Best Restaurants to Dine at For Valentine’s Day (in NYC)

Hey guys,

Happy Tuesday! I hope you all had a great weekend and a good, productive start to the new week.

It is officially Valentine’s week and I am SO excited for it! I absolutely love this time of year and the feelings surrounding it. And while I agree and am a firm believer the your love for yourself, your significant other, etc. should not just be showcased that particular day, but everyday, I think it’s still really sweet to make that day special for yourself and/or someone else. I just love love and any sort of romantic gestures like that.

So, in light of Valentine’s Day being this weekend AND NYC getting the green light to open indoor dining at a 25% capacity, I wanted to create a post highlighting some of the best restaurants that I’ve been to with Diego that not only have great food, but also a cute, romantic-ish ambiance to it that could give you guys some suggestions for where to take someone on a date this weekend if you’re planning on it.

I also want to just mention quickly that I am well aware that we are still in the middle of a pandemic and am in no way, shape or form ENCOURAGING people to go out and gather/dine in restaurants, however, I know that people are going to do it regardless of this fact unfortunately. So, I do want to just encourage you all to do your research and if you are planning on going out this weekend, please take the necessary precautions to be safe and distant from other people that are not apart of your group(s).

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I have 6 different restaurant suggestions on my list that vary in price range, ambiance and food. While I’m going down the list, I will make brief suggestions for what we’ve gotten and I recommend you try, talk briefly about the prices and the service we received while there.

So, without further adieu, let’s get into it….

  1. NoMo Kitchen – SoHo
Image result for nomo kitchen soho
Image result for nomo kitchen soho

This restaurant was so cute. All of the greenery, the hearts designs and open feel to it. We’ve only ever come here for brunch, so that’s what I will recommend it for, but they also do lunch and dinner.

They have a bottomless brunch special here where for $29 per person, you choose an entree and get an unlimited specific drink (we usually do mimosas, but they also have Rose Royale, Bloody Marys, NoMo Pimm’s Cup and Virign Salty Dogs) for 90 minutes.

Some suggestions you guys should definitely try:

Avocado Toast
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
French Toast

Service: The first time we went, the service was pretty great and fast. We really enjoyed ourselves and even without having to call over the server, they kept refilling our glasses. The second time we went, however, the service wasn’t as great unfortunately. We did the bottomless brunch and the service was so much slower. There were times where we couldn’t even find our server for periods at a time, which considering we were paying for the unlimited mimosas for 90 minutes, was obviously annoying.

Price wise: $$

Overall, I would say to try it out if you’re really interested in it and come to your own conclusions. I know a bunch of people that went after we did and had a GREAT time.

Final thought & fun fact: There’s also a hotel attached to this restaurant, which Diego and I stood at once and really liked as well. Rooms were kind of small, but it’s cozy and in a great location in SoHo.

2. The Greens: Pier 17

Image result for the greens at pier 17
Image result for the greens at pier 17

Cabins have been all the rage recently since indoor dining was shut down again and the only way to be able to eat at restaurants in NYC were either outdoor dining or takeout. EVERYONE has been doing their own versions of cabins or igloos, which I actually think are really cute.

Diego and I came here for a random date night and I loved it. Not only did we have the cabin to ourselves, but it also had heaters within it (that we could control) and air purifiers. It was all contactless ordering and paying, and minimal contact with everyone.

Price: $$ – $$$ depending on what/how much you order.

I will say, the menu is pretty minimal. They don’t have TOO many options for food or drinks, but there was enough that we obviously both got something we liked.

Some of the items to consider trying:

The burger
The fried chicken
The grilled cheese
The bottle of rose

Something else to keep in mind: when making the reservation, you have to pay $50 to hold the reservation (it’s prepaid, and my only guess is because of how popular it’s been) AND each reservation is only 90 minutes (although I’m not sure if you’re able to extend your time because we didn’t try doing that).

3. PJ Clarke’s

Image result for pj clarkes on the hudson
Image result for pj clarkes on the hudson

When things were normal, Diego and I loved to go to this place. The food, service and location/views are AMAZING. They have 2 locations for this restaurant, but the specific one we love going to is in Brookfield Place, near the Freedom Tower. We’ve gone here for regular date nights, anniversary dates, and just because.

Price: $$ – $$$

Our favorites:

Prime Skirt Steak Frites
The Clarke Burger
Grilled Shrimp & Shishitos
Buffalo Wings
Berne Romance rosé
Chocolate cake

4. The Crooked Knife

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Image result for crooked knife 14th street

This restaurant has like 2 different locations in the city as well, but the particular one we usually go to is in 14th street. This is actually where Diego and I went for our Valentine’s day date last year.

This is another great brunch spot that does a bottomless boozy brunch for $42 per person. You get any entree with unlimited bloody Mary’s or mimosas for 90 minutes.

The service was great and so was the food.

Diego loves his burgers so he usually gets that or the steak & eggs, and I get the Govn’r omelet which is SO bomb.

Price range: $$

5. Bowery Meat Company

Image result for bowery meat company
Image result for bowery meat company

This is actually the restaurant that Diego and one of my best friend’s took me for my birthday this past year. Located in downtown NYC, just off Bowery and 1st street. This is a bomb ass steak house. They have all kinds of steaks that you can possibly imagine, plus pastas and other things, but they are predominantly known for their steaks.

Now I will say that this is the MOST expensive place out of everything I am suggesting, so I 100% believe that it’s worth it, but just keep in mind that you will be spending a pretty penny here.

Some of the things we got and that I recommend:

Prime New York Strip
Whipped Potates
Kung Pao Chicken lollipops (weird name, but SO freakin’ good)
Spinach Sauteer
Fresh Baked Chocolate Chip cookies (with vanilla ice cream)

Price: $$$$$

6. Lola Taverna

Image result for lola taverna
Image result for lola taverna

This is a place that we have yet to try, but I/we saw this on TikTok recently and thought it looked so cute and it’s definitely something we hope to try soon. It’s a Greek cuisine themed restaurant. The floral decor outside looks so beautiful and the reviews are pretty great for the most part as well.

Price: $$

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That is basically it for my restaurant suggestions, BUT I wanted to throw in 2 dessert place recommendations as well, because why not, right?

  1. Dominique Ansel Bakery
Image result for dominique ansel bakery
Image result for dominique ansel bakery

I made an entire TikTok video about this about a month ago, but it’s definitely a must try if you haven’t already. It can be a little pricey, but again, I think it’s definitely worth it. They have great desserts here. It’s located in SoHo (Spring St.).

Some of my absolute favorites to have:

Cronuts
Chocolate chip cookie shots
Croissant
Chocolate chip cookies

Price: $$

2. Little Cupcake Bakeshop

Image result for little cupcake bakeshop nyc
Image result for little cupcake bakeshop nyc

This is a great bakery shop in SoHo as well (Prince St.). It isn’t too expensive and you can actually get a bunch of different things for like $50. They have everything from cookies to cupcakes to cheesecakes and regular full sized cakes.

Price: $-$$

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I hope that you guys enjoyed this post and it helped you in some way, shape or form!

If you end up going to any of these places, please hit me up and let me know what YOU end up thinking about it. I would LOVE to hear your guys thoughts on them.

If you liked this post, please be sure to drop a like and don’t forget to follow if you haven’t already.

Thank you guys so much for reading, and I’ll catch you in the next one!

-Xoxo, LeoGirl 

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California Vacation Costs

Hey guys,

It’s taken me a while to put up this post not just because of a deadly disease I have called procrastination, but also just because I’ve really been trying to think of the right ways to be able to explain and breakdown everything that I did in a way that makes sense and is helpful; which, I think I’ve finally got.

Recently I got a request from someone I know asking me to detail more or less the cost of our California trip because they were interested in setting a trip up there as well, BUT they were on somewhat of a tight budget.

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Before I get into the technicalities of it all, I just want to mention that throughout our time booking this trip (which was pretty much only 3-4 months), we were on a tight budget as well, AND it was somewhat of a last minute decision to book.

We had been going back and forth about it for a WHILE until we were all finally just like screw it…we’ve never traveled altogether before, and it could be a great and fun experience for us all; plus (at the time) my brother had been going through a break-up and his birthday was approaching, AND the time we were going was a little bit after MY birthday, so we figure it was the perfect time to do it.

Being that it was all a little last minute, we tried to be as smart as possible about our finances, like putting money to the side from each of our checks and as much as we could  put to the side at the moment, going for Airbnbs instead of hotels, buying groceries in bulk instead of eating out every night, and finding discounts on park tickets.

I also just wanted to mention that since we were all traveling and doing these things together, we split relatively all of the costs down the middle so that it was all even and wouldn’t be nearly as much as it would have been had we all paid for this stuff individually.

That being said, I’m going to go into all of the nitty-gritty details about all of the things I just mentioned.

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Necessary Expenses: Places to Stay, Food and Transportation

  1. First thing’s first, FLIGHTS. We used this app called Hopper which really came in handy when it came to booking our flights because it allowed us to track them for a while to see when/if prices for them were going up or down. It would also give us predictions for the best/worst times to book because they would either be the cheapest in the moment or they may get slightly cheaper (same with the alternative of it possibly getting more expensive). Does that make sense? Per person, our flights going to San Francisco was $119 which was the absolute cheapest price we probably could’ve gotten it for (and we flew Alaska Airlines and was a straight flight). Coming home from Los Angeles, we actually weren’t as lucky with a straight flight or a cheap one for that matter. We ended up accidentally waiting a little too long and the price per person went up to $181 (we flew American Airlines coming back home).

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2. Second were the Airbnbs. Doing this ended up helping us a LOT too believe it or not because we easily would’ve ended up spending twice as much had we stood in a hotel. In total for the airbnbs we spent about $1,386.20. We were only in the San Francisco airbnb for 2 nights, which came out to a total of $830.16 (which per person was $207.54).We were in Los Angeles a lot longer (4 nights, 5 days), which came out to a total of $1,112.07 (which per person was $278). The thing that I liked about booking the airbnbs the most was the fact that they did the payments in installments. That was super helpful, they asked you to pay half of the cost the day you booked it, and then the other half later on down the line (which for us was about a month and a half after we first booked). So we didn’t have to worry about putting all that money down all at once.

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3. Next was Ubers. Unfortunately while we were in San Francisco, our only real form of transportation was taking Ubers everywhere. We spent a LOT of money on it, which kind of sucked, but honestly, we had no other option. We didn’t know the buses or trains like that so if not for Ubers, we would’ve lost a lot more time simply trying to figure out how to get around. So, I would not recommend doing this unless you completely plan ahead for the public transportation use OR do a car rental, which we didn’t think necessary to do since we were only in San Francisco a day and a half. We spent almost $200 on Ubers all over San Francisco.

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4. Next was booking our MegaBus tickets from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We played around with the idea of renting a car to drive ourselves to LA, but thought it would be an extra unnecessary expense plus paying for gas, snacks along the way, etc., so we stuck to taking a bus there. The tickets in total were $216.50, which per person came out to about $54. Not too bad. Plus it was an interesting experience to drive along the coast for ALL of us to enjoy instead of taking turns driving and what not (it was also a 6 hour trip btw).

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5. Next was our car rental in Los Angeles. This we found to be a little more necessary just because of the longer amount of time we spent here, plus all the places we ended up going. It was just better and easier. We rented our car from a website called Turo , which was super quick and easy to use. The guy we rented from was really nice and super responsive for any/all questions we had about the car. Plus his car was really nice (we had gotten a 2017 Nissan Altima). The total for the car, given the amount of days we needed it for, was $261.91, which came out to about $65 per person; it was also pretty good on gas and we only had to fill it up 2-3 times.

Turo-first-time--370x260

6. And finally shopping for food in bulk. We thought this would be one of the best ways to attempt to save some money out there as opposed to spending on eating out every single day whether it be breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks or all of the above. So, on our first official day in LA we went to a nearby Walmart and spent $140 on groceries with all of those things to sustain us for the rest of the week. Now, of course we did end up eating out a few times because there were certain places out there that we wanted to try, but generally, I think we did pretty good with saving SOME money by buying our food in bulk. Plus our Los Angeles airbnb we had the entire house to ourselves WITH a fully equipped/stocked kitchen, so why wouldn’t we take advantage of that?

Image result for walmart

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Leisure Expenses: Eating Out, Theme Parks & Souvenirs

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So this part is for the extracurricular things we obviously decided to do on the side that weren’t “necessary” but did cost a decent amount of money.

  1. Amusement parks. While we were in Los Angeles we couldn’t pass up the opportunity of going to the amusement parks….I mean, we could’ve, but I wasn’t going to let that happen!!! So, we ended up going to Disneyland and Universal Studios. Typically, the prices for tickets to these parks could be pretty freakin’ pricey, if we’re being honest, BUT we were able to get discounted prices on ours thanks to my mom’s job and this website that employees there tend to get discounts for on a variety of things. A typical 1-day ticket to Disneyland (per person) costs $174, for an adult. With my mom’s discount, we were able to get our tickets for $149. Similarly with Universal Studios, one ticket normally costs about $139, and we were able to get them for $94.50. Unfortunately I don’t have any tips and tricks for this one other then to try googling discount codes or seeing if your job or anyone you know’s job offers discounted prices on things like this.

2. Souvenirs & Food. This one is kind of hard to write and talk about just because I didn’t bother to calculate how much I/we spent on food or souvenirs, and even if I did, it wouldn’t really matter just because stuff like that depends on the particular person traveling. Personally, whenever I travel anywhere, I’m a huge souvenir person, that’s just how I am, but Diego for instance isn’t. I have to like force him to get little souvenirs because he’s fine with just experiencing the places, taking pictures/videos, and just being good that way. As for food, again it depends on the person or people you’re with, as well as yourself. We ate at a few different places in the Disney parks, we got In n Out, we tried this bakery called Susie Cakes, we tried this place called the Rose Cafe for breakfast one day and then we bought the food in bulk from Walmart for all the other days we were there.

So, all in all, when calculating everything, yes we still spent a decent amount, BUT it just basically comes down to being mindful of your spending habits and looking for deals whenever you can. At the end of the day, it’s vacation so you should be splurging a little, BUT there are also ways to be smart about it like finding affordable apps for flights, places to stay, etc.

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I hope you guys enjoyed this post and that it gave you a better perspective as to the cost(s) of a trip like this, more specifically when you’re in a group and on somewhat of a tight budget.

Also, just an FYI that I did 2 travel vlogs on my YouTube channel completely showing how our trip went in both San Francisco and Los Angeles , which, if you haven’t already done so, you should DEFINITELY check it out. It also shows you a better idea/view of the airbnbs in case the pictures on the site aren’t that great.

Don’t forget to like and subscribe to the channel btw to stay up to date with all of my videos 😉 .

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you guys in my next post.

-Xoxo, LeoGirl ❤

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On The Menu Today: Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse

Hey guys!

Today’s post is FINALLY going to be another restaurant review/recommendation type post 🙂

It’s been almost 4 months since I’ve done one of these because we just haven’t really been going out to eat much these days, and if we have, they’re either regular fast food places or places that I just didn’t think were interesting enough to do an entire post on.

About 2 weeks ago though, we FINALLY went to a new place, and I thought it would be the perfect time to take pictures/notes (mental notes, not actual pen & paper notes LOL) and do a post on it.

The name of the place we’re going to be talking about today, if you read from the title, is Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, which is located in 6th avenue in Manhattan (right near Radio City Music Hall if you’re familiar with the area at all).

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The Ambiance

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This place is definitely on the more pricey/fancy side, which we don’t normally tend to do too much just because unless it’s like a SPECIAL occasion (the way it was when we came here), we don’t feel the need/want to have to come and spend a ton of money on places like this.

It is, however, always great to be able to get all dressed up and come to a really nice place like this every so often, which is exactly what we got to do when we came here 2 weeks ago.

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse - New York City, New York, NY

Photo of Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse - New York, NY, United States

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Right off the bat I would say this is the perfect place to go to for an anniversary date, a birthday, or even just a regular date that you may like and/or want to splurge on.

Diego and I came here for our good friend Shakerra’s birthday dinner. She was actually the person who chose the place too, I had no prior knowledge of this place whatsoever. After we established that we were coming here though, I did my research and actually saw that they have quite a few different locations around the U.S., but this is the only one  they have in New York.

There was 5 of us, so we had called in beforehand to make a reservation for our party. I don’t think reservations are mandated, but they are recommended.

Our reservation was for 7:30pm and easily we spent 2-2 and a half hours here; between waiting to be greeted, taking our orders, waiting for our food, eating, getting dessert, etc. etc… Although 2 and a half hours IS pretty long obviously, it really wasn’t that bad being that we were all enjoying each others’ company, as well as conversation.

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The Food/Drinks!

For drinks , aside from our water, we all chipped in to buy a bottle of Rosé wine, which Diego, Jessica and I actually really liked.

Shakerra (the birthday girl) and Genaro didn’t care for it too much so she ended up getting a sweet sort of wine that I didn’t get a chance to get the name of, BUT she enjoyed that one a lot more, and Genaro got a simple cranberry and vodka.

For our food, all of the steaks in the picture(s) below are going to look the same/similar, but I swear some of them ARE different!! haha

Going down the line of what we all got….:

Me: 8 oz Filet Mignon.
Diego: 16 oz Prime Ribeye.
Jessica: 16 oz Prime Ribeye.
Shakerra: 16 oz Prime Ribeye.
Genaro: 16 oz Prime Strip.

We all also got and shared 3 different sides. As you can see in the picture, the sides aren’t THAT big, but they were big enough that we all got to pick on and enjoy them altogether.

The sides we ended up getting were: Chateau Mashed Potatoes, Potatoes Au Gratin which had Scallions, Bacon & Aged Sharp Cheddar, and Lobster Macaroni & Cheese (which I personally have never had before, but actually really liked).

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As for dessert, Shakerra’s boyfriend actually surprised her with a cake at dinner that they brought out when it was time for us to have dessert so that we could all sing happy birthday to her.

It was super cute, and actually tasted REALLY good (I believe it was from 1800flower.com if you guys wanted to check that out).

To complete the review we also ended up getting desserts directly from the restaurant (which are shown below).

On the left is a Butter Cake which has Butter Pecan Ice Cream, Fresh Whipped Cream & Caramel sauce, and on the right is Chocolate Mousse which has Salted Caramel Chocolate Fudge & Miniature Chocolate Cookies.

Y’all know I’m a HUGE dessert person, so this was heaven to me. All of them tasted amazing and were very much worth EVERY calorie.

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General Thoughts

Overall I can 100% say that we all enjoyed ourselves as well as the food here. Everything from the location, the ambiance of the restaurant, our server, and the actual FOOD obviously, was great.

The only minor thing we all didn’t care for was the fact that we had to wait for what felt like 45 minutes more or less for our food to come out, which obviously it’s a pretty big restaurant so we knew we would have to wait a bit, but we didn’t think it would be THAT long either. However, to the same extent, as I mentioned early on in the post, we were very much entertained talking, laughing, etc. so it did help a bit with the wait.

Other then that, everything was really good and we all do 100% recommend it to you guys to try at some point or another. Do keep in mind though as we said, that it is more on the pricey side, but definitely worth the price (we all thought).

As usual though, please try it for yourselves and come to your own conclusion(s) about this place.

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I hope you guys enjoyed this restaurant review/recommendation post. Let me know in the comments or on social media if there are any places in particular around New York that you guys think we should try, and we’ll definitely be sure to do that!

Also, let me know if you guys happen to end up trying this place at all, what YOU thought about it, or if you’ve already been there before, did you guys think it was worth it or not?

I’d love to hear from you all about it! 🙂

As always, thank you guys so much for reading; please like, share, follow and comment I’ll see you guys in my next post.

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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