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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 2022 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.

Bacall's Family Steakhouse (Times Square)

bacall's family steakhouse times square

Bacall's Family Steakhouse brings '40s glamour and big portion Jewish/Romanian fare to Times Square. Newly opened, the menu is inspired by the restaurant’s muse, starlet Lauren Bacall, and her Jewish-Romanian upbringing in New York City. From Friday through Monday, find a prix fixe special. Appetizers include a choice of honey brie brûlée or steamed mussels; followed by a roasted heart-shaped beet salad; and prime rib or pistachio-crusted salmon for entrees. Dessert is a 16-layer red velvet crepe cake or chocolate-covered strawberries. There's also a vodcã teaser and a champagne toast. 220 W. 44th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.), 212-944-2474 bacallsnyc.com

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 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, 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 (it's served at lunch on the 14th as well). 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 picks of red velvet cake, 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, benjaminsteakhouse.com

Casa del Toro (Hell's Kitchen)

casa del toro

Authentic Mexican restaurant and cocktail bar in Hell’s Kitchen Casa del Toro makes a romantic spot for Valentine's. You'll find imaginative cuisine in a vibrant and sensuous setting. Upon entering, a provocative, curved, hand-sculpted marble bar immediately seduces. Cavernous dining rooms lead up to floor-to-ceiling glass doors along the venue’s best-kept secret: a beautiful rear garden, home to a majestic,  6-ft. Spanish toro. Indoor dining plus two outdoor areas, including a tented and heated backyard garden. 626 10th Ave. (btw. 44th & 45th Sts.), 212-586-0811, casadeltorony.com

Churrascaria Plataforma (Midtown West)

Churrascaria Plataforma Photos

Churrascaria (choo-rah-scah-ree-ah) describes a restaurant that serves meat, mostly grilled. A rodizio style restaurant serves different cuts, a style that  originated in the south of Brazil in the early 1800s. The concept is to present a wide variety of meats, including beef, pork, lamb, and chicken, in succession to each diner individually right at their table—thus no traditional menu. Churrascaria Plataforma is NYC's authentic rodizio-style restaurant, featuring an all-you-can-eat fixed price with continuous table-side service. For Valentine's Day they'll be serving a special rodizio-style dinner that comes with dessert and two glasses of champagne. Bring your appetite! 316 W. 49th St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.), 212-245-0505, plataformaonline.com

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. Chef John Villa’s menu is inspired by New York and Italian culinary traditions, with many tableside presentations. Leading up to Valentine’s Day Weekend (Thursday and Friday) and Valentine’s Day itself look for the regular a la carte menu plus the option for a luxurious Truffle Menu. Courses include warm black truffle fett’unta, roasted butternut squash with hot honey and black truffle zabaglione, toro crudo with black truffle, brown butter, and hazelnut, the restaurant’s signature raviolo stuffed with a pastured egg and topped with shaved truffle, as well as roasted turbot with clams, lobster, and black truffle gazette, and a choice of truffle-roasted poussin or prime filet mignon. A truffle dessert ends the meal on a sweet note. 9 W. 57th St. (btw. Fifth and Sixth Aves.), 212-829-0812, cucina812.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. It will be served Friday, Saturday, and Monday, with the Friday and Saturday seatings including the regular a la carte menu, sushi menu, bar menu and happy hour menu (even on Saturday!). Prix fixe highlights include "lobster love dumplings," famous clothesline bacon, pretzel crab cake, filet mignon, rack of lamb, roasted branzino, wild mushroom cavatelli with short rib and truffle. Finish up with cheesecake lollipops, cinnamon churros, red velvet crepe layer cake, rose petal panna cotta, or a heart-shaped "can o’cake." 135 E. 62nd St., 212-988-9021, davidburketavern.com

 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, lamasserianyc.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 prix fixe that shows off the house's strengths. French onion soup, escargot, salad, and steak tartare are among the appetizers; duck breast, Cornish hen, filet mignon, and salmon with lentils, spinach, and fennel pollen are among the entrees. Dessert is creme au chocolat or beignets. For every two prix fixe orders guests get a bottle of sparkling, red, or white wine to split. 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. An atmosphere of classic Havana is enhanced by 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 Cuban appetizer sampler. Entrees come with two sides and include options like mango-glazed salmon, garlic chicken, guava-glazed ribs, vegetarian stuffed peppers, and a crispy marinated steak. Four possibilities for dessert include flan, a flourless chocolate cake, churros, and classic tres leches cake. The celebration runs all weekend long, from Friday the 11th through Tuesday the 15th. 151 W. 46th St., 212-398-7441, havanacentral.com

Jasmine’s Caribbean Cuisine (Midtown West)

coconut salmon jasmines caribbean cuisine

Jasmine’s Caribbean Cuisine provides an escape from the city with savory dishes and fruit-filled cocktails. For the holiday, look for a live DJ and special Valentine's entrees like blackened Chilean sea bass, jerk leg of lamb, and grilled steak 'n' lobster tail. For appetizers, look for specials like strawberry avocado salad and stuffed shrimp with fresh lump crabmeat. Dessert brings coconut cake with mango sauce, chocolate cake with strawberry sauce, or chocolate and rum raisin ice cream. 371 W. 46th St., 646-964-5337, jasminecaribbeancuisine.com

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.)
212-315-2888, masseriadeivini.com

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. Of course. For Valentine's Day weekend, Friday through Monday, look for a three-course dinner highlighted by a Chateaubriand for Two, complemented by lobster pastas, salad or lobster bisque to start, and a choice of decadent desserts. 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

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, patsys.com

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, restaurantji.com/ny/new-york/prime-catch

The Ribbon (Upper West Side)

ribbon upper west side bar

Upper West Side favorite The Ribbon presents American cuisine in a stylish, roomy setting, with renowned hospitality. You'll encounter a quintessential New York dining experience, featuring an extensive bar selection and delights for all palates, including spit-roasted meats, seafood, and a sophisticated carvery and burger section. 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 on Monday the 14th, available for lunch or dinner, 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 mirror sibling spot Benjamin Prime with a choice of red velvet cake, chocolate mousse cake, or New York cheesecake. 158 E. 48th St., 212-935-3785, theseafiregrill.com

Sugar Bar (Upper West Side)

Ashford and Simpson's Sugar Bar interior

Celebrate romance at Ashford and Simpson’s Sugar Bar. Dine down on a 3-course prix-fixe menu and be treated to an acoustic set featuring Desmond Scaife Jr. (vox/keyboard) and Franklin Rankin (guitar) of DJ and The Yams. For the menu, look for appetizers like lobster empanadas, spinach salad, or a grilled corn and avocado salad. Entrees come with two sides and include crab-stuffed flounder, braised short ribs, lamb chops with jerk sauce, an a surf 'n' turf that combines filet mignon and jumbo shrimp in an au poivre sauce. Bread pudding, red velvet parfait, malted chocolate cake, and Key lime pie are the dessert possibilities. 254 W. 72nd St., 212-579-0222, sugarbarnyc.com

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 Friday, February 12th through Valentine’s Day itself on Monday 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. Elegant Premier Dinner Cruises over Valentine’s Day weekend will have you taking in the sights on the Hudson and East Rivers for three hours. Dinner cruises include cocktails, a live band with a female vocalist, 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 Day New York Signature Dinner Cruise is two and a half hours, with live DJ entertainment, dancing, cocktails, and a buffet dinner loaded up with fresh salads, entrees, and desserts. To make a special occasion even more special, City Cruises offers three ticket packages to choose from for their Valentine’s dinner cruises. Silver comes with a rose and a glass of champagne/sparkling wine. Go for the Gold and you can add a guaranteed window table to the perks of a Silver package. Platinum goes all out, with a bottle of sparkling wine, a half dozen roses, a keepsake champagne flute, and a guaranteed window table. Toast to the most romantic day of the year with City Cruises! Chelsea Piers, Pier 61, near W. 23rd St. on the Hudson, citycruises.com/newyork

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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