Dinner.entertainment.ideas.NYC.jpgDinner entertainment ideas NYC

This is a bit of a detour from my usual blog posting about producing corporate trivia nights, company event entertainment, employee team building activities and after dinner entertainment in New York City and beyond- however, seeing it’s Valentine’s Day I couldn’t help but jump in on a subject which I feel surprisingly passionate about.

My wife and I will be celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary later this month, and our tenth year together later this year. We started dating in November 2008, so our first Valentine’s Day came up pretty soon thereafter.

That year, the date fell on a Saturday – perfect! I wanted to make it special, and looked forward to a great evening out in New York City, where we were both living at the time. Truth be told, I’d never had the opportunity until that time to actually go out on a date on Valentine’s in NYC, let alone on a Saturday night.

I would soon learn just how lucky I’d actually been.

There was one restaurant which I knew of in the West Village of Manhattan, which I’d only been to one or twice but absolutely LOVED. I called them up about a month in advance to make a reservation; someone with more Valentine’s experience than me recommended I ask if the regular dinner menu would be available, which I did. The answer was “yes,” so I booked it.

Fast forward a month, my girl and I show up and the place is mobbed – a literal line out the door. We squeezed our way up front to give our name to the frazzled hostess, who informed us that our table wasn’t ready yet, and that she’d let us know when it would be. Annoyed, we went back out into the frigid Manhattan night, as there was no space to wait inside the foyer.

Almost a half an hour after our reservation time, we were finally ushered in. The place was absolutely packed – crazier than I’d ever seen it, and it’s not a tiny place. It took me a moment to realize it was because every single table had been converted in to a “2-top” – no parties of three or more. Just row after row of tables for two, crammed so tightly together that there was barely an inch of space on either side.

About as romantic as sitting coach in the middle aisle of an airplane.

There were so many people talking at once, in fact, that we couldn’t hear ourselves think. After at least fifteen minutes of cacophony and being ignored by the stressed servers, ours finally came over, and handed us – you guessed it – a prix fixe menu. There were just three items listed: an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert – all to share. Nothing else available, no changes or substitutions.

$65 dollars a person.

Despite being “share” plates, each dish came out in such small portions that there was barely enough for one person, let alone two. As dessert was brought to the table, so was the check – a not-so-subtle cue to pay and get out, in order to make way for the next wave of suckers. Feeling frustrated, gouged and STILL HUNGRY, I angrily reached for my wallet; as I pulled my credit card out, my date looks at me and says, “We are never doing this again.”

My first thought was: wow, isn’t that a bit presumptuous? We’ve only been dating three months! Alas, this was closely followed by second a thought:


We then walked over a few blocks to have some ice cream – which she insisted on buying – and salvaged the night.

Since then, we have never gone out on Valentine’s Day – not in New York City, nor in Southern California where we now live. Especially being so close to our February anniversary, we’ve made a decision to just let this holiday go; no gifts, no cards, certainly no more date nights. We go all-out with Valentine’s for our two kids, however as for us as a couple, it’s like it doesn’t exist. This morning, I just said “Happy V-Day” and gave her a high five.

Works for us.

To those of you who ARE celebrating, happy Valentine’s Day! <high five>

Here’s another related article, if interested: www.trivworks.com/2017/10/corporate-dinner-entertainment-ideas/