DINING OUT: Romantic spots to dine on Valentine’s Day in Bay Ridge

January 28, 2016 Helen Klein
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The recipe for romance is a venerable one, coined in the Middle Ages in Persia by poet and mathematician Omar Khayyam – “A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou.”

Nearly a millennium later, lovers are still wooing their beloveds with food, though now, very often, in a restaurant setting, where candlelight, chocolate and whispered conversation combine to set the stage, no time more than on Valentine’s Day.

In Brooklyn, there is no shortage of restaurants where ambiance and fine food work together to kindle romance. Here are a few of our favorites, in a neighborhood chock-full of fine restaurants, Bay Ridge.

Tanoreen, 7523 Third Avenue, 718-748-5600, is cozy and comfortable, and its food is stellar. From herb-inflected fattoush to the eatery’s off-the-menu, open-secret appetizer plate, to its lamb and chicken kabobs, everything is fresh and fabulous, as bright as the Mediterranean sun.

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Campania, 9904 Fourth Avenue, 347-517-4868, warms both the soul and the palate, with its coal-fired oven just adjacent to the dining room. Make a reservation here if your honey likes pizza and other specialties of Southern Italy – the Lombarda Pizza with arugula, prosciutto and truffle oil is the stuff that dreams are made on, and one of our writers is still talking about the eatery’s Eggplant Parm. Then there is the creamy and delectable house-made mozzarella, served with unctuous sweet roasted peppers.

Xin, 8320 Third Avenue, 347-662-6222, provides elegant surroundings where diners can enjoy Cantonese classics such as Grand Marnier Shrimp, or the retro-inspired Bo Bo Platter, following the main dish with distinctly un-Asian desserts such as the Xinful Cannoli Crumble, deconstructed cannoli that provide the perfect finishing touch to a romantic dinner a deux.

If you’re seeking a little south of the border sizzle, Blue Agave, 7215B Third Avenue, 718-439-0808, provides upscale Latin cuisine in an intimate dining room. Share the guacamole – fresh and delicious, and what could be more romantic? – then dig in to some of the restaurant’s specialties, Mexican favorites like Enchiladas Suizas and Fajitas, while toasting each other with margaritas made from the eatery’s broad selection of tequilas.

For Spanish food, and an elegant, calm atmosphere, no one can beat Ridge mainstay Sancho’s, 7410 Third Avenue, 718-748-0770. In this classic restaurant, Paella is a customer favorite, but the good news is that it’s just the beginning. Add in garlicky Chicken Ajillo, several iterations of filet mignon and rack of lamb and you have the perfect spot for an intimate dinner.

The Pearl Room, 8201 Third Avenue, 718-833-6666, is renowned for its impeccably prepared classics with a twist, as created by Chef Anthony Rinaldi, who’s come up with a scrumptious sounding Valentine’s prix fixe menu. Many of Rinaldi’s dishes are influenced by the cuisine of Italy, but other leitmotifs also emerge. The Valentine menu, for instance, includes Maryland Style Crab Cakes, Hummus Crusted Atlantic Salmon and Crispy Vegetable Spring Rolls as well as Mozzarella in Carrozza, Filet of Sole Oreganata and Penne alla Vodka.

And, then there is the Petit Oven, 276 Bay Ridge Avenue, 718-833-3343, a jewel box of a restaurant where French food is the specialty. Succulent Duck Confit and rich and creamy Foie Gras Terrine are among this beloved eatery’s most popular dishes, the list of which also includes the likes of Salmon Tartare to start, and Bread Pudding, for the perfect finishing touch.

Needless to say, this list is just the beginning. With so many good restaurants, the Ridge is truly chock-a-block with Valentine possibilities.


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