Monday, February 2, 2009

Have a Romantic Valentine's Day Dinner in NYC

We knew bringing you the sexiest costumes for Valentine's Day wasn't enough, so we've compiled a list of ten New York restaurants in which you can have an utterly decadent and romantic V-Day dinner. We'd recommend saving the costume for when you get home, but hey, when you choose to wear it is ultimately up to you!

RAOUL'S 180 Prince St., between Sullivan & Thompson Sts., (212) 966-3518. This quintessential SoHo bistro and its classic French fare make for an effortlessly romantic evening. The three-course meal ($75) features chestnut and foie gras ravioli as well as sea bass with Maine mussel fondue. Request the cozy enclosed garden, then retreat to the upstairs loft for an after-dinner reading from the resident fortune teller.

ELEVEN MADISON PARK 11 Madison Ave., at 24th St., (212) 889-0905. Serious food lovers can feast on acclaimed chef Daniel Humm's outstanding French fare and partake in a sumptuous, seven-course tasting menu ($225), including diver scallops with black truffles. Dine under exquisite vaulted ceilings or settle into one of the more intimate dining suites at Danny Meyer's lavish Flatiron destination.

DRESSLER 149 Broadway, near Driggs Ave., Brooklyn, (718) 384-6343. With its stunning chandeliers and mosaic tile floor, this polished New American is an enchanting Williamsburg oasis. The three-course tasting menu ($70) is scattered with a flurry of aphrodisiacs: oysters, foie gras, scallops and artichoke hearts.

PUBLIC 210 Elizabeth St., between Prince and Spring Sts., (212) 343-7011. If a dining room lit with one thousand flickering candles doesn't sound romantic enough, there's also the exotic allure of an Australasian menu with a five-course tasting menu ($90), featuring a New Zealand venison chop with truffle parsnip mash.

DESSERT STUDIO (at Chocolat Michel Cluizel), 888 Broadway, at 19th St., (212) 477-7355. You may want to skip dinner and indulge in a his-and-hers dessert tasting ($85 per couple), designed by whimsical pastry chef Will Goldfarb. Desserts at this sweets laboratory include a white chocolate spuma with rose Champagne gelee and a sampling of luxe Michel Cluizel chocolates.

ONE IF BY LAND, TWO IF BY SEA 17 Barrow St., near Seventh Ave., (212) 255-8649. Tucked into a West Village carriage house, this timelessly romantic backdrop boasts two fireplaces and a grand piano. Newly installed chef Craig Hopson will not only be preparing a four-course tasting menu ($150) on Feb. 14, but also a belated Valentine's Day tasting ($95) throughout the week. Dinner begins with American sturgeon caviar, a decadent rite of passage for a romantic meal.

CAVO 42-18 31st Ave., near 42nd St., Queens, (718) 721-1001. With rose petal-covered floor and long stem roses for the ladies, this chic Astoria lounge does all the romantic legwork for you. The modern Greek kitchen serves a tasting menu ($65) with chickpea-coated oysters, filo-crusted shrimp glazed in Cretan honey and a "Lover's Tasting of Desserts."

L'IMPERO 45 Tudor City Place, near 42nd St., (212) 599-5045. Spend the evening at this elegant Tudor City landmark, where you can sample chef Michael White's refined Southern Italian cooking and a stellar wine list. The four-course tasting menu ($110) includes lobster-filled ravioli and grilled lamb chops with escarole.

SILVERLEAF TAVERN 43 E. 38th St., at Park Ave., (212) 973-2550. If you're not the romantic type, this swanky lounge in Murray Hill celebrates the occasion with an Anti-Valentine's Day menu ($35) where couples can share small plates labeled "Unrequited Ribs" and "Angry Lobster," to name a few.

BACARO 136 Division St., near Ludlow St., (212) 941-5060. This bi-level, candlelit wine bar is intimately furnished with wood-beam ceilings, exposed bricks and cozy cafe tables to enjoy an extensive wine menu and Italian small plates like marinated sardines and gnocchi with mushrooms. With a no-reservations policy, this downtown Italian is a perfectly charming and low-key last-minute option.