Valentine’s Day is practically here. Somehow the most romantic holiday of the year always creeps up on us and we end up woefully unprepared. Some think that dining out or picking up store-bought gifts are played out, especially in this era of DIY and homegrown foodies, but there is something alluring about eating at great restaurant with the one you love.
I teamed up with Mike Goldstein, founder of EZ Dating Coach, to take some of the guessing out of picking a restaurant and tasty treats for your Valentine around Hoboken. EZ Dating Coach is a service offering advice and support in dating and communication.
Check out our top picks for restaurants and edible gifts for this Valentine’s Day.
Mike: Cucharamama screams romance with its wood burning oven, quaint decor, and is perfect for Valentine’s Day because it only has about 10 tables so you will not be sharing the night with a huge crowd. I would suggest skipping full course meals and just order tapas. I like small plates for dates because they are a great way to share and taste a variety of dishes, while creating endless conversation points about the experience.
foodie ventures: Hoboken Gourmet is a super sweet spot, wonderful for a Valentine’s Day dinner date. The space is small, resulting in an intimate meal with your valentine the focus. It still feels like a secret, as their dinner service is relatively new. The ambiance exudes just as much charm as the well-done comfort food. The entrees can be heavy, so perhaps for a sexy date, sharing a few of the starts, an entrée and a dessert will suffice. But don’t forget dessert!
|Anthony David's Dining Room|
Mike: Anthony David’s is high-end Italian food, offering great appetizers, but is also BYOB, which helps to keep the romantic evening on budget. The food is some of the best in Hoboken, while the restaurant also only has a few tables, which will allow for a more dreamy ambiance while still dining out.
foodie ventures: There’s nothing trendy about Margherita’s, but in my opinion, it’s quintessential Hoboken—it’s Italian, family-owned, reasonably priced and straight to the point. It’s BYOB, so pick out a special or favorite libation. Go for the chicken parm and split it with your valentine (or not, if you’re like me and my valentine). Any of the cheesecakes are also totally worth it.
Mike: Teak specializes in sushi and also has great hot Japanese-inspired dishes. I would suggest sharing sushi when possible as it allows for conversation around the food. What’s great about Teak is the ambiance. It’s sexy and elegant which hopefully translates to the patrons feeling the same way. Finally, sushi is always a good move on date night because it typically leaves people satisfied but not feeling bloated and unattractive.
foodie ventures: If you really want to treat your date to a more luxurious classy experience, Dino & Harry’s or Amanda’s are great options. Dino & Harry’s is like a refined, more contemporary steakhouse. It is definitely an indulgence (think steak prices), but the food is pretty and tasty. Amanda’s is another old-guard restaurant in Hoboken. It is super romantic, comfortable and sophisticated at the same time. The food is exquisitely done and consistent.
foodie ventures: There’s nothing sweeter on Valentine’s Day than a gift of a gaggle of mini cupcakes. Sweet is a great place to pick up some in really delectable flavors. They are really attractive and enticing, just a taste and not too much.
Mike: Lepore’s Chocolates has phenomenal chocolate, probably because its owners and staff are truly passionate about romance and of course their favorite sweet, chocolate. They have an amazing assortment of chocolates that come pre-wrapped with a nice bag to present to your date. Of course the presentation of chocolate is almost as important as how good the chocolate tastes, and I can assure you Lepore’s hits a home run on both fronts.
foodie ventures: For the health nut in your life, A&I Nutreats sweet things are a must. These good-for-you goodies give the body a healthy boost and contain only natural ingredients. They can be purchased online, but in a pinch, found at a variety of locations in Hoboken.
Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day y’all!