Savings & Discounts

The Best Restaurants for Valentine's Day in NYC

Dining in New York just lends itself to romance. Fine food, sharp service, and sophistication aplenty make it easy to have a special night out. Valentine's Day is no exception, with the city's best restaurants rolling out winter menus for February 2020 that make it hard to narrow down the choices. We've gathered up the best of the best—with surf 'n' turf, Champagne toasts, and chocolate mousse making their way into the mix—for our picks of the best Valentine's Day restaurants in NYC.

Benjamin Steakhouse (Midtown East)

Benjamin Steakhouse

From beautifully marbled cuts of dry-aged beef and succulent seafood to refined service and charm, Benjamin Steakhouse in midtown is perfect for an intimate dinner (there's a reason it's the 2018 Concierge Choice Awards winner for Best Steakhouse). This year's Valentine's Day menu tempts with a spectacular prix fixe. Benjamin dry-ages their meat in their own aging box and you can choose from Porterhouse for two, bone-in rib-eye, Chilean sea bass, or USDA Prime filet mignon (paired with a lobster tail) on the special Valentine’s Day prix fixe. Oysters, crab cake, and shrimp cocktail are among the starter options, and there’s a champagne toast included as well. 52 E. 41st St., 212-297-9177, benjaminsteakhouse.com

Benjamin Prime (Midtown East)

seafood platter benjamin prime

Benjamin Steakhouse's nearby sister spot Benjamin Prime, the 2019 Concierge Choice Awards winner for Best Restaurant Experience, also has a romantic Valentine’s prix fixe dinner. Highlights include options like Blue Point oysters, sizzling Canadian bacon, New York strip loin, and a surf 'n' turf special loaded up with filet mignon, lobster, shrimp, king crab, a red wine reduction, bordelaise sauce, and a beurre blanc. Save room: dessert is a chef's selection. Benjamin Prime's elegant space is conveniently close to Grand Central. 23 E. 40th St., 212-338-0818, benjaminsteakhouse.com

Buca di Beppo (Times Square)

buca lasagna heart valentine's day

For a mix of fun and warmth (and a good deal), point yourself toward Buca di Beppo for Valentine's Day this year (available both Saturday and Sunday). For just $54.99 for two, enjoy Buca's "Classic Love" package, which comes with the house's famous heart-shaped lasagna, a mixed green or Caesar salad, garlic bread, and three mini cannoli for dessert. Eclectic décor, lively music, and engaging staff all add to the experience. 1540 Broadway, 212-764-6527, bucadibeppo.com

Carmine's (Times Square)

chicken alla romana carmine's

For an authentic Southern Italian feast in midtown, Carmine’s can't be beat. This Valentine's Day, look for specials like a burrata salad with roasted eggplant, a bounty of fresh seafood in fruitta de mare pasta, stuffed salmon, or chicken alla Romana (above). 200 W. 44th St., 212-221-3800, carminesnyc.com

Carmine's (Upper West Side)

salad misti carmine's

Or point yourself uptown, where Carmine’s has been an Upper West Side institution for decades. The specials there this Valentine's include the lovely misti salad above, plus capellini Marechiare pasta, stuffed salmon, and the same scrumptious chicken alla Romana you can find at Carmine's Times Square. 2450 Broadway, 212-362-2200, carminesnyc.com

David Burke Tavern (Upper East Side)

porterhouse david burke tavern

David Burke Tavern is a modern American restaurant by award-winning celebrity chef David Burke. A stately townhouse setting showcases Burke’s creative, contemporary approach to classic fare—for Valentine’s expect an outstanding three-course prix fixe. An amuse bouche starts it off, followed by appetizers like oysters & caviar, wagyu beef, or tuna poke. Entrees include scallops or black truffle risottos, filet mignon, and a 40oz tomahawk ribeye for two. Finish up with cheesecake lollipops, a banana split, apple tartane, or the "can o’cake." 135 E. 62nd St., 212-988-9021, davidburketavern.com

Essex Pearl (Lower East Side)

essex pearl valentines dinner

Essex Pearl is a market and kitchen hybrid in the new Market Line hall on the Lower East Side. They'll be celebrating Valentine's this year with a gourmet prix fixe. Four courses will let you try super-fresh takes on octopus a la plancha with preserved lemon, squid ink tagliatelle with dungeness crab, halibut with smoked celeriac and spicy lobster jus, and a passionfruit panna cotta for dessert. There's also the option for a Valentine’s Day Wine Pairing add on, with four glasses to complement the dishes; the regions run from the Finger Lakes to Greece to Napa Valley to Hungary. 115 Delancey St., 347-899-4998, essexpearl.com

Fogo de Chão (Midtown West)

fogo de chao couples

In 1979, Fogo de Chão began sharing the gaucho way of preparing meat in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Today, its gaucho chefs still expertly grill each of its 16 cuts of meat and offer continuous tableside service. For Valentine's Day weekend you'll find traditional Brazilian sides (cheese bread!), a market table and feijoada (stew) bar, and, of course, a selection of fire-roasted meats. Couples dining between the Thursday before Valentine's Day (Thursday the 13th) and Sunday, February 16th will receive a Valentine’s card for a Full Churrasco Lunch, Dinner, or Sunday Brunch with the purchase of the same on their next visit. The BOGO offer stands whether that's in New York or back home at one of Fogo's two dozen-plus other locations (good from Monday, February 17 through Thursday, May 7, 2020; valid on Sundays through Thursdays). 40 W. 53rd St., 212-969-9980, fogodechao.com

Le Privé (Hell's Kitchen)

Le Prive

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Le Privé is the neighborhood bistro you’ll never want to leave. With a refined yet unfussy atmosphere, it's a romantic place to spend Valentine's Day. This year, look for a dinner special of côte de boeuf for two (prime rib, whipped potatoes, and asparagus hollandaise) or poussin farci for two (pork- and mushroom-stuffed boneless Cornish hen, brabant potatos, and an English pea ragout). A live harpist adds to the atmosphere. Reservations required! 626 10th Ave., 212-837-2795, lepriveny.com

Havana Central (Times Square)

mojitos havana central

Get a taste of Cuba in Times Square as Havana Central celebrates Valentine's Day right in the heart of everything. Live Latin music will add to an atmosphere of classic Havana, along with romantic decor, specials, the regular Cuban menu, and an indulgent prix fixe menu for two. For the prix fixe, start off with a welcome glass of champagne, then follow with a choice of lobster-stuffed avocado, shrimp ceviche, an empanada sampler, or chicharrones de pollo (fried chicken). Two sides will come with your entree, which includes options of steak, mango-glazed salmon, pineapple chicken, or a sweet plantain casserole. Three possibilities for dessert include heart-shaped flan, a flourless chocolate cake, and classic tres leches cake. The celebration runs all weekend long, from Thursday the 13th through Sunday the 16th. 151 W. 46th St., 212-398-7441, havanacentral.com

Morton’s The Steakhouse (Midtown East)

valentine's day morton's cocktail special

Morton’s The Steakhouse manages a perfect balancing act between classic and contemporary. You can see it in the revamped dining room on Fifth Avenue (there’s a second location in the Financial District), done up in cosmopolitan blacks and grays, and in ever-evolving culinary offerings like tuna tacos and miso-marinated sea bass. Morton’s serves only the top 2% of beef available in the U.S., so you know you’re getting top quality in the center-cut filet mignon or signature cut prime New York strip. All served in serious steakhouse portions. Of course. For Valentine's Day, take advantage of a special turf 'n' surf combo: the Morton's Steakhouse Steak & Lobster Oscar, a succulent 8oz. filet topped with a whole Maine lobster and bérnaise sauce for $59. Pair it with a "Love Candy" cocktail ($17) to sweeten the night even more. 551 Fifth Ave. (on 45th, btw. Fifth & Madison Aves.), 212-972-3315, mortons.com/newyork; downtown location near the 9/11 Memorial at 136 Washington St., 212-608-0171, mortons.com

Nerai (Midtown East)

nerai valentines lobster

Nerai is a pitch-perfect Greek restaurant in the Theater District with an award-winning wine list. For Valentine’s Day, look for a five-course prix fixe with butter-poached lobster and black truffle spaghettoni to start, artichokes or rib-eye for mains, and mousse or a wild berry pavlova for dessert. For the ultimate Valentine's, book a table in the private dining room Cava Nerai, which will be decorated with rose petals amid the soft glow of candlelight; guests will receive a complimentary toast of bubbly upon arrival. 55 E. 54th St., 212-759-5554, nerainyc.com

Paloma (Midtown East)

dining room paloma

At his Pan-Latin Manhattan restaurant Paloma at Hotel Hendricks, acclaimed chef PJ Calapa debuts a menu inspired by a childhood spent in his grandmother’s kitchen in Brownsville, Texas. A special Valentine's dinner brings three courses on top of an osyter amuse bouche and complimentary champagne. First course options run from red snapper ceviche to a kale and poached pear salad to a carpaccio with chimichurri and shaved cotija. Follow up with short rib al pastor, branzino, or a slow-roasted chicken with tomatillo salad. Finish up with a special "pot the crème" (spiced Mexican chocolate and candied peanuts) or churros. 25 W. 38th St., 646-933-9040, palomarestaurantnyc.com

Patrick's Restaurant & Oyster Bar (Times Square)

valentines day patricks times square

Patrick’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar is a new classic from the creators of Tony’s DiNapoli (they even have the famous chicken Parm). Celebrate Valentine's Day with the house's signature Strawberry-Champagne Margarita and some first-class oyster specials. Also available are prime steaks, super-serious burgers, and a first-class raw bar. The space is large and comfortable, with two bars, a fireplace, and lots of comfy booths. 259 W. 42nd, 212-776-9100, PatricksNYC.com

Patsy's Italian Restaurant (Theater District)

patsy's nyc upstairs dining room

Theatre District landmark (it was Frank Sinatra’s favorite!) Patsy's Italian Restaurant has been family-run since 1944. For a classic romantic night out, Executive Chef and Co-Owner Sal Scognamillo will serve up romance with a four-course prix fixe menu. Start off with heart-shaped ravioli or rigatoni Fra Diavolo, followed by a tre colore salad. For mains, choose from shrimp Fra Diavolo, chicken rollatini, cacciatore sausage pizzaola, or veal Francese. Finish on a sweet note with chocolate mousse cake, a Napoleon, or cannoli. 236 W. 56th St., 212-247-3491, patsys.com

The Ribbon (Times Square)

ribbon times square interior

Times Square’s newest draw is the midtown edition of The Ribbon. Brothers Bruce and Eric Bromberg, hospitality legends with more than 25 years under their belts, have brought the Theater District a winning combination of elegant-yet-approachable environs and perfectly executed elevated comfort food. For Valentine's Day weekend (Friday and Saturday) they'll be laying out specials on top of the full a la carte menu. Highlights include starters like tuna ceviche, a goat cheese and citrus salad, or potato latkes with smoked salmon, caviar, and creme fraiche. Dinner specials include bass with roasted cauliflower and a Porterhouse steak frites with truffle butter. For Valentine's Day dessert choose between chocolate rocky road or a savory-sweet mini monkey bread with salted caramel and vanilla ice cream. 220 W. 44th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.), 212-944-2474,theribbonnyc.com/valentines-day

The Ribbon (Upper West Side)

ribbon upper west side bar

Upper West Side favorite The Ribbon presents spit-roasted meats, seafood, and Blue Ribbon classics (they have some of the best chicken in the city) in polished surrounds with rustic touches. For Valentine's Day they'll be joining the Times Square outpost with a la carte ordering and Friday and Saturday night holiday specials. Choices include: tuna ceviche, potato latkes with smoked salmon and caviar, and a Porterhouse steak frites. Dessert brings chocolate rocky road or profiteroles, the latter flavored with chocolate, vanilla, strawberries, and hot fudge. 20 W. 72nd St. (btw. Columbus Ave. and Central Park W.), 212-787-5656, theribbonnyc.com/valentines-day

The Sea Fire Grill (Midtown East)

sea fire grill valentine's nyc

The Sea Fire Grill's superior service, super-fresh seafood, and cosmopolitan vibe make it a great Valentine’s destination. A prix fixe brings options like a filet mignon-lobster-shrimp-king crab surf ‘n’ turf special, Spanish octopus, Blue Point oysters on the half shell, and black squid ink spaghetti with fresh Maine lobster. There's also a champagne toast and a chef's selection of desserts. 158 E. 48th St., 212-935-3785, theseafiregrill.com

Strip House (Midtown West)

strip house valentine's special pacific hamachi crudo

Strip House brings soaring steak to a bi-level space near Bryant Park. The interior is siren-red and accented with vintage black and white photography, but the star of the show is steak. On Valentine's Day this year, look for a "pastrami" dry-aged T-bone served with a rye bread crisp and "deli" mustard butter; it's just one of several holiday specials that also include a skate wing "schnitzel," butter-poached Maine lobster with capellini, and from the raw bar, a Pacific hamachi crudo (above) with Asian pear, charred avocado, radish, caviar, and a yuzu kosho vinaigrette.  Dessert is a red velvet lava cake with a cream cheese gelato. Strip House Midtown, 15 W. 44th St., 212-336-5454, striphouse.com/venues/midtown; Strip House Downtown, 13 E. 12th St., 212-328-0000, striphouse.com/venues/downtown

Sugar Bar (Upper West Side)

Ashford and Simpson's Sugar Bar interior

Celebrate "LOVE" at Ashford and Simpson’s Sugar Bar on the Upper West Side. Three different dining rooms will each offer a unique experience and there will be special performances by sought-after songstress Shinuh, who shares the stage with special guests. Among the temptations from the kitchen you'll find lobster ravioli in crab meat sauce, a brie and roasted apple salad, grilled rib-eye, and whole red snapper stuffed with crab and shrimp. Red velvet parfait or cappuccino mousse are the possibilities for dessert. (A complimentary glass of champagne will be served as well.)  254 W. 72nd St., 212-579-0222, sugarbarnyc.com

Villa Mosconi (Greenwich Village)

Villa Mosconi has been keeping its customers happy for over 40 years, providing memorable dining experiences for everyone who walks through its doors. Pastas are made fresh daily using a pasta machine directly imported from Italy, and you can taste the quality in their ziti, rigatoni, penne, spaghetti, and cappellini. Also worth ordering are their scaloppini dishes, flavorful sea scallops, and branzino, amongst the other noteworthy dishes that make up the menu. They're taking reservations now for romantic Valentine's Day dinners! 69 MacDougal St., 212-673-0390, villamosconi.com

Virgil's Real Barbecue

bbq fest virgil's times square

Virgil's Real Barbecue brings authentic tastes to Times Square. This Valentine's Day they'll be serving specials like kale salad with marinated skirt steak, halibut with a chipotle citrus sauce, and a dessert of red velvet donut holes. 152 W. 44th St., 212-921-9494, virgilsbbq.com


Spirit Cruises and Bateaux New York

bateaux statue liberty

One of New York’s most spectacular experiences is getting out on the water with Hornblower's Spirit Cruises and Bateaux New York. Spirit Cruises will celebrate Valentine’s Day with weekend dinner cruises Friday and Saturday. In addition to three hours of spectacular skylines, you’ll get a dinner buffet, a complimentary champagne toast, a rose, and a DJ spinning romantic ballads. Hop aboard the all-glass Bateaux for a Hudson River spin, with plated, three-course Valentine’s dinner cruises on Friday and Saturday nights. Bateaux’s dinner cruises feature a live band and dance floor, a complimentary glass of champagne when you board, and more of those unforgettable skyline views. (Bateaux also offers a brunch cruise on Saturday, with a fresh buffet and a live pianist.) Chelsea Piers, Pier 61, near W. 23rd St. on the Hudson. Spirit Cruises, 866-483-3866; Bateaux New York, 866-817-3463; hornblower.com/new-york

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About the Author

Ethan Wolff is the author of numerous guidebooks to New York, having covered the city for the past 15 years. He has written for New York Magazine, BlackBook, and Details, among others. In addition to his work as the editor of City Guide, Ethan covers NYC’s talk and lecture scene for the website Thought Gallery. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the Windsor Terrace neighborhood of Brooklyn.

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