According to legend, Valentine’s Day began as a pagan celebration of fertility. The holiday was adopted by Christians and named for St. Valentine, a saint who secretly married people who were in love in the time of Claudius II, who banned marriages for young men. As a result, February 14 became synonymous with romance. By the mid-1800s, the day had developed into a time for Victorians to shower their loved ones with gifts of poetry, roses, and candy. Chocolates manufactured by a British company called Cadbury began to be packaged in heart-shaped boxes. From that point on, chocolate and Valentine’s Day became mated for life.
Eventually, Valentine’s Day made its way to American shores. With a little imagination, this day of love can be turned from something expected to something memorable. Add a nice dinner at The Refuge to one or all of the following ideas and you both will remember this special time always.
Write a Love Letter to Your Amour
Not everyone can write poetry, but anyone can write a letter. Let your loved one know just how special she or he is by putting it all down on paper. Leave it in a spot where it will be easily found or drop it in the mail. Splurge on pretty stationery as the idea is that it should be kept forever. Express how thankful you are that the two of you are together, even if you’ve been married for over fifty years. If you’re blessed with poetic talent, by all means, use it.
Go For a Walk
Fresh air and beautiful scenery can help you remember why you fell in love. A pretty park or waterfront is a perfect spot to hold hands with your sweetie and maybe share a kiss or two. The exercise won’t hurt, either.
Buy the Good Chocolate
Spending a little extra on fine chocolates is worth the expense. The difference between chocolate that is mass-produced and chocolate that is handcrafted is vast. Some of the best chocolate in the world comes from Jacques Torres Chocolate in New York. Switzerland, France, Amsterdam, and California also produce the better brands.
Schedule a Couple’s Massage
A couple’s massage session is a great way to unwind together. Many spas offer this service, especially around Valentine’s Day. Go for the scented oils to help get you in the mood for an evening of romance.
Watch a Romantic Movie
Love on the screen is a great tool for enticing romantic feelings. Paris Je T’aime consists of 18 short films set in different parts of Paris all focusing on love. When Harry Met Sally, An Affair to Remember, and The Notebook are all good Valentine’s Day choices, as well.
Hear Live Music
A live band can make your evening that much more special. Be it a jazz combo or a string quartet, it will put you in the mood for love. If you both like to dance, that will be fun too. Ethnic music is quite delightful, also.
Check into a Hotel
For married couples, a night alone in a hotel can be a wonderful thing. Hire an overnight babysitter or leave the kids with their grandparents. Even if you both have to work the next day and the hotel is just around the corner, your focus will be on each other and not on all the things that distract you at your house. This is a great way to refresh and celebrate love.
Dinner at The Refuge with Themed Specials
On Long Island, the number one place for dining with your Valentine is The Refuge. Voted best restaurant, lounge, and bar on Route 110 in Melville, our chefs are second to none when it comes to succulent Italian and Latin cuisine perfect for a romantic evening. A small sampling of our menu includes:
- Wine: Begin with a bottle of wine to celebrate your love and spark your appetite. We feature an impressive wine list including red, white, rose, and sparkling. May we suggest a bottle of Chardonnay from a California winery or in celebration of Valentine’s Day, a French Rose? We offer several selections bottled in Provence.
- Appetizers: Start your meal with something that will excite your taste buds. Our Crispy Calamari is served with our own Arrabbiata sauce. Chopped Baked Clams are coated with pancetta bread crumbs and a splash of fresh lemon. P.E.I. mussels are simmered in either tomato, basil, and garlic or white wine, lemon, and garlic.
- Entrees: We serve a wonderful selection of seafood, chicken and beef dishes to satisfy your palate. Try our Capellini Fruta De Mare, a delightful blend of shrimp, clams, mussels, and calamari cooked with tomato, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, and garlic. Farfalle Giuseppe Verde is a bowtie pasta dish with grilled chicken, escarole, radicchio, basil, garlic, and EVO. Grilled Churrasco comes with chimichurri, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and vegetables.
- Vegetarian options: Our chefs have invented an amazing menu of meatless items. The Macro Bowl is made with arugula, quinoa, roasted vegetables, cashews, dates, and pico de gallo. Sweet Pea Ravioli has spinach, artichokes, mushrooms, tomato, and basil. Our Soybean Meatball Parm Hero is dressed with tomato, basil, escarole, mozzarella, mixed greens, and red wine vinaigrette.
- Pizza: Sharing real Italian pizza is very romantic. The Sausage ala Vodka pizza is covered in cheese and parsley sausage, carmelized onions, melted mozzarella, and a creamy vodka sauce. The Mamma Mia contains chicken cutlet, broccoli rabe, tomatoes, mozzarella, shaved parmesan, and a drizzle of balsamic. Our Classic Margherita pizza has tomato, fresh basil, and fresh mozarrella on it. Add pepperoni, sausage, or meatball for a small additional fee.
- Cocktails: For a before or after dinner cocktail, check out our bar menu. Some of our signatures include the Go Figya made with Drumshanbo Gin, fig jam, fresh lemon, and honey; the Little Rumaway, a blend of Gosling’s Bermuda Rum, lemon, fresh blueberry, and ginger ale; and Cherries Berries & Bubbles, Ketel One vodka, muddled strawberries & cherries, and Mionetto Prosecco. We also make a variety of delicious Margaritas.
Give us call at 631.577.4444 to make your Valentine’s Day reservation.