Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, making a romantic brunch as good an idea as dinner. Come to think of it, if a Valentine’s Day meal is supposed to put you in the mood for love, dining early leaves you more time to capitalize on the mood. Here are six restaurants where you can enjoy a romantic brunch or lunch.
Chicken shish kebab with zucchini pancakes and tomato sauce is served at Ala Turca in West Babylon. (Credit: Daniel Brennan)
Thyme, 8 Tower Place, Roslyn, 516-625-2566516-625-2566, thymenewyork.com
Roslyn’s pond-side stalwart will be serving a fixed-price menu from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Entrees swing from the breakfast-appropriate (such as thyme eggs Benedict wherein a potato cake stands in for an English muffin and the poached eggs are garnished with Black Forest ham, sautéed mushrooms and hollandaise) to chicken Cobb salad or crabcake sandwich with frisee, avocado and chipotle aioli. Price per person is $24 and every meal includes a free Bloody Mary, Bellini or mimosa and a basket of pastries. If you are inclined to bring your children (baby-sitter calls in sick?), the kids menu is $13.
Lola, 113A Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck, 516-466-5666516-466-5666, restaurantlola.com
Lola, whose creative menu is grounded in the cuisine of Israel and the Middle East, offers one of the Island’s most exotic brunches from 11 to 2:30 p.m. Shakshouka (eggs poached in a tomato-pepper stew), malawach (a rich, flaky Yemenite griddle bread) or fatot (that same malawach bread shredded and blended either with date honey and whipped cream or scrambled egg and Cheddar). “American” brunch items are also available along with a Valentine’s Day special of vanilla-bean-custard French toast. Brunch items range from $10 to $16. Quaff a rose gold, sparkling rose Cava with fresh pomegranate and rosewater, $11.
Pretty Toni’s, 759 W Merrick Rd., Valley Stream, 516-285-8664516-285-8664, prettytoniscafe.com
Pretty Toni’s soul brunch, served from noon to 2:30 p.m., is perfect to share with your sweetheart. The menu includes brunch rarities such as fried whiting served with grits and home fries, flat iron steak and eggs (with fries and grits) and a breakfast bowl filled with turkey-potato hash, turkey bacon, turkey sausage and two sunny-side-up eggs. Most mains are less than $14. Get two mimosas for $9.
Caci North Fork, 56125 Main Rd., Southold, 631-765-4383631-765-4383, cacinorthfork.com
Point your car east on Valentine’s Day morning and have a luxurious lunch at Caci North Fork, one of Long Island’s top Italian restaurants. From 1 p.m. on, chef Marco Pellegrini is preparing a four-course tasting menu that includes pan-seared scallops with rose petals and Champagne sauce, shrimp-eggplant-cocoa ravioli with quattro formaggio sauce, filet mignon with mushrooms and truffle sauce, Valrhona chocolate mousse cake with cheesecake sauce, caramelized strawberries and strawberry sorbet. This menu will be served on both Saturday, Feb. 13 and Sunday, Feb. 14. $68 per person.
Ala Turca, 691 Route 109, West Babylon, 631-450-4478631-450-4478, alaturcamediterraneanrestaurant.net
Refined Turkish with a twist is the draw at Ala Turca. On Valentine’s Day, the four-course lunch, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., starts with mushroom borek, the flaky savory pie (variously called bureka, boureka, burreca, burek, cheburek or brik) that is found in every country where the Ottoman Empire held sway. “Angel salad” is made with tomato, basil and pine nuts. For an entree, chose between chicken or lamb “love bites” (shish kebab) served with zucchini pancakes and tomato sauce. Dessert is tiramisu and chocolate-covered strawberries, tea or coffee. $35 per person.
Grey Horse Tavern, 291 Bayport Ave., Bayport, greyhorsetavern.com, 631-472-1868631-472-1868
Bayport’s historic Grey Horse Tavern is an ideal locale for a cozy country-style lunch. Chef Marissa Spinelli’s homey menu, served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., highlights the fresh eggs she gets from Amish Country in Pennsylvania. Have your eggs atop a “mountain of spuds” with home fries, bacon and Cheddar, in the BLTA & E (grilled whole-grain bread with bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado and a sunny-side-up egg) or in a classic eggs Benedict paired with a crabcake. Other homey items include a brown-butter waffle with ricotta and local honey and the house Tavern burger. Entrees range from $12 to $19. read more at newsday.com