Hands up if you or your S.O. have ever had to resort to boxed chocolates and a teddy bear as last minute gifts because you were stumped by Valentine’s Day. Well, life has more to offer than chocolate-covered, flavorless pralines, and so do your Valentine’s Day plans. Put down the bodega chocolates, and don’t worry about playing reservation roulette on OpenTable this year.
As your resident date night experts, we’ll help you keep the romance fresh with the best outings in New York. Since Valentine’s Day is basically our favorite Olympic sport, we decided to go for gold throughout the entire month of February with exclusive promotions to celebrate you and yours. We’re collaborating with restaurants, events, and partners who believe in a good love story as much as we do, and we’re thrilled to bring our readers amazing deals — and even better memories.
For classicists, we’ll whet your appetites with Corkbuzz’s chocolate and wine dinner party for couples, while gourmands will deepen your love — and culinary expertise — with options like Cook Space’s aphrodisiac French cooking lesson for two, or The Bennett’s cocktail concoction class created exclusively for idk tonight readers.
We all know that every romance demands an equally inspired soundtrack; make sweet harmony together at Caffe Vivaldi’s couples concert, skip the line for guaranteed entry to an intimate Sofar Sounds concert, or head to the Valentine’s edition of Your Love, Our Musical to watch performers create an impromptu musical using a love story sourced from a couple in the audience.
For the thrill seekers among you, we’ve partnered with FlyNYON to bring you luxe, chauffeured helicopter rides so you and your Valentine can take your love to new, breathtaking heights. It doesn’t stop there — from game shows, to ghost stories, to The House of Yes, and more, we’ve outdone ourselves this February to make sure your Valentine’s Day is one for the books.
The Best Valentine's Plans Throughout February in NYC
Your Love, Our Musical at Caveat x Beauty & Essex
Lower East Side
February 14th, 6:30 or 9:30 p.m.
Finally, a comedy show made for the lovers! Celebrate your love with laughter at Caveat, where Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman perform their award-winning musical improv show in which they interview a real couple from the audience and turn their love story into a fully improvised musical. We know—it’s one hell of an artistic process. Pick your jaws up off the floor and go see Your Love, Our Musical at either of its two showings (6:30 p.m. for the early edition, and 9:30 p.m. for the late show) on February 14th. General admission is $15, plus, idk tonight is gifting a custom date night plan to one lucky couple in the audience.
If there weren’t enough perks already, Caveat’s sweetening the deal when you grab tickets in advance to any of their incredible programming. Use code IDKTONIGHT for an exclusive two-for-one drink promotion all week (2/12-2/16). Make your way over to see gems like Mike and Caroline Know: LOVE on February 13th, in which dick pics and bra sizes are dissected. February 11th features TED talks from the grave by the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Julia Childs, and Steve Irwin at the aptly-named Ded Talks. Alternately, if penises and the long-perished aren’t your love languages, check out a charming version of the NYC Spelling Bee, on February 13th as well.
For the uninitiated, the pranks continue when you take your Valentine for a nightcap at Beauty & Essex. Your sweetie’s confusion will quickly turn to contentment when they see the sumptuous space and swanky cocktails hidden behind the pawn shop doors. Order Earl the Pearl, made with stoli vodka, Earl Grey tea, lemon and mint syrup, and pair it with a fitting Valentine’s selection, Mr. Right, made with jalapeño infused tequila, lime, celery bitters, and IPA.
FlyNYON Valentine's Day Flight x Antique Garage
Kearney, NJ / Tribeca
Some say that falling in love makes you feel like your high. Romantics will say that’s how you know it’s right, while scientists will say that’s because your brain is giddy on dopamine. No matter which team you’re on, FlyNYON will have you doubled up on those lovin’ feelings and flying high above the city where you live and love together.
Experience New York in a completely new way with FlyNYON’s Valentine’s Week Package, which includes two seats on their doors-off flight, complimentary champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, a virtual reality flight simulator session, access to their VIP Valentine’s Day lounge and a 4 x 6 print of your choice in a custom designed FlyNYON Frame. Yeah, pretty spectacular. Go for the 15 Minute Love Is In The Air Experience ($395-495/couple) or the 30 minute Love Is In The Air Classic ($895-995/couple). The price depends on whether you lift off during the day, sunset or evening. If you need a little more convincing, idk tonight readers can get off the ground with an exclusive 10% discount on both packages when they use the code IDKTONIGHT from February 13th through the 18th.
Once you’re back on terra firma, make your way from the luxe hangar to Antique Garage, just a short trip away in Tribeca. Celebrate your love for the ages beneath lavish chandeliers and elegant antique decor, where everything in the dining room–from the tableware to the mirrors–has been meticulously curated from the Victorian era for an extravagant dining experience. With cocktails named Little Tenderness and Dirty Garage, and upscale Mediterranean dishes like Sultan’s Delight, Antique Garage ensures that here, that famed Victorian-era repression stays a myth.
Cook Space French Aphrodisiac Cooking Class x Weather Up
February 14th, 7-9 p.m.
When it comes to romance, the French have perfected the recipe. That’s why Cook Space, a brand new culinary studio in Brooklyn, has created a special Valentine’s Day menu focused on the aphrodisiac powers of a French feast. At Food of Love, taking place on February 14th from 7-9 p.m., you and yours will indulge in champagne, baked oysters, poisson en papillote, chocolate molten lava cake and chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Use code IDKLOVE at checkout to doff 10% off tickets to this rapturous repast, and be sure to check out some of Cook Space’s other classes like Classic Thai Cuisine on February 8th and Cajun Cuisine Mardi Gras Celebration on February 13th.
After dinner, make a detour to Weather Up, a nearby cocktail bar behind an unmarked door (because a little mystery on V-Day is always a good idea). Here, the cocktails are made with care and precision, and the lighting is soft-lit and exceptionally flattering. Play it coy, or play your cards with the Unity cocktail —made with Dimmi Liquore di Milano, Singani 63, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and peychaud bitters, we think it sounds extra-appealing tonight.
Book your Cook Space class here, and don’t forget to use code IDKLOVE for 10% off. Weather Up doesn’t take reservations, but if you go before or after your cooking class, you should miss the rush.
Match Game: Couples Edition at Ethyl’s Alcohol & Food x Erminia
Upper East Side
February 5th, 8 p.m.
Match Game, the 70s game show you should totally watch re-runs of here, has been reincarnated as New York City’s best new trivia meets comedy meets raunchy variety show. It’s fitting that on February 5th, the retro game show is being hosted at Manhattan’s coolest retro go-go bar, Ethyl’s Alcohol & Food on the Upper East Side. To add to the fun and games, we’re excited to announce that this go-round of Match Game is presented by idk tonight.
Comedy guests and real-life couple Sam Evans and Carmen Lagala bring the silly and sexy with couple-themed trivia questions and a seriously great prize at the end of the night. Play along and enjoy Ethyl’s signature cocktails—with names like Bump & Grind, Hot Blooded, and Marilyn’s Chamber, competition levels may get more than a little heated.
If you want to pair this evening of fun, games, and hijinks with something a bit more intimate, we recommend grabbing dinner beforehand at Erminia. Consistently rated the number one choice for Valentine’s Day dinner in New York, this close-guarded secret on the Upper East Side is known for its Northern Italian cuisine, old-country hospitality, and almost-nightly proposals. Check out their Valentine’s Day menu here, and prepare to succumb to the powers of a well-done Italian meal in the perfect ambiance.
Corkbuzz Couples Dinner Party x City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival
February 14th, 7 p.m.
For the main event this evening, Corkbuzz and idk tonight are co-hosting yet another cozy and fabulous couples dinner party. What could be more romantic than indulging in luscious chocolates and full-bodied wines on V-Day? Corkbuzz has selected some of their favorite chocolates sourced from around the world to pair with seasonal, complex vintages, all expertly curated by their in-house sommeliers.
Between the flowing wine and the communal dining tables that warm familiarity, you’re sure to leave having met your new favorite couple friends. Bring your significant other for a night of romantic indulgence, couples trivia, incredible giveaways and more.
Chocolate plays a starring role on Valentine’s Day, so pre-game with City Bakery’s Hot Chocolate Festival pick of the day. For every day this month, there’s a new and tantalizing flavor on the menu. The pick for Valentine’s Day is, of course, Love Potion. With a decadent stream of melted, rich dark chocolate poured in right before serving, the sweet stuff will have you hooked on love to be sure, but it’ll also have you coming back for more hot cocoa.
We’re totally coming back on the 17th and 26th for the Bourbon Hot Chocolate and Hot Chocolate on a Peanut Butter Barge, respectively. They close at 6 p.m., so plan to get your fix accordingly.
Madame Morbid’s 'Till Death Do Us Part Tour x Midnights
February 14th, 7 p.m. or 9 p.m.
Madame Morbid’s Trolley Tours, already beloved by Jordan & Nick as evident by their review here, is back with a brand new ghost tour starting in Williamsburg. On February 14, they’ll be presenting a special ‘Til Death Do Us Part tour with black roses and tarot card readings by Amie Scrupski. You can hop on this new murder ride with 15% off through idk tonight’s exclusive discount code, RideorDie15.
But that’s not where the fun stops. We never thought that we’d take our macabre with a side of mozz, but with Madame Morbid’s new partnership with Two Boots, death tastes delicious. The Madame Morbid slice features tomatoes, spinach, parmigiana, roasted garlic (to ward off the undead) and a pesto pentagram — it’s the perfect post-tour snack.
Finish this night of re-told ghost stories from Brooklyn’s destructive past with a nightcap in Midnights’ enclosed winter garden. It’s cozy, warm, and the drinks come quick. They’re practically open all night (until 2 a.m. Mon-Weds, 4 a.m. Thurs—Sat); settle in and celebrate loving your love all evening long.
Exclusive Valentine's Day Cocktail Class with Master Mixologists x Takahachi Tribeca
February 11th, 4-5:30 p.m.
The Bennett, aka class incarnate, is hosting an exclusive mixology class for idk tonight readers on Sunday, February 11th from 4-5:30 p.m. During the 90-minute class, a master mixologist of award-winning cocktail bars Raines Law Room, Dear Irving and The Bennett will teach you how to remake some of their favorite house and classic recipes. The class includes two cocktail creations, light fare and a cocktail swag bag. While these high in-demand mixology classes normally go for $100, tonight’s Valentine’s-themed class is just $85.
Once you’re thoroughly liquored-up and newly possess the know-how for recreating stunning drinks at home, take a seat at the bar of Takahachi Tribeca to appreciate culinary artistry of a different sort. The chefs are meticulous, the fish is fresh, and the rolls are creative. There’s a reason it’s always totally packed — it’s that good. Even better, the Omega-3s from your dinner should offset whatever drink-induced memory loss may occur, so post meal, you’ll be able to show off your new bartending skills and make that nightcap after all.
Purchase tickets to The Bennett’s master mixologist class at this private link for idk tonight readers. Takahachi does not take reservations for less than four people, but the wait is never much longer than 15 minutes.
Caffe Vivaldi Couples Concert x One If By Land, Two If By Sea
February 22nd, 7-9 p.m.
Perhaps one of the most romantic and intimate nights we’ve custom-created for this Valentine’s Month round-up, the Caffe Vivaldi Couples Concert will feature real couples who also happen to be incredibly talented musicians and performers. One of whom is a featured couple critic on idk tonight’s site.
Caffe Vivaldi, in the heart of the West Village, is one of those venues that isn’t pretending to be anything other than a setting for neighbors to come together, listen to music, and enjoy a glass of wine and unexpectedly great food. If you’re not already enchanted, we’ll captivate you with our siren song when we tell you this night is free — all we ask is that you tip the beautiful lovers who are singing before you!
Once your auditory senses have been sated, feed your love and your appetite at One If By Land, Two If By Sea. Voted the 5th Most Romantic Restaurant in the World by Architectural Digest, this carriage house turned couple’s classic will make your heart sing. We love the small, careful details — candelabras and single-stem roses on every table – that instantly create the kind of loving atmosphere we crave.
House of Yes & Little Cinema Present: Romeo & Juliet x Faro
February 6th, 11th & 12th, 7-11 p.m.
For three nights only witness a wild spin on the classic Romeo & Juliet love story at House of Yes, presented by Little Cinema (described as “‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ meets ‘Cirque Du Soleil’”). Expect an immersive audiovisual performance of the Shakespearean classic, complete with dance, aerial performances, and video art.
The best part? Pay to play; for an added fee, you can watch the entire thing from the warmth of a sudsy, clothing-optional bath, complete with your own butler to serve you throughout the show. But if a tragic love story puts a damper on your V-Day, check out the venue’s costumes-mandatory Foreplay party, the daytime Valentine’s Market boutique, or the Bad Behavior: Queer Valentines experience.
After the performance, make your way to Faro, a seasonal restaurant serving handmade pasta dishes sourced from local grains, with meats and vegetables that highlight the best of the bounty of local New York farms. Enjoy creative takes on gnocchi, peekytoe crab, and scallops. If you and your honey prefer to celebrate your love on Friday or Saturday, try the place’s eight-course tasting menu for $85 per person.
Let Me Break You Up x Dirty French
While Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love, stage a riot on romance with comedian Carly Ann Filbin. Her show “Let Me Break You Up” takes a cynical approach to the subject, breaking down happy couples’ relationships with a series of personal questions designed to explore how tightly forged these bonds really are.
Imagine a contrarian take on the “The Newlywed Game” at this late-night UCB East show, scheduled for Saturday, February 16th. For your amusement, Filbin’s guest couples will re-live tough situations and embarrassing moments from their past. Don’t worry — as the saying goes, all dirty laundry has a silver lining. Okay, we made that up because we don’t want to be halfway to homewrecking by getting all up in your dating history. As a sign of goodwill, we’re doing our best to get idk tonight superstar couple Jordan x Nick on a future show, so stay tuned!
If you like your romance like you like your attention — front and center — then there’s no better place to start the evening than with dinner at Dirty French in the Ludlow Hotel. Something about this place feels straight out of a sexy Parisian film scene, lightly remixed with Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. The staff all seem to be straight off the runway, and the chandelier-laden ceiling is mesmerizing. Can’t grab a last minute table? Take a seat at the Lobby Bar — there’s a limited, but still pleasing, food menu.
LUST Valentine’s Day Show x Jupiter Disco
February 9th, 7 p.m.-3 a.m.
On February 9th, enjoy the sinful exploration of LUST, a showcase full of sexually-charged performances celebrating intimacy and intensity. From the people who bring you Lust Late Night at the Gemini & Scorpio Loft and the forthcoming Eros play parties, the evening begins with dinner amongst performance artists, singers, and aerialists, with a scrumptious eight-course feast served off naked bodies.
After dinner, witness a sex magic ritual kicking off an evening of interactive art, fetish stations, live Cuban jazz, a private dungeon and play area, and a steamy late-night DJ session. If that’s not enough to get your motor running, enjoy 15% off, compliments of idk tonight (show only, dinner excluded) with code idktonight.
Once the show reaches its climax (nudge, nudge), make your way to Jupiter Disco, a tech noir cocktail club featuring best-in-class DJs and a night of wild dancing. With an unbeatable sound system pulsing through this playground of neon lights and futuristic themes, you’ll spend your pre-Valentine’s Day weekend partying like it’s 3099.
Luminous Architecture Couples Yoga Class x Ardesia Wine Bar
February 10th, 6-7:15 p.m.
Slow down, surrender, and open yourselves up to the benefits of deep relaxation with a Couples Valentine Evening Yoga Class at Sonic Yoga’s atmospheric Chanda studio. Luminous Architecture and idk tonight are partnering to bring you an aromatherapy-driven yoga experience unlike any other, taught by certified yoga instructor and Reiki master Jessica McCarthy.
Your session comes with a take-home sample of Luminous Elixirs’ Lover’s Essence, which will keep you both blissed-out long after you leave the studio. Enter the promo code IDKTONIGHT for 15% off the class, which will be held on February 10th.
Then, unwind with drinks and small plates at Ardesia, a wine bar serving shareable dishes like garlic shrimp skewers and ricotta crostini. Of course, the main draw here is the vino, so indulge your palate with selections from all over the world, all of which pair well with excellently assembled cheese and charcuterie plates.
Valentine’s Prom 2018 x The Baroness
Long Island City
February 10th, 8 p.m.
For most of us, prom went one of two ways. It was either one of the best nights of your life which you’ve been dying to re-live, or, you spent the evening getting sick from cheap booze and want the chance to redeem yourself. Give high school glory another go on February 10th with Valentine’s Prom 2018. With tickets starting at $75 per person for couples, you can rock the boutonnieres and up-dos without having to stash your vodka in water bottles. Your ticket includes a red carpet arrival, 5-hour open bar and seated dinner, DJs and dancing, senior superlatives, and of course, the crowning of the prom queen and king. And for an extra sweet treat, get 15% off tickets through idk tonight with code IDKLOVE.
Whether you snagged the crown in this redux of your teenage dream, keep the royalty theme going with a nightcap at the The Baroness. You’re sure to be craving a late night bite after the main event, so it’s a good thing the kitchen stays open late. Keep the next day hangover at bay with house specialties like the jalapeño bacon mac and cheese or the Fiona, filet mignon on a burger.
Comedy Cellar x Fat Black Pussy Cat
February 14th, Multiple Shows
Valentine’s is a great time to share a laugh with your loved one, and there are few better spots to enjoy a great standup show than our favorite comedy club in New York, Comedy Cellar. Their lineup is always stellar, with or without a surprise guest drop-in (which does happens regularly – think Amy Schumer, Judd Apatow and Chris Rock). We recommend going without researching the night’s heavy hitters — trust us, everyone is hilarious.
While tickets for Robert Kelly’s Valentine’s Day Special on February 14th are almost sold out, there are still plenty of reservations available that evening and throughout the week at both the Cellar and its sister spot, The Village Underground. Expect a two-item minimum in addition to your ticket price. Pro-tip: unless you and your sweetie get off by being in the hot seat, don’t sit in the front row, as you’re guaranteed a good roast.
Lola Jean Erotic Classes x Tocqueville
Multiple Throughout February
For many of us, Valentine’s Day is all about steamy, sultry, unbridled passion. In celebration of this intimate and often erotic holiday, embrace your wild sides by paying a visit to Goddess Lola Jean, a sex educator, pro domme, and wrestler offering group, private, and digital sex coaching.
While we guarantee you’ll get a rise out of all of her classes, we recommend the Couples Erotic Massage Valentine’s Day Edition on February 10th and February 15th — get 10% off the elite ticket package with code IDKTONIGHT. Learn techniques that will leave your lover lusting for more, and embrace the use of touch and hot oil. This body-positive environment encourages full nudity for those comfortable, so let sensory stimulation overtake you during the 2.5 hour lesson.
Assuming your next destination isn’t your apartment (but let’s face it, there’s a pretty good chance it will be), keep teasing the anticipation with a late dinner at Tocqueville. For Valentine’s Day, this spot is offering a $135 prix-fixe menu with specialties like braised potato and brie terrine with black truffle ($10 supplement), Maine lobster, wagyu beef steak, and chocolate souffle.
The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of Martha Stewart at Joe’s Pub x Jewel Bako
If you’re the type of couple that likes to treat V-Day as just a fun reason to get out and try something new and indulgent, then we have a combo in mind for you. Start your evening with a Japanese dinner at Jewel Bako, an extravagant, Michelin-starred sushi restaurant. While this place boasts a variety of appetizer and seafood options, we recommend going all-in on the Chef’s Omakase, featuring a tasting menu of seasonal dishes, sushi, and sashimi for $175.
February 11th & 12th
Then, head over to Joe’s Pub to check out The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of Martha Stewart, a musical celebration of the life of the homemaker-turned-self-made-billionaire-turned-convict. For two nights only (February 11th and 12th), you can watch as show writer and star Ryan Raftery brings the same energy and madness to his role as our favorite tastemaker in a twinset that he brought to his previous hit performances as Andy Cohen and Anna Wintour. If you love the show, be on the lookout for Raftery’s next performance as the fashion powerhouse Calvin Klein.
Sofar Sounds Date Night x Locanda Vini & Olii
Prospect Heights (+ Multiple Locations Around NYC)
February 14th (See All Dates Throughout February here)
An event like no other, Sofar Sounds features the region’s most talented musicians performing sets in top-secret, intimate locations. For Valentine’s Day, Sofar is curating a special romantic experience just for couples.
Demand is high, and Sofar typically requires those interested in attending to apply via a lottery. Because we pride ourselves on going the distance in the name of love, we’re excited to offer readers of idk tonight exclusive guaranteed entry to any Sofar NYC show. Use the code IDKTONIGHT-BC159 to skip the application process and buy tickets to the Valentine’s Day show on February 14th, or to any other show of your choice — Sofar hosts performances almost every night of the week.
After the show, continue the celebration with a romantic four-course Valentine’s Day dinner at Locanda Vini e Olii. Choose the meal-only option for $80 each, or add the wine pairing option for $115. Sample Northern Italian dishes such as gnocchi with gulf shrimp, Mediterranean sea bass, or Berkshire pork shank in this drugstore-turned restaurant. Mouth-watering dessert options like goat and ricotta cheesecake and pistachio olive oil cake finish off the meal, and we think they’re just what the doctor ordered.
Reflections Yoga Massages in Gramercy x Ampersand
Maybe it’s the cold or maybe it’s Valentine’s Day, but around this time of year, we find that we can’t keep our hands off of our S.O.’s. There’s no better way to tap into each other’s sensuality than by learning how to massage through the traditional Swedish or Thai methods. On February 17th, the two of you can visit Reflections Yoga to take part in Partner Massage with Paula to learn the gift that keeps on giving — and by that we mean the beginner massage skills that you’ll use Valentine’s weekend and beyond.
We’re thrilled to be able to offer a special deal on this class, — enter code Valentine15% to save. If yoga massage isn’t quite right for you, check out other Valentine’s-themed classes such as Love Dojo which encourages the art of conscious love.
Apothéke Academy Cocktail Class x Forlini’s
Over here at idk tonight, tequila gets us frisky and wine gets us lusty. While there’s no denying that alcohol is the ultimate aphrodisiac, there’s a world of difference between a basic well drink and a cocktail crafted with love specifically for your S.O.
If you’ve sampled all the notable drinks in town and feel it’s finally time to take things into your own hands, head to Apothéke Academy’s cocktail class to create your own enticing mixes. The February 14th Valentine’s Day agenda will feature hors d’oeuvres and garden-fresh cocktail ingredients such as heirloom tomatoes, lemongrass, and gooseberries. For 10% off (a $20 value), sign up here using code IDKTONIGHT. And, if you can’t make it on V-Day, Apothéke also offers other classes in absinthe, agave, and Prohibition Era beverages.
After dinner, swing by Forlini’s, a Northern Italian restaurant offering all your Italian favorites including a comprehensive range of pastas. If you can’t decide what to order, you can always try their signature gourmet dinner for $48 per person, featuring a four-course assortment of antipasto, pastas, Italian entrees, and dessert.
Tennessee Williams at Morgan Library LGBTQ Night Out x The Shakespeare
On February 15th, the iconic Morgan Library will pay homage to two visionary gay artists whose work made an impact in the art world. At LGBTQ & Friends: A Night Out at The Morgan, this gorgeous venue will celebrate playwright Tennessee Williams and photographer Peter Hujar with curatorial talks, music, and an open wine bar. All are welcome at this inclusiveness-driven celebration, because love is love, and as is the theme of the night, it’s a beautiful, heart-shaking thing.
Because no education in love is complete without the teachings of the Bard, travel even further back in time by visiting The Shakespeare. While the restaurant is known for specialties such as organic salmon and the signature Shakespeare burger, they bring it home with inspired desserts such as Pimms cup jelly and sticky toffee and date pudding.
Le Scandal Valentine Burlesque Show x Adella Wine Bar & Restaurant
New York’s longest-running burlesque cabaret show, Le Scandal Burlesque, is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a bang (because is there any other way?). On February 14th, you can join the collective of acrobatic comedians, striptease trapeze artists, jazz singers, and sexy sword-swallowing belly dancers for a night you’re sure to remember for years to come. This special Valentine’s Day show features a full dinner with a bar menu, and a free V-Day gift for all attendees, all for the $30 admission fee.
After the show, wrap up your evening with a visit to Adella Wine Bar & Restaurant. Here, you can enjoy their impressive selection of after-dinner snacks, cheeses, and wines. If you’re feeling fancy, indulge in a bottle of wine from Adella’s reserve wine list, with bottles ranging from $100 to $400+.
The Backfatlorette at Union Hall x Benchmark
On February 7th, love is in the air at this Brooklyn comedy show which seeks to help a lucky single standup comedian win an all-expenses paid date with a Brooklyn bachelorette. Called the BackFatlorette as an homage to both “The Bachelorette” and BackFat Comedy, the show that spawned this unique event, our hosts Emily Winter and Larry Mancini lead the night’s festivities. Much like on the ABC powerhouse show, comics compete in challenges that determine who walks away with a hot date, and who spends Valentine’s Day stuck swiping right on Tinder.
Once the last rose — or, in this case, succulent — is given out and the hosts have crowned a lucky bachelor, keep the fun going with a trip to Benchmark, a New American restaurant sourcing meat only from pasture raised animals and using locally-grown produce when possible. If love’s got you in a carnivorous mood, try the ribeye or the filet mignon, or go a bit lighter with the ahi tuna or the roasted acorn squash. And, don’t forget to grab a cocktail or two to round out your evening at this lovely date spot.
The Art of Conscious Love: An Urban Retreat x Esme
If you’re in the mood for a full day of loving on each other while improving the way you interact, disagree and everything in between – meet The Love Dojo. Lead by a couple recently engaged themselves, Anthony is a relationship expert while Emily is a private yoga teacher. Together they created the Love Dojo as a practice space for couples to learn and practice the art of conscious love and relationship as a path.
In this day long immersion, you will join in connection exercises, embodiment, and breath work practices to support you in your path toward deeper self love and, in turn, increased capacity for intimacy with your S.O. Expect hugging, plenty of laughing, and likely some crying. You’ll gain insight and clarity on what happened in past relationships, new tools to use in any kind of relationship you’re currently in, and a community committed to your love story. You’ll leave feeling courageous and believing in the promise, power, and possibility of true love. That’s a Valentine’s experience we can get behind.
The workshop is $150, but idk tonight has secured a 10% discount to the event with code CONSCIOUSLOVE.
After an emotion-filled day like this, there’s no better place to simply celebrate each other over plates of healthy comfort food than at Esme. Order the Butternut Squash Risotto or the Ricotta Cavatelli for mains, and the Good Soldier cocktail with whiskey, lemon and cinnamon for a drink — because that’s exactly what the two of you are.
Lunar New Year Parade & Festival x Nom Wah Tea Parlor
While the New Year is behind us, the Lunar New Year recognizes the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. This Chinese tradition celebrates goodwill, happiness, and positivity in the coming year. This year, the Lunar New Year happens to fall two days after Valentine’s Day. Channel those V-Day feelings of love and affection toward a new start and head down to Chinatown to celebrate your love and the Lunar calendar with fireworks and festivities. Celebrations take place over the course of several days, culminating in NYC’s unmissable Lunar New Year Parade and Festival on February 25th.
After the parade, keep the merrymaking going with a trip to Nom Wah Tea Parlor, a favorite dim sum joint and tea house serving sharable small plates. The first dim sum spot in New York (open since 1920!), it’s an ideal spot for a casual-yet-delicious meal in an easygoing setting. Split dishes like sticky rice with Chinese sausage or the rice roll with fried dough (trust us, it’s amazing).
Lunar New Year Celebration: No reservations needed; however, get there early for a good view. The parade begins at 1 p.m. the intersection of Mott Street and Canal Street. Nom Wah Tea Parlor: The restaurant only accepts reservations for parties of three or more, but tables turn over quickly here so it’s unlikely you’ll wait too long.
Restaurants With V-Day Menus We Love & Cocktail Lounge Pairings
When all else fails, a carefully paired dinner and drinks combo is all you need to celebrate your love. We’ve rounded up a select few restaurants and lounges with dazzling Valentine’s Day offerings. Plus, if you want to celebrate V-Day a little early this year, be sure to see what spots are participating in Restaurant Week (January 22nd – February 9th).
Tavern62 by David Burke
Start or end the night with a cocktail at The Bar Room.
Head chef David Burke (you might know him from Iron Chef America) brings a creative touch of elegance to this upscale tavern, pairing classic New York with exceptionally unconventional plating. Their Valentine’s Day menu is organized by level of intimacy. Flirt with east coast oysters, warm up with citrus and onion flan, dive into foreplay over pretzel crabcakes and angry dumplings, and when it comes time for the main event — go for the black rigatoni with lobster, shrimp and calamari (though they have plenty of other options).
It all leads up to “afterglow”, when the bittersweet chocolate mousse among other desserts are rolled out. If you’re going to share a kiss over candlelight, this option can do you no wrong. Afterwards, head over to The Bar Room, an old-fashioned bistro brimming with style, sophistication, and (most importantly) signature cocktails.
Tavern on the Green
Start or end the night with a cocktail at Empire Hotel Rooftop Bar.
Upper West Side
Tavern on the Green is upping its elegance game for Valentine’s Day, giving the gift of Central Park grandeur with a side of live Jazz. This classic city staple is offering 3-course and 5-course prix fixe dinner options at $125 and $175 per person, respectively. Between the Roasted Maine Lobster Salad and Tahitian Vanilla Crème Brûlée, this is an option for lovers seeking out luxury at its most refined.
Once you’ve enjoyed dinner, make your way over to the Empire Hotel Rooftop Bar. Overlooking Lincoln Center, this panoramic lounge offers plenty of romantic backdrops for the perfect V-Day kiss.
Start or end the night with a cocktail at NoMad Bar.
Gramercy / Flatiron
A healthy relationship is all about sharing, so what could be a better option on the holiday celebrating love than a restaurant prioritizing shared plates? This Lebanese restaurant puts modern sensibilities front and center — including everything from its geometric decor to its colorfully bold cuisine.
Then, after dinner, top things off at NoMad Bar, where the classic NYC speakeasy vibe and warm glow will serve as the cozy culmination to an atmospherically eclectic night.
Start or end the night with a cocktail at Press Lounge.
Located inside the Kimpton Ink48 Hotel, Print Restaurant is a Valentine’s Day option for any couple seeking out the cuisine equivalent of heaven (Edible Manhattan called Print “Heaven in Hell’s Kitchen”). This polychromatic venue offers up a modernist’s atmosphere with a menu that doesn’t sacrifice visual flair in its sustainability. As part of their $95 Valentine’s Day Chef’s Tasting, you and your date can choose between a Seasonal Soufflé or Truffle Flight for dessert. If you want to turn this V-Day evening into a NYC staycation, consider their Lounge in Love package. It includes an intimacy kit, late check-out, a $25 room-service credit, tickets to a Classic Harbor Line Champagne City Lights Cruise and tickets for ice skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park. Available February 9-11, and 16-18.
Then, after you’ve satisfied your appetite, elevate — literally — your night at the Press Lounge rooftop bar. The panoramic views that offer a glance at both the city and the shore are romantic gestures in and of themselves.
Start or end the night with a cocktail at Lelabar.
Share a romantic dinner in this cozy corner of the West Village, hidden away behind a secret entrance. Hudson Clearwater is a rustic hideaway offering an $85 4-course Valentine’s Day menu, complete with an atmosphere that blends the rural charm of its architecture with the bold and colorful palette of its food.
Afterwards, head over to the equally-cozy Lelabar with it’s unique U-shaped bar, where you and your date can taste your way through an extensive wine list and late-night charcuterie.
Start or end the night with a cocktail at Bathtub Gin.
Through a secret door in a Chelsea cafe is the beginning of a romantic Valentine’s Day celebration. A modern speakeasy, Bathtub Gin is a gorgeous throwback to Prohibition-Era New York, inviting you back in time to sample seasonal cocktails before making your way to Salinas for dinner. Their traditional Spanish cuisine is accentuated by modern, handcrafted furnishings inspired by the Balearic Islands. When making reservations, be sure to inquire about seating in their glass-roofed garden.
The River Cafe
Start or end the night with a cocktail at 1 Rooftop.
This Brooklyn landmark ticks off all the boxes of a classic romantic New York City dinner. Sitting just on the edge of Dumbo, The River Cafe has a front row view of Manhattan, plenty of cobblestone streets for strolling just blocks away, and a location nestled just beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. (Just keep in mind that gentleman are required to wear dinner jackets.) For $195, the cost is worth their Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu, offering everything from caviar paired with Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne to Filet Mignon Wellington.
Then, after dinner, make your way over to 1 Rooftop for drinks (maintaining that gorgeous skyline view).
Start or end the night with a cocktail at La Nonna.
Your Valentine’s Day evening in Williamsburg starts at Zenkichi, a Japanese brasserie specializing in small plates and sharing inspired by an authentic Tokyo environment and atmosphere. Their special 8-course V-Day Omakase prix fixe menu is offered at $120, with the highlights being their extensive sake collection and Grilled Sakura Masu Sea trout.
Once you’ve made it through all 8 courses, end the night over cocktails at La Nonna, an Italian eatery offering a rustic setting and candle-lit dining.
Congratulations — you’ve made it all the way through this incredibly extensive guide to Valentine’s month in New York City. We hope you’ve found a plan perfect for your coupledom, but if you need any more recommendations or guidance, feel free to shoot the idk tonight team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or DM our Instagram @idktonight.