Valentine’s Day is one of those fantastic holidays that is festive and fun for just about everyone; old, young, married or single! When you add the backdrop of NYC into the mix, it takes Valentine’s Day to another level. NYC is one of the most romantic cities in the world and the perfect setting for a romantic night. If you think about it, there are so many romantic comedies set in NYC featuring the cities iconic landmarks; The Empire State Building in “Sleepless in Seattle”, the New York Public Library where Carrie and Big had their “Big Day” and Kat’z Delicatessen in “When Harry Met Sally”. These wonderful movies have left just about every boy and girl around the world fantasizing about finding love in the Big Apple.
I am so fortunate to have met my love about 16 years ago in NYC. So each year, we celebrate Valentine’s Day by having dinner at Apizz, a tiny little restaurant off the beaten path in the East Village. We order the same brick oven pizza, open a bottle of red wine and take a romantic stroll after dinner.
Don’t have a mate? Don’t worry! Grab a bunch of your girlfriends and turn your night into Galentine’s Day! Ha, I love it! Celebrate Galentine’s Day with dinner, drinks, dancing and lots of chocolate!
A classic Valentine’s Day normally includes roses, chocolates and dinner but throughout the years, the holiday has evolved. Many businesses have started to create a full Valentine’s experience rather than just a dinner (dinner and a movie is so yesterday lol). It’s all about helicopter rides and cruises around the harbor. I know that the Empire State Building is where Meg Ryan united with Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle but trust me, it’s the last place I would want to be on Valentine’s Day. First off, it’s freezing in February and most likely packed with well…tourists. Save that for a family trip in June! Ignore the Google search of “best places to spend Valentine’s Day in NYC” and let me give you the insiders guide.
When I started looking into Valentine’s ideas, most of the websites I came across suggested love-struck couples enjoy a sunset cruise, dinner at a touristic restaurant or a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I am here to tell you that although this might sound romantic, it’s not (practical)… If you’ve ever been to NYC in February, you know it’s freezing outside. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge during the summer is one thing but during the winter? Definitely not romantic. If you take your lover on a walk across the bridge in 15-degree weather I’m not quite sure the relationship will make it into Brooklyn! Toooo cold! These might be great ideas but save them for a summer romance, not a winter one.
I have decided to show you the insiders guide to a romantic (and warm) Valentine’s Day filled with romantic restaurant ideas, fun shows, cool history and of course, roses that last for years?
Start the day off by visiting one of NYC’s most romantic spots. Be transported back in time at Grand Central terminal. It is truly one of the most beautifully restored historical buildings in the city! Have you ever been inside Grand Central and taken a moment to stop and just looked up? It’s one of the most mesmerizing celestial ceilings. Have you heard of the Whispering Gallery? In is an unmarked archway, located in front of the Oyster Bar & Restaurant. When two people stand at diagonal arches and whisper, you can hear each other’s voices “telegraphed” from across the way. Listen to the sounds of your love at the whispering gallery considered the most romantic spot in all of Grand Central.
Enjoy a romantic cooking class at My Cooking Party. As you all may know, I am not much of a cook…Josh loves to cook for me on the weekends so this is a perfect way to spend the afternoon or evening. Learning to cook a new dish can be rather romantic.
Dine beneath the stars at the American Museum of Natural History’s Rose Center for Earth and Space. Enjoy drinks, hors de ‘oeuvres and a romantic dinner under the stars while listening to jazz quartet. After dinner, cozy up with your loved one and listen to the stories based on the mythology of the cosmos.
Get romantic at the Museum of Modern Art. Forget about dinner and a movie and schedule a guided tour through the MoMA. Enjoy a candlelit reception with wine and hors d’oeuvres before taking a peek at the art.
Dinner in the dark? Why not enjoy a sensual four-course meal at chef Abigail Hitchcock’s Camaje. Arrive at the restaurant, blindfold your partner and experience a dinner that will heighten your senses. Make sure to plan this way in advance because space is very limited.
Museum of Sex! This is a fun interesting museum that is all about its namesake…SEX. It’s cool to look into the your anatomy and your partners. The museum currently has a couple’s virtual reality experience on view called “Celestial Bodies”. I would say dinner, drinks, a museum and sex is a complete Valentine’s night!
Just looking for a nice place to dine? Go to Raoul’s. Ahhhh Raoul’s! A French bistro located in the heart of Soho that has been around since anyone can remember. The atrium located in the back of the restaurant is super romantic. It’s a speakeasy-like space where you have to walk through the kitchen to get to the atrium, which makes you feel like it’s super secret and romantic, perfect for any Valentine’s date.
Looking for a unique show? Go to “Sleep No More”. It is one of the coolest experiences ever! If you haven’t seen this show before, it’s a very NYC thing to do. It is an interactive show you can see over and over again. Every time you see it, you experience something new. A little heads up…the show might scare you a bit the first time because you don’t know what to expect. This actually makes it even more romantic because you are guaranteed to stay close to your partner (I held my husbands hand the entire show…2hrs straight).
Now lets get to gifts…you can’t go wrong with chocolate or flowers but spice things up a bit and try these trendy items. Instead of buying the average bouquet of roses, opt for forever flowers! They are the latest trend and last for over a year without having to be watered. I have had mine since last Valentine’s Day! I highly recommend using Eternal Fleur. They are a NYC based company that creates amazing quality preserved rose arrangements to enjoy for FOUR SEASONS or longer. Each floral arrangement is hand crafted with one-of-a kind boxes and responsibly sourced preserved roses with Rainforest Alliance Certifications.
You also can’t go wrong with a box of chocolates but go for something a bit fancier. Try these decadent chocolates from Jacques Torres. If you want something a little less traditional, try the truffles balls from Momofuku Milk Bar. Send your sweetie a delicious box of truffles from one of the trendiest dessert spots in NYC.
Why not spice things up a bit this Valentine’s Day! Opt for an experience rather than an average date. No matter how you decide to spend your Valentine’s Day, if you have NYC as a backdrop, I can guarantee you that it will be a romantic one! Stay away from “normal” presents and go for something that will surprise your loved one like four season’s roses or decadent truffles. However you decide to spend this romantic holiday, just make sure to pay extra special attention to your loved one!