Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday this year. Sunday is so much more relaxed than Saturday — no one is pregaming for anything, rushing to get to the theatre, or frantically texting friends to finalize their plans for “the best night of our lives.”
If you’re like most of the Greenpoint population, you’re so over the #WeekendWarrior. So why not apply that laidback Sunday philosophy to this year’s Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day, and keep it in the neighborhood?
Here are some of the spots offering Valentine’s specials in Greenpoint and Williamsburg this year. Some specials run all weekend and some prix fixes are only on V-day.
The Diamond (43 Franklin Street)
Reservations: Yes, email email@example.com
Time limit: Yes
It may only be seven minutes that you get to hang out in the gondola, but those seven minutes will come with candles, mood music, Polaroid photos, an on-call butler, champagne and oysters for two, plus a sweet treat. And after your seven minutes are over, you’ll have plenty to do — Diamond is the best bar ever. With shuffleboard, friendly bartenders and great beers, you’ll want to stay there for the rest of the night. The special runs from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, so holler at Dave.
Milk and Roses (1110 Manhattan Avenue)
Cost: $100 per couple for brunch; $200 per couple for dinner. Tax and gratuity are not included, and have to be paid in cash at the restaurant.
Milk and Roses is smartly offering brunch and dinner options for this Valentine’s Day. This lovely vintage space will offer a brunch featuring an appetizer and a main course choice of a croque madame, French toast, eggs and caviar, or a white chocolate yogurt, plus a choice of dessert. Dinner options are risotto or beet ravioli with goat cheese for the first course, halibut, cauliflower steak or short rib for the second course, and choice of dessert. Dinner includes a bottle of prosecco, coffee and tea, and a digestif.
Le Fanfare (1103 Manhattan Avenue)
Locally-sourcing Italian restaurant Le Fanfare has called all the local farms to make your Valentine’s Day supergourmet and socially conscious. From deviled eggs and butternut squash agnolotti to mascarpone-stuffed quail and grass-fed strip steak, both brunch and dinner at Le Fanfare look like delicious options. Wine pairings are also available. For added romance, Albert Behar’s music will accompany your meal.
El Born (651 Manhattan Avenue)
Cost: Varies by entrée; most specials $12 to $19
While the regular menu will be available at our neighborhood Spanish spot, there will be four specials for the entire weekend: foie gras terrine with brioche bread, green asparagus with black truffle oil, pan-seared scallops with a lobster reduction, and duck with grains and tomato confit risotto. The special cocktail will feature Pedro Ximenez 1983 and the highlighted wine for the evening will be a very special cava rosé by the glass from the Raventós i Blanc Winery named “de Nit.” A special sangria will be available for $10 a glass and $40 a pitcher.
Esme (999 Manhattan Avenue)
Esme has fast become one of my favorite Greenpoint restaurants. The atmosphere is beautiful and I am having a long-term relationship with their divine London Sour (gin, amaretto, plum, lemon, lime and egg white). (It’s not quite monogamous yet, but it could be if someone promised to make it for me at home every day!)
For Valentine’s Day, the beautiful restaurant is serving beef tartare, quail, duck, snapper, lingonberry tart, dark chocolate mousse and all the usual cocktails, beers and wines, with an option for a $30 wine pairing.
Le Gamin (108 Franklin Street)
This friendly French bistro in Greenpoint is serving up a delicious and very reasonably-priced $45 prix fixe including options of salmon tartare with buckwheat blinis and a smoked salmon rose, duck confit roulade with foie gras on a bed of lentil salad, homemade lobster ravioli in a creamy saffron sauce, and sautéed filet mignon with spinach puree and roasted fingerling potatoes with green peppercorn sauce. Dessert options include a profiterole or a raspberry vacherin (why not order both?). Drinks available include Lanson Black Label Brut, Lanson rose, white Muscadet, Sancerre, Gautoul Cahors and Des Tours Brouilly. There will also be a Sunday brunch special of lobster hash with poached egg.
Adelina’s (159 Greenpoint Avenue)
This warm Italian eatery may be your best bet for pleasing a veggie valentine (while still providing meaty options for the other diner). For their prix fixe, they are offering an antipasto of burrata and beet with a balsamic reduction and an insalata of arugula with oven-roasted cherry tomato and avocado in vinaigrette. Their primo is a choice of house-made gnocchi with gorgonzola cream sauce and walnut, or a risotto with winter truffle and wild mushroom, or pollo alla Romana with roasted peppers. For dessert, there is a choice of crème brulee, tortino al cioccolato con cuore fondente, or an almond and lemon olive oil cake.
Selamat Pagi (152 Driggs Avenue)
Cost: Varies by entrée
Our local Indonesian spot will be serving up smoked squid ravioli and cauliflower pancakes as specials for Valentine’s Day, but I’d be happy just noshing on the delicious dishes from their usual menu, including coconut meatballs and beef rendang. For drink specials, they will have a 2013 Godello wine from Spain and a prosecco drink with mixed berries infused with vanilla beans.
Xixa (241 South 4th Street)
Cost: $75 per person plus tax and a 20 percent service charge
Time limit: Yes, two hours
This Valentine’s Day meal isn’t just for two. Xixa is offering a sharing-style menu that can be portioned for the number of guests in your party, whether that’s two or 20. Xixa is offering its large La Familia dishes, including crispy goat neck barbacoa, confit short rib, and pork osso bucco, all of which come with seasonal tortillas, salsas, and accompaniments for making tacos. Why not plan a big dinner out on Sunday for all your single pals?
Do you want a view that’s sky-high? Reserve at The Ides, the rooftop bar that sits atop the Wythe Hotel, or at Reynard, the hotel’s main restaurant. The Ides is serving a boozy champagne and tasting menu affair, with oysters hollandaise, snapper crudo with seafood sausage, lobster slider with chips and caviar, and crème brulee. Reynard, meanwhile, is serving a four course prix fixe of foie gras and your choice of surf or turf (details below).
Skinny Dennis (152 Metropolitan Avenue)
Are you lonesome tonight? Skinny Dennis has got the aptly-named Adam Moss and the Broken Hearts during the afternoon from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and John Fatum and Friends from 9:00 p.m. to midnight.
Nitehawk (136 Metropolitan Avenue)
Cost: $11 per film
Nitehawk has a wide range of programming, for lovebirds and haters alike, from “The Wizard of Oz” to a live sound cinema show for “The Artist” to a special midnight screening of “Misery.” Come be a love miser and film lover — it can’t be that bad when you’re chowing down on a hanger steak and drinking a negroni while watching a film in Williamsburg!
Intercourse: An Alternative Valentine’s Day Dinner Party (secret location)
Cost: $45 per person
Fancy a pop-up dinner this V-day? Cooking With Claire, the chef behind a series of Greenpoint pop-ups that have delighted with their warm, hearty fare, is teaming up with fellow Greenpoint dwellers Girl Party and cultureisland for a local event featuring four courses and drinks.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Greenpointers! May Cupid’s arrow lead you to delicious dishes and divine entanglements this Valentine’s Day!