If shrimp shumai and broccoli in black bean sauce on the couch is your idea of a perfect date night, step it up a notch by ditching the takeout containers and feasting on upscale Chinese food in the heart of Chinatown. The best part: Chinese Tuxedo is offering its standard à la carte menu on V-Day, so you’ll choose which dim sum, noodles, and mains (expect roasted duck breast, honey glazed pork belly, and fried soft shell crab) to order, and skip the mandatory prix fixe splurge. Tuxedos are optional, chopstick proficiency is suggested. Reservations at resy.com.
Take your SO out for a special dinner at this impeccably designed modern Korean restaurant. Chef Mihyun Han has created a special five-course prix fixe, including one-night-only dishes like poached branzino with butternut squash purée and spicy snow crab, hae-mul-tang (spicy seafood stew), spicy chicken with sweet potato chips, and a Korean style surf n' turf incorporating a ribeye and abalone pairing. $100/person, Reservations at OpenTable
If food is your most reliable Valentine, head to this Italian-inspired nook of David Chang’s restaurant empire, where you can share large format offerings between more than just a couple of food lovers. A $65 pasta tasting showcases four of the menu’s greatest hits, like ceci e pepe-style bucatini and Korean langoustine risotto, and a show-stopping, whole-salt baked turbot ($140) is served with caponata, salsa verde, yuzu kosho aioli, calabrian chili paste, and other accoutrements. Reserve on OpenTable
Get your squad together for two-for-one drinks and a nacho feast at the newest location of this legit taco joint and mezcal bar. Tacos and burritos will also be served in pink-dyed tortillas (made from masa sourced from Queens’ famous Tortilleria Nixtamal), to illustrate your cute Galentine’s Day on Instagram. No reservations needed, just walk right in! -- perfect for any last minute backup V-Day plans.
If wooing your date onto the L train seems more realistic than jetting off to Paris, book a table at this cozy, candlelit bistro that exudes trendy Parisian vibes. A special three-course tasting menu will include all the classics that inspire you to whip out that dumb French accent and flirt -- think foie gras, duck magret, creme brulee and more. $55/person, reservations on OpenTable
Cinephiles can cuddle up at a special screening of Casablanca, sip cocktails, and snack on truffle butter popcorn or a cheese and charcuterie platter while Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman fall in love on screen. Perfect for both couples who just started dating and don’t want to look into each other’s eyes all night and longtime couples who just want to leave the house on a weeknight. $13 tickets, nitehawkcinema.com
Cheap date? Invite your Tinder match over coffee on February 14, when Toby’s will offer vouchers for complimentary drip to sip on Valentine’s Day. (You have to subscribe to their newsletter for the freebie. You can always un-subscribe later. It's the oldest trick in the free coffee game.) Alternatively, if you’re single and just looking to get out of the house with a book as a date, you never know which other freebie fanatics Cupid may lure to a coffee shop on V-Day...
If you’re looking to impress someone, or just use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to drop some cash on a fancy meal, head to the restaurant formerly known as the Four Seasons, before it was re-invented by Major Food Group. Playing on old New York nostalgia, this luxe restaurant will offer a four-course menu prix fixe with oysters, starter choices like a sweet potato and foie gras terrine or scampi tortellini, and decadent entrees including filet mignon or Lobster Newburg. Dessert includes a pineapple baked Alaska. $165/person, thegrillnewyork.com
Dine in the Village (or grab a few slices from Joe’s, it’s fine) and then head down to the Duplex’s cabaret theater by 9:30 pm to see the El-Salomons, a married Jewish-Palestinian lesbian comedic duo perform along with guest comics. Laugh away any relationship woes because if this unlikely couple can make it, so can you! $10 in advance, $15 at the door, two drink minimum, get tickets here
Into blindfolds? Camaje’s famed dinner in the dark is back to heighten your senses and help you connect with your tastebuds, sense of touch, smell, and more. The menu won’t be revealed until after you taste it, so you’ll blindly chew and sip your way through several courses and glasses of wine before you can make eye contact with your dining companion. The dinner is February 13, so you can start celebrating early and recreate the blindfold experience at home on the big day. $125, eventbrite.com
Flatiron & Midtown East
Make like Lady and the Tramp and share some tagliatelle twisted with bolognese at this chic Italian restaurant offering a three-course Valentine’s Day menu. Special options will include burrata with roasted apples and salsa verde, a ribeye steak for two over truffle polenta and a shareable tiramisu, because nothing says date night than a dessert that accommodates two spoons. $75/person, reserve here