Valentine’s Day elicits a lot of boos and bad attitudes. People wear black and grumble about how it’s a “Hallmark” holiday. Our annual Valentine’s Day round-up of suggestions from our staff has some brooding and calling it just another day, but there are also some good suggestions for gifts, places to go, and things to do that might soften your cynical heart.
We’re putting the kids to bed early and I’ll be sharing a bottle of 2005 Ridge Geyserville (Zinfandel Blend) with my wife that we been saving for no particular reason. We bought it on a trip to California right before we had our first child. It’s very drinkable now, and we don’t want to miss it’s prime. Then, more likely than not—we’ll be talking about said kids for the remainder of the night. – David Mawhinney, culinary director
I’m hoping to get these in gold — the midi size — let’s see if Daniel reads our blog posts.
– Shell Hatke, operations manager
I hope my husband remembers to get me a card this year. That’s our rule, cards only, and last year he forgot. My favorite thing I’ve ever gotten on Valentine’s Day was a box full of paper hearts. On each one, my niece and nephew wrote all the things they love about me. – Suzanne Birnbaum, events manager
Pointy Snout caviar on hand-carved spoons. Photo courtesy of Pointy Snout Caviar.
Usually Eric and I make an annual pilgrimage to King Spa in New Jersey followed by a dinner in Flushing or somewhere normally out of our way. But now that we have a baby, I’ll opt for a night in with potato chips, caviar and bubbles. The alcoholic variety for me, and the non-alcoholic for him. – Sonjia Hyon, special projects director
A few lady friends and I are headed to Le French Diner for a not-overly-romantic but great evening of food and drinks. – Alison Cayne, founder
I am in a long distance relationship, so I am going to see my partner and we are getting to spend some time in Napa together a little early, and visit friends who work at Trinchero and Freemark Abbey. On Valentine’s Day, I’m going to spend the evening writing letters to friends. Romance isn’t dead, it’s alive and well in the courtship of new and old friends. – Laurie Ellen Pelicano, Haven’s Kitchen friend & maker of delicious baked things
I will be in school all day on Valentine’s Day. However, I might grab a quick lunch and exchange sweets with my girlfriends between classes! – Hyewon Lee, barista
I am actually one of those people that would love to get a stuffed animal on Valentine’s Day — I grew up believing all stuffed animals had souls (thanks, mom). My Valentines Day planning usually happens last minute, but by far one of the most memorable Valentine’s Day I had was spending it with my two best friends from home, sharing pizza and lamenting over the struggles of dating. – Kathryn Tam, operations assistant
I’m not going to lie: I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day, so my husband and I don’t really celebrate and usually I end up working. (This year, I’ll be teaching at Haven’s Kitchen.) But the years where I’m not working, I do like to take advantage of those Valentine’s Day grocery specials and make up a dinner of steak or lobster or oysters on the cheap.
– Sarah Bode-Clark, teacher and photographer
I’m headed to the East Village to see my bestie read some poetry. – Zoe Maya Jones, kitchen manager
Locanda Vini e Olii, a charming Italian restaurant in Clinton Hill. Photo courtesy of Locanda Vini e Olii.
My husband and I have been sitting on a gift certificate we received for our wedding to our favorite date restaurant, Locanda Vini e Olii, so we’ll be cashing that in for a four-course Italian dinner. And, I am hoping to get myself some discount candy on the 15th. – Dianne de la Veaux, cafe production
Before this kid pops, my husband and I are going travel the via Amtrak up the Hudson for the weekend to visit some of our best pals in the Berkshires. We will likely eat Moroccan food and try our best not to talk too much about current affairs, while disco music plays in the background. – Halle Heyman, events director
I refuse to become overwhelmed by Valentine’s Day “pressure.” I’d rather do something romantic and thoughtful 2 or 3 days before the actual day. – Greg Green, cafe production
Stop by Haven’s Kitchen on Valentine’s Day to pick up some flowers and heart-shaped cookies for your sweetheart.