Didn’t manage to nab a reservation for Brucie’s notorious Kim and Kanye feast? No worries! From dinner and a John Cusack movie to a surprisingly romantic all-vegan “Shop-Up,” there’s no need to resign yourself to some tired, paint-by-the-numbers prix fixe this Valentine’s Day. We’ve got you covered.
Atrium DUMBO: Don’t feel bad; we can’t afford River Café’s $200-per person dinner either. But if you were banking on taking your sweetie for an after-dinner waterfront stroll, Atrium DUMBO is offering four equally lovely courses (dorade crudo, cote de boeuf, panna cotta with wild berry sorbet) for only $75. And just think, you can funnel your significant savings towards $2 rides on Jane’s Carousel.
15 Main Street, DUMBO
Emily: We can rarely make dinner with our husband without butting heads (he manages to dirty every dish we own, and NEVER closes cabinet drawers). But we have the utmost respect for couples that can work happily and effortlessly together in the kitchen, and maybe you could learn a lesson in culinary communication too, if you spend Valentine’s Day at the husband and wife-owned Emily. Not only will the walk-in only eatery take actual reservations this year, but chef Matt will offer a special of stuffed shells, inspired by a dish he and Emily shared on one of their first dates, over 12 years ago. We’ve got the warm and fuzzies!
919 Fulton Street, Clinton Hill
501 Union: Rather avoid the February 14th folderol completely? This Gowanus event space has partnered with the talented Rucola team, for a romantic “evening before V-Day” dinner and a movie ($65 for a solo ticket, or $130 per couple). Doors open at 7pm for a round of passed bubbly, followed by a viewing of the classic British film, “Brief Encounter,” accompanied by a three-course dinner of shaved vegetable salad, risotto with ricotta salata and chocolate pudding with whipped cream.
501 Union Street, Gowanus
Humboldt and Jackson: So you want your box of candy and you want your long-stemmed roses and you want them both on February 14th. ‘Nuff said. But if you still like the idea of dinner and a movie (we like the idea of dinner and a movie!) then you’ll love this holiday event at the new Williamsburg wine bar, Humboldt and Jackson. View one of our fave John Cusack rom coms (either Say Anything at 6:30pm or High Fidelity at 9pm), snack on a spread of charcuterie, cheeses and honey whiskey cake, and enjoy tastings of Glade Run Rose wine, all for the jaw-droppingly low price of $20.
434 Humboldt Street, Williamsburg
Dear Bushwick: In order to spare its customers the harried, highly impersonal “turn and burn” approach so many restaurants take to Valentine’s Day dinner, Dear Bushwick is spreading its festivities throughout the entire weekend. Which means, you can get your aphrodisiac-fueled prix fixe on either Friday, Saturday or Sunday (dishes include grilled goat cheese curd with winter berries and balsamic and ruby red grapefruit cured Nantucket bay scallops), or keep things even more casual with a Morning After Brunch, featuring egg-in-the-heart (hole) and a lover’s punch cocktail.
41 Wilson Avenue, Bushwick
Grindhaus: Since it falls on a Saturday this year, you can expect the Valentine’s Day restaurant crowds to be especially epic (be aware of who you’re actually playing footsie with under the table). So while yes, you can certainly go ahead and book that reservation at Grindhaus, we’d much sooner stop by for “Cheap Date Sunday” instead, when they offer a steak for two and a bottle of wine for only $75.
275 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook
Pine Box Rock Shop: Is your love for your significant other rivaled only by your adoration of animals? You won’t want to miss the special 5th anniversary iteration of the Vegan Shop Up at Pine Box Rock Shop, complete with adorable Valentine’s Day theme. Think sweetheart drink specials, love-themed gift boxes, and scrumptious, cruelty-free treats, such as Mexican hot chocolate, cinnamon rolls, samosas, empanadas, ice cream and much, much more!
12 Grattan Street, Bushwick
Tommaso’s: If you prefer sultry masquerade masks to sappy flowers and hearts, you’re in luck: Tommaso’s annual Carnevale celebration overlaps with Valentine’s Day this year. And it actually covers all the requisite holiday bases; there’s live music—owner Thomas Verdillo, a Julliard-trained opera singer, serenades his guests with Italian arias; decadent chocolate desserts—the traditional sanguinaccio; a pudding flavored with pigs blood; and the potential for steamy sex—see what you can make your partner do for a string of plastic beads!
1464 86th Street, Bath Beach