2021 Best Valentine’s Day Restaurants in NYC

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and that means going all out for your partner: flowers, chocolate, and of course, a romantic dinner. Be it by candlelight or on the roof of your building; there are plenty of ways to cultivate the perfect dinner at home during this unfortunate pandemic. Here are EatNom’s four Valentine’s dinner recommendations — so all you have to do is light some candles, pull out the nice plates and turn on your favorite romantic playlist. 

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The Classic Chicken Dinner: Cocu 

Between the gifts and flowers, Valentine’s day can get expensive. This restaurant recommendation is for those looking to save some money but still get a high-quality, classic meal. Cocu advertises and delivers a “French-inspired rotisserie chicken experience” that doesn’t skimp out on quality ingredients. Their chicken is flavorful and juicy, crusted in a delicious provincial medley of herbs and spices, and blends seamlessly with their creamy beurre blanc sauce. Of their many delicious sides, the mashed potatoes reign supreme: velvet in your mouth, the potatoes are the ideal combination of buttery and garlicky. 

I recommend the Half Chicken Combo with two sides and a sauce — for only $26.99, you can get a combo meal that feeds two people. If you’re spending Valentine’s day with a couple of friends, or even a double date, their Whole Chicken Combo with 4-sides for $39.99 is a perfect option. This meal is sure to impress and even saves room in the budget for an indulgent dessert or fancy wine.

You Can’t Go Wrong With Pasta: Chianti

If this is your first Valentine’s with your partner and you’re not entirely sure what their favorite cuisine is, Italian is always a safe option. And Chianti’s North Italian fare (formerly known as Da Speranza) has something for everyone with a vast and delicious selection. Their A la Vodka on rigatoni is phenomenal, the perfect blend of cream and tomato-y sweetness. If that’s not your cup of tea, they have ten other amazing pasta options. Their Chef Signature Linguine Scampi is to-die-for, and they even boast several imported Italian kinds of pasta that are sure to add sophistication to Valentine’s dinner at home. Speaking of sophistication, Chianti offers nineteen delicious wine options for delivery — ten red wines and nine white wines — with an additional nine champagne options and countless liquor options. From various steak cuts to the classic American mac ‘n’ cheese, Chianti is sure to fulfill whatever you and your partner are craving this Valentine’s day. 

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Slightly Adventurous, Entirely Delicious: Ruchi 

Indian food is not typically associated with Valentine’s day, but for the couples who are aching to try something new, I definitely recommend Ruchi. Ruchi serves delicious fare from both North and South Indian cuisines and is sure to keep you coming back for more. From the first time I ordered from Ruchi to last weekend, the food has always packed a consistent flavor and authenticity punch. It’s certainly in the running for one of my favorite Indian restaurants in the city. The menu can be intimidating, so here are a few foolproof and delicious options.

The Classic Combo for two: Chicken Makhani, two garlic Naans, and two Mango Lassis. Chicken Makhani translates to the iconic butter chicken, and Ruchi does butter chicken better than anywhere else. Creamy, buttery, mild in spice, and heavy in flavor, their Chicken Makhani is absolutely divine. If you want something more authentically South Asian but still North Indian, their Lamb Kandhai is my absolute favorite. The lamb is tender and full of spice, and the curry pairs excellently with the garlic naan. And if you want to branch out and explore different regionalities, the Ghee Masala Dosa is heavenly. As a South Indian myself, these dosas are comparable to those my mother made every other Sunday and truly embodied the richness of South Indian cuisine. Ruchi’s is guaranteed to impress you and your date and raise your expectations for Indian restaurants everywhere. 

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Bringing The Islands to Cold, Icy Manhattan : The Bun Hut 

The Bun Hut specializes in Asian-Caribbean fusion, far from the typical French or Italian cuisine marketed for Valentine’s. Bahmanian chef and founding partner, Chef Ray, is the genius behind this unique fusion. They make various bao-bun sandwiches filled with Caribbean cuisine staples: coconut shrimp, oxtail stew, curry chicken, and much more. I actually ordered Tamarind Braised Oxtail and their Island Coconut shrimp — it was mind-blowing. The oxtail just fell off the bone into a rich, tangy, and savory gravy. Served over a bed of creamy garlic mashed potatoes, each bite was a symphony of carefully planned and beautifully executed flavors. Their coconut shrimp — served with sweet mashed plantain — is so fresh and crispy it makes you feel like you’re in the Bahamas. The cherry on the sundae had to be, however, the desert. The Traditional Bahamian Rum Cake was moist and decadent while not being overwhelmingly sweet, perfect to delicately spoon into your partner’s mouth after ravishing a delicious dinner. 

The Bun Hut is a unique culinary experience, and if you and your partner want to get a taste of the New York culinary scene’s creativity, I highly recommend The Bun Hut. They will leave you wishing you’d ordered more.