Valentine’s Day at Benjamin Steakhouse and Commerce

Ahhh Valentine's Day – how you torture me so. Not only do you remind me that my love life is not where it should be, but you force feed me rich dinners and chocolates so I get fat and leave my boyfriend no choice but to pack up his things and walk out on me for fear of being eaten. That aside, I still look forward to this day – if only for the mandatory free meal followed by mandatory sex. And this year, my boyfriend is taking me to Smith & Wollensky's for Valentine's Day dinner. Nothing says romance like a nice, thick slab of bleeding meat. So ok, he doesn't get tons of points for creativity, but there's always room for that in the bedroom. I am just naughty today arent I? Anyway, there are some good options for Valentine's Day, and if you're lucky, there might even be some reservations left. Sure you might be stuck eating at 11 pm, have to sit next to the bathroom and not be able to order dessert – but hey, you're there to be with each other and that's all that matters right? Right…

Benjamin's Steakhouse is offering a pretty sweet deal for all of you crazy carnivores (like myself).  It's $99 per person on a prix-fixe menu which includes two glasses of champagne and a bevy of tempting choices. You can choose from six apps, five entrees, seven sides, dessert (TBD) and coffee or tea. The idea of the big romantic dinner on Valentine's Day boggles my mind. Sure you want to be wined and dined, but to the point where you can't move and the bloat kicks in? Now that's what I call SEXY. But I guess if you're going to splurge, Valentine's Day is a good day to do it – they don't call them "love handles" for nothing.  :)   The menu is pasted below.


Valentine's Toast

Moet & Chandon Chapagne


Blue Point Oysters
Half Dozen in Half Shells

Lump Crabmeat Crab Cakes
Pan Sautéed, Served with Crisp Frisee Leaves and Seafood Sauce

Shrimp Cocktail
Four extra Large Jumbo Shrimp with Arturo’s Cocktail Sauce

Baked Clams
Six Little Neck Clams, Baked with Herbed Bread Crumbs,
Garlic and Parsley

Mozzarella & Tomatoes
Fresh and Juicy Mozzarella
paired with Ripe Beefsteak Tomatoes and Basil

Seasonal Greens Salad
Salad of Seasonal Organic Mesclun Greens and Fresh Tomatoes


USDA Prime, Chef Selected, Dry Aged Porterhouse Steak
(Ordered in Pairs)

Filet of Chilean Sea Bass
Seasoned with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and lemon

USDA Prime Filet Mignon

Dry Aged USDA Prime Rib Eye Steak
Served on the Bone

Surf and Turf
Lobster Tail, Seasoned with a dash of spices,
paired with USDA Prime Filet Mignon

Choice of one per person

Asparagus – Mashed Potatoes
German Potatoes – Creamed Spinach – Cottage Fries
Onion Rings – Broccoli

Freshly Brewed Coffee & Tea

$99.00 per person
Not including tax and gratuity

Benjamin Steak House is located at 52 East 41st Street, (212) 297-9177 and is open seven days a week, Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-Close, Saturday and Sunday 9:00 a.m.-Close.

Now if you're feeling a little more upscale (and a lot more adventurous), why not give downtown eatery Commerce a try? The menu is not exactly prix-fixe, but each entree comes with an amuse bouche, an appetizer and a special Valentine's dessert sampler ranging from $65 – $88/entree, not including drinks. So if you're not the "lets stuff our faces" kind of couple (like me and my boyfriend), perhaps this daintier menu will serve you well. And with dishes like Spaghetti carbonara w/ black pepper & coddled egg yolk; Hand cut steak tartar w/ horseradish, celery & pickled walnuts; or Lobster “Newburg” w/ potato gnocchi & winter vegetables – how can your bouche not be amused? Menu below.


Valentine’s Day 2009

Amuse Bouche


Salad of 20 herbs and lettuces w/ Manchego cheese, olive oil & lemon

Salad of romaine hearts, vine ripe tomato, red onion & Oregon blue cheese

Marinated Hamachi ceviche w/ yuzu, tomato, chili & cilantro

Sliced rare beef tataki w/ ginger, soy & shiso

Oysters mignonette (half dozen)

Hand cut steak tartar w/ horseradish, celery & pickled walnuts

Winter Vegetable fricassée w/ truffle & poached egg

Mushroom and fontina ravioli w/ kabocha squash & parmesan emulsion

Roasted sweet potato tortelloni w/ hazelnuts, pomegranate & beurre noisette

Spaghetti carbonara w/ black pepper & coddled egg yolk


Red snapper w/eggplant & charred scallions in a Thai inspired herb broth  $68
Local Sole w/ orange jus, braised endive and winter caponata $68

Lobster “Newburg” w/ potato gnocchi & winter vegetables $78

Glazed veal sweetbreads w/ “pot roast” vegetables & creamy polenta $65                 
Braised beef, bone marrow and sliced fillet with crushed cauliflower $78

( Fettuccini w/ one hour tomato sauce & house made ricotta -  Upon request)

Things to Share

Whole roasted chicken for two w/ foie gras bread stuffing & potato mousseline  $68       

  Rack of Colorado lamb for two w/ ricotta agnolotti  $85    
Porterhouse for two with cippolini onions, creamy spinach and red wine shallot steak sauce  $88


Special Valentine’s Day Sampler

(all prices are based off of entree choice and include an amuse bouche, appetizer, and dessert sampler)
Commerce is located at 50 Commerce Street and is open for dinner Monday-Saturday from 5:30 to 11pm. Sunday brunch from 11:00 to 4:00pm.  For reservations, please  call 212-524-2301.

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