Are you looking for a Valentine’s Day splurge? How about a little table in a cozy restaurant? Or simply a good meal without bells and whistles? We’ve curated a list of Valentine’s Day restaurants, including both extravagant and stand-bys.
Whether you’d prefer someplace within walking distance, or you’re hoping to have a romantic meal at a restaurant where you won’t bump into several of your neighbors (but are still fairly close, and near a local subway line), we’ve put together some options for a nice night out.
1. We can’t confirm that Mayor de Blasio will take his wife to Convivium Osteria (68 5th Avenue) on Valentine’s Day, but we do know he likes “the quiet atmosphere.” And on a chilly February night, the cozy cellar (pictured above) can feel like a particularly intimate setting.
2. Flatbush Farm (76 St Marks Avenue) did a wonderful job catering a friend’s wedding — and if the food is good enough for a wedding, it’s good enough for a Valentine’s Day dinner! They’ve got a crazy filet/short rib kale ragou/bone marrow meal on the menu for two, plus their wedding business is a good segue for a proposal if that’s what you’ve got up your sleeve this year. They accept reservations.
3. Marco’s (295 Flatbush Avenue) serves several incredible wood-grilled dishes, and is ready to warm your hearts (and tummies) this Valentine’s Day. The fairly new trattoria also offers mouthwatering items like pumpkin Sformato and chocolate chestnut cake. To top it all off, they take reservations for up to eight.
On The F/G Train
4. Le Paddock (1235 Prospect Avenue) is tucked away in an unassuming but highly accessible section of Windsor Terrace. (Exit at the back of a Coney Island bound F train at Ft Hamilton Parkway.) Chef Greg brought French cuisine from his hometown of La Rochelle, France to share with his neighbors, cooking up specials in his wood-fired oven.
5. A block down Prospect Avenue is the environmentally and ethically aware Brooklyn Commune (601 Greenwood Avenue), which transforms from cafe in the morning to trattoria in the evening. The Brooklyn Commune will be serving a decadent six-course tasting menu on Valentine’s Day, which includes oysters and a roast pork with dashi risotto. Reservations are required.
6. Though Battersby (255 Smith Street in Cobble Hill) is amazing, it’s also very small and can be hard to get into. No reservations are available for Valentine’s Day for their tasting menu tables, but the rest are up for grabs on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have to wait a bit, head to nearby Clover Club to relax with a cocktail by the fireplace.
7. Rucola (190 Dean Street, Boerum Hill) is close to the G at Hoyt-Schermerhorn, and not a far walk from the Atlantic Center. It’s very neighborhoody, has a nice menu, and can be very cozy on a cold night. On Valentine’s Day they are taking reservations for parties of all sizes, and have a special menu for two, in addition to their regular menu.
On The B/Q Train
8. The Farm on Adderley (1108 Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Park) is not at all related to the Flatbush Farm, but is another perfect proposal location. They’re is taking reservations of any size for their prix fixe Valentine’s Day meal, and if you call ahead, you can arrange to have their neighbor, Stems Flowershop, leave a bouquet on your table for when you arrive.
9. Cozy Castello Plan (1213 Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Park) is offering a four-course prix fixe Valentine’s Day special complete with a champagne toast. If the Castello Plan is full, walk across the street to Ditmas Park’s newest restaurant, Lea (1022 Cortelyou Road), which is run by the same owners. Pair one of Lea’s specialty pizzas with a bottle of red for casual yet romantic date.
10. For a romantic yet casual dinner, try Ox Cart Tarvern (1301 Newkirk Avenue, Ditmas Park). You won’t need reservations for this nostalgically cool tavern, though if you want to beat the rush, stop in for an early dinner or come by later (but if it’s very late, you may miss out on some Valentine’s Day specials). I recommend anything off the burger menu.
12. For some reason, people always think of Italian food as the romantic cuisine. Think outside the boot and reserve a spot at Filipino-inspired Purple Yam (114 Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Park), where you’ll find creative, satisfying dishes in a warm and comfortable setting.
13. Matt Hamilton at Lulu and Po (154 Carlton Avenue) in Fort Greene said that because Valentine’s Day “falls on a Friday this year, we plan on running the day like any other. No reservations.” The diverse menu has something for everyone, but try the chicken dish — it’s cooked under a brick with sherry vinegar, and remains incredibly juicy.
14. Warm and inviting, James (605 Carlton Avenue, Prospect Heights) is offering a three-course prix fixe meal on Valentine’s Day, featuring dishes like a strip steak with truffled pomme puree, melted hearts of romaine, and a ruby port reduction, and a lavender crème brûlée. There are three seatings, with reservations strongly recommended.
On The N/R Train
16. Looking for a low-key date spot? Brookvin (381 7th Avenue, South Slope) is cozy and casual. Their menu may be short — and delicious! — but their wine list is extensive.
17. Slow food restaurant Lot 2 (687 6th Avenue, Greenwood Heights) serves up delicious food in an unassuming atmosphere. Though there is more elbow room here than in some nearby Park Slope hot spots, it can get crowded on holidays, so make a reservation first and then look out for their special Valentine’s Day menu.
Have you had a particularly romantic Valentine’s Day dinner in the past? If so, please share your recommendations in the comments.
Photo via Convivium Osteria