In roughly two weeks, Saint Valentine will once again shoot his heart-tipped arrows into the wallets of every boo’ed up American. If you’re not exactly the Harlequin Romance type, our friends at Yelp NYC have some suggestions to win on February 14.
Romantic doesn’t necessarily mean white tablecloths and accented servers with crumb scrapers to wipe away your bread trail. Romantic can also come from old-world charm with a modern, yet authentic look and feel, and that’s what you’ll find at Rubirosa. Featuring some of the tastiest pizzas and Italian food anywhere in lower Manhattan, coupled with a hip clientele (and the occasional celeb sighting), it’s a sleeper pick for a moody night out. 235 Mulberry St., 212-965-0500
You may have to grease a few palms to score a table on short notice, but it’ll be well worth the small security deposit—Le Coucou is considered by many to be the best new restaurant in New York. While we hesitate to say they’ve “millennial-ized” the typically snooty French dining format, they’ve brought a breath of fresh air to a genre of restaurant that can be utterly polarizing. Sophisticated, yet straightforward without complicated tasting menus or prix-fixe dinners, it’s the Tesla of French brasseries, so just jump in and enjoy the ride. 138 Lafayette St., 212-271-4252
Your chances of any post-date Netflix/chill action will be seriously compromised if you spend more time staring at your phone than listening to the person sitting next to you. That said, sidling up at Analogue—a jazz-themed bar and small-plates destination that thrives on a world devoid of iPhones and Snapchat—should spell great results. With stacks of vinyl dotting the walls, live jazz many nights of the week, and a dimly-lit, sexy vibe… the only thing you’ll need to swipe will be the bed sheets. 19 W. 8th St., 212-432-0200
While we’re pretty certain our current Commander in Chief dines exclusively on corn dogs and chicken fingers, our last leader in the Oval Office was a well-documented foodie. If Upland is good enough for #44, it should be suitable for your Valentine’s date as well. Here you’ll enjoy a classic fine-dining experience in a beautiful space with a contemporary California cuisine lean, and for oenophiles looking to be humbled a bit, they boast one of the finer wine programs in town. 345 Park Ave. S., 212-686-1006
Ruggy Joesten is the Sr. Community Director for Yelp in Manhattan. Helping businesses get the most out of the site is his passion. He also curates local events intended to spread positive word of mouth for the many local businesses that dot the Manhattan culinary landscape. Follow @YelpNYC on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. And use the hashtag #YelpEatsNYC when posting your food porn around the web.