Updated January 10, 2015: Valentine’s Weekend in New Jersey. This article is republished here as a guide to fine dining in New Jersey. Some of these restaurants are open and going strong and others have closed since we first published this piece. Please check to see if the places are still open. We know the prices today would be very different.
The weekend of love is here and we are getting our listings ready. We’ve given a few awards for the most intriguing, original, and economical ways to spend Valentine’s Day or Valentine’s weekend in our great state.
We showcase the Best of Jersey chocolatiers, wineries, concerts, events, and restaurants in the state. If you see something we missed just drop us a line.
Best Valentine’s Day & Valentine’s Weekend Events
Here are our choices for the best ways to say I Love You for Valentine’s Day in New Jersey.
St. Valentine’s Day @ Nunzio, (Update 2/15/14, still taking reservations), $60.00, Collingswood: Nunzio is one of the best-reviewed restaurants in South Jersey. Chef Nunzio Patruno is featuring a delectable 3-course dinner for Valentine’s Day. It features grilled scallops, a Gorgonzola and pomegranate salad, a portobello and red beet terrine, veal chop Milanese, herb-crusted branzino filet, eggplant Parmesan, blueberry almond tartan, tiramisu, and profiteroles.
The Walpack Inn Dinner, update 2/15/2014: Reservations and open tables available, $19.99, Wallpack Center: The Walpack Inn is featuring their $19.00 prime rib special for Valentine’s Day and their regular menu. They start seating at 5:00 p.m. You get your choice of potato or rice and the salad bar for one low price. Other items on the menu include a double cheese and onion soup, a teriyaki rib eye, filet mignon, bbq ribs, and a black raspberry ice cream pie. For Exceptional Value, the Walpack Inn gets our Best Valentine’s Value Award. Reserve by calling 973-948-3890.
Big Brew Beer Festival, (Update 2/15/14, still selling tickets), $50.00, Morristown Armory, Morristown, Saturday, February 15: No, this is not your typical Valentine’s Day event, but for the right man or woman who loves their beer and great food, it is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Chef Eric Levine from Morris Tap & Grill has a great VIP beer festival buffet package that you might want to check out. Get More Info
Tim McLoone’s Supper Club Dinner, (Update 2/15/14, lots of reservations showing now when everything was booked yesterday) $59.95, Asbury Park: Owner Tim McLoone is famous for his food and his music, but more than that he is famous for the goodness of his heart. It’s only appropriate that he gets the Best of Jersey Big Heart Award for Valentine’s Day. Tim’s Supper Club restaurant is featuring dinner and a concert on February 14th. The concert features Tim McLoone & the Shirleys and the dinner features treats like a Mexican chocolate soup with pasilla brûléed banana, raw almond milk, and cilantro, a lobster enchilada with mole Oaxaca, pecan & coconut fried rice, pickled vegetable salad, and queso cotija, lamb with gratin de chevre, shaved fennel, bitter chocolate demi glaze and jalapeno gelee, filet mignon with coconut fried oysters and a triple cream cheesecake. All the McLoone restaurants are offering slightly different special dinners for Valentine’s Day. The Supper Club will be serving the special menu all weekend long. Enjoy! Get More Info
Wine & Chocolate Weekend @ Alba Vineyard, (Update 2/15/14, still selling tickets), $20.00, Milford, Saturday & Sunday, February 8, 9 & 15, 16: Alba is sponsoring two weekends of great tastings to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Their award-winning wines will be paired with local chocolates, artisan cheeses, and dishes from local caterers. Featured will be: Dishes from Country Picnic of Bedminster and Dish Catering of Frenchtown, chocolates from chocolatier Diane Pinder of Donna & Company from Cranford, and cheeses from Fourchette of Clinton. Alba is located in the village of Finesville in Warren County on the border of Hunterdon County with a Milford mailing address. Get More Info
Princeton Salt Creek Grill, (Update 2/15/14, still taking reservations), $95.00 per couple, Friday, February 14: Salt Creek Grill is one of our favorite restaurants from 2013. We love the atmosphere, the food, and the service. The menu is modern and creative but not so far out there that you couldn’t take your parents. Their incredible 4-course dinner bargain for Valentine’s Day features dishes like a hummus trio, soup or salad, filet mignon with grilled shrimp, lobster tail, mesquite grilled pork chop, Mahi Mahi, and a chocolate torte for dessert. Reserve Now
Valentine’s Chamber Music Concert, (Update 2/15/14, still selling tickets), $20.00, Lambertville, Saturday, February 15: Riverside Symphonia is producing a special concert featuring the Sweet Plantain chamber quartet in the beautiful chapel of St. John the Evangelist in Lambertville. The group blends Latin rhythms, jazz improvisation and classical music for a unique sound. They will be playing selections from Haydn, Ravel, Romero, Paquito de Rivera, and more. The concert begins at 8:00 p.m. and tickets run $20.00 to $55.00 each. Get More Info
Dream Cuisine Cafe, (Update 2/15/14, almost sold out, early tables available), $65.00, Cherry Hill, Friday, February 14: Dream is an award-winning BYOB French restaurant with a laid-back atmosphere located in a strip mall. It is owned by Chef Vincent Fanari who has won awards from New Jersey Monthly, LocalEats.com, Open Table, and the James Beard Foundation. For Valentine’s Day, Chef will have a special 6-course menu for $65 per person. Get More Info
Best of Jersey Picks for Valentine’s Day in 2015
IndieBlue, (Update 2/15/14, Saturday and Sunday tables open), $50.00, Collingswood, Friday, February 14: Indie has a great deal for Valentine’s Day. They are offering a 4-course dinner with a complimentary rose and wine or strawberry lassi for one low price. Highlights of the dinner include hot & sour shrimp soup, crab samosa, artichokes with lemon and dried red chili, barbeque tandoori lamb chops, lobster macher malai, paneer bhurjee, cinnamon ice cream, and house-made chocolate truffles. Reserve Now
Eno Terra 4 Course Farm to Table Dinner, (Update 2/15/14, Saturday & Sunday tables available), $79.00, Kingston (Princeton), Friday, February 14: Terra is one of our choices for the most innovative restaurant in New Jersey at the moment and they have an incredible dinner planned for St. Valentine’s Day. Some highlights from the menu include the first course – Tuscan onion soup with sourdough crostini and Parmesan cheese, a fried oyster salad with octopus carpaccio, grilled romaine, and a smoked pepper aioli, the second course – three cheese agnolotti with butternut squash, Brussel sprout leaves, brown butter and speck, garganelli and Nantucket Bay scallops (with chervil, spinach, and champagne), third course – butter braised “Deadliest Catch” red king crab (with black-eyed peas, baby carrots, mache, and winter black truffle), grass-fed beef duo (grilled tri-tip, sirloin bronchiole, smashed potatoes, root vegetables, and mustard greens), fourth course – spiced donuts with hot chocolate and blueberry crumble with cinnamon ice cream. Eno Terra gets our award for Best of Jersey Valentine’s Day Dinner for Innovative Cuisine
Avenue Valentine’s Day Dinner, (Update 2/15/14, good tables available on Saturday & Sunday) $42.00, Long Branch, Friday, February 14: The trendy and upscale restaurant on the boardwalk in Long Branch has an incredible meal planned for the night. They are offering a 4 course exotic and elegant dinner for $42.00 per person. Highlights from this menu include mini steak tartare, beet salad, Jerusalem artichoke soup, American caviar, seared octopus, foie gras terrine (add $8), Barnegat Bay scallops (add $8), branzino, tournedos with filet mignon, Dauphinoise potato, Bordelaise (add $10) and a chocolate sampler.
A Toute Heure Valentine’s Day Dinner, (Update 2/15/14, very limited availability tonight only), $75.00, Cranford, Friday, February 14: A Toute Heure is an award-winning and exceptionally reviewed restaurant that serves new American cuisine with a commitment to local seasonal ingredients. They are featuring a 4-course prix fixe dinner for a great price. Menu highlights include fried oysters, a delicious sounding roast carrot soup with mirepoix, cilantro, tuna crudo, and root vegetable chips, braised collard greens with littleneck clams and ham hock croutons, a braised eye of round with white beans, escarole and fennel bread crumbs, black bass, toffee apple cake, and chocolate ravioli. They are also offering an a la carte dinner menu at their sister restaurant the 100 Steps Supper Club.
Restaurant Lorena’s, (Update 2/15/14, some tables available on Sunday), $95.00, Maplewood, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, February 14, 15, 16: Lorena’s is a tiny restaurant with a loyal following. Chef Humberto Campos is well known for his impeccable meals prepared with great attention to detail. Think of a Parisian bistro with 36 seats, that’s Lorena’s. For St. Valentine’s Day, they are featuring a 3-course dinner with such treats as oysters in Champagne mignonette, crab crepe with mushrooms and beurre blanc, Scottish salmon with braised red cabbage, Maine lobster, Atlantic skate wing with fennel, honey glazed duck breast with lentils, braised short rib with truffled baby vegetables, a dessert tasting, and petit fours.