Valentine's Day in Boston -
Whether you love it or actively avoid it at all costs, Valentine’s Day is about to roll through Boston in all of its red and pink Hallmark glory. Are you ready?
Alongside all the candy hearts and the teddy bears, these Valentine’s Day dinner events range from the traditional (prix-fixe meals) to the quirky (blood drives, racy dance parties). If you’re not into Valentine’s Day this year, we’ve also highlighted a few Galentine’s Day events — plus an evening that’ll have you sticking your nose up at the holiday altogether.
For dinner with a view: Alcove Chances are you didn’t score a reservation at Top of the Hub for Valentine’s Day before it’s impending closure. Don’t stress: Outside of the West End’s Alcove, the Zakim Bridge offers a very-Boston backdrop while you and your date dine on Rohan duck wings, smoked house-made ricotta cappelletti, and chocolate mousse for two. Take a stroll around Lovejoy Wharf — and snap a few selfies — after your meal. (50 Lovejoy Wharf, Boston; Friday, Feb. 14 from 5 p.m.–midnight; prices vary)
For fortune-seeking friends: Avery Bar On Feb. 13, The Ritz-Carlton’s newly redesigned Avery Bar will offer complimentary cocktails and bites in honor of Leslie Knope’s favorite holiday: Galentine’s Day. Local artist Susan Gillis will showcase her DevotionaLuxe jewelry if you’re looking to treat yourself, but for something a little more forward-looking, sit down with a tarot reader to see what your love forecast holds. (10 Avery St., Boston; Thursday, Feb. 13 from 6 p.m.–8 p.m.; free entry)
For a classic French fête: Bastille Kitchen Lobster bisque. Beef crudo. Sirloin with sweet potato fondant. White chocolate brûlée. Executive chef Kendall DeCosta will whip up a Valentine’s Day dinner featuring an appetizer, entrées, and dessert for a classic, three-course French meal at this romantic Seaport destination. (49 Melcher St., Boston; Friday, Feb. 14 from 5 p.m.–11 p.m.; $75 per person, $20 for wine pairings)
For celebrating la dolce vita: Benedetto Chef Michael Pagliarini will bring up the heat this Valentine’s Day at his already-dreamy restaurant Benedetto, an Italian eatery inside the Charles Hotel. His four-course dinner invites diners to start with crispy stone-milled polenta, followed by their choice of antipasti (raw market seafood, prosciutto di parma with grilled rosemary flatbread, warm root vegetable salad, orange and fennel salad), secondi (pan-roasted chicken with wild mushroom risotto, seared scallops, farfalle with gorgonzola dolce), and dolci (flourless chocolate cake, coconut pavlova, house chocolates and biscotti). (1 Bennett St., Cambridge; Friday, Feb. 14 from 5 p.m.–11 p.m.; $85 per person)
For those with a Valentine’s Day vendetta: Bukowski Tavern More resentful than romantic? Bukowski’s annual “‘F*** Valentine’s Day’ Party” gives the floor to the broken-hearted, asking attendees to share their best stories (love-related or not) on stage as Boston-based podcast Old Dirty Boston hosts the storytelling event, and Boston comedian Steve Sweeney serves as MC for the night. Dine on Bukowski’s regular menu and try one of the tavern’s special cocktails for the night, like the “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” featuring rum, rose liqueur, lime, and vanilla. (1281 Cambridge St., Cambridge; Friday, Feb. 14 from 8 p.m.–10 p.m.; prices vary)
For “Sex & the City” fans: City Tap Whether you’re a Miranda or a Charlotte, a Samantha or a Carrie, you’re welcome at City Tap’s Galentine’s Day Brunch on Feb. 15. The festivities will kick off at 11 a.m. with music from the ’90s and early aughts as cosmos and mimosas make the rounds. Brunch specials will include the likes of Carrie cupcakes, smoked salmon carpaccio on mini bagels, yogurt parfait martinis, and chocolate-covered strawberries. (10 Boston Wharf Road, Boston; Saturday, Feb. 15 from 11 a.m.–3 p.m.; prices vary)
For ladies celebrating ladies: OAK Long Bar + Kitchen Back for a second year, the Fairmont Copley Plaza’s OAK Long Bar + Kitchen and The Food Lens will throw a Galentine’s Day soirée on Feb. 13. Grab your best buds and settle in for a night sipping Galentine’s Day-themed cocktails and rosés by female vinters; sampling sweets, cheeses, and passed hors d’oeuvres; and dancing to music from pop’s biggest lady entertainers. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to Women’s Lunch Place, a Newbury Street shelter offering a safe haven, meals, and support services for Boston women experiencing poverty and homelessness. (138 St. James Ave., Boston; Thursday, Feb. 13 from 6 p.m.–9 p.m.; $55 per person)
For those who want to give back: PABU That blood that’s pumping through your heart as you gaze at your significant other? Give it away (your blood, not your heart, that is). From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 14, downtown’s PABU will set up a blood drive on-site in partnership with the American Red Cross of Massachusetts. Anyone who donates will receive a free dessert during the restaurant’s Valentine’s Day dinner service, which includes a six-course meal featuring sashimi, tempura, American Wagyu flank steak, mango gelée, and more. Make an appointment to donate blood here. (3 Franklin St., Boston; Friday, Feb. 14, Blood drive: 9 am.–2 p.m., Dinner: 5:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m.; $109 per person, $69 for wine pairings)
For a pasta dinner under $50: The Salty Pig A pasta-centric three-course tasting menu for $45 per person? Be still, my heart. At The Salty Pig, chef Michael Bergin will offer his carb-heavy Butta La Pasta menu — which is normally only available at the chef’s counter on Wednesday nights — throughout the entire dining room on Valentine’s Day. A $20 wine pairing is optional, if you’re looking to spend a little more. (130 Dartmouth St., Boston; Friday, Feb. 14 from 5 p.m.–midnight;$45 per person, $20 for wine pairings)
For a tempting tiki dance party: Shore Leave Welcome to Temptation Island, where, just in time for Valentine’s Day, South End tiki bar Shore Leave will transform into a sensuous dance party. Boston dance instructor Shawna Landers and her team are set to perform racy, choreographed routines at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., which guests can take in while enjoying Shore Leave’s regular dinner menu (crispy rice salad, crab rangoons, coconut shrimp) and tropical cocktails. (11 William E. Mullins Way, Boston; Friday, Feb. 14 from 5 p.m.–1 a.m.; prices vary)
For gamers in love: Tavern of Tales Boston’s newest board game bar, Tavern of Tales, wants its coupled-up (and single!) gamers to feel sparks over a game or two, as it offers a Valentine’s Day-themed event complete with chocolate-covered strawberries and two limited Valentine’s Day cocktails added to the menu. In addition to playing games like 5-Minute Dungeon and Forbidden Island, tickets include the chance to join a coupled Meeple Hunt, partake in Valentine’s Day trivia, and receive raffle tickets for sponsored giveaways from Archer Roose and Bentwater Brewing. Reserve your time slot here. (1478 Tremont St., Boston; Friday, Feb. 14 from 7 p.m.–1 a.m.; $10 per person)