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The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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Column: 5 restaurants perfect for Valentine’s Day dinner

Anne Zhu
The steak tartare dish at Yvonne’s. With its intimate environment, many have chosen this establishment to be the perfect date night spot for Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and if you’re scrambling for some last-minute dinner spots, look no further. Whether you’re hoping to recreate the spaghetti-and-meatball scene from “Lady and the Tramp” or simply looking to have a delicious meal with your loved one (or alone, no judgment here!), these are the five best spots for a meal to remember.

From charming Italian trattorias to classic New England seafood grills, each establishment on this list has been carefully selected to ensure an unforgettable dining experience. Whether you’re celebrating decades of love or navigating the early stages of romance, let Boston’s vibrant restaurant scene set the stage for a Valentine’s Day to remember!

Yvonne’s: Downtown

Step into the timeless allure of Yvonne’s, where the opulent 1920s charm is meticulously preserved within its ornate interior. With its warm, inviting ambiance, reminiscent of a clandestine speakeasy, this restaurant sets the stage for an evening of refined indulgence. Yvonne’s exudes a timeless charm with its classically elegant art deco interior, offering an ideal setting for a serene and intimate dining affair. A tapas-style sharing menu pairs wonderfully with a cozy yet classic atmosphere and, drawing inspiration from New American cuisine, the menu features a wide array of dishes crafted with precision and creativity. From house-made Moroccan hummus to steak tartare, Yvonne’s has something for every diner. Dress to impress at this beautiful Jazz Age establishment, and be sure to try one of their bespoke cocktails (if you’re 21, of course).

A chandelier hangs from the ceiling in Yvonne’s. The elegant interior decorations in Yvonne’s have created an environment reminiscent of the 1920s. (Anne Zhu)

Trattoria il Panino: North End

Romance and pasta go together like macaroni and cheese — you simply can’t go wrong with a classic Italian dinner. Hop on the Orange Line for a quick adventure, with the grand prize at the end being the trattoria itself. Nestled in the heart of the North End, Trattoria il Panino pairs homemade pasta with an extensive signature cocktail list. Ambient, cozy and romantic, Trattoria il Panino balances an intimate atmosphere with fresh twists on Italian favorites. Step through the doors of Trattoria il Panino and the aroma of freshly cooked pasta instantly fills the air. The cozy interior, adorned with rustic accents and soft lighting, sets the stage for an intimate dining experience that is as comforting as it is romantic.

At Trattoria il Panino, pasta reigns supreme, and each dish is a testament to the artistry and passion of the Italian kitchen. From silky strands of linguine tossed in a rich marinara sauce to pillowy gnocchi bathed in creamy Alfredo, every bite is a symphony of flavors that is sure to leave you wanting more.

But it’s not just the pasta that steals the show at this cozy spot. Trattoria il Panino offers an ample selection to complement your meal, each crafted with care and precision. Sip on classics like the Pistachio Martini or an Old Fashioned to create the perfect pairing of food and drink.

The mezzi paccheri al ragú dish from Trattoria il Panino. Many couples have chosen to go to this restaurant for its ambiance and pasta. (Anne Zhu)

Laughing Monk Cafe: Mission Hill

If you’re in the mood to switch things up this Valentine’s Day, look no further. Only three Green Line stops away from Northeastern’s campus, Laughing Monk Cafe is a hidden gem located right on Huntington Avenue. Its bright, cozy interior almost makes you feel as if you’ve stepped inside a private chef’s home. Intimate, bright and surrounded by warm tones of wood, Laughing Monk is the perfect place to bring your loved one for a meal to remember.

Home to a sushi bar offering a vibrant Omakase experience as well as an extensive array of Thai cuisine, Laughing Monk is a colorful, flavorful and delightful culinary experience fit for any occasion. Be sure to try their Amaebi, a wild-caught Canadian shrimp nigiri or a bowl of Massaman Curry for a spicy kick.

Laughing Monk Cafe stands at 737 Huntington Ave. The restaurant incorporated a combination of Thai and Japanese cuisine. (Darin Zullo)

Saltie Girl: Back Bay

With its V-Day Prix Fixe menu hosted by Chef Kyle McClelland, Saltie Girl, which is nestled in the heart of Back Bay, is the perfect spot to celebrate the holiday.

If you’re splurging on this meal, you can walk back to campus and save a few dollars on the T ride — there’s no promise your date will be pleased with this option, though.

When it comes to the food itself, Saltie Girl is known for its vibrant flavors and delightfully fresh seafood. The restaurant’s iconic lobster roll isn’t the only dish to look out for, because their classic burger is loaded with a moist patty and a fresh lobster claw. This Valentine’s Day, diners have the option of choosing from dishes such as Spanish Bluefin Tuna, Wagyu Beef Tartare, Cacio e Pepe and more during their fixed service. Secure your spot on Resy here, and your Valentine’s Day is sure to be packed with memories.

Saltie Girl stands at 279 Dartmouth St. The Back Bay restaurant decided to include a V-Day Prix Fixe menu this year. (Margot Murphy)

Barcelona Wine Bar: Brookline, Cambridge, South End

Of course, this list would be incomplete without the iconic Northeastern favorite, Barcelona Wine Bar. With three locations in Boston (Brookline, Cambridge and South End), Barcelona is the perfect destination wherever your day begins. At Barcelona, the menu is a celebration of the rich culinary heritage of Catalonia, showcasing an extensive selection of charcuterie, cheese and tapas. Savor the smoky flavors of artisanal cured meats, the creamy richness of imported cheeses and the bold, savory profiles of traditional tapas dishes, each meticulously crafted to capture the essence of Spanish cuisine. Be sure to save room for Barcelona’s delicately crafted dessert selection — you can’t go wrong with a Basque Burnt Cheesecake or a Flan Catalan to end your night. If you haven’t been yet, what are you waiting for?

Barcelona Wine Bar stands at 525 Tremont St. The restaurant has opened three locations in Boston. (Margot Murphy)
About the Contributor
Darin Zullo, Deputy Photo Editor
Darin Zullo is a second-year journalism and English combined major with a minor in photojournalism. This is his second semester as a deputy photo editor for The News. He has also written for the Global Observer and the Scope and is looking forward to continue working with The News this semester.
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