Playing chef du jour for Valentine's dinner isn't for everyone. Spoiling your sweetie should be about the easy wins—like knowing your favorite restaurant will take care of the food so you can take care of the romance.
Another easy win is finding out your favorite date spot is on Chronogram Smartcard, the free app that saves you up to 50% at select local restaurants. Head to the App Store or Google Play to download the app, then mark your calendar or reserve your table at any of these Hudson Valley restaurants this Valentine's Day.
To celebrate Runa Bistro's first Valentine's Day, owner Clare Hussain and Chef Ryan McClintock are giving the traditional pre-fixe dinner their rustic-chic spin. The three-course menu starts with an appropriately ruby-hued kir royale—a combo of crème de cassis (a black currant liqueur) and a bit of bubbly. Appetizers will feature riffs on aphrodisiacs like oysters, escargots, and cheese fondue. Entrées will be a choice of a housemade beet pasta, strip steak and shrimp duet, and poulet rôti. For dessert, choose between butterscotch pot de crème or Runa's classic flourless chocolate torte paired with crème anglaise. $62 per person before tax and gratuity. Reservations are recommended.
Prix-fixe not your thing? Tucked away on Tinker Street, A&P Bar will be serving up their casual, elevated fare with just a splash of extra romance. On Friday, purchase of any combo of appetizer and entrée includes a complimentary cocktail or dessert. In addition to daily specials, A&P will offer its curated menu of bistro mainstays like steak frites, buttermilk fried chicken, and comforting shepherd's pie—owner Gemma Bloxham's ode to her mother's recipe. According to Bloxham, guests should also expect a live band and plenty of roses. Reservations are recommended.
Seeking nourishment of both heart and body? Head to Newburgh's Bliss Kitchen for their ayurvedic vegetarian and vegan delights. Couples will be greeted with fresh flower garlands to don while they dine—Bliss's nod to the Indian wedding tradition where couples exchange them. Dinner will showcase hearty, healthful dishes like vegetable kofta in a tomato and cashew sauce and heart-shaped vegetable cutlets served with tamarind-date and cilantro-mint sauces—plus vegan desserts like raspberry chocolate cheesecake and mango-saffron halva, a bread pudding-like dessert made from semolina. The buffet special will be priced at $20 per person or $35 per couple.
If you're looking to dodge the evening rush and indulge in a leisurely daytime date, farm-to-table favorite Cafe Mio is offering a Valentine's brunch special Friday through Sunday. You can dive into some light day drinking with a classic mimosa or bellini, then luxuriate in the three-course pre-fixe, which will include a choice of appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Cafe Mio's chef-owner Michael Bernardo is known for comfort-food favorites with a twist, so expect delectably indulgent offerings like chocolate-covered-strawberry French toast and a seasonal play on eggs benedict.