Sharon and I decided to collaborate on this post. Enjoy!
Last year, Sharon and I collaborated on a Valentine’s Day post. We decided it would be fun to compare the special and regular menus at a variety of local restaurants in order to find out which one offered the best deal on Valentine’s Day. It was a nice mix of my penchant for stats and Sharon’s knowledge of the local food scene. This year, we wanted to do something different.
Eater nicknames Valentine’s Day “Black Monday” for a reason – restaurants pull out all the stops, hoping to woo diners with their prix fixe menus. Though I’m sure most of them are well intentioned (and Mack and I have certainly indulged in many Hallmark holiday dinners), some seem to be really over the top.
After perusing over a dozen Valentine’s Day menus, we’ve collected some observations. Here are our tongue-in-cheek picks for the best and worst of what the city’s restaurants have to offer this weekend.
- This Dish Gets Around
- Most Appealing Menu
- Last year we picked Hardware Grill as the tastiest-sounding menu, but this year the honor goes to Madison’s Grill. Five courses with two choices each (plus a dessert course) means there’s a good chance both you and your date will find something to enjoy. Pan seared scallops, pulled pork crepe, and grilled Spring Creek Ranch beef tenderloin are just a few of the delicious sounding options!
- Best Bang for Your Buck
- At $45 per person, The Manor might not be the cheapest option, but with three courses (which include a choice of three entrees, with nary a chicken supreme in sight), we’re confident that between the food and their cozy rooms, couples will be well taken care of, and for a price less than a third of the most expensive meal in the city.
- Big Spender
- That brings us to the five course prix fixe at Red Ox Inn. If you’re on a budget, this one isn’t for you – it will set you back $160 a person (which includes food, gratuity and tax). Each course is paired with a wine though, and given the meal has been at the same price point at least two years in a row, it has likely continued for a good reason.
- Best Dish Name
- With images of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in our heads, Zinc’s “Cheek to Cheek” entrée is hard to beat. Comprised of a Spring Creek Rank beef cheek and a butter-poached halibut cheek, it also probably tastes as good as it sounds. We used Zinc’s photo above.
- Worst Dish Name
- Maybe we need to get out of the city more, but there’s nothing particularly romantic to us about two slabs of meat. That’s what you’ll get at Teddy’s with “Lovers’ Steaks” – an 8oz New York and a 6oz Fillet Mignon. The dish comes with prawns, Caesar salad, and three cheese mashed potatoes for $49.
- Say Cheese
- We really thought restaurants would be more forthcoming with the extras they would shower on you and your date, but no dice. So almost by default, The Melting Pot wins this category. You have the option of “enhancing” your meal with different feature packages, such as “The Cupid’s Arrow”, which includes one dozen roses in a vase, rose petals on your table, a bottle of sparkling wine, two champagne flutes to keep, and a framed photo of you and your Valentine. The price tag? $225, which also covers a four course dinner for two.
- What’s the Point Prix Fixe
- With a Valentine’s Day menu that is so similar to the regular menu, we have to wonder why Chop even bothered! All of the entrees and most of the appetizer platter can be found on the regular menu. Only the dessert, Dark Chocolate Pecan Banana Cake, is new. If you’re superstitious you might like this option, however – the three course meal is priced at $88 per couple.
- No Date Required
- Who says you need a table for two on February 14? Take a look at the menu from Bistro La Persaud and tell us you’re not seduced (braised boar bacon? poached lobster?). Best of all, it’s priced per person! Ooh la laa!
However you choose to spend Valentine’s Day, we hope it is filled with love!