Food for Thought – Eat, Drink, Love: Celebrating Valentine’s Day in the Hudson Valley

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valentines romance couple heart roseRomance has been around since Adam and Eve, but the early pagan fertility celebration of Lupercalia on February 15 may have been begun the evolution of Valentine’s Day as we know it. In the 14th and 15th centuries, a time when courtly love was expressed in formal traditions, the earliest “valentine” love poems were written. By the 18th century, those expressions evolved into gift-giving, the presentation of flowers and confections and the sending of cards known as “valentines.” These valentines were named after the Christian martyr who sent a farewell note to his jailer’s daughter, signed “your Valentine” before his execution.

From classical Roman times, though the Middles Ages, to the 21st century, Valentine’s Day is now celebrated world-wide as a time to express romantic love, friendship, and familial devotion. What better way to say, “I love you” then to enjoy a convivial dinner together or share dessert and a glass of champagne? Our rivertowns are featuring some special offerings on February 14, one of the busiest nights to dine out in America. So, reservations will be a must…

La Chinita Poblana

February 14th , from 6 to 8 p.m. will be mezcal night at La Chinita, featuring the restaurant’s theme “Become A Lover” – an apt suggestion for Valentine’s Day. Free mezcal margaritas plus traditional mezcal shots and cocktails will insure a fun time for all. A bottle of premium mezcal will be the prize given to the winner of La Chinita’s free raffle. Jazz artist Evangeline Joy will be providing her engaging guitar backed song styling. And, in addition to La Chinita’s regular distinctive Mexican fare, specials for two will be on the menu.

61 Main Street, Irvington

Mima Vinoteca

San Valentino will be celebrated in true Italian fashion at Mima, starting with Il Primi Piatti choices: lobster bisque, butternut squash risotto, organic greens or pistachio- crusted shrimp. Prosciutto and melon will provide a perfect refreshing break before the Il Secondi Piatti: six mouth-watering choices including stuffed chicken breast, rigatoni bolognese, pan-seared salmon, cranberry, walnut, ricotta ravioli, angus hanger steak and rack of lamp chops. For Il Dolce, it will be hard to choose between the molten chocolate cake, a nutella and banana cheescake, mascarpone panna cotta or the raspberry and cream tartufo.

63 Main Street, Irvington

Nikko’s Hibachi Sushi Lounge

Nikko’s will be featuring a special Valentine’s Day $80 prix fixe menu for two. Miso soup and mesclun salad with ginger dressing to start, followed by your choice of appetizers: miso scallops, braised short ribs, blue crab salad or the dragon ball. Entrée choices include: miso glazed salmon, grilled filet mignon, stir-fried basil filet mignon or sushi deluxe. And, if you have any room left, try the tiramisu, green tea ice cream or strawberry mochi for a delicate ending to a perfect Japanese-style Valentine’s Day.

240 White Plains Road, Tarrytown
914-333-1000, 1001

Piccola Trattoria

Enjoy the familial warmth at Sergio Pennacchio’s Dobbs Ferry bistro which will be offering a special Valentine’s Day a la carte menu from Friday 2/10 through Tuesday 2/14. His Argentinian and Italian entrée offerings will be lobster ravioli, lamp chops with mint chimichurri, grilled veal chops and creamy pesto shrimp. Home-made special desserts will include a cannoli cream napolean, espresso crème brulee and spicy chocolate lava souffle.

41 Cedar Street
Dobbs Ferry

Cedar Street Grill

In addition to his American-themed fare and a plentiful assortment of artisanal beers, Chef Matt Kay will be offering several chalkboard specials in his cozy grill on Dobbs Ferry’s Cedar Street. Several of his Valentine’s Day specials include a smoked salmon rillette with crème fraiche as an appetizer and his “surf and turf” for an entrée feature.

23 Cedar Street, Dobbs Ferry

Red Zebra

Classic love songs from the last 50 years! Who can resist music bon vivant Neil Benson’s mix when dining on February 14th? Mixologist and bartender extraordinaire, Elaine Lipcan, will be creating a romantic cocktail to precede the evening’s specials. In addition to Red Zebra’s newly celebrated Italian menu, pan-seared diver scallops with a sweet potato hash, late winter spinach puree and charred blood oranges will be offered. For dessert, a decadent poached pear tarte tatin, with walnut granola, and a few dashes of aged balsamic vinegar should complete your celebration.

31 Beekman Street, Sleepy Hollow

Tarry Tavern

If classic American dining in a farmhouse setting is your idea of romantic, then picture Tarry Tavern’s homey atmosphere, already decorated with copper pots, seasonal flowers and fresh fruit, enhanced for Valentine’s Day. The bar stools will be gone, and the grand bar will be covered in white tablecloths strewn with rose petals and chocolate truffles. Henry Cabral’s $55 three course prix fixe farm to table menu will be augmented by several specials including fresh oysters, sweetbreads and featuring “duos” – two preparations of one main ingredient. Dimly lit, Tarry Tavern will be awash in romantic candle light.

27 Main Street, Tarrytown

Sam’s Italian Restaurant

For a friendly, family-style Valentine’s Day dinner, Sam’s traditional Italian cuisine will be featuring several entree specials: pollo Valentino (chicken breast topped with a swirl of fresh mozzarella, red pepper and prosciutto), sliced New York strip steak crowned with shrimp scampi, ravioli stuffed with lobster and capped with a mascarpone sauce, and lobster tail accompanied by shrimp scampi. Chocolate-covered strawberries for all couples and a candle-light dinner should complete your romantic experience.

128 Main Street, Dobbs Ferry

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