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Tables and chairs are visible in a dining room decorated with many large green plants.
The plant-filled dining room at Popular.
Nikolas Koenig/Popular

12 Swoon-Worthy Spots to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in NYC

A guide to stunning dining rooms to book for the holiday

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The plant-filled dining room at Popular.
| Nikolas Koenig/Popular

Valentine’s Day, regardless of its reputation as an overly commercialized Hallmark holiday, is one of the busiest nights of the year for restaurants. Many couples looking to celebrate often seek out dimly lit, romantic restaurants. Others want new, buzzy spots or a chance to splurge at places where luxury ingredients like succulent lobster, creamy uni sashimi, or a sizzling sirloin make the night feel like an occasion. With a little bit of planning, there’s a table for any type of date, including at these 12 stunning spots.

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North Miznon

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An Upper West Side sibling of HaSalon, this low-key spot from Israeli chef Eyal Shani is candlelit with rustic wooden tables. On Valentine’s Day, the restaurant has a $75 six-course menu for two that includes diamond turnips cooked in ricotta water and served with golden butter sauce; halibut in a paper envelope; and “a twosome of the best cuts of the cow.” A wine pairing is available for an additional $55 per person.

The Leopard at des Artistes

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Aim to snag a secluded table across from the bar in the back of this iconic space, known for its Howard Chandler Christy nymph murals and impeccable service. Dishes for two on the holiday menu include a dover sole and a braised veal breast with pork sausage and roasted potatoes. Each customer will be offered a glass of complimentary, natural falanghina spumante to kick off the evening.

A sunny dining room with a large green plant near the windows and murals on the walls.
Inside the Leopard at des Artistes.
The Leopard at des Artistes.

Sojourn

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Peter Petti, an alum of Eleven Madison Park, is the surprisingly talented chef at the helm of this unobtrusive Upper East Side neighborhood haunt, where some corner tables are separated by wooden slats for extra privacy. Dishes on the $75 special menu include duck confit spring rolls; seared scallops with creamy polenta; and squid ink linguini with lobster arrabiata.

Aquavit

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Deep blue banquettes and chairs adorned with sheepskin throws are a glamorous backdrop for a romantic meal. A six-course tasting menu ($325 per person) includes king crab grilled with sunchoke puree, lime, buttermilk and pickled apples; and pepper-glazed duck with black currant. For those who prefer something a little more casual, a three-course meal for $165 is available at the bar. The restaurant is also offering a $155, two-person to-go kit for the holiday with pastries, cheese, pickles, and other sweet and savory snacks.

A dining room is filled with blue booths and tables with white tablecloths.
Inside Aquavit.
Signe Birck/Aquavit

CheLi has been consistently wowing New Yorkers with its upscale, ambitious fare — and impressive antique decor — that references Shanghai and the surrounding region. Among the standouts are fragrant puer tea-soaked rice topped with sea urchin and sprinkled with sesame seeds; blue crab poached with Shaoxing wine; and pork belly braised with a mix of dark and light soy sauce. The team also runs an East Village outpost.

A dozen colorful dishes highlighting different menu items laid out on a light wooden table.
A spread of dishes from CheLi.
CheLi

Anything At All

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The vegan Valentine’s Day meal that chef Megan Brown concocted for her seasonal and sustainably-focused restaurant in the Graduate Roosevelt Island hotel should please the most discerning herbivores. Choices on her three-course feast ($95) include beet salad with vegan ricotta, candied limequat, radicchio and pistachio; and parsnip gnudi with pipian mole and crushed marcona almond. Before or after the meal, it’s worth heading for a drink at the Graduate’s bar, the Panorama Room, which has a view of three boroughs.

A light-filled dining room with floor to ceiling windows and blue-accented chairs.
Anything At All’s high-ceilinged dining room.
Steve Freihon/Graduate Hotel

The amber glow that permeates the popular Greek restaurant’s new space across from Hudson Yards, along with its little nooks and booths for two, makes it a good option for the holiday. Crab cakes, langoustines, and a surf-and-turf combo of bone-in ribeye and tiger prawns are among the night’s specials, and a rope swing set against a wall of florals is an ideal spot to take commemorative photos.

A bar with white chairs in the foreground and a swing decorated with flowers positioned against a wall in the background.
The flower-draped swing at Kyma.
Kyma

Plush booths and low lamp lighting adds to the glamorous ambiance at this modern Indian restaurant that’s a collaboration between chef Hari Nayak, David Rabin, Maneesh Goyal, and star actress Priyanka Chopra. Special dishes, available Saturday through Monday, include lobster malai curry with yogurt coconut sauce; and shiso leaf chaat with hot and sour chutneys. Save room for rasmalai ile flottante, which uses rose condensed milk, poached quince, and meringue.

A dining room with white tableclothed tables and chairs, yellow booths, and a low, backlit wall to the right.
Inside Sona.
Sona

Popular

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New York in mid-February may feel like a frozen tundra, but diners can take a quick tropical vacation at Popular, where the lush dining room is filled with 250 plants. Diego Munoz, previously chef at acclaimed Astrid y Gaston in Lima, took the reins of the restaurant at Ian Schrager’s Lower East Side Public hotel, and devised a menu with Spanish, Morrish, African, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese influences. The four-course, $125 prix fixe menu includes salt-crusted black sea bass with rocoto and chive butter; and aji de gallina tortellini with potato foam, sage, and tomato.

Dimly lit wood tables and chairs surrounded by large green plants.
The lush indoor setting at Popular.
Nikolas Koenig/Popular

Jungsik

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For diners looking for high-end, subdued elegance, this intimate, Michelin-starred Tribeca spot with floor-to-ceiling windows is a good choice. Dishes on the 11-course, $350 Valentine tasting menu include steamed prawns finished over charcoal, and Alaskan black cod marinated in fermented soybean paste, and glazed with yuzu kosho.

A shallow bowl with a square cut of glazed cod set in the center.
Jungsik’s Alaskan black cod.
Jungsik

Estuary

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Sparkling downtown Manhattan skyline lights make quite an idyllic setting at this waterfront restaurant in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and to maximize the vibe, diners can choose to eat on one of the sofas by a cozy fireplace. The $95 Valentine’s menu includes a glass of champagne followed by black angus NY strip steaks with truffled lobster mash; and cioppino with quinoa-stuffed acorn squash.

A dining room decorated in dark wood with low-lit lamps hanging from the ceiling.
Estuary’s dining room.
Estuary

Bar Marseille

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For those whose ideal romantic holiday involves surf and sand, a beachy Valentine’s meal is possible without leaving the city. The team behind Amali in Manhattan and Calissa in the Hamptons headed to the Rockaways to open this colorful bistro, inspired by the south of France, located just a block from the ocean. Apart from Valentine specials like lobster bisque with jalapeno lemongrass oil; and scoglio pasta chock full of shellfish; a la carte options like onion soup, steak frites, and roast chicken are classics for a cozy supper.

A white bar with beachy decorations and waterfront views visible in the background.
Inside Bar Marseille.
Bar Marseille

North Miznon

An Upper West Side sibling of HaSalon, this low-key spot from Israeli chef Eyal Shani is candlelit with rustic wooden tables. On Valentine’s Day, the restaurant has a $75 six-course menu for two that includes diamond turnips cooked in ricotta water and served with golden butter sauce; halibut in a paper envelope; and “a twosome of the best cuts of the cow.” A wine pairing is available for an additional $55 per person.

The Leopard at des Artistes

Aim to snag a secluded table across from the bar in the back of this iconic space, known for its Howard Chandler Christy nymph murals and impeccable service. Dishes for two on the holiday menu include a dover sole and a braised veal breast with pork sausage and roasted potatoes. Each customer will be offered a glass of complimentary, natural falanghina spumante to kick off the evening.

A sunny dining room with a large green plant near the windows and murals on the walls.
Inside the Leopard at des Artistes.
The Leopard at des Artistes.

Sojourn

Peter Petti, an alum of Eleven Madison Park, is the surprisingly talented chef at the helm of this unobtrusive Upper East Side neighborhood haunt, where some corner tables are separated by wooden slats for extra privacy. Dishes on the $75 special menu include duck confit spring rolls; seared scallops with creamy polenta; and squid ink linguini with lobster arrabiata.

Aquavit

Deep blue banquettes and chairs adorned with sheepskin throws are a glamorous backdrop for a romantic meal. A six-course tasting menu ($325 per person) includes king crab grilled with sunchoke puree, lime, buttermilk and pickled apples; and pepper-glazed duck with black currant. For those who prefer something a little more casual, a three-course meal for $165 is available at the bar. The restaurant is also offering a $155, two-person to-go kit for the holiday with pastries, cheese, pickles, and other sweet and savory snacks.

A dining room is filled with blue booths and tables with white tablecloths.
Inside Aquavit.
Signe Birck/Aquavit

CheLi

CheLi has been consistently wowing New Yorkers with its upscale, ambitious fare — and impressive antique decor — that references Shanghai and the surrounding region. Among the standouts are fragrant puer tea-soaked rice topped with sea urchin and sprinkled with sesame seeds; blue crab poached with Shaoxing wine; and pork belly braised with a mix of dark and light soy sauce. The team also runs an East Village outpost.

A dozen colorful dishes highlighting different menu items laid out on a light wooden table.
A spread of dishes from CheLi.
CheLi

Anything At All

The vegan Valentine’s Day meal that chef Megan Brown concocted for her seasonal and sustainably-focused restaurant in the Graduate Roosevelt Island hotel should please the most discerning herbivores. Choices on her three-course feast ($95) include beet salad with vegan ricotta, candied limequat, radicchio and pistachio; and parsnip gnudi with pipian mole and crushed marcona almond. Before or after the meal, it’s worth heading for a drink at the Graduate’s bar, the Panorama Room, which has a view of three boroughs.

A light-filled dining room with floor to ceiling windows and blue-accented chairs.
Anything At All’s high-ceilinged dining room.
Steve Freihon/Graduate Hotel

Kyma

The amber glow that permeates the popular Greek restaurant’s new space across from Hudson Yards, along with its little nooks and booths for two, makes it a good option for the holiday. Crab cakes, langoustines, and a surf-and-turf combo of bone-in ribeye and tiger prawns are among the night’s specials, and a rope swing set against a wall of florals is an ideal spot to take commemorative photos.

A bar with white chairs in the foreground and a swing decorated with flowers positioned against a wall in the background.
The flower-draped swing at Kyma.
Kyma

Sona

Plush booths and low lamp lighting adds to the glamorous ambiance at this modern Indian restaurant that’s a collaboration between chef Hari Nayak, David Rabin, Maneesh Goyal, and star actress Priyanka Chopra. Special dishes, available Saturday through Monday, include lobster malai curry with yogurt coconut sauce; and shiso leaf chaat with hot and sour chutneys. Save room for rasmalai ile flottante, which uses rose condensed milk, poached quince, and meringue.

A dining room with white tableclothed tables and chairs, yellow booths, and a low, backlit wall to the right.
Inside Sona.
Sona

Popular

New York in mid-February may feel like a frozen tundra, but diners can take a quick tropical vacation at Popular, where the lush dining room is filled with 250 plants. Diego Munoz, previously chef at acclaimed Astrid y Gaston in Lima, took the reins of the restaurant at Ian Schrager’s Lower East Side Public hotel, and devised a menu with Spanish, Morrish, African, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese influences. The four-course, $125 prix fixe menu includes salt-crusted black sea bass with rocoto and chive butter; and aji de gallina tortellini with potato foam, sage, and tomato.

Dimly lit wood tables and chairs surrounded by large green plants.
The lush indoor setting at Popular.
Nikolas Koenig/Popular

Jungsik

For diners looking for high-end, subdued elegance, this intimate, Michelin-starred Tribeca spot with floor-to-ceiling windows is a good choice. Dishes on the 11-course, $350 Valentine tasting menu include steamed prawns finished over charcoal, and Alaskan black cod marinated in fermented soybean paste, and glazed with yuzu kosho.

A shallow bowl with a square cut of glazed cod set in the center.
Jungsik’s Alaskan black cod.
Jungsik

Estuary

Sparkling downtown Manhattan skyline lights make quite an idyllic setting at this waterfront restaurant in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and to maximize the vibe, diners can choose to eat on one of the sofas by a cozy fireplace. The $95 Valentine’s menu includes a glass of champagne followed by black angus NY strip steaks with truffled lobster mash; and cioppino with quinoa-stuffed acorn squash.

A dining room decorated in dark wood with low-lit lamps hanging from the ceiling.
Estuary’s dining room.
Estuary

Bar Marseille

For those whose ideal romantic holiday involves surf and sand, a beachy Valentine’s meal is possible without leaving the city. The team behind Amali in Manhattan and Calissa in the Hamptons headed to the Rockaways to open this colorful bistro, inspired by the south of France, located just a block from the ocean. Apart from Valentine specials like lobster bisque with jalapeno lemongrass oil; and scoglio pasta chock full of shellfish; a la carte options like onion soup, steak frites, and roast chicken are classics for a cozy supper.

A white bar with beachy decorations and waterfront views visible in the background.
Inside Bar Marseille.
Bar Marseille

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