On Valentine’s Day weekend, indoor dining will re-open in New York City for the first time since September. Now, whether you want to mark the holiday at a restaurant is up to you—for many, the milestone is accompanied by mixed feelings as more infectious strains continue to circulate the city and vaccine distribution is far from complete. Yet, as the situation for our eateries gets increasingly dire (at this point, they’ve been operating at reduced capacity for nearly a year), the urge to help them is sky high.
The question, then, is how to do so while still staying within your comfort level? Sure, if you’re up for it, make a reservation at your favorite neighborhood joint or that five-star restaurant you’ve always wanted to try. But for those who aren’t, there are a plethora of wonderful options available to you. Below, we’ve outlined our favorite stay-at-home dates that simultaneously support New York’s restaurants.
Breakfast in Bed
Although it’s impossible to universally declare the best bagel in New York City, a significant slice of New Yorkers would proclaim it’s from Russ and Daughters. Surprise your partner with their ultimate spread: the smoked salmon medley, which you can order online through Goldbelly. (It’s a gift you can enjoy for days—the order includes 8 bagels.)
Brunch for Two
If there’s any day to splurge with your significant other, it’s this one: Accordingly, take special care with brunch and order a mimosa kit from Sadelle’s, followed by the ultimate indulgent brunch dish: La Mercerie’s Smoked Salmon Crepe Cake topped with trout roe.
Romantic Night In
Even if you don’t want to visit in person, you can still recreate the restaurant ambiance in your own home. On February 13 and 14, Il Buco will transform their patio into a Valentine’s Day pop-up store. Expect homewares from their line, Il Buco Vita, fresh flowers, gourmet chocolates, wine, and meal kits, all available for purchase. Pick up some roses, a nice Chianti, focaccia, and some homemade meat-sauce to recreate the ambiance of your favorite neighborhood Italian joint.
More of a cocktail couple? Dante is offering a curated box of their lavish liquor concoctions for Valentine’s Day. Sip on The Rose (raspberry eau de vie, raspberry, and rose) during dinner, or their Heart of Gold (Rémy Martin, Cocchi Torino, Oloroso, chocolate bitters, and cocoa) after dessert.
Sometimes, creating something together is the ultimate romantic activity. Make a recipe from Dimes’s cookbook, or perhaps learn how to DIY dumplings with Xi’an Famous Foods. Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth? The new Petee’s Pie recipe collection is a perfect choice. After all, to borrow the old adage, “the best way to someone’s heart is through their stomach.”