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Valentine Day- do you or don't you? And if you do-what?

To me dining out on Valentine's Day is like going out on NYE. Amateur night. I can't stand the set menu's and the abundance of cheap red roses. And if it falls on a weekend? Forget it!

Even when we were dating we never went out on VD. Instead we would stay home and make a romantic dinner.

Now that we are married with a kid VD is more a family celebration. So this year will continue our tradition of homemade heart shaped pizza's with heart shaped pepperoni, champagne for us and sparkling cider for the boy.

What's on your agenda this year? Do you dress up and go out? Do you stay home and cook? go bowling or movie with dinner after?

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  1. We went out for dinner just once on Valentine's Day and declared it one of the worst dining experiences ever. Extra tables had been jammed in to the restaurant, the set menu was no great shakes and the food tasted as if it had been pre-cooked and briefly nuked, we could hear every conversartion 'cause of the table set-up, prices were high, "free" champagne was cheap. And this was a restaurant we had previously liked quite a lot.

    Now we dine at home and find our own ways to celebrate.

    1. Went once (against my better judgement) to my favourite local restaurant. They had a special set menu and it was the worst service I'd ever received there and the food was not as great as normal.
      Now if I do go out on Valentine’s Day I will phone a restaurant beforehand to make sure they are running a normal service.
      If they are having a special valentine menu don't go near the place.

      1. The two days that I refuse to go out on are Valentines Day and Mothers Day brunch. Both are over priced, underwhelming cattle calls.

        1 Reply
        1. I must be extremely lucky, because I've almost always had a good time dining out on Valentine's Day. Sometimes we go out to a restaurant with special Lunar New Year dishes. Once, at a French restaurant, our reservation was lost. The staff more than made up for it by setting up a special table for us (not in the most comfortable place, but I appreciated the extra effort) and being super nice all evening. I won't go to a place that only serves a prix fixe, but that's not limited to Valetine's Day; it's my rule for the entire year. This Valentine's Day we're going for sushi in a Chinatown hotel restaurant that looks like something out of the Jetsons and serves an appetizer with ankimo, uni and ikura (three of my favorite things). I'm looking forward to it.

          13 Replies
          1. re: small h

            Well, having read this thread, I think I know now why my Valentine's Day dinners out are so pleasant. All the cranky people stay home.

            1. re: small h

              Not cranky at all but I got that sense from this thread as well. We have a great time at home and love to celebrate and spend quality time together in the kitchen as a couple in our lounge clothes

              1. re: small h

                Not cranky at all. Just find enjoying the day all the more enjoyable by not having to dress up & go out to what's frequently sub-par "special" menus & service - the sub-par service frequently due to a full house all night, something that many places don't experience all that often these days. And for restaurants doing "seatings", heaven help you if you want to linger over your dessert/coffee. Forget about it.

                Decades ago, we used to go out for V-Day, New Year's Eve, etc., etc., but as the years went on - & especially since I so enjoy cooking - it became more of a hassle than an enjoyable experience. In addition, my birthday is 3 days after V-Day, & we always dine out somewhere nice for that, so it's not like we're really missing anything except the crowds, etc., etc.

                I'm pleased that you enjoy dining out on V-Day, but don't brand me as "cranky" simply because I prefer to enjoy dining in on that day!

                1. re: Bacardi1

                  "I'm pleased that you enjoy dining out on V-Day, but don't brand me as "cranky" simply because I prefer to enjoy dining in on that day!"

                  I believe the "cranky" attitude is attributed to those who have trashed dining out on VD, not those who prefer to stay home. The OP asked "Valentine Day- do you or don't you? And if you do-what?" When people started trashing the idea of dining out is when some of us perceived them as being cranky. That's all.

                  Ok. Enough said on my part. I'm outta here! :)

                2. re: small h

                  Curious how you got "cranky" from these posts??

                  1. re: foodieX2

                    Maybe not "cranky," but I think there is an underlying tone of bitterness in some of the posts. Whether this is due to bad past experiences or just a negative attitude towards dining amid couples who really can't afford to eat out the rest of the year but save up for a few special occasions, it is there.

                    1. re: ttoommyy

                      Interesting. I don't see it as bitterness at all. Some of my favorite high end places fall prey to the demand. Normally wonderful places with outstanding food and excellent service know they can make extra money at a lower cost by offering set menus and throwing in a cheap red rose/glass of champagne. I am not bitter about it, it’s business.

                      It’s why I don’t go out on NYE, Mothers Day, Thanksgiving or for that matter the super bowl. If I had to save my money for that one “special” night I would rather have that wonderful experience when a place it’s at its best. You don’t have celebrate on the 14th to show your love. However I certainly don’t begrudge or feel bitter about those who do.

                      1. re: foodieX2

                        Agreed. They too often cram in extra tables and place an emphasis on how quick they can turn them. It's a cash cow for the restaurant that they want to milk for all it's worth. Not that I begrudge them for doing so. I just don't want any part of it. I'll go to the same place on a different night and have a much more enjoyable experience.

                        1. re: foodieX2

                          THANK YOU both!!! Perfectly stated. :)

                          1. re: foodieX2

                            THANK YOU!! Perfectly stated.

                            (Double post that I can't delete - sorry.)

                        2. re: foodieX2

                          I read phrases like "cheap red roses," "overpriced, underwhelming cattle calls," and "hate hate HATE," and I thought that language sounded cranky.

                            1. re: small h

                              "I am not bitter about it, it’s business. "

                              I never said you (or anyone for that matter) were "bitter." I said "there is an underlying tone of bitterness in some of the posts." Big difference.

                      2. I sit around at home lonely and forlorn.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: redfish62

                          Me too. Except I'm not exactly forlorn.

                          I eat all kinds of things that past boyfriends have raised their eyebrows at in repulsion.....sardines, raw onion and nasal-clearing mustard on pumpernickel.... steamed potatoes tossed with the sardine oil....sauteed chicken livers.....lightly dressed green salad eaten pinch my pinch with my fingers.....a celebration of the foods I love, men be damned. :)

                          1. re: 4Snisl

                            If you ever need any company being not exactly forlorn, I would bring the sardines. Your feast sounds awesome!

                            1. re: pinehurst

                              Aw, thanks Pinehurst! No need to bring anything, and the invitation stands 365 days..... :)

                            2. re: 4Snisl

                              You should give being forlorn a try, it's really not that bad.