11 Love Bites

Romance is in the air (and on the menu).



With Valentine’s Day on a Monday, most restaurants that are normally closed will be open; many also are offering special menus on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday leading up to the 14th. Here, my picks for an evening to remember…

1. Alvin & Friends
The Mood: Like walking into a friend’s house and being greeted with a warm hug. The food is a winsome collection of contemporary Southern and Caribbean eats.
The Deal: Free glass of Champagne with every order and special prix-fixe menu ($60 per person) featuring a meant-for-two dessert of red velvet bread pudding with blueberry compote, as well as the regular menu.
Make a Date: 49 Lawton St, New Rochelle (914) 654-6549

2. Bistro Rollin
The Mood: Parisian brasserie with dim lighting and a friendly neighborhood feel.
The Deal: Three-course prix-fixe menu ($65 per person) with complimentary chocolates offered on Valentine’s Day and the preceding Saturday and Sunday with reservations from 5:30 to 10:30 pm.
Make a Date: 142 Fifth Ave, Pelham (914) 633-0780

3. Café of Love
The Mood: Shabby chic with polished service and thoughtful farmhouse French-American cuisine.
The Deal: Love is always in the air at this amour-inspired eatery with the motto “Share the Love.” Owner Leslie Lampert promises lobster and oyster specials, plus complimentary Champagne Kisses with pomegranate liqueur in addition to the regular winter menu.
Make a Date: 38 E Main St, Mount Kisco (914) 242-1002

4. Cienega
The Mood: Nuevo Latino eatery that oozes sleek sophistication with a quiet hush—ideal for sharing sweet nothings.
The Deal: A tasting menu with drink ($75) divided into courses with sensual names: Flirtation (rose petals, fresh limes, Bacardi razz, elderflower extract, cava); Attraction (a blood-warmer of stone crab claws cerviche marinated with passion fruit, lime juice, and rocoto pepper); Romance (torched Kobe beef with Spanish Cabrales cheese croquettes and aged balsamic); Insinuation (fire-roasted blood-orange-glazed gamba with octopus); Exploration (grilled beef tenderloin, habañero-pomegranate reduction, truffle-shitaki flan); and Seduction (dark chocolate flourless cake, Frangelico whipped cream, and raspberry sauce).
Make a Date: 179 Main St, New Rochelle (914) 632-4000

5. Crabtree’s Kittle House
The Mood: Historic hotspot with an impressive food and wine list that woos.
The Deal: Four-course prix-fixe chef’s tasting menu ($75 per person), long-stem roses for ladies, plus gracious service that charms.
Make a Date: 11 Kittle Rd, Chappaqua (914) 666-8044

6. Croton Creek Steakhouse
The Mood: Casual chic with a whimsical element that makes you smile. A piano bar in the bar area encourages lounging (and gazing into each other’s eyes) while the quaint dining room features brown paper-topped tables complete with stamps and ink pad set up for scribbling ‘I Love Yous.’ (Hint: an artistic way to propose!)
The Deal: Free truffles to those who stay for dinner and freshly muddled pomegranate-and-passion-fruit martini in honor of the holiday (and to stir up the heat!). The regular menu is offered; may I suggest the perfect-for-sharing (and huddling close together) cheese fondue?
Make a Date: 4 W Cross St, Croton Falls (914) 276-0437

7. River City Grille
The Mood: Inconspicuous on the outside, warm and inviting on the inside with an eclectic American menu that entices.
The Deal: Three-course prix-fixe dinner ($45) suitable for sharing, with a choice of five appetizers, five entrées, and five desserts including chocolate-dipped strawberries. Also offered the weekend before the 14th.
Make a Date: 6 S Broadway, Irvington (914) 591-2033

8. Seasons
The Mood: Bustling American bistro with twinkling lights and an array of colorful martinis so gorgeously presented,
you’ll feel like you’re in an episode of Sex and the City.
The Deal: The restaurant that has martinis named ‘Love Potion #9’ and ‘the Flirtini’ on its menu year-round offers a special Valentine’s prix-fixe menu with a complimentary glass of Champagne (its regular menu, which incidentally has a host of gluten-free items, is also available). The deal is offered the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday before Valentine’s Day. There will also be a special Valentine’s Day martini (not determined as of press time).
Make a Date: 289 Rte 100, Somers (914) 276-0600

9. Vintage 1891
The Mood: A chartered tour of world viniculture complete with blazing fireplace; cozy, custom-made wing-back chairs; and intimate spaces for dining à deux. More wine bar than restaurant, but isn’t Valentine’s Day all about the grape?
The Deal: A complimentary glass of sparkling wine to match seasonal small plates such as braised short ribs, oysters, and artisanal cheese plate.
Make a Date: 2098 Boston Post Rd, Larchmont (914) 834-9463

10. X2O Xaviars on the Hudson
The Mood: Polished and elegant with a genial wait staff that treats you like a VIP.
The Deal: Four-course prix fixe dinner ($75 per person) with petit fours and amuse bouche served from 5 to 10 pm. Expect lots of aphrodisiacs including chocolates, oysters, caviar, and a passion-fruit Pavlova with meringue and sorbet.
Make a Date: 71 Water Grant St, Yonkers (914) 965-1111

11. Zitoune
The Mood: Like you’ve taken a plane to the Mediterranean coast of North Africa. This exotic candle-lit Moroccan lounge boasts an array of vibrant couches, tapestries, and pillows that make you feel like you’re dining under a star-lit Saharan sky. You can even eat at low-slung tables sitting on the floor!
The Deal: A love potion of a cocktail (ask for the Mogardor); roses for ladies at dinner’s end.
Make a Date: 1127 W Boston Post Rd, Mamaroneck (914) 835-8350

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