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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cellar at Gran Morsi, New York, New York
On Valentine’s Day eve, it’s all about the Love Stinks dueling pianos party in the belly of the Gran Morsi restaurant. Let it all out — request your “angriest, most bitter rock ‘n roll” and “drown your single sorrows” with a singalong, a dance-along, and, best of all, a drink-along. Executive chef Kenneth Johnson — a recent winner on Beat Bobby Flay — will dish out hearty specials like his Polpette Meatballs (black Angus beef, Berkshire pork, and San Marzano tomatoes.) Or, skip the pity party and enjoy those same award-winning meatballs and other Italian specials upstairs in the Gran Morsi restaurant. Buy tickets for the party.
Forager’s City Table, New York, New York
Dodge the lovey-dovey brunch scene and celebrate Galentine’s Day with your besties while sipping cocktails and savoring waffles sweetened with locally-sourced peach butter and Hudson Valley whipped cream prepared just for you by chef Nickolas Martinez. Bonus: Shop in the Forager’s market after brunch for a good-for-your-heart-and-soul bar of chocolate, perhaps. Book a table at Forager’s City Table.
Outlook Kitchen and Bar at The Envoy Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts
The slick Envoy Hotel’s Outlook restaurant is hosting a Brunch, Beats, and Bloodys brunch on Valentine’s Day. Sip the “Single and Ready to Mingle” (bourbon, whiskey barrel-aged bitters, Bloody Mary mix, and chef David Verdo’s signature steak sauce). Other Bloodies will include the super-spicy “Too Hot to Handle” and the “Bloody Valentine” with a secret Bloody Mary recipe. The brunch menu features items like Lobster Benedict (butter poached Maine lobster, English muffin, poached egg, spinach, and truffle hollandaise) and Nutella French Toast (with brown sugar caramelized chai rum bananas.) Extra sweet? A DJ will spin bittersweet V-Day beats. Book a table at Outlook Kitchen and Bar.
The J. Parker, Chicago, Illinois
Match.com was never this much fun. Find your potential love match on Valentine’s Eve at the Sadie Hawkins 90’s dance party here. See someone you like? Just write him or her a valentine, slip it into the valentine mailbox, and wait for Cupid’s arrow to strike. Sip spiked punch, savor passed sweet bites and let loose to music from DJ Kareem — with or without your newly-matched funny valentine. Book a table at The J. Parker.
Make one of these Valentine’s Day celebrations for singles one of your #29ReasonstoLoveFebruary this week and share your experiences with us here or over on Facebook, G+, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. And whatever your relationship status, remember to enter our #savorthelove Valentine’s Day giveaway for a chance to win one of ten $200 gift cards.
Laurie Bain Wilson is a Boston-based journalist, author, and essayist who writes often about travel, food, and baseball. Find her on Twitter @laurieheather.
Photo credit: Eric Kleinberg (The J. Parker).