Valentine’s Day is possibly the worst dining-out day of the entire year. Yes, worse than Mother’s Day (though it is surely the runner-up), Christmas, and Thanksgiving. Every random person in the U.S. feels the need to head out for the evening. Bah, I say. Stay home and leave the day to the overly-perfumed masses.
Instead, go to Rare Cuts, buy a nice hangar steak. Go home, mash some potatoes, sear the steak in a cast iron pan, and deglaze the pan with a little red wine, butter, & chopped shallots. Pour this pan sauce over the steak & potatoes. Drink the rest of the red wine along with dinner. Steamed asparagus in a lemon vinaigrette is a nice side, and some gelato from La Divina is all you’ll need for dessert. Simple is good, don’t you think?
Trust me, you’ll enjoy this much better than a $75 prix-fixe menu at Chez FonFon or a table at your favorite place that’s suddenly been overrun with people who haven’t been in a restaurant since LAST Valentine’s Day. Unless you LIKE crowded dining rooms, harried kitchens, fixed/overpriced specialty menus, and other such nonsense.
Does anyone actually LIKE dining out on Valentine’s Day, or do people feel compelled to participate in the group ritual aspects of this completely commercial holiday?
Funny, as a waiter, I wonder about this too. Same with New Year’s Eve. I work in fine dining, and yup, it’s a prix fixe; it’s a top notch kitchen so the food turned out will be beautiful, ridiculously delicious, and integrity in the kitchen, so YES, worth the cash, but heck yeah! Everyone is working crazy long, crazy fast, wanting to provide a genuinely good time to way too many people at once! If it were me, I’d much rather go out on a quiet Wednesday, or something, to get my money’s worth. My vote: cook something true for yourself and a friend/loved one/pet, and go out to eat on A DIFFERENT DAY!
Celeste: Would you please do a blog about during these trying economic times people need to support their local restaurants. In the last week two of my local favorites bit the dust. Both were very good and will be missed. People need to support the locals or they will become extinct. Thanks for everything you do. Carol
Right on, Cleste. Joe K.
Well, since it is really Lupercalia that Valentine’s day has replaced,
Why not a nice Spring Salad with Goat Cheese and a nice bottle of wine?
Then a reading from Act I of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar?
We don’t eat out on Valentine’s Day — too crowded, not the best day to get the best service or the best food. This year we spent the evening at the emergency vet and shared a tasteless Italian sandwich at 10 p.m.
I hope the emergency vet visit turned out okay….
The patient is confined and recovering.