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 2023 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 Concierge Choice Awards winner for Best Steakhouse). This year's Valentine's Day menu (available both Monday and Tuesday) tempts with a spectacular prix fixe. Benjamin dry-ages their meat in their own aging box and you can choose from bone-in rib-eye, rack of lamb, Chilean sea bass, or a surf 'n' turf of USDA Prime filet mignon, lobster, shrimp, king crab, bordelaise, and beurre blanc on the special Valentine’s Day prix fixe. Oysters, lobster bisque, and shrimp cocktail are among the starter options, and there’s a champagne toast included as well. 52 E. 41st St., 212-297-9177,

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, served on the 13th and the 14th. Highlights include options like Blue Point oysters, sizzling Canadian bacon, bone-in rib eye, 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 offers a choice of chocolate mousse cake or New York cheesecake. Benjamin Prime's elegant space is conveniently close to Grand Central. 23 E. 40th St., 212-338-0818,

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 on Monday the 13th and Tuesday the 14th 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. Desserts are chocolate mousse cake or New York cheesecake. 158 E. 48th St., 212-935-3785,

Nerai (Midtown East)

Offering a contemporary twist on sophisticated Greek dining, TripAdvisor recently ranked Nerai one of the top 100 restaurants in New York City. This Valentine's they're serving a romantic Chef’s Tasting Menu ($135 per person.) Lovebirds can start off with seared tuna, pomegranate salad, or lobster pasta, before moving on to a choice of pan-seared halibut with a butternut squash puree, grilled root vegetables, pickled onions,  and saffron dill; or a 28-day dry-aged New York strip with parsnip, trumpet royale mushrooms, and Mavrodaphne (sweet wine) jus. Shared desserts for the table include kokaki (Greek chocolate creampuffs) and kataifi ekmek (a Greek slant on bread pudding). 55 E. 54th St., 212-759-5554,

Morton’s The Steakhouse (Midtown East)

Morton's Midtown

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. Morton’s serves only the top 2% of beef available in the U.S., so you know you’re getting top quality. All served in serious steakhouse portions. 551 Fifth Ave. (on 45th, btw. Fifth & Madison Aves.), 212-972-3315,; downtown location near the 9/11 Memorial at 136 Washington St., 212-608-0171,

Nusr-Et Steakhouse (Midtown West)

valentine's chocolatini

A meat feast for all of your senses. Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe, better known as Salt Bae, brings the Nusr-Et experience to NYC. Nusr-Et Steakhouse's beef focuses on highly marbled authentic wagyu, sourced from top producers around the world. (There's also fresh seafood and lots of flair in the table-side presentations.) For Valentine's Day, don't miss a special Chocolatini cocktail. Paying homage to holiday dessert favorite chocolate-dipped strawberries, the drink provides smooth sips of velvety chocolate martini, complemented by a fresh strawberry. 60 W. 53rd St.,

Cucina 8½ (Midtown West)

lounge dining room cucina 8 1/2

Cucina 8½ offers an elevated experience of rustic Italian cuisine in a midtown architectural legend. The kitchen takes inspiration from New York and Italian culinary traditions, with many tableside presentations. On Valentine’s Day and Wednesday, February 15th, look for the regular a la carte menu plus four courses of holiday specials. Among antipasti there's poached lobster or fried blue point oysters with Sterling caviar; pasta courses include pappardelle with a ragu Bolognese and linguine alle vongole. Look for double-cut veal chops and filet mignon with foie gras, fett’unta, tartuffo, and Barolo sauce on the entrees. Sweet finishes include a mousse torte and chocolate-covered strawberries. 9 W. 57th St. (btw. Fifth and Sixth Aves.), 212-829-0812,

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse (Midtown West)

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse features floor-to-ceiling windows with breathtaking views of Sixth Avenue and nearby Rockefeller Center. From Thursday, February 9th through Monday, February 13th, they'll be celebrating the holiday with a special Valentine's Dinner for Two menu. The prix fixe runs from a caviar blini amuse bouche; to starter choices of tuna tartare crostini or shrimp cocktail; to an entree of prime 22-oz bone-in rib-eye topped with two lobster tails and Alaskan king crab truffle butter; to dark chocolate Godiva cheesecake with chocolate-covered strawberries for dessert. There's also a featured cocktail, the Sparked Romance, with gin, sparkling rosé, lemon, and raspberry syrup. 1221 Ave. of the Americas (entrance at 49th St.), 212-575-5129,

Ellen's Stardust Diner (Midtown West)

valentine shake ellens stardust diner

Food, drink, and live performances from the famous singing waitstaff make a visit to Ellen's Stardust Diner a Valentine's to remember. The 1950s-themed restaurant has been around since 1987 and brings back its retro vibes (founder Ellen Hart Sturm is a native New Yorker who was crowned Miss Subways in 1959.) Catch intimate performances by staff on their way to joining a long line of Broadway actors who have made Ellen's their launching pad. Find two great specials running from February the 1st through the 14th. First up is a Valentine Shake, combining strawberry ice cream, red velvet heart cookies, a
chocolate-covered strawberry, whipped cream, and heart sprinkles. On the savory side look for the Be Mine Sammy, which tops a Valentine bagel with scrambled eggs, melted American cheese, and comes with a side of tater tots. 1650 Broadway, 212-956-5151,

Masseria dei Vini (Midtown West)

masseria dei vini nyc

Executive chef Pino Coladonato does not disappoint with his wide-ranging and flavor-infused spinoff of La Masseria. The tera mare del Tavoliere (grilled baby octopus and cuttlefish with broccoli rabe on a bed of fava bean puree) and capesante e carciofi grigliati (sea scallops and artichoke hearts) are our top picks for appetizers at Masseria dei Vini, while the coniglio alla Caprese (oven roasted rabbit with fresh herbs and wine sauce) and fegato di vitello spadellato all’aceto di mirtilli (calf liver sauté with onions and blueberry vinegar) are not to be missed on the entrée menu. 887 Ninth Ave. (btw. 57th & 58th Sts.)

 La Masseria (Theater District)

“A farmhouse in the middle of Manhattan,” La Masseria offers classic Italian dishes from the Puglia region of Italy, utilizing the freshest natural ingredients. See for yourself on Valentine's Day with classic dishes from the Puglia region of Italy, focusing on authentic pastas, risottos, and meat and fish dishes. Warm, inviting decor blends rural Italian style, nostalgia, and charm, complementing their exceptional cuisine and wine list. 235 W. 48th St., 212-582-2111,

Redeye Grill (Midtown West)

redeye grill valentine's day

Centrally located in Midtown West, the Redeye Grill hosts a classic American brasserie scene, with polished nickel and leather, warm tones, and original Red Grooms artwork. This Valentine's Day they're serving a four-course prix fixe menu accompanied by live entertainment. The meal begins with a "Meet Cute" starter of smoke salmon blini; that's followed by "First Date" options like Caesar salad, shrimp scampi, or shrimp tempura roll. "First Kiss" includes Dover sole, Chilean seabass, dry-aged ribeye, lobster risotto, seafood spaghetti, or a surf 'n' turf with a filet and lobster. The "Nightcap" brings banana cream pie, New York cheesecake, blackout cake, or chocolate-covered strawberries. The entertainment features a big band and jazz vocalists; New York and Vegas stars Opera Gaga, Tansy, and Miles Nuzzi will be performing. Show time is 8-10:30pm; the a la carte menu is served until 6pm.

Gatsby’s Landing (Midtown West)

raspberry valentine martini

Experience the Roaring Twenties with grand ballroom chandeliers, elegant ambiance, and gracious service at new bar-restaurant Gatsby’s Landing near Bryant Park. A globally inspired menu employs seasonal ingredients for homemade pastas, brick oven pizzas, and steak and fish entrees. This Valentine's Day they'll be serving their a la carte menu with a must-try add on: a special holiday cocktail, the Raspberry Valentine's Martini, above. 120 W. 44th St., 212-597-2850,

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 house favorites. Look for stuffed artichokes, eggplant parmigiana, and spaghetti and meatballs, with ingredients sourced from other family businesses who have worked with Patsy’s throughout the years. 236 W. 56th St., 212-247-3491,

Prime Catch NYC (Theater District)

shrimp baked prime catch

Top-rate seafood and steaks await in the heart of the Theater District at Prime Catch NYC. A great stop pre or post-Broadway or while out in Times Square. Indoor and outdoor seating options, great hospitality at the bar. Prime USDA dry-aged Pat LaFrieda meat, with house specialty Porterhouse and tomahawk cuts. Grilled salmon and baked shrimp on the seafood side. Thoughtful wine list or opt for a cocktail like a spicy watermelon margarita. Open daily 11am-11pm. 140 W. 46th St., 646-649-2288,

Joanne Trattoria (Upper West Side)

joanne marquee

Joanne Trattoria offers authentic Italian fine dining in a comfortable space. A family-owned spot, you'll feel at home as you dine on meatballs, lasagna, and other New York City Italian classics. Valentine's extends here, with specials joining the regular menu from Sunday, February 11th through Thursday, February 16th. Look for pesto tortellini with shrimp or scallops, wild forest mushroom risotto, and sea bass with vegetables among the offerings. 70 W. 68th St., 212-721-0068,

Tin Building (Seaport)

double yolk tin building caviar

Image courtesy of Hallie Burton.

Culinary legend Jean-Georges Vongerichten has launched his massive new Tin Building culinary space in The Seaport. Among the full-service new restaurants is Double Yolk, which cheekily devotes itself to “serving eggs all day.” Breakfast bites give way to a more luxurious scene, with caviar and champagne servings beginning at 5pm. Not a bad way to celebrate Valentine's. That's only the beginning of your holiday options here, as Frenchman's Dough (Italian with a twist) Shikku Sushi & Sake, House of the Red Pearl (a Chinese-inspired speakeasy), Fulton Fish Co., T. Brasserie, and Seeds & Weeds (vegan and vegetarian) all offer Valentine's Day reservations. 96 South St. (Pier 17), 646-868-6000,


malibu farm valentine special

In addition to the Tin Building above, there are several other opportunities for dinner by the river downtown. You can eat healthy on Valentine’s Day and leave room for a little indulgence at Malibu Farm. This eat-local fave is offering two specials perfect for date nights (above)—a surf 'n’ turf with herb-crusted beef sirloin and seaweed-wrapped shrimp al ajillo with broccoli rabe mash, and, for dessert, a chocolate conversation heart. Upscale chophouse Carne Mare’s special V-Day menu, for $150 per person, includes steakhouse and Italian favorites like prime rib and rich pastas, along with irresistible dolce, like a 17-layer chocolate cake and a baked spumoni for two, flambéed tableside. Pier 17’s open-air cocktail lounge Pearl Alley will offer a special Cupid Negroni, featuring gin, vermouth, Campari, crème decacao, and chocolate, served Saturday, February 11th through Tuesday, February 14th.

Valentine's on the Water with City Cruises

bateaux statue liberty

Valentine's is better on the water. For an unforgettable New York experience, join City Cruises for a holiday dinner cruise on the East and Hudson Rivers. From Saturday, February 11th through Valentine’s Day itself on Tuesday a range of packages is available, making it easy to customize the perfect outing with your sweetheart. Stunning views await from the glass-enclosed deck of the European-inspired Bateaux. You’ll be served a plated meal in a festive atmosphere. Valentine's Bateaux New York Premier Plus Dinner Cruise will have you taking in the sights on the Hudson and East Rivers for three hours. Dinner cruises include cocktails, live entertainment, and plated 3-course meals with freshly prepared salads, entrees, and desserts. Another possibility for great dining and views to match is on Spirit of New York. The Valentine's New York Signature Dinner Cruise brings together signature buffets, delicious cocktails, dancing, and New Jersey and New York's most stunning views. Toast to the most romantic day of the year with City Cruises! Chelsea Piers, Pier 61, near W. 23rd St. on the Hudson,





About the Author

Ethan Wolff is the author of numerous guidebooks to New York, having covered the city for more than two decades. 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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