By Francesca Conlin | February 12, 2019 | Food & Drink
The saying goes that the way to the heart is through the stomach. So it only makes sense to spoil your sweetheart the best way you know how on Valentine’s Day—by treating them to an evening at one (or more) of these Manhattan restaurants with offerings that go beyond your standard pre-fixe menu.
Forego giving your significant other a box of chocolates and instead wow them with the chocolate and liquor pairing flight following a decadent four-course meal at this Alsatian-inspired, two-star Michelin restaurant. That’s just one of several Valentine’s Day-themed desserts (others include chocolate heart locks, heart-shaped lollipops, and more) served fresh from chef Gabriel Kreuther’s neighboring chocolate shop in the heart of Bryant Park.
Besides the stellar 360-degree views, Ophelia boasts a decorative and cozy atmosphere with plush red banquets perfectly complemented by specialty “His and Hers” cocktails crafted by head bartender Amir Babayoff with caviar service by the ounce. It’s the perfect place for couples to begin the evening together.
Taking chocolate to a whole other level is the special "My Chocolate Valentine" dinner from Gio Osso, the chef behind Virtù based out of Scottsdale, Arizona. The all-chocolate menu is inspired by regions in Italy that finish their meat-based ragus with chocolate for added richness. Every dish offered—including Crudo with white chocolate labneh and cannelloni with dark cocoa-braised coniglio—prominently features the sweet.
This Cantonese restaurant is collaborating with Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell for their Fortune Macarons, a special dessert that combines the best of the fortune cookie and the French macaron. The twist? They’ll feature Candace’s fortunes about love and dating in the Big Apple inside. Which one will be your fortune?
Although the verdict is still out on whether oysters are an aphrodisiac, there’s no better time to eat them than on Valentine’s Day and no better place to have them than in New York City. Head to this hip downtown restaurant, located within the Ace Hotel, and choose from a dozen oysters with two glasses of champagne or 18 with caviar sprinkled on top and an entire bottle of bubbly.
Come for the red velvet cornbread, hot honey yardbird, and glazed beef osso bucco, but stay for the elegant, dimly-lit interior and live music from Pedrito Martinez at this speakeasy-style bar located beneath the famed Red Rooster in Harlem. These Valentine’s Day luxuries will not only delight your taste buds but also your senses.
Hidden behind a working pawn shop, Beauty & Essex offers couples an intimate atmosphere to enjoy their famous "Wonder Wheel" amongst other delectable offerings. The dessert is getting a makeover just for Valentine’s Day with champagne gummy hearts, chocolate-covered strawberries, passion fruit truffles, and more.
The breathtaking and unobstructed view of Central Park from this steak house sets the mood for a romantic night ahead. Savor mouthwatering steaks and fresh seafood, plus sip on full-bodied red or crisp white from the extensive wine menu with all of uptown Manhattan in front of you. There’s no shortage of appetizing dishes to choose from, so we suggest you spend the time and order a few because the view never gets old.
Photography courtesy Todd Coleman