Valentine’s Day Dinners Your Girlfriend Will Love

Alright, the photo has nothing to do with what I’m about to say, but I couldn’t resist. Guys…it’s time to impress. You know you’re getting nothin’ Valentine’s Day night if you don’t put together a satisfying romantic night.  And while homemade dinners are quaint, these six NYC restaurants guarantee 100 percent excellence and no dishes to clean afterward. You’re in, you eat the best food, you hold hands across the table, and then you skip back to your apt ASAP for some good lovin.’

Louro: This recently-opened spot in the West Village wins “most creative” with their six-course, $85 menu inspired by The Beatles most iconic love songs. And yes, though the connection between a dark chocolate brownie sundae for two and the song “Here, There, and Everywhere” is a bit tenuous, that does not stop me from making it a must-attend event. Inside-info here.

Market Table: This cozy spot on Carmine St. abounds with terracotta floors, brick walls, sleek wood tables, and dishes that are market-fresh. And seeing as their entrees are usually in the $28-$32 range, their special four-course, $55 menu on the 14th is pretty irresistible. Menu commonly includes dishes like braised shortib ravioli, duck with pistachios and butternut squash, Maryland crab soup, and chocolate sea salt pot de crème. Inside-info here.

Perilla: As Top Chef’ first winner Harold Dieterle’s West Village restaurant, Perilla is a brunch and dinner knockout. It’s the classy, understated spot that doesn’t need to boast.Their three-course, $65 menu includes their top dishes, like the Hampshire pork belly, spicy duck meatballs, grilled black grouper with andouille sausage, andtheir heavenly, salted caramel chocolate beignets.Excuse my drool. Inside-info here.

Hakkasan: This Michelin-starred, high-class Chinese spot in Hell’s Kitchen is the king of the prix-fixe: Seven courses. $98. Get ready for dishes like roasted Pacific cod with Rosé Wine and egg white, seared scallop with sweet mango in sweet basil and peanut dressing, and chocolate orange with marshmallows and chocolate crumbs.  Come hungry, leave perhaps too full for nooky, but you’ll make it through. Inside-info here.

BLT Prime: This Gramercy steakhouse offers a special Valentine’s menu spotlighting fried Kumomoto oysters, aged sirloin from Rosencrantz Farms, goat’s milk ricotta ravioli, and wild salmon. Inside info here.

Mas Farmhouse: Named after the French word for what it resembles: a country house. Paneled wood and stone walls, fresh flowers, farm-raised poultry, cheeses, and veggies – all overseen by a James Beard chef. One the 14th, treat you and yours with a four-course, $120 dinner. Inside-info here.

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David Santos Aims to Open New Restaurant Space

David Santos is working his magic again, only this time, the Portuguese chef is putting energy into opening his own restaurant in the West Village. “The right opportunity finally popped up and I was offered a stake in the restaurant with people I used to work with at Bouley,” said Santos.

The concept is called Louro, the Portuguese word for bay leaf and a plant Santos’s uncle grew for him in France, which he then transported back to his family. At this new venture, Santos, who trained at Per Se, plans to serve affordable food that’s quality driven. The only catch—he is still raising funds for the venture via Kickstarter, which goes more into detail on his vision. There he wrote:

“With a variety of menu options ranging from small bites and pastas to large format dinners, tastings and guest chef collaborations, there will be a little something for everyone. Each day will start as a blank canvas, laying the foundation for seasonal inspirations and whatever sparks my creativity at the time. My dishes stay true to what drives me.” 

Many gourmands are familiar with Santos’s cooking via Um Segredo, the supper club her ran out of his home on Roosevelt Island.  There you could sit down to an eight to twelve course meal full of tasty, themed bites with a feisty Portuguese bent to them. It was small and a pain to get to, but he food proved top notch.

“I love the supper club, but this [Louro] was always the end game,” Santos told me. This doesn’t mean the supper club is ending, in fact, Santos said it’s far from dead. “It will be even easier to do them now since I have a location with a large family style table in the back of the restaurant,” he said. “I’m going to be closed Mondays so that I can do guest chef stuff, tastings, the supper club, and a whole lot more.”