Uh-oh. Valentine’s Day is Tuesday. And you haven’t made a reservation for one of the most popular restaurant-going evenings of the year.
“I think this weekend is when they realize that it’s coming up in a couple of days,” says Jean LeBris, owner of the very romantic Vox, a French restaurant in the country setting of North Salem. “They better make a move or they’ll be in the dog house!”
Lanterna Tuscan Bistro in Nyack, flickering with candles. File/TJN
Yes, lots of places are already booked solid. But don’t worry. We’ve got your back. Earlier this week, we called seven — yes, lucky seven — of the region’s most romantic restaurants to find out if tables were available, and at what times. We can’t guarantee these reservations are still available, but its worth a try. So here’s your ticket out of the dog house. So don’t delay, go ahead and make a make a reservation!
Check out the list, after the jump. And if these don’t float your boat, check out our map of a few of my favorite romantic restaurants in Westchester and Rockland.
As cozy as a country house on a snowy day, Plates, with its black-and-white color scheme and comfy banquettes, is a perfect place to steal away for a romantic meal any time of the year. But for Valentine’s Day, the draw is the three-course prix fixe meal with such sexy dishes as Blue Point Oysters, a Foie Gras Duo, Lobster Risotto and Waygu “Mishima” Grade Sirloin. Only early birds or latecomers will get tables, though; seatings were still available at 5 p.m. (when the prix fixe is $50) and at 8:30 p.m. (when it’s $70).
Details: 121 Myrtle Blvd., Larchmont. 914-834-1244, platesonthepark.com.
Old ‘76 House, Tappan
Original wooden beams from, yes, the 1700s. Wide-planked wooden floors. A roaring fireplace. What else could you want in a romantic restaurant? How about a duet of talented musicians singing love songs? OK, you’ve got that, too. Singer Ellen Kaye and guitarist Ethan Fein will serenade you while you choose among the tavern-influenced menu, a three-course, prix fixe for $49.95. DIshes include Maine Dayboat Scallops, Baked Lobster Mac and Cheese, Escargot and Onion Soup Lafayette, which is made from a recipe dating to 1783. The most popular times are taken, but there are reservations available at 5 and at 9:15 p.m.
Details: 110 Main Street Tappan. 845-359-5476. 76house.com
Union Restaurant & Bar Latino, Haverstraw
Union has a little more energy than you might normally consider suitable for a romantic restaurant — but think about the amorous nature of Latino food! And don’t worry, the lights are dimmed, and the setting is a great mix of casual and classy. Chef David Martinez’s menu is $55 for four courses, and the choices include rock shrimp tempura and chimichurri-braised lamb shank. Tables are available at 5:30 and after 8 p.m.
Details: 22-24 New Main St., Haverstraw. 845-429-4534, unionrestaurant.net
Vox, North Salem
You can’t go wrong with a country inn with a city sensibility. Vox, nestled in the hills of North Salem, has a movie-inspired interior, complete with decorative theater seats and a bar that shows romantic films. Reservations are booking fast, but there are still seats available here and there, says owner Jean LeBris. The $75 Valentine’s menu has lots of aphrodisiacs, including oysters, foie gras, duck and filet mignon. Dessert, of course, is chocolate.
Details: 721 Titicus Road, North Salem, 914-669-5450, www.voxnorthsalem.com
Lanterna Tuscan Bistro, Nyack
For people-watching, sit in the big glass window that looks onto South Broadway. For privacy, sit in the back corner, far from the street. Either way, flickering candles, white tablecloths and exposed brick give this urban-chic restaurant some definite cred in the romantic department. Chef-owner Rossano Giannini will serve his regular menu (we love the parmesan basket salad and just about any pasta), but he’ll also prepare a few romantic specials: lamb shank, lobster, ahi tuna and heart-shaped ravioli. Aw. Tables are available at 5:30, 6, 8:30 and 9 p.m.
Details: 3 S. Broadway Ave., Nyack. 845-353-8361, lanternausa.com
If soft lighting, quiet conversation and stunning views of the Hudson sound like your idea of a good Valentine’s spot, then Equus is your place — as long as you’re also really into food. Equus’ new chef, Chihara Takei, is planning a seven-course tasting menu for $120, and the choices sound divine. Tuna Tartare, lobster risotto, striped bass, Black Angus tenderloin and two desserts, all paired with impressive wines. Tables are available between 5 and 6:15 p.m. and also at 8:45 and 9 p.m.
Details: At the Castle on the Hudson, 400 Benedict Ave., Tarrytown. 914-631-3646, www.castleattarrytown.com.
Crabtree’s Kittle House, Chappaqua
What could be more romantic than great wine? And Kittle House, with its 70,000-bottle cellar, is the place to get it. Choose anything from Alsace to Zinfandel, and enjoy it sittng in front of the fire, dining on chef Marc Lippman’s menu of Hudson Valley-inspired cuisine. He’s offering four courses for $75, and there are tables still available at 6 and 9:30 p.m. Bonus: a long-stemmed rose for the ladies.
Details: 11 Kittle Road, Chappaqua, 914-666-8044, www.kittlehouse.com