No Date, No Problem: 11 Valentine’s Day Celebrations for Singles

Singles know it all too well. Come February, and everywhere you look you see hearts — even the clouds appear heart-shaped. But, bless your hearts, that doesn’t keep you from participating in Valentine’s Day fun. In fact, according to a recent survey by OpenTable, many singles (42%) across the country are looking forward to dining out in celebration of Valentine’s Day this year, and one in three  (35%) plan to dine with multiple platonic friends or family members. If you’re looking for something a little more tailored to your status, however, we’ve found 11 Valentine’s Day celebrations for singles that you’re sure to heart, many with fun, tongue-in-cheek menus and cocktails — and even anti-Valentine’s Day music and activities. And, since VD falls on a Sunday this year, expect lots of Galentine brunch deals, too.

Carmine’s, Las Vegas, Nevada
Eat your heart out. Carmine’s Italian Restaurant at The Forum Shops at Caesars is featuring a “Girl’s Gone Garlic” meal — a full-course fixe menu that includes items like Carmine’s Caesar Salad, Penne all Vodka, a gigantic Titanic Sundae, and a bottle of Prosecco for $125. Or, order the “My Heart Will Not Go On” meal that’s all about that humongous Titanic Sundae and a bottle of Prosecco for $65. Book a table at Carmine’s.

Valentine's Day Celebrations for Singles

Izzy’s Fish & Oyster, Miami Beach, Florida
This South Beach heartthrob invites singles and their friends to “Shuck Valentine’s Day” with an “interactive bar experience that allows singles to engage both the bartenders and oyster bar shuckers.” The way it works: Grab a single friend and you’ll get a bottle of Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut, ½ dozen Island Creek Oysters, choice of warm or cold lobster roll, and a slice of Grandma Celia’s Lemon Meringue Pie for $75 per duo. Awww, shucks! Book a table at Izzy’s Fish & Oyster.

Valentine's Day Celebrations for Singles

I|O Godfrey Lounge, Chicago, Illinois
Slip into I|O — atop the Godfrey Hotel — for a Valentine’s Nightcap singles party on February 13. You’ll get a glass of Champagne and, if all else fails, you can always surrender your love to the sweet dessert and candy bar. If you meet Mr. or Ms. Wonderful, you’ll want to book a booth — which comes with a bottle of bubbly to share. Or, cuddle up in the lounge’s insulated clear-dome igloo where you’ll admire city views and nibble on yum yums. Things getting interesting? Get a room. Book a table at the I|O Godfrey Lounge.

Valentine's Day Celebrations for Singles

Pistache French Bistro, West Palm Beach, Florida
Pucker up! This modern French bistro will feature a kissing booth — for French kissing, of course. There will also be aphrodisiac-inspired cocktails, such as the sexy signature Blood Orange Martini, and a three-course VD brunch option — think roasted duck and waffles (poached egg, spicy grain mustard, maple syrup) and Crepes Suzette (caramelized orange butter sauce flambé in liqueur Bauchant, vanilla ice cream). A three-course Galentine dinner menu will include Salmon Tartare (smoked and fresh salmon, cilantro-avocado mousse, grapefruit-ginger oil, pickled shitake, lemon aioli, and brioche croutons), Moules Frites Mariniere (Prince Edward Island mussels steamed in white wine-garlic-shallot broth and served with pommes frites), Filet au Poivre (pepper-crusted beef tenderloin with a black pepper brandy sauce), and a chocolate and raspberry gateau (dark chocolate ganache, raspberry coulis, and vanilla cream). Book a table at Pistache French Bistro.

Valentine's Day Celebrations for Singles

Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten, Asbury Park, New Jersey
It’s all about the communal tables at this authentic biergarten—so you won’t be subject to PDA from the couple in the table-for-two in the corner of the room. The VD theme here? “Is Love in the Cards for You?” The way it works: When you arrive, you’ll be given half a playing card and if you find the person with the other half of the card, you’ll bring it to the bar for a complimentary beer (Let’s hope your match isn’t wearing lederhosen!). The menu is classic Austro-Hungarian biergarten food — Organic Chicken Paprikash (paprika-braised chicken, lemon, egg noodles, parsley, and sour cream), Weisswurst (veal and pork belly sausage seasoned with parsley, garlic, and lemon), and Apfelstrudel with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. Book a table at Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten.

Valentine's Day Celebrations for Singles

South Water Kitchen, Chicago, Illinois
Drown your sorrows with head bartender Dan Rook’s #SingleforLife cocktail. It’s a riff on the regular cocktail menu’s Cocoa Flip with two ounces of Larressingle VSOP Armagnac, ½ ounce Tempus Fugit Crème de Cocoa, ½ ounce Cynar, ½ ounce, ½ ounce cinnamon syrup, and egg white, and it’s garnished with Peychaud’s Bitters in the shape of a heart. A real heartbreaker. Book a table at South Water Kitchen.

Valentine's Day Celebrations for Singles

Area Four Restaurant, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Grab some grumpy single friends — or go alone — and get silly with chef Jeff Pond “Hater’s Valentine’s Day” menu of spicy pizza with arrabbiata “angry” sauce, skewered chicken hearts, and gingerbread-people style cookies that you can decorate as voodoo dolls. Ready for your check? It’ll come with hate hearts — you know, those sweet, heart-shaped candies, except these are stamped with less-than-lovely messages. Bonus: Sad flicks will be shown on the bar’s TVs. Book a table at Area Four Restaurant.

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The Ultimate in Comfort Dining: Pajama Brunch on New Year’s Day

We admit it. As much as we love our PJ’s and loungewear, we’re not the hugest fans of people wearing them in public – except, that is, when it’s the first day of the year and that is pretty much all anyone wants to or is capable of wearing. Your fashion leanings don’t have to keep you from dining out that day, however. Here are a few restaurants where you are welcome to don your yummy sushi pajamas and slip on your Ugg slippers with pajama brunch on New Year’s Day. (PS: It really pays to show up in your sleepwear at a few of these restaurants; read on for details.)

Summer House Santa Monica, North Bethesda, Maryland
Enjoy the feel of laid-back California dining in the NB with this location of Summer House Santa Monica, however the Pajama Brunch Party here on New Year’s Day revs things up a bit with a healthy side of fun. The Spinach and Kale omelet is perfect for clean eaters, but be sure to pair it with the Kicked Up Kale cocktail (because it’s a party, after all). The original breakfast ‘wich is a local fave, and those with a certain type of tooth will find sweet satisfaction in the Orange Chocolate Chip Pancakes. Bonus: Enjoy a credit for another free meal at a future visit — if you rock your PJs to brunch. [Photo by Anjali Pinto] Make a reservation.

Pajama Brunch

Viviane, Beverly Hills, California
The inaugural New Year’s Day brunch at the posh Viviane’s promises to rejuvenate you as you dine al fresco by the iconic Avalon pool. Don’t let the posh place stop you from styling your comfort wear at this meal, though. Executive chef Michael Hung’s special menu will feature savory goodness such as the Fried Egg and Porchetta Ham Hoagie, mouthwatering Loaded Potatoes with Duck Confit, Bone Marrow and Trout Caviar, and Roasted Mushroom Bread Pudding with Truffle Anglaise and will set you on the road to recovery in no time. Kick off your meal with the cure-all that is bar manager Ryan Wainwright’s San Francisco Rooster Shoot (a trio of subsequent shots of freshly pressed wheatgrass juice, orange juice, and Tapatío tequila) and rejuvenate in a most delicious way. Make a reservation.

Pajama Brunch

Stella Barra Pizzeria, Chicago, Illinois
Pizza for breakfast in your PJ’s? YES! Live the dream at chef Jeff Mahin’s artisanal pizzeria in Lincoln Park. There are breakfast pizzas including the Venice Beach with egg whites, mushrooms, caramelized onions, Gruyere, and truffle, and anytime pies like the classic Margherita and a Quattro Formaggi that’s a cheesy mélange of Gruyere, Fontina, Pecorino, and Gorgonzola. For you Tommy Boy fans, there’s a Meat Lover’s ‘za, too. Purists fear not: Classic brunch dishes, such as frittatas and Belgian waffles, also grace the menu. Dress casual in your comfiest PJs to leave with a gift card equal to the price of your meal for use on your next visit. [Photo by Rey Lopez] Make a reservation.

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A Very Waldorf Astoria Christmas: The Ultimate NYC Holiday Brunch at Peacock Alley

Blog 1 OpenTable_Waldorf-25 copyWith all due respect to cities all over the world, it’s seriously tough to beat Christmas in New York. We’ve got the tree. The Rockettes. And the Peacock Alley, which is housed in the Waldorf Astoria, one of the most storied properties in New York City.

Its origins dating all the way back to 1893, Peacock Alley is a common thread for many a New York story. Stop by and check in on any social network, and the comments will start flowing about the Alley and the Waldorf Astoria. “My grandparents celebrated their engagement there.” “I had my wedding there!” “I saw the POTUS there!” Seriously, try it.

Peacock Alley is named for the glamorous, 300-foot marble corridor of the original hotel that once connected the Palm Room and the Empire Room restaurants; people who lived in New York or who came to the city insisted upon walking at least once through the “Alley.” When the Waldorf Astoria opened on Park Avenue in 1931, Peacock Alley was reborn as a lounge area, ultimately evolving into a five-star restaurant — and home of the ultimate New York City holiday brunch.

If you haven’t yet Instagrammed the experience, you just might lose your foodie IG cred. The expansive spread is that over the top — and also that delicious. This is luxe day dining served with a side of certified New York history. Take a sumptuous virtual tour, courtesy of local photographer Simon Lewis, enjoy some inside information and dizzying stats from the culinary team, and scroll to the bottom of this post for a list of (almost) everything that was on the menu for holiday brunch at Peacock Alley that day.*

Executive Pastry Chef Charlie Romano revealed, “We have a big team making this happen, and we are very fortunate that it’s a great team. It’s all about collaboration, communication, and teamwork. It’s about doing your best and making diners happy and keeping them excited.”
True story: Eggs Benedict was invented at the Waldorf Astoria by famed maître d’hôtel Oscar Tschirsky...
True story: Eggs Benedict was invented at the Waldorf Astoria by famed maître d’hôtel Oscar Tschirsky…
...as was the eponymous Waldorf salad.
…as was the eponymous Waldorf salad.
This chef shucks around 500 oysters at most brunch services.
This chef shucks around 500 oysters at most brunch services.
The seafood station with snow crab, shrimp, and lobster claws + tails is particularly popular, according to Assistant Chef de Cuisine Stephen McDowell. "We get 700 pounds of live lobster that we cut, clean, and break down each week!"
The seafood station with snow crab, shrimp, and lobster claws + tails is particularly popular, according to Assistant Chef de Cuisine Stephen McDowell. “We get 700 pounds of live lobster that we cut, clean, and break down each week!”

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A Dozen Blue Ribbon Breakfast Sandwiches to Kick Start Your Day #BetterBreakfastMonth

The humble breakfast sandwich is no longer the purview of fast food joints. Now chefs are creating gourmet versions that eschew rubbery eggs and limp rolls for high-quality ingredients in creative presentations. Whether these sandos arrive on an English muffin or a biscuit or in a tortilla or a pita, they are guaranteed to give you a sunny disposition. In honor of Better Breakfast Month, here are a dozen blue ribbon breakfast sandwiches to kick start your day.

Boqueria-Soho, New York, New York
You’ll sound super fancy when you order the bocata de huevos, but you’re really just asking for the egg sandwich. This Spanish-styled startup sammie is far from ordinary, however. It comes with a fried egg, tangy mahón cheese, pickled red onions, cilantro, peppery pimentón aioli, and your choice of avocado or housemade pork sausage.

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Zengo, Washington, D.C.
When Sir Mix-a-Lot rapped, “My anaconda don’t want none/Unless you’ve got buns, hon,” he was clearly voicing his preference for breakfast sandwiches served on steamed buns. That’s what we like to think, anyway. At this Asian-Latin fusion joint, they pile the warm white pastries with bacon, scrambled eggs, salsa verde, and white Oaxacan cheese. We’re sure the “Baby Got Back” hit maker would approve heartily.

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MP Taverna, Astoria, New York
This fully loaded egg souvlaki should be known as a Greek hangover cure. The pita comes packed with spicy lamb sausage, French fries, onions, and feta. In between bites, you can rationalize your questionable choices from the night before to your understandably skeptical dining companion.

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Blue Duck Tavern, Washington, D.C.
Consider this break-of-day treat a high-end Egg McMuffin. Scrambled eggs, pork sausage, and American cheese (of course!) are packed between two halves of an English muffin gussied up with a spicy aioli. Ronald McDonald, sorry, but you are running a so-distant-we-can’t-even-see-you second in this race.

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The Garden at the Four Seasons Hotel, New York, New York
Executive chef John Johnson evokes the bagelwiches you used to put together when you had breakfast at your bubbe’s house. A sesame-speckled circlet comes with ribbons of smoked salmon, plenty of cream cheese, tomatoes, red onions, and capers. Not included: your grandmother’s constant questions about why you haven’t settled down yet and produced lots of grandchildren for her to spoil.

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Brio, New York, New York
You’ll need two hands to tackle this hefty breakfast burger. The epic edible comes piled high with a fried egg, apple wood-smoked bacon, a shroud of melted Provolone, arugula, and tomato jam. Remember, there’s no shame in requesting extra napkins.

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