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Love, À La Carte

Alternatives to Valentine's Day's ubiquitous prix fixe fare.

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Vinegar Hill House.  

Umi Nom
The name of this Southeast Asian small-plates spot plays with the Tagalog verb meaning “to drink,” so for V-Day, owner King Phojanakong will feature sparkling sake to help spur the romance. Also on offer: oysters, both fried (with wasabi and tobiko aioli) and raw.

Recette
In addition to a prix fixe menu of contemporary French-American fare, Recette has a few decadent à la carte choices, like Uni Linguini with Scottish langoustine, caviar, and black truffle, and a crispy risotto with hedgehog fungus and bone marrow. Look for exquisite plate composition and a romantic, low-key atmosphere.

Tipsy Parson
The second restaurant from Little Giant owners Julie Taras Wallach and Tasha Garcia Gibson is serious about comfort food: Try the citrus-braised duck leg with savory spaghetti squash, and apple pie for two, homemade on the premises. There's also an oyster and charcuterie station.

BLT Prime
For those in love who also love meat, BLT Prime is offering a prix fixe as well as an à la carte. Highlights include a smoked rib eye with bacon béarnaise and a Piedmontese flatiron with bone-marrow butter.

Vinegar Hill House
Even the venue's backstory is romantic here: The couple that owns the place met while on the job at Freeman's. The space is cozy with just 60 seats, candles burning on the tables, and a wood-burning stove. Chef Jean Adamson changes the menu based on season and the best ingredients she can find that week, so look for the Valentine's Day selections to be fresh and flavorful.

Travertine
At an evening themed "Angels of Love," you'll get complimentary cocktails made with sparkling wine and Chambord, and special shared menu items like heart-shaped ravioli and a whole roasted fish for two. Reservations will be taken for 6 p.m to 9 p.m., but after that, it's party time: The interior will be decorated with a "heavenly" theme, they've hired a celebrity guest D.J., and guests are encouraged to dress in white (bonus points if you dress like Cupid).


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