New Jersey Date Night is a series on NJ Flavor by relationship writer Craig Rogers.

Valentine’s Day means a lot of things to different people. To some it’s a great excuse to spoil your love with sweets, flowers and champagne and to others it’s just another day. Somewhere in between you’ll find most people, those who wear something red and make special plans for the day, be it with their love or with their friends. 

If your Valentine plans include dinner, it might be problematic finding indoor seating but some restaurants in New Jersey have found a way to cover you and not burst your Valentine bubble.

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Enjoying a meal in your own heated outdoor bubble or tent is a new and fun experience. Several New Jersey restaurants are offering this unique seating arrangement and it’s an adventure you’re sure to love.  Reservations are a must and once you enter the bubble you’re sure to have no reservations regarding safety.

Get ready for a New Jersey Date Night where the bubbles reign supreme!

Love is Casual

If you and your love want to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a sporty, causal way, Asbury Ale House is the perfect place for you! Located in Asbury Park, it offers plenty of options that’ll all hit the spot.

Starting with their extensive cocktail menu, you’ll have a hard time choosing between expertly made-to-order drinks like the Peanut Butter Jelly Time (Screwball peanut butter whiskey, Chambord, muddled blackberries and chocolate bitters) and the Snowflake Martini ( Tito’s vodka, Blue Curacao, coconut cream and pineapple juice). 

Share some light bites, such as loaded cheddar bacon ranch waffle fries. Main courses include Drunken Chicken (Italian breaded chicken with mozzarella and drunken sauce over penne) and the pulled pork mac & cheese.

For dessert, you and your love can tackle one of their boozy hot cocoa kits. Try the ChocolAAHte Chip Mint with peppermint schnapps, chocolate liquor, hot cocoa and a build-your-own s’mores kit with Andes chocolate mints).

For more information about Asbury Ale House, visit www.asburyalehouse.com.

Love is Classic

Bistro La Source in Jersey City adds some French flair to your celebration of love.  Start out with a charcuterie board with favorites including prosciutto, saucisson, aged Manchego and Roquefort. 

Main courses include lollipop lamb chops with haricots vert and ratatouille, and beef short rib bourguignon.

If a French classic is what you crave you can’t go wrong with cassoulet, a dish of lamb, duck confit, pork belly, garlic sausage and white beans. Dessert crêpes are the perfect ending to your meal.

For more information about Bistro La Source, visit www.bistrolasource.com.

Love is Creative

This dishes at Italian Cara Mia in Millburn exemplify love on a plate.

Start with vongole (clams in a white wine garlic sauce with tomatoes) or spiedino (bread stuffed with fontina, mozzarella, prosciutto with tomato-anchovy cream sauce). Follow with a main course like grilled pork chops Giombotta with sautéed peppers, onions, mushrooms, roasted potatoes with a sausage balsamic demi glace, or veal Sorrentino topped with prosciutto, eggplant, spinach and mozzarella sautéed in a light marsala sauce. 

End your meal with a classic Italian dessert like limoncello mascarpone cake or strawberries with zabaglione and you both will feel the love!

For more information about Cara Mia, visit www.caramiamillburn.com.

Love is Comfort

It’s Greek to Me serves up some of the best Greek food this side of Athens. At its location in Ridgewood, you’ll find your favorites as well as an opportunity to discover a few new ones.

You and your date will have a hard time choosing an entrée with options like lamb kokkinisto (slow cooked lamb with tomato sauce and cinnamon over orzo) and imam baldi (baked eggplant with onion, garlic, parsley and tomato sauce). 

You might be tempted by classic souvlaki (beef, chicken, pork or shrimp served with Greek fries, grilled sweet pepper and tomato, onions and tzatziki). Desserts include galaktoboureko, consisting of semolina custard wrapped in filo dough with a drizzle of syrup.

For more information about It’s Greek to Me, visit www.itsgreektome.com. Be sure to ask about their Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu.

Maintaining the Effervescent Fizz

Valentine’s Day is a day of expression — the opportunity to show your love how deeply you feel.  A day of red hearts and chocolate candy sets the stage for the celebration, but does the love party only last one day?

Cupid might go on vacation starting Feb. 15, but that doesn’t mean you can.

Days like anniversaries and Valentine’s Day are important in relationships because they’re exclamation points in a year-long paragraph of love. These are important memory makers for any relationship, but they can’t be the only days of observance. Showing your love, reminding your partner of their importance and leaving no stone unturned in letting them know that your relationship is the top priority are activities that need to be performed all year through. 

Just like bubbles, relationships stay happy and healthy as long as you cherish and protect them. Cupid is counting on you to keep up the good work!

Craig Rogers is the guy who gets relationships write. Author of The 49th Challenge, Craig has written countless articles on dating, relationships and breakup recovery. To learn more about Craig, visit www.CraigRogers.nyc.

What’s your idea for a great New Jersey Date? Tell Craig all about it at crogersnyc@gmail.com.

 

More Date Night Ideas:

The Art of the Date

Get Comfortable at These Good Old-Fashioned Diners

Romantic Restaurants

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