Valentine’s Day dinner 2013: Restaurants offering à la carte menus

Skip the prix fixe: We’ve found restaurants offering à la carte menus for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. Make a reservation today.

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  • Photograph: Daniel Krieger

    Valentine's Day dinner: Mid range romantic restaurants

    Buvette

     

  • Photograph: Roxana Marroquin

    Valentine's Day dinner: Mid range romantic restaurants

    Desnuda

  • Valentine's Day dinner: Mid range romantic restaurants

    The Mermaid Inn

     

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    Valentine's Day dinner: Mid range romantic restaurants

    Perla

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Valentine's Day dinner: Mid range romantic restaurants

    Frankies 570 Spuntino

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Valentine's Day dinner: Budget romantic restaurants

    Jack’s Wife Freda

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Valentine's Day dinner: Mid range romantic restaurants

    Calliope

Photograph: Daniel Krieger

Valentine's Day dinner: Mid range romantic restaurants

Buvette

 

Mid range restaurants for Valentine's Day dinner

Buvette

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Jody Williams’s diminutive, Gallic-themed “gastroteque” provides a cozy setting for your celebration (as if you needed an excuse to cuddle up). The toque makes a compelling case for reviving old-fashioned French country cooking. Her immaculate renditions of coq au vin, goose-fat rillettes or intense, lacquered wedges of tarte Tatin arrive on tiny plates, in petite jars or in miniature cocottes. The dishes are the perfect inspiration for discussing an impromptu Parisian getaway with your beloved.

  1. 42 Grove St, (between Bedford and Bleecker Sts), 10014
More info

Desnuda

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Order the audacious smoked-oyster shooters at this tiny East Village wine and ceviche bar, and chef Dominique Martinez will prepare them using a gravity bong right before your eyes. We can’t promise a contact high, but at least there will be a good conversation piece. Other draws include a personable staff prone to friendly banter and bold interpretations of acid-cured fish, in specials like mackerel seasoned with smoked pimenton, fermented black garlic and lemon—a winning blend of exotic flavors.

  1. 122 E 7th St, (between First Ave and Ave A)
More info

The Mermaid Inn

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

At Danny Abrams’s popular New England seafood eatery, you can indulge in a purported aphrodisiac, the freshly shucked oyster, for just $1 apiece during happy hour (5–7pm). In addition to a curated raw bar, the bill of fare features plated dishes that salute seafood favorites, ranging from greaseless clam strips with a tangy tartar sauce to a New England clam chowder. It’s tradition at the Mermaid Inn to end your meal with a free cup of rich chocolate pudding and a Fortune Teller fish—hopefully it’ll bode good things for your relationship.

  1. 96 Second Ave, (between 5th and 6th Sts), 10003-83
Book online

Perla

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Gabriel Stulman’s 65-seat West Village trattoria is as charming as the tiny street it’s located on, with a marble-topped bar, leather banquettes and stained-wood floors that make it look like a old-school NYC spot. Share market-driven Italian plates, like lobster and caviar with robiolina and leek vinaigrette and agnolotti al sugo d’arrosto (stuffed pasta with roast-meat drippings). To drink, find French and Italian wines, as well as playful cocktails, like the Bernard Hughes Huber, made with apple brandy, Carpano Antica vermouth, spiced syrup and a mix of bitters.

  1. 24 Minetta Ln, (between Sixth Ave and MacDougal St), 10012
Book online

Frankies 457 Spuntino

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Make your sweetie swoon for spaghetti (and more) at the West Village location of Frankies, the perpetually mobbed tavern from restaurateurs Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo. The menu of rustic sandwiches, pastas and meat plates mirrors their other two locations, but diners can also plump for seasonal specials. Choose from an 80-bottle wine list (made up of mostly Italian vinos), or select a specialty cocktail.

  1. 457 Court St, (between and Lucquer St and 4th Pl)
More info

Jack's Wife Freda

  • Price band: 2/4

Woo your beloved from morning to night at this warm Soho café. The 40-seat spot—sporting dark-green banquettes, brass railings and marble counters—serves homey fare, like matzo ball soup made with duck fat, a skirt steak sandwich served alongside hand-cut fries, and piri-piri-hot-sauce–marinated chicken kebabs. If your love can’t wait, you’ll find Stumptown coffee, homemade croissants and full breakfast plates—including soft-boiled eggs with challah “soldiers” (strips)—between 10am and 5pm.

  1. 224 Lafayette St, (between Kenmare and Spring Sts), 10012
More info

Calliope

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

Transport your chéri to the City of Light at this East Village bistro, which channels a romantic vision of a bohemian Paris with candlelit tables, Art Deco ironwork and an antique bar imported from across the Atlantic. Enjoy a selection from the affordable, French-heavy wine list and lightened versions of bistro classics, like fragrant lamb stew or a crisp-skinned roast chicken. Finish up with the airy baba au rhum doused in dark Dipolomático rum.

  1. 84 E 4th St, (at Second Ave)
More info


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