I know Valentines Day is a week off, and some of you are thinking "who cares?". To answer that question, many people do care, and if you're going to do it, please do it correctly. There is nothing more unatractive to a woman than a man who doesn't have a plan when taking her out on Valentines Day. So I figure, let me help you out a bit. Call any of these places now, and not only will you reserve the romantic table your girl craves, you'll also avoid the predatory gougings of ubiquitous mandatory prix-fixe menus. Enjoy your options below, and be sure to check next week for more:
79 Macdougal St, between Houston and Bleecker 212.260.0100
Dine up front in the mirrored-ceiling, Pullman car-style dining room, or in back at the darkly be-velveted bar.
151 E 58th St, between Lexington and 3rd; 212.644.0202
This gilded French resto's high-ceilinged, open dining room still oozes big money. The last Le Cirque was housed in the grand, pseudo-European confines of the Villard Houses. The new one sits on the bottom floor of the Bloomberg corporate headquarters and looks out over an impressive stone courtyard surrounded by a curving façade of glass and steel.
38 8th Ave, at Jane; 212.366.6633
Sporting 50 seats and two bars, this bustling, inventive Italian spot's celebrating VD with "Wines of the 90s"; just add a few extra ingredients and your night is sure to be "the best"!
Hudson River Cafe
697 East 133rd St, at 12th; 212.491.9111
Hit this way-uptown cafe's heated patio for resplendent views of the GWB, the shores of Jersey, river flotsam. This alone should win you some points to start off the night.
121 W. 10th St, near Greenwich; 212.645.0018
Hit this intimate, ivy-frilled Aussie spot for dishes like herb-crusted rack of lamb and prosciutto papadelli ( I checked with that name and believe me, it sounds the way it looks).