I tend never to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the actual day, what with impossible reservations, overpriced flowers, and the simple fact that it usually falls on a week day.
Better to plan the day before or after, or some other specified, uneventful day such as a Monday, where you can basically walk into any open joint without all the pomp and circumstance associated with just about any other night. This is a good stategy for chocolate buying too, as chocolate runs out quite often even at the exorbitant prices.
Last Monday my Thanksgiving evening centered around Spring Street, far west though, past Hudson St. A stop at the Ear bar for some drinks, est. 1817, with loads of charm and fun, and then dinner at Giorgione, an Italian restaurant that serves a healthy dose of comfort, style, and great food at great prices. The staff was excellent, and the food was spot-on. We were able to sample wines by the quartino, keeping our food cost down, and slurped some fab oysters, yummy pizza, and nice cheesecake. There was an adjacent bar playing old school hip hop and Cana across the street, so that the jitterbug could be exercised if need be.
Going out is such a luxury these days, that I cherish the experience more than in the past, and am more easily disappointed than not. One trip to Georgine’s, however, has restored my faith substantially.
As for chocolates, I have three recommendations. Just buy truffles at La Maison du Chocolate on the upper east side. Six or seven will do. They are divine. For out of sight hot chocolate, try Marie Belle’s in Soho. I know this is blasphemy to some fans, but I feel her hot choco is the best in the city, even better than (dare I say it) the inimitable City Bakery. My friend Jacques Torres also puts outs a fine box of chocolates. Any choice will make your love feel special.
If it’s too late to plan this Valentine’s in this way, be not afeared, there is always room for one day of special love next year.