There’s nothing romantic about spending Valentine’s Day in front of the stove. And while making dinner for your sweetheart is certainly an admirable gesture, why not leave the cooking to the professionals? Across the borough, chefs are preparing meals that might prove once and for all that the way into someone’s heart is through his stomach.
For $150 per couple, including tax and gratuity, lovebirds can indulge in a gourmet, three-course meal — including a glass of “pink champagne” — at Archives Restaurant in the Brooklyn Marriott in Downtown Brooklyn.
Chef Ralph Romano is offering starters like a roasted chestnut soup with foie gras cracklings or a candied beet salad. Romano’s main courses include braised pork shank with parsnip puree, a surf-and-turf plate or roasted cod. The dessert, however, is worthy of being your Valentine all by itself: a chocolate, cream cheese pound cake with raspberry coulis and marzipan hearts
Archives Restaurant (333 Adams St. at Willoughby Street in Downtown Brooklyn) accepts American Express, MasterCard and Visa. The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Tuesday through Saturday and brunch on Sundays. For information, call (718) 222-6543 or visit www.marriott.com.
With its low lighting, pressed tin ceilings and chic French charm, Chez Lola always oozes romance. This Valentine’s Day, though, thanks to a special menu from chef Octavio Simancas, the Fort Greene restaurant will be creating an even more amorous setting. For $32 per person, diners will get a three-course meal — with a bonus amuse bouche at the start of the meal and truffles at the end — with choices like spinach salad with watermelon and hearts of palm; chicken with mascarpone, polenta and mushroom sauce; a mint-pesto crusted leg of lamb; and desserts like molten chocolate cake or sweet crepes with fruit compote.
Chez Lola (387 Myrtle Ave. at Vanderbilt Avenue in Fort Greene) accepts American Express. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily. For information, call (718) 858-1484 or visit www.bistrolola.com.
Once seated at Dressler, which boasts one of the best looking dining rooms (and matching servers) in Williamsburg, maneuvering the three-course $70 prix-fixe Valentine’s Day menu will require all of your concentration. Options include appetizers like Hudson Valley foie gras with heirloom apples and white grapes, oysters or a warm artichoke heart salad and entrees such as grilled and braised duck with truffled potatoes or Scottish salmon. Desserts will be announced day of by chef Dopkin Polo and, if your date doesn’t do it already, are sure to make you swoon.
Dressler (149 Broadway at Driggs Avenue in Williamsburg) accepts American Express, MasterCard and Visa. The restaurant serves dinner daily and brunch on weekends. For information, call (718) 384-6343 or visit www.dresslernyc.com.
Laura’s Gourmet Bistro
“We’re having a romantic dinner by candlelight,” said Laura Leone, owner of Windsor Terrace’s Laura’s Gourmet Bistro, and she wasn’t kidding. For $45 per head, couples can perch at a table for two and tuck into a four-course meal of baked clams, homemade ravioli in a mushroom sauce, osso buco and chicken rollatini.
To finish things on a sweet note, Laura’s will be serving Italian gelato.
“A lot of people get engaged here, because they feel like this is a special place,” Leone said. “Once you come, you always want to come back again.”
Laura’s Gourmet Bistro (1235 Prospect Ave. at Reeve Place in Windsor Terrace) accepts American Express, MasterCard and Visa. The restaurant serves dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Mondays. For information, call (718) 436-3715.
Le Petite Marche
Oysters, foie gras and sweetbreads, oh my. At Le Petite Marche — a warm and romantic restaurant in Brooklyn Heights — the four-course, $60 prix-fixe Valentine’s Day menu is chock full of rich offerings like roasted chestnut soup, duck breast with butternut squash fondue, goat cheese and prosciutto, and chocolate souffle with pistachio ice cream. Even after the meal, chef Mick Pirnik will offer complimentary chocolate-dipped fruit, ensuring everybody leaves with a sweet taste in his mouth.
Le Petit Marche (46 Henry St. at Cranberry Street in Brooklyn Heights) accepts American Express, MasterCard and Visa. The restaurant serves dinner daily. For information, call (718) 858-9605.
Marco Polo Ristorante
Marco Polo chef Bruno Milone, who has made hearts flutter with his Italian cooking for years, plans to outdo himself on Valentine’s Day with a special menu served a la carte (entrees range between $14.95 and $27.95) for lovers and food lovers alike. Diners are invited to Carroll Gardens to enjoy appetizers like a tricolore salad; try pasta dishes like risotto with shrimp in a Champagne sauce; dig into rich entrees like the filet of sole stuffed with crabmeat; and finish the meal off with Italian cheesecake or a heart-shaped strawberry mousse with chocolate sauce.
Marco Polo Ristorante (345 Court St. at Union Street in Carroll Gardens) accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily. For information, call (718) 852-5015 or visit www.marcopoloristorante.com.
If you can’t get away for a romantic weekend, a Valentine’s Day dinner at Piramide in Park Slope is the next best thing. Thanks to chef Freddy Luna, authentic Mexican food — three-fish ceviche, chicken with hazelnuts, a Chilean sea bass and even chocolate cake with “cajeta” (caramel) sauce — will be served. To top it all off, each couple will be treated to a glass of sparkling wine and Piramide’s famous tableside guacamole. Owner Tim Judge said, “[Our Valentine’s Day menu is] basically letting our chef have a lot of fun with good ingredients.”
Piramide (499 Fifth Ave. at 12th Street in Park Slope) accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily. Brunch is served on weekends. For information, call (718) 499-0002 or visit www.mexpiramide.com.
Even if you’re not going dancing this Valentine’s Day, a bit of Tempo is a good thing. As part of the elegant Park Slope restaurant’s three-course $65 prix-fixe menu, chef Michael Fiore will serve yellow fin tuna tartare with ginger wasabi sauce, roasted rack of lamb crusted in black olives, and a molten chocolate cake with a caramel crunch gelato. Paired with a long walk down Fifth Avenue, Fiore is serving up a recipe for romance.
Tempo Restaurant & Wine Bar (245 Fifth Ave. at Carroll Street in Park Slope) accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Dinner is served daily. For information, call (718) 636-2020 or visit www.tempobrooklyn.com.
Water Street Restaurant
At this bi-level DUMBO institution, chef Reggie Taylor will be serving an incredibly romantic meal at a rock-bottom price. For $100, couples can enjoy a four-course meal, a bottle of red wine, complimentary flowers and music from a live pianist.
“We’re a neighborhood restaurant, and we want to give the best service and food to our local customers,” said owner Jeffrey Rodman. “And we have incredible rustic ambiance, so it’s very romantic.”
After finishing a meal with options like sweet pea, spinach and mint soup, baked acorn squash, prosciutto-wrapped halibut and herb-scented Cornish hen, diners even get a complimentary box of chocolates from the neighboring Jacques Torres shop to bring home.
Water Street Restaurant (66 Water St. at Main Street in DUMBO) accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily. For information, call (718) 625-9352 or visit www.waterstreetrestaurant.com.