It’s time to start thinking about how to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the Big Apple. New York City offers an extensive range of venues and a variety of different, innovative ways to celebrate. Whether you’re seeking a traditional dinner out on the town, a behind-the-scenes tour of Starbucks Roastery, a romantic, over-the-top rose experience, or a photo shoot booked with a topnotch photographer, this city has it all. We also offer some great gift ideas for those seeking out the ideal Valentine's Day gift.
Starbuck’s Reserve Roastery
Delight the coffee enthusiast in your life with the Il Mio Amore Edition for two. Each duet will be assigned their very own Starbucks Reserve Roastery personal guide whose mission is to provide an intimate, behind-the-scenes perspective of the coffee and venue. The experience includes an Origin Flight Coffee Tasting in which guests travel around the world with a Specialty Tasting of three distinct Starbucks Reserve Coffees prepared on the Clover Brewer, which is exclusive to Starbucks. Guests can enhance their coffee tasting with the Cioccolato Truffle Pairing of the brand’s Signature Chocolate Truffles. The Dolce Finale is the grand finale. Guest are treated to a Princi Bakery Mono Tart that’s perfectly paired with a bottle of Villa Marcello Prosecco. Each guest will be gifted a bag of Starbucks Reserve Coffee as well. 61 Ninth Ave., 212-691-0531, starbucksreserve.com
Couples can journey to Aquavit, a Scandinavian getaway right here in New York City. The recently renovated Michelin-rated restaurant emanates “hygge”—the Danish and Norwegian word that describes a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality. Aquavit’s space is illuminated with warm, subtle lighting. Serene, muted hues set a rather romantic scene. Diners can enjoy one of three tasting menus or order from the new bar menu, which features refined classics such as the fried cod sandwich and a New York strip. 65 E. 55th St., 212-307-7311, aquavit.org
Oscar Wilde, the NoMad bar/restaurant fashioned after the ostentatious Victorian writer, will be celebrating Valentine's Day in its own "Temptation Room." Under a ceiling of chandeliers, guests can indulge in a three-course prix-fixe menu starting at $75 per person. Specials include mushroom soup with truffle oil, seared Atlantic scallops, an Angus skirt steak, and for dessert the "the destruction of lemon tart and raspberries" pictured above. A Valentine’s Day specialty cocktail will feature sparkling wine, blood orange liqueur, and hibiscus syrup. The regular à la carte menus are also available, and walk-ins are welcome. 45 W. 27th St., 212-213-3066, oscarwildenyc.com/2020-vday
Bluebird London NYC
Manhattan’s outpost of the iconic British brasserie Bluebird London offers sweeping views of Central Park. The venue is offering two pre-fixe dinner options for Valentine's Day. Guests can choose between the Dining Room seating at $95 per person or $180 per couple or the Window Seating at $120 per person or $230 per couple. Prix fixe menu items include a chia flax seed cracker with cream of East Coast uni; lobster bisque with Seville orange and roasted langoustine; and A5 Wagyu tenderloin with truffle puree, napa cabbage, and pickled turnips. Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy the chocolate creamsicle cake with orange sorbet for dessert. After the meal, couples can unwind with complimentary glasses of Laurent-Perrier Brut champagne. For reservations visit here. 10 Columbus Circle, 347-682-2100, bluebirdlondon.nyc
Winter Rose Garden at Dream Downtown
Photo: David Jacobson.
Thousands of red roses adorn the walls of the Winter Rose Garden at Dream Downtown. The seasonal rose-themed space, which is accented with bold red furniture and lots of flickering candles, boasts a menu of thematic rose cocktails and light bites. Guests are invited to flirt with the seasonal a la carte cocktail menu, which offers several specialty drinks that are worthy of indulgence. Sip the Dream in Roses potion, which is crafted with Campari, Pama, prosecco, and a spritz of lemon. Those who prefer some subtlety can explore the Lavender Dreams elixir, which is made with Don Julio Blanco, lemon, pea flower tea, simple syrup, and an egg white. This Valentine’s Day, romance is in full bloom. The Lovers' Nightcap package is exclusively available on the evening of February 14. This reserved table-for-two experience invites duets to share a love-themed dessert along with two bottles of bubbly. A scattering of soft rose petals embellishes each table. The $500 price includes bottles of Moet and Moet Rosè—both are served from a decadent gold bucket that is filled with festive red and pink ice cubes. For table reservations, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. 355 W. 16th St., 212-229-2559, dreamhotels.com/downtown
Jewelers on Fifth at Empire Outlets
Jewelers on Fifth unveils its new, sprawling 4,651-square-foot shop at Staten Island’s Empire Outlets. Glittering diamonds, sparkling GIA certified stones, and custom jewelry are among the special, discounted offerings that are provided by this family-owned and operated business. Jewelers on Fifth, which is located on the Richmond Terrace side of Empire Outlets, traces its history back more than 20 years. Since its debut in May 2019, Empire Outlets has amassed an A-list of luxe retailers from Nordstrom Rack to Brooks Brothers Factory, Johnston & Murphy Factory, Parfum Europa, and beyond. Empire Outlets is located steps from the St. George Terminal of the Staten Island Ferry—a free 20-minute ferry ride from Manhattan. For those who prefer to drive, there’s parking on site as well. 55 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, empireoutlets.nyc
National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey
Couples looking for something besides a standard dinner out should look to the Times Square underwater adventure National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey. On Valentine's Day there will be a special Sip 'n Sea Evening, with drink options that include rosé, prosecco, and sparkling juice. Relax in the private event space at the end of your virtual ocean experience. 226 W. 44th St., 646-308-1337, natgeoencounter.com
Tribeca’s two-Michelin-starred New Korean restaurant Jungsik entices lovers with a decadent menu for this love-themed holiday. Highlights of the 9-course menu include Osetra caviar over tuna belly—it’s marinated in wood vinegar and sits atop a bed of crispy, toasted quinoa. The elaborate menu also boasts lobster with confited and grilled lobster, jut guk beurre blanc (Korean clam broth beurre blanc) with herb salad, finger lime, and herb oil; tuna kimbap—a crunchy seaweed wrap stuffed with truffled rice, bluefin tuna belly, and a house made kimchi; galbi made with the finest quality wagyu and finished with a tangy Korean barbecue sauce; and urchin served on top of roasted seaweed rice and garnished with house made kimchi and crispy quinoa. For dessert, guests will be treated to one of Pastry Chef Eunji Lee’s artsy delicacies (during the holiday season, Lee created Snow White’s Red Apple—a dramatic work of art complete with fog emanating from underneath a chocolate tree). As a parting gift, each couple will be gifted a rose to take home. The menu is priced at $325 with an optional wine pairing for an additional $225. 2 Harrison St., 212-219-0900, jungsik.com
Central Park and Times Square Photo Shoot
This Valentine’s Day, get creative with your gift giving. Use New York City as the ideal backdrop of a dynamic photo shoot starring your sweetie (a couple’s photo shoot is another great option). Through Airbnb Experiences, you can hire Thomas Michael—a New York-based photographer to capture your special someone in several different Manhattan locales. During his 30-plus year career, Thomas Michael has photographed stylish destinations worldwide. Previous stints include shooting fashion for glossy magazines and capturing the catwalks of New York, Paris, and Milan. During Airbnb’s 2-to-3 hour photo shoot, he’ll tap into his expertise and offer tips on posing. The result: magazine- and Instagram-worthy shots. After spending the morning in Central Park, you’ll be whisked off to Time Square, Bryant Park, and Grand Central Station. Bookings begin after March 15. For more information or to schedule, visit here.
Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar
Tommy Bahama is the destination to escape to when you can’t whisk your lover off to some exotic island getaway. The island-inspired cuisine coupled with a relaxed locale evokes a casual, beachside resort setting. Just for V-Day, the venue's master mixologist Shannon Miller created Valentine’s Blush. This signature cocktail is crafted with gin, elderberry, and ruby red grapefruit juice with a splash of soda. This special cocktail will be offered on February 14 through 15. 51 Fifth Ave., 212-537-0960, 51 Fifth Ave., 212-537-0960, tommybahama.com