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Valentine's Day in NYC


Megan Blocker
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The latest edition of New York Magazine lists a few romantic restaurants that still had Valentine's Day reservations for two available as of press time, which led me to wonder...

What are my fellow NYC eGulleteers up to tonight?

I'm watching Pride and Prejudice and Gilmore Girls and ordering in - celebrating singledom with my kind of TV (No sharing that remote, woo-hoo!) and whatever greasy food strikes my fancy.

Would love to hear other folks' plans - coupled or not! :biggrin:

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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I'm in the "other NY" - the 54,452 square miles that don't include the 23 square miles of Manhattan :laugh::wink:

But I'll be staying in just as I do on the other major annual Amateur's Nights - New Year's Eve and St. Patrick's Day. Unlike Valentine's Day in years past this one will be spent alone. Accompanied by some good Chinese take-out and either a DVD rental or perhaps even a futile attempt to catch up on the month's worth of Daily Show and Colbert Report episodes I have store on my DVR and never find time to watch.

But I was pleased to see at least one local restaurateur here in Syracuse advertising threee seatings at specific times. This town, like many, has a slew of restaurants notorious for overbooking head count and underdelivering service and food quality on the most popular dining out nights of the year.

If and when I ever do dine out on a night like this it will either be at a place wise enough to control customer flow with scheduled seatings or better yet - some little ethnic place that won't be swamped.

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I'm in the "other NY" - the 54,452 square miles that don't include the 23 square miles of Manhattan  :laugh:  :wink:

Then we don't want to know about it!

BTW, the restaurant list included Brooklyn spots, too, as does the term "NYC." :raz:

Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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We're going to Oceana — coincidentally, NY Mag's leading choice. (We made our reservation long before the magazine came out.)

On OpenTable, this page lists restaurants that have a special service for Valentine's Day, although many of them are probably unavailable by now.

We had seriously considered Cru, but we were rather turned off by this warning:

Offering a 4-course meal for $95 per person. First seating begins at 5:30, the second seating at 7:30 and the last seating at 9:30. Please note that the first 2 seatings are 2 hours max.
We would probably be out in two hours anyway, but being told that we must be, when no other restaurant is saying that, seemed to us a bit rude.
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My wife and I are going to Alto for the first time. We have been to L'Impero several times and love it, so we tried to pick a special occasion to try Alto.

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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Didnt escape it entirely.. Since, I am in the industry that helps create and promote these obnoxious Holidays, I must say I love Valentines Day.. Personally, I think today is just another day to heard the masses and fill people with some artificial sense of emotion.. :rolleyes:

Tonight we are making dinner.. Tomorrow night we are going to Veritas for half the price and double the offerings..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Didnt escape it entirely.. Since, I am in the industry that helps create and promote these obnoxious Holidays, I must say I love Valentines Day..  Personally, I think today is just another day to heard the masses and fill people with some artificial sense of emotion.. :rolleyes:

Do you consider every holiday to be obnoxious or just specific ones. In a sense, couldn't one claim all holidays fill people with some artificial sense of emotion? To me, they are just opportunities to celebrate (in this case, my marriage). To me, it is the restaurants that make it obnoxious by jacking up the prices for the same food.

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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I consider most holidays obnoxious.  Not the original intent, just the bastardization..  Everyday is an opportunity to celebrate.  I am not judging anyone for doing anything, I am sorry if I offended you..

Didn't mean to sound offended. :biggrin: Also didn't need to direct my comments about restaurants jacking up prices to you personally (unless you're actually reponsible. :wink: )

I guess the comment just stuck me because of the number of people I know (always men) who claim they don't want to do anything for Valentine's Day because they don't want to be forced into doing something by a "fake holiday" and claim that instead they should celebrate their wife (or mother or father) year round. I can certainly understand the sentiment, but I find that most of those people don't celebrate their wives (or mothers or fathers) year round. So, really it is one less day they celebrate them (leaving, generally, only Christmas). If you really want to celebrate someone, you usually look for additional opportunities, not try to get out of them.

On a personal note, I have had a lovely time with Valentine's Day with my wife. A couple of times we have spent the weekend in Paris (which is always a good thing, regardless of when, but nice as a Valentine's trip because it is just another day in Paris) and we usually use it as an opportunity to try a new restaurant (since my wife tries to put some boundaries on my "restauranting", this is a day I know I will always eat well). :biggrin: It is also a day I know I can go out with just my wife and no one else can try to tag along.

Hey, on the Veritas note, I highly recommend the Tender, Crispy Pork. :wub:

Edited by mikeycook (log)

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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Tonight we are making dinner. Tomorrow night we are going to Veritas for half the price and double the offerings..

I find the Valentine's Day sentiment to be genuine. However, I've generally been disappointed with my restaurant experience on such days. The most recent example — my New Year's Eve dinner at Picholine — was really a rip-off. The restaurant didn't deliver its best, and I paid at least double what I normally would.
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I consider most holidays obnoxious.  Not the original intent, just the bastardization..  Everyday is an opportunity to celebrate.  I am not judging anyone for doing anything, I am sorry if I offended you..

Didn't mean to sound offended. :biggrin: Also didn't need to direct my comments about restaurants jacking up prices to you personally (unless you're actually reponsible. :wink: )

I guess the comment just stuck me because of the number of people I know (always men) who claim they don't want to do anything for Valentine's Day because they don't want to be forced into doing something by a "fake holiday" and claim that instead they should celebrate their wife (or mother or father) year round. I can certainly understand the sentiment, but I find that most of those people don't celebrate their wives (or mothers or fathers) year round. So, really it is one less day they celebrate them (leaving, generally, only Christmas). If you really want to celebrate someone, you usually look for additional opportunities, not try to get out of them.

On a personal note, I have had a lovely time with Valentine's Day with my wife. A couple of times we have spent the weekend in Paris (which is always a good thing, regardless of when, but nice as a Valentine's trip because it is just another day in Paris) and we usually use it as an opportunity to try a new restaurant (since my wife tries to put some boundaries on my "restauranting", this is a day I know I will always eat well). :biggrin: It is also a day I know I can go out with just my wife and no one else can try to tag along.

Hey, on the Veritas note, I highly recommend the Tender, Crispy Pork. :wub:

Nice, I am all over the crispy Pork.. Not responsible for jacking up the restaurant prices.. Although, if there was a way I could....hmmm :biggrin: Have a great night at Alto.

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Valentine's Day is overrated anyway.  Go home and hook up the Playstation with the Mrs.!

Actually, that's the plan for her birthday. :wink:

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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Valentine's Day is overrated anyway.  Go home and hook up the Playstation with the Mrs.!

Actually, that's the plan for her birthday. :wink:

Guys, in my book, toys, caffeine and home cooked meals are the BEST love tokens you can supply! If you're getting her a Playstation.. get Katamari Tamashi... great game!

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Valentine's Day is overrated anyway.  Go home and hook up the Playstation with the Mrs.!

Actually, that's the plan for her birthday. :wink:

Guys, in my book, toys, caffeine and home cooked meals are the BEST love tokens you can supply! If you're getting her a Playstation.. get Katamari Tamashi... great game!

Well, my wife gets a lot of home cooked meals because I do the cooking and she, for the most part doesn't. Besides, Valentine's Day is for the guy too, isn't it? If I'm getting the flowers and the candy and the meal, it would be only fair for her to buy the Playstation, wouldn't it? :biggrin:

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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Tonight we are making dinner. Tomorrow night we are going to Veritas for half the price and double the offerings..

I find the Valentine's Day sentiment to be genuine. However, I've generally been disappointed with my restaurant experience on such days. The most recent example — my New Year's Eve dinner at Picholine — was really a rip-off. The restaurant didn't deliver its best, and I paid at least double what I normally would.

All this and Oakapple's earlier comments about two hour limits at Cru, just begin to explain why I avoid restaurants on Mother's Day and Valentine's Day. You pay more and you get less. Worse yet, restaurants tend to be full of people who only seem to eat out on those two days of the year. There are too many diners who are like Sunday drivers. Ask servers if there's not a tendancy for the diners to ask more questions and generally make a bigger fuss on those two days. Nothing worse than a guy who doesn't know his way around a menu trying to impress his date, wife or mother in a restaurant. No thanks, I'll dine on the other 362 days of the year when I don't pay a premium to compete on other people's terms.

My advice is to say home and either cook, or splurge on some elegant cold food. I'm thinking smoked fish, or even caviar, and a good bottle of wine.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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There's a solution to every problem. Last night my wife, two of our closest friends and I waltzed right into the Saloon at the Oyster Bar in grand central, were seated immediately and proceeded to feast on Blue Points, Wellfleets and Kumamotos. Then pan roasts and fried fish. They make amazingly good french fries there.

The killer Oyster Bar meal: 3 blue points, clam chowder (my choice is New England), side of fries with a glass of Widmer Hefeweizen (sentimental favorite).  

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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we walked into Otto around 10, waited less than 10 minutes, sat at the bar and had one of the best meals i've ever had there.. great wine, amazingly competent service, in a place that's always packed to the gills so they're used to dealing with the crowd.. all the suckers were at Babbo last night, it was perfect..

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slkinsey and I hit Beacon for their special V-day menu with champagne pairings - yummmmm (who knew there was a champagne for venison? :blink:), and we struck up a good conversation with the sommelier. It was a nice, low-key way to spend an evening. Oh, and roasted meat ROCKS.

Basil endive parmesan shrimp live

Lobster hamster worchester muenster

Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

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I have to say that I think people overestimate the "gouging" that occurs at some of these places on Valentine's Day. My wife and I went to Alto last night. The 3-course prix fixe that was normally $65 was now $85 and the 4-course prix fixe that was normally $75 was now $100. Not exactly usurous increases and far less of a markup than I am used to seeing on New Year's Eve. Really, an extra $50 (for 2 people) on a $400 tab does not exactly have me running for the hills. And the service was about what I would expect to get on a weekend night. No better, no worse. All in all, a very enjoyable Valentine's Day.

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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Maybe I'm sour, but to me paying $1 more is, like, nuts.

To each their own, and I can respect that, but for someone to make the statement that anyone who pays a little more is "a sucker" (not directed to you) is nuts. I know plenty of people who would think paying the prices that any of these places charge is nuts (and a sucker).

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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I'm genuinely happy you see the difference between "nuts" and "a sucker".  (Honest, non-sarcastic statement.)

I certainly can't argue with being called nuts (lord know it's happened before). But a sucker would imply I had no idea I was being overcharged on Valentine's Day. :smile:

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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