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the weekend buzz

“From No Strings Attached to Wedding Proposals, This is the Strong Buzz Guide to V-day”

First things first: If you haven’t made your Valentine’s dinner reservation, pick up the phone or make an online reservation after reading your Weekend Buzz. But don’t panic quite yet if you’ve procrastinated. We've got your covered. We've put together the perfect evening for any couple -- Whether you want a traditional Champagne-filled dinner, a boozy bbq fest, a spot for a wedding proposal, or a vegan feast, we’ve rounded up some options for you that fits everyone. Here’s another tip: if a restaurant is booked up, ask if they have a waiting list and find a backup plan. So make that reservation early and enjoy! 

— Bao Ong

The No Strings Attached Valentine: Fatty ’Cue

Where: 91 S. Sixth St., 718-599-3090, www.fattycue.com
On the menu: For those of us who want tasty food but don’t want to be in the poorhouse or at a table with white linen cloths, look to Fatty ’Cue. The vibe is fun and hip. The Valentine’s menu, served from 5 p.m. to midnight, isn’t bad either! It’s $69 for two people. You’ll get an amuse bouche, seasonal punch for two and a choice of smoked catfish nam prik or smoked pork loin, a ’Cue surf and turf for two with prime rib and smoked chili lobster, and then a first prize pie and Fatty bar.
The Skinny Valentine: Counter
Where: 105 First Ave., 212-982-5870, www.counternyc.com
On the menu: If you’ve managed to still keep that New Year’s resolution to have a healthier diet intact, why not keep it going? At Counter, you’ll find vegetarian and vegan friendly options. The dishes, such as sweet potato-charred leek bisque to pomegranate-chili glazed seitan, are full of flavor. The deal is $65 per person and $30 extra for wine pairings. You won’t feel guilty about an extra piece or two of chocolate after this dinner.
The Cute Couple Valentine: Valentine’s Dinner Cooking Class at The Culinary Loft
Where: 515 Broadway, Suite 5A, 212-431-7425, www.culinaryloft.com
On the menu: Like many New Yorkers, your kitchen is probably too small or inconvenient to use unless you’re making boxed mac-and-cheese or want to heat up a pizza. But you have to admit cooking together can be awfully romantic. At The Culinary Loft, chefs James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst (they’re a couple) will lead a class, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., where you cook a full menu and can enjoy it with some wines. The $150 per person tab has you creating a menu that includes smoked salmon pizza with American caviar and a dessert of cinnamon-spiced chocolate cake.
The Big Question Valentine: Kellari

Where: The two locations in New York are at 19 W. 44th St. (212-221-0144) and 36 E. 20th St. (212-777-8448)On the menu: Looking to pop the big question on Valentine’s Day? The first five couples to propose marriage during dinner and show the ring get a lifetime free dinner on Valentine’s Day or each wedding anniversary (you get to choose) at Kellari. There’s a four-course prix fixe menu being served that night at $65 per person, which includes a selection from the raw bar. On top of it all, the new couples will get a free bottle of Champagne. 

The Raw Valentine: Pure Food and Wine

Where: 54 Irving Place, 212-477-1010, www.purefoodandwine.com
On the menu: Pure Food and Wine is great for a couple that wants dishes with an emphasis on organic and seasonal ingredients that’s served raw (nothing is cooked above 118 degrees). The $75 four-course prix menu is being served 5:30 to 11 p.m. and includes a wide range of options. From king oyster scallops and smoked salsify-wrapped figs to sweet corn polenta and a dark chocolate tart, you’ll leave here feeling refreshed.
The Foodie Valentine: Danji
Where: 346 W. 52nd St., 212-586-2880, http://danjinyc.com
On the menu: For an added kick to your Valentine’s dinner, why not go Korean? At the newly opened Danji in Hell’s Kitchen, chef Hooni Kim has a nine-course prix fixe feast that’s only $50. This talented chef will be serving dishes such as butternut squash congee, poached sablefish, spicy pork belly sliders and kimchi bacon paella. This in intimate, cozy space with 33 seats and there are still some tables for two left.
The Wino Valentine: Tangled Vine Wine Bar & Kitchen

Where: 434 Amsterdam Ave., 646-863-3896, www.tangledvinebar.com
On the menu: A wine bar can be a perfect setting for a cozy and intimate meal. At Tangled Vine Wine Bar and Kitchen, chef David Seigal is serving a $48 dinner beginning Feb. 12 through Valentine’s Day dinner with a three-course prix fixe meal. You’ll start with a complimentary amuse bouche before ordering beef tenderloin carpaccio, roasted duck breast, shrimp risotto or maple crème brulee (those are just some of the choices). You’ll also get a free glass of bubbly and there are bottles of wine marked down as well as Beau Soleil oysters.
Whatever you do, alone, together, or all of the above, Happy Valentine’s Day!

Bao and Andrea

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