Plan it Now, Thank Me Later: Valentine's Day 2010

On the count of three, let me hear the collective groan. Now that it's out of your system, let's talk plans. Stay in or go out? Celebrate or retaliate? Single or hitched? I'll get the ball rolling with a few ideas to make the day less painful...
Stay in:

I loathe prixe fixe menus - I don't like being told what to do, especially when it comes to food. Combine that with jacked up prices and jam packed dining rooms, and you'll find me cooking at home on the big day. Past menus have included steak au poivre and pan seared scallops, but this year I am stealing ideas from one of my favorite Christmas presents - The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller. Practical, everyday cookbook this is not, but if there's any day to attempt haute French cuisine, it's Valentines Day. The recipes and ingredient list are so long winded/complicated, I cannot fathom writing them in this post. So, if you're curious (and my friend), call me up and we'll talk photocopying. Otherwise they are quite google-able. Wish me luck!

I chose my favorite appetizers from Keller's NYC restaurant, Per Se. I wish I could include his butter poached Maine lobster with leeks, pommes maxim, and red beet essence, but the preparation is a bit labor intensive for my champagne influenced culinary skills. Plus, there are about three ingredients I am still trying to pronounce, let alone prepare. I'll save it for next year.
  • Gruyere Cheese Gougeres (cheesy poofs!) Great to snack on whilst you cook together.
  • Oysters and Pearls (pearl tapioca with Malpeque oysters and osetra caviar) aphrodisiac appetizer!
  • Salmon Tartare with red onion creme fraiche (served in mini ice cream cones!) My ideal dessert.
Gift idea! Consider putting together a basket for your valentine - include a cookbook, the required ingredients and a nice bottle of bubbly! Cheers!

Go Out:
If you feel cooking adds additional, unnecessary pressure to your day, make a reservation stat. As far as I can tell, these restaurants are NOT doing a prixe fixe menu and they are long time favorites of mine.
  • Bacaro: Romantic Italian (in Chinatown?!) Dimly lit, cavernous space perfect for playing tonsil hockey.
  • Bobo: Fashionable French set in a w.village brownstone loaded with fireplaces and Parisian antiques.
  • Il BucoRustic, home style Italian on Bond Street with a seasonal menu and a chance to see Snickers.
  • AOC: Grand, w.village space with a beautiful back garden and perfectly unpronounceable French fare.
  • Quinto Quarto: Gaze into each others eyes over dim candlelight and enormous bowls of pasta.
Chest bump your way into love. Sign up for couples beer pong at The Village Pourhouse.

Take an 'Anti Valentines Day' Cooking Class at The Brooklyn Kitchen ...on Februrary 11th! Snap!

Throw an I Hate Valentines Day Party complete with appropriate attire, sarcastic treats and requisite playlist:
Valentine's Day Massacre.

Hitched: Get the *bleep* out of NYC. Spend each others co-mingled cash to get away and celebrate the fact that you will  forever have a valentine.

Enjoy your VD! (chuckle chuckle, laugh laugh),
The Heat


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