No matter that V-Day is on a sleepy winter Tuesday. If you plan to eat out, the time is nigh to secure your seat—tables at Hamptons restaurants for Valentine’s are booking like it’s a summer Saturday night. One look at the special Valentine’s Day menus and you’ll see why. Sharing will be hard, but it’s the day of love and therefore recommended (unless you want the romance to wilt like week-old rose petals). Here’s where to eat on Valentine’s Day in the Hamptons and a little preview of what’s on the menu.
At Greek-centric Calissa, there’s an abundance of choices on their $75 V-Day prix fixe. Montauk black sea bass with roasted squash and lobster ravioli put a savory winter twist on fish, while the carnivorous can dig into filet with Greek chimichurri, mashed potatoes and horta—Greek-style leafy greens. Chocolate lovers are in luck—lava cake and red velvet are desserts du jour. Chocolate not your thing? Opt for a tangy lemon tart. Splurge for the a la carte raw bar starter option, a trio of chilled, raw Peconic oysters, shrimp cocktail and colossal crab meat (oh-so nice with a glass of Champagne).
There’s dinner, and then there’s one of those kinds of white tablecloth dinners. Jean-Georges Restaurant at Topping Rose House provides the latter. The five-course menu can start with caviar, include roasted Maine lobster with black truffle butter and conclude with a double dose of desserts: pick either the luxurious dark chocolate and passion-fruit tart or an ethereal citrus pavlova. And hearts rejoice! Everyone receives the final coda of a pretty little Linzer cookie. $148 per person.
The popular resort at The End is hosting a $95 four-course prix fixe dinner on Valentine’s Day in the Scarpetta Beach dining room—its romantic, sweeping views of the Atlantic are sure to swirl you into the jetty of romance. Try the “Sound Sweets” starter of North Fork oysters and caviar for a luxe appetizer; an excellent pre-cursor to the Cognac-kissed Montauk lobster bisque that sticks to the ribs in all the right ways. The third course offering is classic surf or turf: Pacific halibut with Milk Pail apple butter or tender filet mignon with a side of local sweet potatoes.
Shelter Island’s super-star Léon is back after a brief winter hiatus. If that isn’t reason enough for clinking glasses, their bespoke reserve rosé list for Valentine’s certainly is (try the Bernard Baudry cab franc from Chinon—it’s a whole new dimension on pink). The wood-fired Francophile spot is also offering heart-pumping a la carte specials for the holiday, like Jonah stone crabs with aioli and grilled quail with golden raisin mostarda and Romaine hearts.
It’s never too early for romance; at least that’s the theory behind Highway’s plan-ahead Valentine’s special. Instead of clinking glasses on February 14th, hit the Highway a few days early for their weekend menu February 10th to the 12th, catered toward the rise-and-grind couples who aren’t up for school-night supping. Start in sparkling fashion with a glass of Baron Rothschild rosè Champagne by the glass (or opt for a bottle). Spaghetti with lobster, tomato and chili is all sorts of spicy-savory, while a pan-roasted halibut with French green lentils is at once light and luxurious.
The laidback pub vibes at Rowdy Hall offer a breath of fresh air on the upscale East Hampton dining scene. For Valentine’s, they’re adding some extra-special dishes to their usual a la carte menu, starting with crispy oyster salad and crunchy-salty bacon lardons. The piquant flavor of juicy, grilled lamb chops is classically complemented by a minty cucumber salad, and decadently capped off by the combo of chocolate crumbs, whipped cream and hot fudge in the malted milk pots de crème for dessert. Yum!
The quintessential Hamptons summertime dinner hangout is usually closed on Tuesdays, but it’s making an exception for Valentine’s Day. Nick & Toni’s is offering two menus: one for in-restaurant dining and one for V-Day at home. The former is a four-course menu that includes appetizers like prosciutto, local oysters and a truffled creamy burrata. Scallops, lamb chops and free-range chicken are just some of the mains. The take-home menu is a la carte, and includes options like a decadent cheese board with super-star options from Jasper Hill, Beemster and Cyprus Grove, whole-roasted sea bass or grilled strip steak, and both options have dreamy, creamy tartufo for two for dessert and salted butter caramels for an extra treat.
While they don’t take reservations and they’re not taking the V-Day prix fixe route, Coche will spice up your night with a few special additions to the menu. Chile de Árbol broth adds a kick to the eclectic mix of clams, mussels, calamari, shrimp and lobster in the Caldo de Mariscos. And the Chocoflan takes a tangy turn courtesy of winter citrus and orange caramel.
Montauk lobster, Milk Pail green apple salad and Balsam Farms red and golden baby beets are a few of the menu items with local flare on the 1770 House’s Valentine’s Day menu. Champagne is available by the glass, half bottle and full bottle, so you and your partner can toast as often as you like to your love. Dessert choices include the popular sticky date cake with toffee sauce and vanilla gelato, and a sweet-and-creamy peanut butter mousse. $95 per person
If you’re worried about Valentine’s prix fixe dinners being phoned in, that’s never the case with talented chef Alex Bujoreanu at R.aire. For $75 ($35 for the excellent accompanying Spanish-centric wine pairings), his flavor-packed, three-course V-Day dinner will not disappoint. The options are hard to pick from, but as sharing is caring, maybe you and your sweetie can divide and conquer when faced with choices like heirloom beets with snow peas, Marcona almonds, spicy honey and goat cheese foam, and duck breast with a fig demi-glace and crispy spinach polenta.
A reservation for Valentine’s at Greek-centric Elaia Estiatorio kicks off with a complementary glass of bubbly, and offers an $85 four-course Mediterranean-minded feast for the senses. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., indulge in dishes like phyllo-wrapped lump crab with caramelized onions and a preserved lemon and Greek yogurt spread and crab, caper and herb-stuffed roasted branzino. If you’re tempted to dab a little of the cinnamon-scented honey syrup that comes drizzled over traditional baklava behind your ears, well, we won’t judge.