I dread Feb. 15 because of the Valentine’s Day dining complaints. They go something like this:
“The menu was tiny, why couldn’t we order off the regular menu?” (Answer: Fixed menus mean faster kitchen turnover.) “I made my reservations in July, why did I have to wait 45 minutes past my reservation time?” (Answer: Because restaurants are fully booked on Valentine’s Day, it’s a mess.) “I wanted my server to sing ‘All About Loving You’ by Bon Jovi to my girlfriend. Why wouldn’t he?” (Answer: Because he was working five other tables. Plus: Do not abuse servers with ‘80s music.)
I’ve heard them all. Expectations are high, kitchens are stressed. Restaurants sometimes perform superbly, sometimes they flop. It’s a tough night for everyone. Here’s the news you may not want to hear – if you have not yet made a reservation, you’re probably too late to score one at most of the city’s destination restaurants.
However, all is not lost. Your friendly restaurant critic to the rescue. But first, I need you to think differently about what defines a romantic meal. Is it steak, lobster and roses? Sure, it can be. But equally romantic can be Korean barbecue, Chinese hot pot or a steamy bowl of Vietnamese soup. Instead of stressing, think creatively. A few suggestions to guide you. Read more »