Call it what you want – a Hallmark holiday, a contrived ploy to sell candy, a slap in the face to everyone who’s single – just don’t forget it.
We’re talking about Valentine’s Day, and although the holiday isn’t this week, it’ll be here before you know it – and by then it will be too late.
We’ve all been there before – you wake up and look at your phone and realize it’s Valentine’s Day, and you haven’t done a thing for your significant other. By this point, your options are basically limited to seeing what hasn’t been pillaged from your nearest pharmacy yet – usually the pickings are slim.
That’s why we’re here to help you get ahead of it. If you’re just starting out a relationship with someone, Valentine’s Day is a big chance for you to show what you’ve got. If you’ve been with someone for a long time, this can be a chance to show that you’ve still got it. Either way, you definitely don’t want to be the only couple doing absolutely nothing on this most romantic of February days.
We checked in with a bunch of restaurants around the city to find out what everyone has going on for the big day. While Valentine’s Day doesn’t quite rise to the level of other big-name holidays such as New Year’s Eve, there’s still plenty going on in the capital city.
Here are some options for romantic dinners, overnight stays and just fun and creative date ideas. Keep in mind that other businesses may jump on board as the day gets closer, so keep an eye out online if you don’t see your favorite place listed here. (If you’re looking for Angelina’s, you may want to look elsewhere – they’re already completely booked and there’s even a waiting list, so the chances of getting in look extremely slim at this point.)
The Granite /Centennial Hotel
The Granite Restaurant will be serving a Valentine’s Day-inspired prix fixe menu on Feb. 14 from 5 to 9 p.m. for $70 per person. Executive Chef Daniel Dionne has prepared a four-course meal featuring specialties such as Truffled Arancini and a Local Oyster Flight for starters, a Classic Wedge Salad, Pan Roasted Long Island Duck and Seared Cod Loin for entrees and Champagne Layer Cake for dessert.
Call 227-9000 or go to graniterestaurant.com to reserve a spot or to see the entire menu.
The Granite Restaurant is located at the Centennial Hotel, and the hotel side is also offering a Valentine’s Day special.
The Romantic Getaway package will have you arrive to champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries in your guest room. Then you can enjoy a romantic dinner at the Granite Restaurant – the Romantic Getaway is available on days before and after Valentine’s Day, too, so if you stay on a day other than the holiday, the standard restaurant menu will be available. Finish your stay with breakfast for two the following morning.
The rate for this package is $257 plus tax on Thursday (Feb. 14) and all other Fridays and Saturdays. The package can be booked on any other day for $237 plus tax. The romance package includes the above amenities placed in your room prior to arrival, a $50 dinner voucher and a $20 breakfast voucher. Go to thecentennialhotel.com to book or for more information.
Revival Kitchen & Bar
Revival Kitchen & Bar isn’t doing anything too crazy for Valentine’s Day, but it will certainly be busy nonetheless. The standard menu will be available, and chef Corey Fletcher plans to put some Valentine’s Day-themed specials on there, too. Reservations are not required but strongly recommended – as of last Friday, about 75 percent of the seats had already been booked, Fletcher said.
Call 715-5723 to reserve your spot before it’s too late. Check revivalkitchennh.com or Revival’s Facebook page for menu updates as the 14th approaches.
O Steaks & Seafood
O Steaks & Seafood is taking a similar approach to that of Revival for Valentine’s Day. O’s will offer its traditional menu but will also have a dinner for two option, featuring chateaubriand, halibut or seabass to share.
The dinner for two will be a fixed price, but as of last Friday both the price and the exact menu were still being worked out, so check back with them as the date gets closer. Reservations are recommended, as tables are already filling up. You’ll reserve a spot the way you would any other day – there’s no need to declare whether you’re reserving a spot for the regular dinner or the special dinner for two.
Call 856-7925 or go to magicfoodsrestaurantgroup.com/osteaks/ to make a reservation or learn more.
Constantly Pizza is certainly more casual than the restaurants already mentioned, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get in on the Valentine’s Day fun, too. Continuing an annual tradition, Constantly will offer heart-shaped pizzas all day on Feb. 14 – perfect for surprising your special someone at work with (yes, they deliver!). The heart pizzas will be $8.99 for a 12-inch, plus a dollar for every topping. Call the downtown location at 224-9366 or the Penacook (Fisherville Road) location at 227-1117. Make sure you know which store you’re calling before you dial!
Alternative date ideas
For those who prefer something a little different on Valentine’s Day, we found a few more ideas. We understand that not everybody is into the fancy sit-down dinner thing, and that’s totally fine – we are, after all, an equal opportunity publication.
If you’d rather do something than eat something, you should consider these options.
Altitude Trampoline Park: The trampolines are nice and broken in now at Altitude Trampoline Park at Steeplegate Mall. You might think of trampolines as childish, but then again, isn’t Valentine’s Day, too? Throw your cares out the window and head over there with your sweetheart and get some bouncing out of your system. You can get in the door for as little as $9, and you can bounce around for two full hours for just $25 per person.
Beaver Meadow: It may seem odd to put a golf course on a list of places to take a Valentine’s Day date, but Beaver Meadow has two indoor golf simulators that let you play 18 from the comfort of a heated clubhouse, complete with food and beer – how can you beat that?
Simulators are rented on an hourly basis. It’s $40 per hour, with a four-person maximum on each simulator. One thing worth taking note of is that the simulators are open until 10 p.m. every night except Sunday, so you can even use this as your after-dinner activity on Valentine’s Day. Of course, you could also skip dinner entirely and spend the whole day golfing inside snacking on sandwiches and cold beer.
Ice skating: Remember going ice skating with your crush in about sixth grade? Wasn’t that great? You can relive those memories – and make new ones – by hitting up any of the ice skating spots in Concord.
There’s Everett Arena, which offers public skating every day for $5, with the option to rent skates for an additional $5. Then there are all the frozen ponds and approved outdoor skating areas, such as White Park, Rollins Park, Beaver Meadow and others. While it’s been very cold lately, it’s always worth double checking with Concord Parks and Recreation’s Facebook page before you head out to a particular outdoor skating spot. If the city says stay off the ice, it would be wise to listen.
Cross-country skiing: Not unlike ice skating, there are plenty of places to do some cross-country skiing in Concord, too – though none indoors, that we’re aware of. This can be a perfect date activity for those who like the outdoors and prefer some peace on the holiday. Skis, boots and poles can be rented from Carter Hill Orchard using the honor system – just go in, grab a set and leave some cash in the box, then return everything when you’re done. You can take these skis to Beaver Meadow or White Farm and use them as much as you want, or you could stay right there and use them on the trails behind the orchard.
Movie night: Perhaps the most classic date night activity in America is going to the movies. It’s easy, it kills a couple hours and it’s a chance to snuggle up a little and get cozy in the dark.
We have two movie theaters in Concord, each with a very different feel. Red River Theatres is the independent theater downtown where you can get beer, coffee and pretty decent food to bring in with you. Regal is, well, a Regal Cinema – it gets the job done. Regal does, however, have 10 screens and features mainstream, wide-release movies while Red River usually finds ones that are off the beaten path. Go to redrivertheatres.org for Red River’s listings, or check out the daily Monitor for all movie theater listings.