Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dining and wining this Valentine's Day

By Meredith Deliso

The easiest date is dinner; the hardest part is deciding where to go. That’s especially true on Valentine’s Day. To follow, some suggestions on where to bring your loved one this February 14 in Brooklyn.

Dinner and a movie
The dinner-movie combo is the quintessential date, and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (30 Lafayette Ave., 718-636-4100), couples can do just that on Valentine’s Day through a special package with BAMcinematek and BAMcafé.

On view that night is the 1934 classic “It Happened One Night,” starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in Frank Capra’s classic screwball comedy. In this quintessential pre-code romantic comedy, spoiled rich girl Colbert runs away after being forced to marry pilot Jameson Thomas, but on the bus out of town she meets jobless newspaperman Gable who takes her on a cross-country romp.

In addition to the movie, enjoy BAMcafé’s special Valentine’s Day four-course meal. The package is $63 per person, including movie, meal, champagne, tax and gratuity. Screenings are at 6 p.m. with an 8:15 p.m. dinner and 8:15 p.m. with a 6:15 p.m. dinner. Reservations required.

Made for sharing
You don’t get much closer than sharing a meal with your Valentine. Open just in time for Valentine’s Day is ñ (81 Washington St., 718-222-9880), a new tapas restaurant in DUMBO located under Rice, from the people behind the Soho place of the same name.In the low-lit dining room, share a range of classic tapas, or small plates, from octopus to pan con tomate, and imbibe in some sweet sangria.

Over in Bay Ridge, Casa Pepe (114 Bay Ridge Ave., 718-833-8865) is gearing up for Valentine’s Day, with a special member served between noon and 11 p.m. Or pick and choose from their tapas menu. The guacamole, prepared at your table by your server, is a must. Reservations recommended.

Share a big plate this Valentine’s Day at Ghenet Ethiopian (348 Douglass St., 718-230-4475) in Park Slope. Not sure what to get? Order the combination for two, which comes with a choice of Doro (different chicken dishes), Siga Wett (beef in a blend of spices) or Sega Aletcha (beef in an onion sauce) served with vegetables, and dig in. There’s also a vegetarian combo.

Classic Italian
Brooklyn’s not lacking in Italian restaurants with romantic settings. Don’t the two go together, anyway?

Mill Basin especially is not lacking in options, with Pinocchio’s Restaurant (5811 Avenue N, 718-444-3537), offering an a l a carte menu on Valentine’s Day. Over in Marine Park, Salvi Restaurant (4220 Quentin Rd., 718-252-3030) will try to steal every lady’s heart that night with a free rose.

Nearby in Bergen Beach, Il Posto (7409 Avenue U, 718-241-4317) will also be offering a special Valentine’s Day menu. Reservations recommended for all.

Over in Bay Ridge, Ristorante Vaccaro (6718 Fort Hamilton Parkway, 718-238-9447) will be celebrating Valentine’s Day all weekend long with a prix fixe for lunch and dinner, plus a complimentary glass of champagne. For those looking to eat at home, the restaurant is also making heart-shaped pizzas with a personalized message available for delivery, as well as in-house dining. Reservations recommended.

Moto (394 Broadway, 718-599-6895) in South Williamsburg is no secret. If you haven’t been, don’t let the rumble of the overpassing J-M line deter you; its atmosphere is the key dark – jazz music, vintage feel – though the Italian-inspired food ain’t bad either.

Sweets with your sweet
Skip the dinner and head straight to dessert at The Chocolate Room.Both the Park Slope (86th Fifth Ave., 718-783-2900) and Cobble Hill (269 Court St., 718-246-2600) locations of the dessert café will be holding specials on Valentine’s Day so that you and your Valentine can indulge your sweet tooth.

With Valentine’s Day on a Sunday this year, mix it up with an early afternoon meal for two. In addition to a three course dinner menu all weekend, the Greenhouse Café (7717 Third Ave., 718-833-8200) will be providing brunch from noon to 3 pm. For $25 per person, there’s a choice of appetizer, entrée, dessert and beverage. Toast to your relationship with a mimosa (or several – the brunch also includes unlimited cocktails).

Valentine’s Day meets Year of the Tiger...
This February 14 at Tasty Tavern (4523 Avenue N, 718-692-1020) in Flatlands, try something off their special Valentine’s Day menu, or pick from the special traditional Chinese New Year’s menu. Either way, enjoy a champagne toast on the house. Leading up to the big day, the restaurant will also be hosting pre-celebrations, with a special five-course menu for $29.95 a person on February 12 and 13. Reservations recommended.

...meets Mardi Gras
February 16 is Mardi Gras, so some Brooklyn restaurants are getting in the spirit early this Valentine’s Day weekend. Yellow Hook Grille (7003 Third Ave., 718-238-1089) in Bay Ridge is celebrating the two with special menus of American food for both occasions.

Tomasso’s Restaurant (1464 86th St., 718-236-0883) in Bay Ridge is pulling more from the Italian tradition, offering a special menu to help you feast before the Easter fast, with live opera on tap as well. Reservations recommended.

What you crave
For those with a smaller budget, White Castle is here to the rescue. The fast food chain is offering candlelit dinners for two that include special menus, tableside service and themed decorations at its stores across the country. That includes a steamy dinner of 10 White Castle Slyder hamburgers, two 21-oz. soft drinks and two regular French fries costs for $12.99. You can also receive a complimentary digital photo to remember the occasion forever.

The special runs between 5 and 8 p.m. Participating White Castles in Brooklyn are located at 846 Empire Blvd. (Wingate); 3101 Atlantic Ave. (Cypress Hills); 4202 Fort Hamilton Parkway (Sunset Park); 900 Pennsylvania Ave. (East New York); 781 Metropolitan Ave. (Williamsburg); 959 Atlantic Ave. (Clinton Hill); 2159 Nostrand Ave. (Flatbush); and 1545 Myrtle Ave. (Bushwick).

To make a reservation, call 718-899-8404 ext. 304.


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