Winter is the season for lovebirds in New York City. While some choose to focus on plummeting temperatures, we set our sights on flickering candles and crackling fires. Embark on a romantic trip to the Big Apple and fall in love with some swoon-worthy happenings.
Cozy Up in a Swanky Stay
Heat things up in February when you book a romantic weekend getaway at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Mark. Hole up in your room with the Valentine’s Day Aphrodisiac Menu. Choose a cocktail from an array of drinks curated for love, like the Strawberry Blonde (rum, strawberries, lemon, angostura bitters, champagne and fresh mint leaves), and nibble on oysters, and ginger-chili-vinaigrette-drizzled salmon before enjoying an assortment of risqué sweets to ensure you have a romantic evening.
If you prefer a little more pampering, opt for Five-Star The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park’s Room with a View package. In addition to scenic accommodations overlooking the metropolis’ most famous green space, you and your sweetie will receive a $250 credit to be used in the recently refreshed Four-Star La Prairie spa.
For a blissful night’s sleep, book the 45-minute Nighttime Rejuvenation Facial: four therapists working in tandem will replenish and refresh your skin while you’re each pampered with a relaxing hand and foot massage. The treatment also includes a complimentary skincare regimen for you to use at home.
After an evening of nocturnal rejuvenation, awaken and enjoy a full American breakfast for two, which can be delivered straight to your bed.
Eat Your Heart Out
If the way to your honey’s heart is through his or her stomach, take advantage of the Valentine’s Day Truffle Omakase menu (February 14 to 17) at ever-so-swanky Zuma. While many holiday prix fixe meals can be cookie-cutter experiences, this never-ending parade of savory small plates (beef tataki, rock shrimp and grilled scallops), sashimi (seabass and toro) and incredible, oversized entrées, such as a 12-ounce rib-eye and Chilean sea bass, will blow your mind. Generous portions and plenty of freshly shaved truffles will have you falling head over heels.
Not many restaurants have had as much critical acclaim heaped upon them as Jean-Georges, the elegant icon within sleek Five-Star Trump International Hotel & Tower New York. Book a table on Valentine’s Day to savor well-blended French, American and Asian flavors in three unique formats: a three-course prix fixe; a seven-course signature selection; and a seven-course Valentine’s Day Tasting Menu. Please note: men must wear a jacket and ladies should dress to impress.
For modern Italian fare in upscale environs, book a table at Del Posto. Although its cuisine is the star of the show, the top-notch service, live piano music, professional waitstaff and formal décor raise this Five-Star restaurant to “icon” status. Celebrate San Valentino with chef Melissa Rodriguez’s eight-course tasting menu for two, featuring highlights like mozzarella with roasted pears and prosciutto, manicotti with black truffle, and honey ricotta cake.
If you can’t snag a table but still want to wow your significant other, join Del Posto’s team of sommeliers every other Saturday (the next event is February 16) as it journeys into the Meatpacking District venue’s wine cellar, offering tastes and tidbits about each sip. And the best part: reservations are not required, and it costs just $5 for five tastes.
All About the Ambiance
If Instagram-worthy surroundings are just as important to you as craveable cuisine, these romantic restaurants should be at the top of your date-night list.
Your sweetheart will swoon when you arrive at The Pool, Major Food Group’s addition to the reimagined, historic Four Seasons restaurant space. The venue draws inspiration from its legendary past — waiters wear custom Tom Ford suits — while ushering in a new era of fun, formal dining. The ambiance is absolutely gorgeous, evoking a nautical feel from a bubbling, marble pool at the center of the room and shimmering curtains that sway with the wind.
You can’t go wrong with any of the seafood entrées here, but the beet appetizer is a surprise standout. Also don’t miss the cucumber cocktail, which waiters lovingly refer to as the “sexiest drink in the city.”
One if by Land, Two if by Sea is as elegant as it is legendary, nestled in an unmarked building on a side street in Greenwich Village. This historic establishment was originally a carriage house built in 1767 and was frequented by vice president Aaron Burr (infamous for killing Alexander Hamilton). Now, the dining room boasts a romantic vibe with exposed brick walls, candlelit tables and large windows overlooking a private garden. Fall in love with the seven-course Chef’s Tasting Menu — you can thank us later.
You can also seduce your valentine at the intimate Il Buco, an Italian standby in Noho famous for its celebrity clientele. Reminiscent of a rustic Tuscan farmhouse, the restaurant charms with its unique space (originally an antique store), seasonal menu and impressive wine list. Fun fact: the cellar here is rumored to have inspired Edgar Allan Poe to write The Cask of Amontillado.
Think Outside the Box
For a look at a true love story, visit “Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving” at the Brooklyn Museum (February 8 through May 12). The first U.S. exhibition to feature the timeless painter’s clothing and personal possessions (rediscovered in 2004), the collection examines how Kahlo’s ethnicity, politics, disability (she had polio as a child and was later hit by a streetcar) and relationship with husband Diego Rivera shaped her identity as an artist.
Take in a “Showmance”
Impress your loved one with tickets to a larger-than-life love story on Broadway. All winter long, you can find seats to everything from a classic, such as Phantom of the Opera (The Majestic Theatre), to whimsical new performances like Aladdin (New Amsterdam Theatre) — after all, what’s more romantic than a magic carpet ride? Or, if it’s something sweet you’re looking for, try a slice of the heartwarming show Waitress (Brooks Atkinson Theatre).
Magic Is in the Air
Make your own winter magic when you check into Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Lotte New York Palace, perfectly perched between Big Apple landmarks like the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center.
Book the historic hotel’s Evening of Enchantment package and prepare to be dazzled by world-famous Millionaire’s Magician, Steve Cohen. In addition to luxurious accommodations, you will receive two complimentary cocktails, a customized deck of playing cards and a meet-and-greet with Cohen when you purchase tickets for his 9 p.m. Chamber Magic performance.
Enjoy Live Music
Looking for a Valentine’s Day soiree that will blow everyone else’s plans out of the water? Snag tickets to see Grammy and Country Music Award-winning singer Trisha Yearwood perform for one night only at the legendary Rainbow Room. While she croons tunes made famous by Frank Sinatra (Old Blue Eyes was a regular at this classic NYC venue), dine on a four-course, wine-paired menu created by chef Mathew Woolf and Yearwood herself — the acclaimed singer is also a New York Times bestselling cookbook author, after all.
For something more low-key, Bemelmans Bar on the ground floor of Upper East Side’s Four-Star The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel is a cozy place to snuggle up in a booth and enjoy live entertainment each night starting at 5:30.