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Date Night

How to make the most of Valentine's Day, no matter what your budget.

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The Dove Parlour   

Gray's Papaya  

Under $5
Where to Drink
To get the most bang for your five bucks, you’ll need to start early. Chambers Street Wines offers free tastings every Saturday afternoon, but they’re upping the ante for Valentine’s with an all-Champagne lineup from 4 to 7 p.m.

What to Do
Jerry Saltz says the paintings at Jason Fox's new show, Upper Depths, "hit the retina with a saturated blare of intense color." That color, for the most part, is red.

Where to Eat
Though you may have to eat it standing up at the counter, Gray’s Papaya’s Recession Special really is made for sharing. And the signature papaya drink is a little too sweet to finish all by yourself, anyway.



Sputnik   

Under $25
Where to Drink:
While the downstairs bar at Clinton Hill’s Sputnik has a distinct Pratt-student-dance-party vibe, the white-walled, Soviet-themed upstairs has a calmer, retro charm. Grab a private table, hang here for happy hour (4 to 7 p.m.), and knock back a couple of $3 PBRs.

Where to Eat:
Even though Outpost is primarily a coffeehouse, its exposed-brick walls and vintage-accented décor make it a romantic-enough stop for a light dinner of salmon cakes or macaroni and cheese.

What to Do:
Head over to BAM to catch Japanther and Ninjasonik playing free in BAMcafé as part of the Sounds Like Brooklyn Music Festival. Be sure to arrive a bit early (admission is first-come, first-served) to catch Ninjasonik’s irreverent party-synth-rap and Japanther’s noisy, lo-fi twist on punk. Show starts at 10 p.m., doors open at 9:30.


Under $50
What to Do:
Channel your inner broke-NYU-student and pay $1 to see the “amorous” paintings at the Met’s Art and Love in Renaissance Italy exhibit. (The suggested admission price is, after all, just a suggestion.)

Where to Drink:
The brick walls and low lights in Choice Kitchen and Cocktails give it a more intimate feel than you’d expect from a multi-room restaurant. Skip the bar area (and the sports on its TVs) in favor of a table near the front windows, where you can do some people-watching and enjoy drink specials ($6 specialty drinks, $4 selected drafts) till 8 p.m.

Where to Eat:
Finish the night with a low-key dinner at cozy Bao Noodles. Most of the signature soups and noodle dishes run less than $10 and there are a variety of bánh mì (hearty baguette sandwiches) for $7 or less.



’ino  

Under $75
Where to Drink:
With its deep red walls, sconces, and a fireplace, Dove Parlour provides instant Valentine’s Day ambience. Arrive early in the evening and take advantage of the generous happy hour: classics-inspired specialty cocktails, selected wine carafes, margaritas, and more for $6.

What to Do
Heeb Magazine is putting on a Valentine’s edition of its Storytelling series at the 92nd St. Y Tribeca. Seven performers (including Penthouse columnist Lainie Speiser, The Red Leather Diary author Lily Koppel, and comedian Sara Barron) will share humorous seven-minute anecdotes of their own loves and losses. $10; show starts at 8:30.

Where to Eat
The back-to-basics menu and rustic Italian appeal at ’ino make it an inviting spot for a meal for two. There are more than fifteen varieties of panini available for $11 each, plus an extensive selection of bruschetta and tramezzini with equally wallet-friendly prices. Plus, it's open until 2 a.m., making it convenient for a late, post-theater dinner.


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