Valentine’s Day & Weekend Dinners in NJ & NYC

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and there are tons of ways to celebrate! Interested in taking your Valentine out for special dinner, or better yet out during Valentine’s Day weekend.

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Here’s a few places to take your sweetheart out to:

Maura’s Kitchen in Nyack is buying every lady their first Pisco Portón Cocktail on Valentine’s Day. Feel the love with their great Peruvian grub and cocktails.
They will have a few specials for the night including, back by popular demand, their Peruvian Osso Bucco. Call 845-535-3533 to make a reservation.

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Dine at Zinburger for Valentine’s Day (2/14-2/17, while supplies last) and receive a special gift with purchase when a table purchases a bottle of wine or two glasses of wine: Zinburger Wine Corkscrew, chocolate flower and a coupon for a free shake on next visit. Available at both NJ locations – Clifton and Paramus.
zinburger

Triomphe, the hidden gem in the historic Iroquois hotel in Midtown Manhattan has designed a decadent four-course Valentine’s Day tasting menu. Executive Chef Jason Tilmann has prepared a menu full of foie gras, caviar pearls and oysters – all aphrodisiac foods – quite suiting for this romantic holiday.  Each course is paired with a glass of wine. The first course will be a grilled corn and oyster chowder with caviar pearls followed by a roasted striped bass with spaghetti squash with a roasted cauliflower and warm tomato caper vinaigrette. Other menu items include pecan crusted pork loin and a Valrona chocolate soufflé with Grand Marnier anglaise. $125 per person.

triomphe

Jay Z’s The 40/40 Club is serving a special Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu as well as the Cupid’s Kiss cocktail for the non-conventional couple that would like to share a romantic meal while enjoying the sports bar scene. The 3-course menu includes a grilled vegetable terrine & pesto oil appetizer, four entrée options, and two dessert options. Guests may choose from the beef tenderloin wrapped with turkey bacon, fresh herb marinated roasted French chicken breast, old bay style snapper fillet, or 4oz lobster tails. For dessert, guests may indulge in red velvet a la mode or a homemade cheesecake.  $80 per couple. The club recently underwent a $10 million renovation and expansion to include 5 private lounges, luxe stadium style seating and over 30 flat screen televisions.

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Valentine’s Day Live Jazz 5 Course Menu at Session Bistro,$139.95 for two. Limited seating begins at 6:30pm. Call (201)880-7810 to reserve your seats. 

session bistro

Blue Morel at the Westin Governor Morris in Morristown will offer a delicious 4-course menu with multiple options including oysters, hearts of romaine, butter-poached Maine lobster, rack of lamb and chocolate fondue for two. The full menu can be seen here.  It’s $75 per person. Reservations available February 14-17 from 5:30 to 10pm.

One of the most romantic restaurants in New Jersey, Chakra will celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend with various events. On February 14, 15 and 16, the restaurant will serve a romance-friendly three-course menu resplendent with oysters, lobster, caviar, truffles, foie gras, lamb, 40-day aged steak, chocolate and other delicacies to ensure a delicious and memorable experience the guests will love sharing with their Valentines. Vegetarian options available, the menu is attached ($85 per person, tax & gratuities additional). Reservations: 201-556-1530.

On Sunday February 17, the temperature will rise a few degrees and the clock will turn back to the 1940s with a special dinner and show featuring the Va Va Va Venus burlesque show and a menu of 1940s classics such as Waldorf salad, beef Chateaubriand and baked Alaska. The evening will begin at 6:30pm with pre-dinner cocktails courtesy of Brugal Rum, followed by a three-course dinner and a playful show at 7pm. Reservations are required and can be made at 201-556-1530. Pre-dinner Cocktails, Dinner & Show:  Priority Seating $115  General Seating $105 (tax & gratuities extra).

chakra

China Latina is offering romantic meals – and hotel rooms. Their Valentine’s Day Weekend Party Package ($350) includes three-course dinner for two with complimentary glasses of champagne and cocktails in Executive Chef Julieta Ballesteros’ Asian-meets-Latin American restaurant, plus a room at the four-starred Hotel Indigo where China Latina is located. And the next morning, wake up to a complimentary breakfast at China Latina!  The Valentine’s Day Weekend Party Package is available from Thursday, February 14th through Saturday, February 16thReservations for dinner for two ($125) are also available, as well as a dinner that comes with an open bar from 10 pm to midnight ($165). If you’re on your own that night, head on up to their year-round rooftop bar Dragones will host a wild Singles Party for folks on the prowl. Mingle during the open bar from 9 am to midnight ($55 per person) while a DJ spins live, plus toast with champagne and new friends at midnight.

Photo Credit: FriendsEat.com

Photo Credit: FriendsEat.com

 If you and your sweetheart love feasting on Southern fare, head to Neely’s Barbecue Parlor on the Upper East Side, which will serve shareable barbecue platters for two ($79 including complimentary glasses of champagne, add $20 for a pitcher of house wine or Neely’s signature sangria) from Thursday February 14th through Saturday, February 16th from 4 pm to 11 pm. Hold court in the festive restaurant, which is laid out like a gorgeous Southern home, and go to town on Applewood Smoked Chicken Wings, Memphis-style Ribs, BBQ Shrimp, Fried Catfish and sides like Pinto Beans with burnt ends. There’s even Romance in a Bowl – a refreshing salad featuring baby spinach, strawberries, brie, sugared almonds and lime poppy dressing. And for the grand finale of this Valentine’s Day dinner, grab your sweetheart by the hand and head into Neely’s Valentine’s Day Dessert Room: Choose from decadent treats like luscious Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese icing, Pecan Pie, Key Lime Lemon Bars, Cookies, Brownies, Cupcakes and more. And for couples who prefer to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a romantic evening at home, Neely’s Barbecue Platter for Two, which includes Red Velvet Cake or Cheesecake for dessert, is also available to go ($79). 

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For a romantic dinner in the countryside, look no further than historic The Ryland Inn, about an hour outside Manhattan in Western New Jersey. This landmarked, sprawling white cottage sits on a 200-year-old estate and reopened this past fall with gifted Executive Chef Anthony Bucco at the helm. His food reflects the atmosphere of The Ryland Inn, which is like a farmhouse meets a cathedral – comfortable yet elegant. From Valentine’s Day through Sunday, February 16th, Chef Bucco will offer a sensual three-course tasting menu ($99). Start with a luscious Pastured Egg with Anson Mills-sourced polenta and black truffles, or a lighter option like Oysters with Champagne gelee and caviar. Main courses include Rohan Duck with maple-glazed turnips and duck rillettes and Butter-poached Lobster with almonds and cauliflower, among other standout dishes. The grand finale is the Sweetheart Dessert Tasting starring chocolate, hazelnuts and espresso components.

Photo Credit: Opentable

Photo Credit: Opentable

Lavish and luxurious New York restaurant The Russian Tea Room is pulling out all the stops for Valentine’s Day. Settle into one of their gorgeous red leather banquettes and enjoy a three-course prix fixe menu ($125 per person) featuring over-the-top dishes like Lobster Salad with a vanilla-champagne sauce, Octopus Terrine and Black Truffle Foie Gras Mousse. Couples can also splurge on The Russian Tea Room’s extensive caviar selection – one of the best in the city – as well as on bottles of champagne and flights of vodka. Taste four different vodkas – Russian Standard, Purity, Czar’s Village and Jewel of Russia Wild Berry for $26.

Photo Credit: NY Mag

Photo Credit: NY Mag

 Virgil’s Real Barbecue in the Theater District will offer specialty cocktails like the Chocolate Kiss ($11), a blend of Grey Goose Vodka, Crème Cacao White, and smooth Godiva White liqueur topped with shaved chocolate. But Virgil’s doesn’t just cater to the lovebirds – they’ve got your back if you’ve had a tough break up. That’s what the Beer Kir for the Broken Heart is for, made with raspberries, Maker’s Mark, sweet Vermouth, lemonade and Lindeman’s Raspberry Lambic. 

Photo Credit: NY Street Food

Photo Credit: NY Street Food

 There is nothing more romantic – or stressful – than cooking for your loved one on Valentine’s Day. Admit it; you have your favorite take-out place, just in case, on speed dial. What if I told you that you could learn how to make a Valentine’s Day feast from the master himself David Bouley? That’s right, on February 14th, chef Bouley is organizing two exclusive cooking classes in his elegant Test Kitchen. Those who wish to wow their lovers with a four-star meal can opt for the Valentine’s Day Cooking Class ($275), where they will learn how to prepare an incredible meal, and leave with the recipes, ingredients and culinary confidence of a chef! For those who wish to share this unique experience with their special someone, Bouley will be conducting a Cooking Class & Dinner for Two ($650; wine pairing $125 per person) starting at 7:30pm, where couples will learn how to prepare a sumptuous six-course meal filled with irresistibly healthy, local and all-natural ingredients, and then sit down and enjoy the exquisite fruits of their labor to the sound of the grand piano! Reservations can be made by calling 212-964-2525, but tell your readers to act fast though, as seating is extremely limited.

bouley

Interested in cooking at home this year?

Check out this awesome Valentine’s Day menu from Fairway’s own Cheesemonger, Steve Jenkins.

steve jenkins
Here’s to a great Valentine’s Day with our sweethearts! 😀
Sara SCBD Logo Edited

 

Get a fresh taste of fusion at Session Bistro in Maywood!

A week or so ago, I had the pleasure of enjoying a one of a kind meal at Session Bistro in Maywood, NJ. I was thoroughly impressed with their fusion cuisine and freshly everything is prepared. Their is not much like it here in Bergen County, here’s why:

The moment I walked in, I was greeted by the staff of Session Bistro. I met the owner, Joe Hanzel Troy who spoke to me about his vision of the restaurant and his start in the food industry. He owned Troy’s Grill in Pearl River, NY before opening Session Bistro. Session Bistro focuses on only using the freshest ingredients that are available at the local markets. They even serve homemade hummus when you first arrive, it’s quite delicious and varies daily. After tasting the homemade hummus I started my meal with an appetizer sampler, which included their Chorizo Scampi ($11.95), Shrimp & Black Bean Sauce ($11.95), & their Pulled Pork Tempura ($10.95).

I love seafood, so this was heaven for me. “The key to all our dishes is the sauce that accompanies it.”, said owner, Joe Hanzel Troy. All the food is prepared and crafted by Head Chef, Christopher Holland. Holland was influenced by his father to begin his start in the kitchen and is a Jersey native, who grew up in Fort Lee. Growing up in Fort Lee was a major influence on his passion for fusion cuisine and you can see that in every dish he prepares. That was just the start, next I had another signature appetizer — the Korean taco ($10.95). I loved the taco, but my favorite was the Pulled Pork Tempura, because the mix of flavors are a perfect combination. Next, I had the Mutton Lettuce & Tomato, which is made with house smoked lamb bacon, lettuce, tomato served with a homemade Garlic Aioli.  It’s definitely an added touch that they smoke their lamb bacon in house. I loved it and would definitely get it when I come next time. Their appetizers are perfect to share, each come with 2-3 of each dish.

Also, unlike most restaurants they only serve fresh food and get their produce from the market almost daily.  I also don’t want to forget to mention that Chef Holland was also a finalist in Bergen’s Top Chef last year, which is certainly well deserved. Session is known for having live music on Friday & Saturday and for being a BYOB in Bergen. They also plan on adding wine to the menu but still plan on maintaining their BYOB status so people can drink their wine of choice.

I decided to try the Shrimp & Grits ($20.95)  for my entree which is  shrimp sauteed in chorizo cream sauce that is served on top of a Jersey fresh corn polenta. I love shrimp and enjoyed the previous shrimp dishes I had so I figured it was worth a try. I loved it, you get both the sweet & savory flavors and can taste how fresh the corn is. It cannot be topped.

Session’s Shrimp & Grits

I finished my meal off with the Chef’s Dessert of the Day, homemade Cinnabon ice cream. You could taste how fresh the whipped cream was on top, I gobbled it all up quickly. It was the perfect ending to a delicious, homemade meal, that showcased some of Jersey’s best produce.

I’d highly recommend it to anyone and plan on coming back one weekend for the entertainment. I’d definitely have the Pulled Pork Tempura again also, it’s so unique and a Session Bistro speciality & signature. It’s the perfect place for a date night or a girls night out & it certainly beats Applebee’s appetizers.

Session is open for lunch Monday to Friday, from 10:30 a.m to 3 p.m and currently have a deal that if your lunch order is a minimum of $25 you get a free dish from the Tapas menu with a value of $12 or less. They are also open for dinner from 5pm- 9pm or later if there is entertainment everyday. Along with implementing wine to the menu they also plan on starting brunch from 10:30  a.m to 3 p.m beginning weekends this fall. I know I’m definitely stopping to see what’s the Chef is creating for brunch soon!

If you’re in the area, take a trip to Maywood & enjoy a Mutton BLT, the Pulled Pork Tempura, and a delicious, fresh meal at Session Bistro.

Session Bistro, 245 Maywood Avenue, Maywood, NJ

*Disclaimer: The restaurants PR paid for my meal and stay. I was not required to write a review, and my thoughts and opinions are my own.*