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The Best Restaurants for Valentine's Day in NYC

Dining in New York just lends itself to romance. Fine food, sharp service, and sophistication aplenty make it easy to have a special night out. Valentine's Day is no exception, with the city's best restaurants rolling out winter menus for February 2020 that make it hard to narrow down the choices. We've gathered up the best of the best—with surf 'n' turf, Champagne toasts, and chocolate mousse making their way into the mix—for our picks of the best Valentine's Day restaurants in NYC.

Valentine's Restaurants in NYC: Benjamin Steakhouse

Benjamin Steakhouse

From beautifully marbled cuts of dry-aged beef and succulent seafood to refined service and charm, Benjamin Steakhouse in midtown is perfect for an intimate dinner (there's a reason it's the 2018 Concierge Choice Awards winner for Best Steakhouse). This year's Valentine's Day menu tempts with a spectacular prix fixe. Benjamin dry-ages their meat in their own aging box and you can choose from Porterhouse for two, bone-in rib-eye, Chilean sea bass, or USDA Prime filet mignon (paired with a lobster tail) on the special Valentine’s Day prix fixe. Oysters, crab cake, and shrimp cocktail are among the starter options, and there’s a champagne toast included as well52 E. 41st St., 212-297-9177, benjaminsteakhouse.com

Valentine's Restaurants in NYC: Benjamin Steakhouse Prime

seafood platter benjamin prime

Benjamin Steakhouse's nearby sister spot Benjamin Steakhouse Prime, the 2019 Concierge Choice Awards winner for Best Restaurant Experience, also has a romantic Valentine’s prix fixe dinner. Highlights include options like Blue Point oysters, sizzling Canadian bacon, New York strip loin, and a surf 'n' turf special loaded up with filet mignon, lobster, shrimp, king crab, a red wine reduction, bordelaise sauce, and a beurre blanc. Save room: dessert is a chef's selection. Benjamin Prime's elegant space is conveniently close to Grand Central. 23 E. 40th St., 212-338-0818, benjaminsteakhouse.com

Valentine's Restaurants in NYC: Buca di Beppo

buca lasagna heart valentine's day

For a mix of fun and warmth (and a good deal), point yourself toward Buca di Beppo for Valentine's Day this year (available both Saturday and Sunday). For just $54.99 for two, enjoy Buca's "Classic Love" package, which comes with the house's famous heart-shaped lasagna, a mixed green or Caesar salad, garlic bread, and three mini cannoli for dessert. Eclectic décor, lively music, and engaging staff all add to the experience. 1540 Broadway, 212-764-6527, bucadibeppo.com

Valentine's Restaurants in NYC: David Burke Tavern

porterhouse david burke tavern

David Burke Tavern is a modern American restaurant by award-winning celebrity chef David Burke. A stately townhouse setting showcases Burke’s creative, contemporary approach to classic fare—for Valentine’s expect an outstanding three-course prix fixe. 135 E. 62nd St., 212-988-9021, davidburketavern.com

Valentine's Restaurants in NYC: Le Privé

Le Prive

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Le Privé is the neighborhood bistro you’ll never want to leave. With a refined yet unfussy atmosphere, it's a romantic place to spend Valentine's Day. This year, look for a dinner special of côte de boeuf for two (prime rib, whipped potatoes, and asparagus hollandaise) or poussin farci for two (pork- and mushroom-stuffed boneless Cornish hen, brabant potatos, and an English pea ragout). A live harpist adds to the atmosphere. Reservations required! 626 10th Ave., 212-837-2795, lepriveny.com

Valentine's Restaurants in NYC: Nerai

nerai valentines lobster

Nerai is a pitch-perfect Greek restaurant in the Theater District with an award-winning wine list. For Valentine’s Day, look for a five-course prix fixe with butter-poached lobster and black truffle spaghettoni to start, artichokes or rib-eye for mains, and mousse or a wild berry pavlova for dessert. For the ultimate Valentine's, book a table in the private dining room Cava Nerai, which will be decorated with rose petals amid the soft glow of candlelight; guests will receive a complimentary toast of bubbly upon arrival. 55 E. 54th St., 212-759-5554, nerainyc.com

Valentine's Restaurants in NYC: The Sea Fire Grill

sea fire grill valentine's nyc

The Sea Fire Grill's superior service, super-fresh seafood, and cosmopolitan vibe make it a great Valentine’s destination. A prix fixe brings options like a filet mignon-lobster-shrimp-king crab surf ‘n’ turf special, Spanish octopus, Blue Point oysters on the half shell, and black squid ink spaghetti with fresh Maine lobster. There's also a champagne toast and a chef's selection of desserts. 158 E. 48th St., 212-935-3785, theseafiregrill.com

Valentine's Restaurants in NYC: Strip House

strip house valentine's special pacific hamachi crudo

Strip House brings soaring steak to a bi-level space near Bryant Park. The interior is siren-red and accented with vintage black and white photography, but the star of the show is steak. On Valentine's Day this year, look for a "pastrami" dry-aged T-bone served with a rye bread crisp and "deli" mustard butter; it's just one of several holiday specials that also include a skate wing "schnitzel," butter-poached Maine lobster with capellini, and from the raw bar, a Pacific hamachi crudo (above) with Asian pear, charred avocado, radish, caviar, and a yuzu kosho vinaigrette.  Dessert is a red velvet lava cake with a cream cheese gelato. Strip House Midtown, 15 W. 44th St., 212-336-5454, striphouse.com/venues/midtown; Strip House Downtown, 13 E. 12th St., 212-328-0000, striphouse.com/venues/downtown


Valentine's on the Water in NYC: Spirit Cruises and Bateaux New York

bateaux statue of liberty

One of New York’s most spectacular experiences is getting out on the water with Spirit Cruises and Bateaux New York. Spirit Cruises will celebrate Valentine’s Day with weekend dinner cruises Friday and Saturday. In addition to three hours of spectacular skylines, you’ll get a dinner buffet, a complimentary champagne toast, a rose, and a DJ spinning romantic ballads. Hop aboard the all-glass Bateaux for a Hudson River spin, with plated, three-course Valentine’s dinner cruises on Friday and Saturday nights. Bateaux’s dinner cruises feature a live band and dance floor, a complimentary glass of champagne when you board, and more of those unforgettable skyline views. (Bateaux also offers a brunch cruise on Saturday, with a fresh buffet and a live pianist.) Chelsea Piers, Pier 61, near W. 23rd St. on the Hudson. Spirit Cruises, 866-483-3866, spiritcruises.com; Bateaux New York, 866-817-3463, bateauxnewyork.com


Looking for love in the city? Check out the romantic goings-on in Times Square on February 14th. We've got some great Valentine's ideas for couples in New York, too.

About the Author

Ethan Wolff is the author of numerous guidebooks to New York, having covered the city for the past 15 years. He has written for New York Magazine, BlackBook, and Details, among others. In addition to his work as the editor of City Guide, Ethan covers NYC’s talk and lecture scene for the website Thought Gallery. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the Windsor Terrace neighborhood of Brooklyn.

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