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Valentine's Day dinner out -- bad idea?

oolah Feb 13, 2007 06:58 PM

So I have a primetime reservation at Cru tomorrow evening in Manhattan, but I keep reading everywhere that dinner out on Valentine's Day is like begging for mediocrity. Do you think this is true of high end restaurants like Cru too, or does all this stuff about "amateur night" apply only to rinky dink restaurants that aren't serious about food?

Most importantly, should I cancel and reschedule for another time? I'd hate to do this since I've been looking forward to this dinner all week!

  1. r
    rjw_lgb_ca Feb 14, 2007 09:52 AM

    Funny thing-- given the hassle of getting anywhere for specific "seatings" at better restaurants in the greater LA area, my honey and I decided to enjoy our special dinner this past Saturday at our favorite French place (Frenchy's Bistro, Long Beach, CA). Although the prix fixe menu for tonight looked fine, I think we did quite well with our four courses (including foie gras in two of them!) and a nice bottle of Laurent-Perrier Brut that evening. We'll order in tonight-- we'd rather putter around the house in our jammies-- or whatever *knowing wink*.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rjw_lgb_ca
      yayadave Feb 14, 2007 10:05 AM

      In that case, there was a suggestion on a Nutella thread awhile back.... "Wink, wink." It's Chowhound, after all.

    2. yayadave Feb 14, 2007 09:47 AM

      I think all of the above is true. But there's a kicker today. With the weather in New York today and this evening, I'll bet any restaurant in Manhatten will be happy to see who ever shows up.

      1. oolah Feb 14, 2007 09:22 AM

        I'm not a huge V-Day fan for the sake of V-Day, but my husband went and proposed to me 4 years ago today, so we celebrate it. Also, I'll take just about any excuse to eat out somewhere fantastic.

        Thanks for the reassurances. I think a place like Cru, which is always fully booked, shouldn't suffer from from any kind of V-Day rush, but I had seen so much bluster and hype about how terrible it is to eat out on V-Day that I started to worry.

        1. c
          ChrisZ Feb 14, 2007 04:25 AM

          Typically- I am in agreement that Valentines Day is not the best day to go out and enjoy a romantic dinner. (Overcrowded restaurants, rushed service, very limiting and over priced prefix's).

          But you are not going to a typical restaurant; you are going to Cru. I would not apply those standards here. An amazing wine list and some fantastic food will make for a real nice evening. Keep your reservations and enjoy!

          1. j
            Janet from Richmond Feb 14, 2007 04:14 AM

            Dh and I rarely go out on Valentine's Day because of the special occasion factor. Sometime we will have dinner at the club. However, tonight we are doing something somewhat "anti-Valentine's" and going out for fried chicken and spoonbread....indulgent and not romantic.

            1. ipsedixit Feb 13, 2007 09:06 PM

              I don't know about the whole "amatuer night" issue with dining out on V-day, but I think the one problem with eating out on V-day is expectations.

              Usually there is so much hope and hype built into the dinner that anything less than pure and utter perfection will be a letdown and disappointment.

              More likely than not, you'll probably get a decent, not great, meal. Some dishes will sparkle, others will not and some will simply leave you a bit ambivalent.

              This is how most meals go, V-day or otherwise.

              But on V-day, with all the expectations built-in, it becomes a great dining travesty ...

              1. r
                redchair Feb 13, 2007 08:56 PM

                If you have the reservation and have been looking forward to it, by all means go! But in the future, I suggest that everyone boycott the mindless rush to eat a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day. Make your own romantic day, January 27th or September 1st, and forgo the battle to get a reservation on the day that we are told we must spend with our one true love. Who says?

                1 Reply
                1. re: redchair
                  SanseiDesigns Feb 13, 2007 09:04 PM

                  Ditto! It is the same reason I spend my holidays in Europe in the 'off-season', particularly in Burgundy region and Paris. The restaurateurs and merchants are far more interested in seeing you when their business is slower, than when they are simply trying to fit everyone in. The only mass even I enjoy is the Hospice du Beaune because you can only enjoy it for a very few short days. When a chef and staff are not hurried, remarkable experiences can be had!

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