Valentine’s Day Dinner Compromises and Deals, and Ladles of Love Van Hits the Former Tavern on the Green


Isn’t this couple so sweet? So in love, so … well, samey. You just know that they both love Twilight and knits, and she tweezes his eyebrows almost daily—it’s kind of their bonding thing.

We here at EDP know that real love is a bit different. We know that devoted couples have key differences that make being together so much more interesting. With this in mind, we looked at the Valentine’s Day destinations for real-life partners who perhaps don’t live in soft lighting with wind gently blowing through their hair.

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SHE’s stylish, celeb-happy and into ethical, local cuisine + HE just wants a drink and a big-ass burger = Restaurant North
Chef Eric Gabrynowicz and Stephen Paul Mancini’s chic Armonk spot is perfect for our pair. For locavorian Ms. Sex and the City, much of its menu is sourced at hyper-local farms, and it’s riding a trend so hot that it’s tough to get a table. And, for Mr. Regular, North serves a massive, “BUBBA’S Burger” (made with specially mixed Pat LaFrieda “North” beef blend, pork confit, Manchego, brioche, and house-made pickles). Plus, North’s cocktail list is one of the county’s best.

SHE’s a fan of street food, loves spice and deep-fried food + HE’s a kosher vegetarian (and can’t even bear to watch others eat meat) = Masala Kraft Café
Yup, everyone’s happy at this cute, trayf-free Hartsdale joint. Mr. Clean will love the 100 percent-Kosher vegetarian menu, and Ms. Dirty Water will dig the traditional Bombay street foods (like bhel puri) that celebrate the salty, greasy end of the pulse, grain, and veggie spectrum.

SHE loves namey restaurants and chic, high-toned cuisine + HE’s cheap as hell, cheap as hell, and stingy with a dollar = Juniper
For Ms. Foodie, Chef Alex Sze’s background has all the right names (Michel Richard Citronelle, 10 Downing Food & Wine), and his food has a lush elegance that makes Juniper’s dishes tough to best. However, it holds no liquor license, so Mr. Tight Fists can gloat that he’s avoiding restaurant wine markups while sipping a Meister Brau brought from home.

SHE loves spiking her board in the sand and grabbing a fish taco at her favorite Baja break + HE loves vibey music, décor, and night life = bartaco
Gidget will be happy with the clean, citrusy flavors of bartaco’s light, fresh Mexican fare, while Mr. Sexyback can bop to the beats of this cool joint’s megabucks sound system.

SHE loves fine wine (and is pretty hard to please on the subject) + HE just wants the kind of food that his mother made when he was a kid = Tarry Lodge
Our wine snob can’t dispute Tarry Lodge’s co-owner, Joe Bastianich, about Italian wine—he’s written a couple of books on the subject, owns vineyards, and Italian Wine Merchants (not to mention next-door’s Tarry Fine Wines). As she scrutinizes Tarry’s 300 or so labels, little Junior will be happy with retro daily specials like chicken alla cacciatore, lobster al diavolo, and lasagna alla Napolatana.

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SHE’s watching her weight, on low carbs and high, lean protein + HE just wants some kind of big, saucy steak with plenty of potatoes = The Dylan Lounge at X20 Xaviars on the Hudson
The great thing here is that Ms. Atkins can scarf up lean sashimi, sushi, and light, clean soups, while Trad Thad can dip into X20’s menu, and pack his arteries with Kelly’s famous cowboy ribeye with Béarnaise sauce and a gratin of Gruyere baked potatoes.

Valentine’s Day Deals

Okay, folks—here’s today’s deal: lots of restaurants offer VD (Valentine’s Day) prix fixes, but these are the ones that most appeal to yours truly. If we hadn’t already planned to spend Monday night bickering about the housework, this is probably where we’d wind up.

Birdsall House’s  “I Wanna Be Your Dogfish” Valentine’s Day Party
Feb 14, 5pm
$45, exclusive of beverage, tax, and tip

Okay, I’ll admit, they had me at the wildly holiday inappropriate riff on the Stooges’ “I Wanna Be your Dog”, a song whose mechanical drone backs paranoid growls of obsession, degradation, and identity obliteration. I mean, in this season of hearts and flowers, who doesn’t love that?  But, beyond humor, Birdsall’s event boasts great beer and food, too—starting with a rare keg of Red & White from Dogfish Head, the edgy brewery that snagged this great Burkhard Bilger New Yorker profile. According to Birdsall, Dogfish Head’s Red & White is “a big, Belgian-style Wit brewed with coriander and orange peel and fermented with Pinot Noir juice. After fermentation, a fraction of the batch is aged in giant oak tanks. It successfully marries the refreshing citrusy qualities of a Belgian-style white beer with the robust complexity of a bold red wine.”

Plus, Chef Matt Hutchins is offering a fab, locavorian, three-course spread for $45. Check out Birdsall House’s site for menu details.

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Sounds yummy, though I’m slightly disappointed that they won’t be handing out peanut butter and glitter as an ode to Iggy.

Valentine’s Day at Juniper
Seats available at 6 and 8:30
$65, five courses, exclusive of beverage, tax, and tip. BYOB (Juniper holds no liquor license.)

s Juniper’s dinner on?  Is it off? Talented Chef Alex Sze likes to keep us guessing, one minute eliminating Juniper’s dinner service to operate as a café and market, the next reinstating his dreamy, French-inflected New American dinner just when our tears have dried. Nevertheless, we love Juniper, so we’ll give Chef Sze a break. We also love that we can save $$$ by buying our VD Champagne retail without stiff restaurant markups. Check out Juniper’s site for VD menu details.

Valentine’s Day at the Farmhouse at Bedford Post
Feb 14, 5:30 – 10pm
$90 per person, exclusive of beverage, tax, and tip

There’s something incredibly romantic about the view from Richard Gere’s restaurant. We recently visited the Farmhouse after one of our January snowstorms and its 14 acres looked as though they were covered in Marshmallow Fluff. The evergreens seemed so majestic; the stars, so bright and crisp—and the warming power of the Farmhouse’s fireplaces were backed up by a pretty great cocktail program.
Here’s what the Farmhouse plans for its Valentine’s Day prix fixe: “Guests can start with the option of oysters, lemon mignonette, chili vinaigrette; cauliflower soup, almond pesto; steak tartare, pecorino vinaigrette, quail egg, toast. For the second course, ricotta gnocchi, baby beets, poppy seeds, horseradish; ravioli, lobster-filled pasta, chopped truffles; tagliatelle, wild boar ragu, root vegetables, parmigiano. The main course offers risotto, shaved black truffle, parmigiano reggiano; scallops, blood orange, trevisano radicchio, balsamic; dry aged strip loin, polenta, onions, arugula. And for dessert, chocolate torte, passionfruit caramel; lemon pound cake, raspberry couli; red wine poached pear, vanilla, allspice, orange zest; selection of gelato & sorbet.”

Ladles of Love Van Hits the Former Tavern on the Green

TThis happened way back in October, but we love this as a Valentine’s Day story. The owner of Mount Kisco’s Cafe of Love, Leslie Lampert (whose bridal shower was held at Tavern on the Green), has returned to the former Central Park wedding factory to conquer crowds with her Ladle of Love food truck. There, she’s doling out her soups and truffled chick peas to thrilled crowds no longer forced to choose between dirty water dogs or overpriced tourist cuisine. We love that, in this case, “Love” conquers all.

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