon with avocado mousse and candied beets. The dessert, appropriately entitled “Aphrodite’s Embrace,” is samos zabaglione with balsamic macerated strawberries.—55 E. 54th St. | (212) 759-5554 | website
The interior of this cozy East Village restaurant is pleasantly sparse and outfitted with reclaimed materials. Chef Thomas Chen put in his time at local heavy hitters like Eleven Madison Park before opening his own place, a Chinese-inspired upscale modern restaurant. For Valentine’s Day early birds get the worm with a $95 six-course tasting menu that jumps in price to $120 after 7:15 p.m. (but which also includes Champagne). The prix-fixe is quite different from most you’ll encounter, with items like bergamot and sea urchin.—536 E. 5th St. | (646) 833-7811 | website
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