Make a Date With Your Valentine at One of These Next-Level NJ Restaurants
These restos have specially curated prix-fixe menus to celebrate with your sweetie.
All photos courtesy of respective restaurants
When was the last time you actually did something special for Valentine’s Day with your honey? Here’s the thing: A nice dinner never gets old, especially at one the super acclaimed restaurants we’ve rounded up here. Call ASAP to reserve since they fill up quickly. Prices listed below for prix-fixe V-Day menus don’t include tax and gratuity.
11 Witherspoon St., Princeton
609-921-2798, Feb. 14
3-course prix fixe, $65/ea., $35/add wine and cocktail pairings
If farm-to-table is your thing, it doesn’t get fresher or more local than Agricola. Know your meal is as seasonal and sustainable as can be, thanks to the restaurant-owned Great Road Farm in Skillman. Start with organic kale salad with pumpkin seed vinaigrette, local half-shell oysters with red wine mignonette or foie gras on brioche with berry preserves. Follow up with pappardelle in mushroom ragu, or share the duck for two served with polenta, greens and cherry jus. End on a sweet note with lemon cheesecake, red velvet cake or an epic s’mores bar.
23 Ocean Ave., Long Branch
732-759-2900, Feb. 14
Four-course prix fixe, $42/ea.
While this upscale French bistro on the beach is open year-round, many come out to hang at its beach club, nightclub and bar open in warmer weather. Tease your senses with potato leek flatbread, then an appetizer of your choice. Opt for onion soup gratinee or carrot tartare, or choose from mesclun, beet and crab salads. Main course options range from striped bass in a port reduction to pork tenderloin with green apples to red wine raviolo in walnut cream sauce. And then there’s a lover’s sampler of dessert to cap off the night: espresso opera cake, blood orange sorbet and macerated strawberries with champagne sabayon.
27 Mine Brook Rd., Bernardsville
908-766-0002, Feb. 14
3-course prix-fixe, $119/ea.
This boutique historic hotel not only boasts a great restaurant, but tons of getaway packages for two. Start with a fresh app like roast beets with fresh yogurt, big eye tuna tartar or parm white asparagus. Entrees range from venison with red cabbage and huckleberry to to cavatelli with butternut squash to tandoori Maine lobster with basmati rice, tomato chutney and black lentils. Wrap up the night with a surprise dessert.
167 Park Ave., Rutherford
201-935-2995, Feb. 14
Four-course prix-fixe, $110/ea.
An artsy spot named after Henri Matisse, this upscale resto that’s all about the tasting menu was once a horse and buggy firehouse. This year the resto is offering a four-course meal. Start with roasted beet tartare and imported burrata or cilantro lime shrimp, then follow up with options like pan seared peppered sirloin or fried artichoke wrapped in speck ham. For dessert, think a brownie with peanut butter banana cream and tons of fixings or a honey vanilla soaked banana cake. Reservations taken by phone only.
431 North Ave W., Westfield
908-654-4011, Feb. 14
Three-course prix fixe, $85/ea.
Does it get more romantic than a French dinner on Valentine's Day? Savor a meal inspired by the City of Love. Go authentic with escargots à la Bourguignonne (snails in butter, garlic and parsley) or Ganache de Foie Gras (duck liver pate with smoky almonds, persimmon compote and brioche), and follow up with braised lamb shank, mushroom parm risotto, sea scallops with raisin caper brown butter sauce, and the souffleé du jour for dessert.
PHOTO COURTESY OF YELPER DAVID L.
2023 Hudson St., Fort Lee
201-582-7101; Feb. 14-16
4-course tasting menu, $65-75/ea., $35/wine pairings
This resto is the concept of Chef Sherry Yard, a three-time James Beard Award winner (you might recognize her from Food Network), and is just downstairs from the super lux iPic movie theater, where you can sip in signature cocktails and apps during the film. Start with kumamoto oysters with ponzu granita and roasted beet with creamy burrata. There are two equally decadent main options: butter poached lobster tail with black truffle risotto and grilled lamb chops with potatoes and soy garlic glaze. And make sure to leave room for dessert: infinity cake with raspberry sauce, fresh berries and whipped creme fraiche.
19 Dennis St., New Brunswick
732-249-1551, Feb. 14
Three-course prix fixe, $58.95-61.95/ea.
Live entertainment is huge here, from comedy to live band karaoke to jazz nights. This spot is all about comfort and soul food. Start off with gumbo, collard green dip, cajun calamari or catfish fingers for authentic signature flavors. Fill up on special V-Day menu items like grilled short ribs with a baked potato and garlic broccoli or peach BBQ cornish hen with sweet potato mash and cabbage. Choose from sides like collard greens, baked mac and cheese and black-eyed peas with rice. And trust us, you’ll want to make space for dessert: Pick from the banana pudding, sweet potato pie and Harlem blackout cake.
29 Dennis St. at Hiram Sq., New Brunswick
732-846-3216, Feb. 14-16
Three-course prix-fixe, $88/ea. on 2/14; $63/ea. on 2/15-16
Any Scarlet Knights in the house? This upscale New Brunswick fave was founded by two Rutgers grads. Start off with a complex amuse of whipped camembert with dried cherries and truffle honey, then move onto apps like cream of bouillabaisse soup and black truffle ricotta gnocchi. Follow up with pan roasted Jersey monkfish with lobster hash in brown butter sauce, braised lamb shank with mint tabbouleh or beef tenderloin over sunchoke puree. For dessert, keep it classic (valrhona chocolate molten cake), bold (mascarpone cheesecake semifreddo with dates and pistachios) or light (trio of almond raspberry, pomegranate and strawberry vanilla sorbet).
225 Rte. 202, Basking Ridge
908-221-1150, Feb. 14-16
Four-course prix-fixe, $58/ea.
This restaurant has a ton of history and has been around since the 18th century. Try a range of flavors with a diverse selection of appetizers like winter harvest salad with anjou pear, lobster bisque with caviar creme fraiche or avocado toast with burrata and basil. Next up is sea scallops on leek and bacon risotto, a soy duck soba noodle bowl or chateaubriand steak for two. For dessert, go for flourless chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache and strawberries, lemon tart with raspberry lemon sorbet or bourbon vanilla cheesecake with yellow raisin caramel.
2 Main St., Ste. G, Edgewater
201-943-1900, Feb. 14
3-course prix fixe, $85/ea.
Boasting New York City views, Haven is known for its contemporary American fare. Start the night with an around-the-world aphrodisiac of Atlantic, Pacific and kumamoto oysters, or try the pan-seared sea scallops with chorizo, potato foam, salsa verde and paprika. Follow up with an epic eight-spice rub steak (think 14 oz. ribeye, New York Strip or Maryland blue crab filet mignon), or the crowd fave seafood risotto with heirloom black rice, lobster, shrimp, scallops, octopus, Atlantic cod and sweetie drop peppers. Leave room for the dessert sampler for two: white chocolate cheesecake, caramel apple tartlets, hazelnut chocolate mousse and key lime pie. Three one-hour seatings at 5, 7 and 9 pm.
50 Stirling Rd., Warren
908-754-1222, Feb. 15-16
Four-course prix-fixe, $69/ea.
This spot has the same owners as Liberty House Restaurant (Jersey City), votes best date night spot by our readers, Ryland Inn (Whitehouse Station) and Hotel du Village (New Hope, PA). Start your meal with a winter gem salad with goat cheese, warm crab crostini, or artichoke soup with candied chestnuts (or splurge on a fresh sushi or sashimi supplement). Share a spread of artisan cheeses or salumi, then fill up on dry aged ribeye for two with carrots and potato, sea bass with onions and dashi butter or three cheese agnolotti. As for dessert, think strawberry rhubarb crisp, mocha affogato or Nutella bread pudding.
200 Monmouth Ave., Spring Lake
732-974-9755, Feb. 14
Three-course prix-fixe, $85/ea.
Seafood is the star of this V-Day menu. Take in lobster bisque with lobster meat and creme fraiche, grilled ancho jumbo shrimp with lemon basil aioli or yellowfin tuna encrusted with black pepper and topped with wasabi drizzle as an appetizer. Follow up with seared salmon fillet with baby bok choy, halibut in white wine fennel broth or a 1 ½-pound lobster with crab cake, spinach, mashed potato and saffron beurre blanc. For dessert, indulge in everything from chocolate ganache cake to a pistachio pear tart.