Happy Valentine’s Day! Today’s all about love (or, if you’re single, it’s about getting bombed on pink champagne in a bubble bath while listening to Whitney). And Conversation Hearts. And chocolate-covered strawberries. Now, those nibbles are all fine and dandy, but if you really want to get in the mood tonight, you might want to chow down on some aphrodisiac foods. Here’s a selection of some love edibles and where to find them.
Oysters: Coincidence that oysters look like vaginas? Nope. The briny bivalves are a longtime aphrodisiac favorite, and slurping the suckers is pretty damn sexy. Williamsburg’s Maison Premiere is a great spot for knocking back a few shells (and following them with some craft cocktails), and you can’t beat the Grand Central Oyster Bar for old-school charm.
Balut: Who doesn’t love them a fertilized duck embryo that’s boiled and eaten in the shell? The Filipino (and other Southeast Asian countries’) delicacy actually tastes a lot better than it sounds, akin to a cross between chicken soup and a hard-boiled egg. It’s also reputed to enhance virility and lovemaking. Enrich your manhood at East Village eatery Maharlika, and occasionally at Umi Nom, in Clinton Hill.
Champagne: Not only is champagne a delicious wine, it helps put you in the mood. And not just because you tend to get drunk faster while drinking bubbly. New York City isn’t short on champagne bars, but a few stand out. Newcomer Winston’s Champagne Bar, located in the Gansevoort Park Hotel, has a lovely ambiance, though luxury comes at a pretty penny. Glasses here start at around $20. Flute and Bubble Lounge, meanwhile, have a slightly more casual feel, but both still offer impressive selections of champers.
Chile peppers: They raise your heart rate and circulation levels, mimicking bodily reaction similar to those from sex. Light the fire within and by heading to one of the city’s spicy Chinese eateries. Hot favorites we’ve recently reviewed include Land of Plenty, Hot Kitchen, He Nan Flavor, and Hunan Kitchen.
Chocolate: OK, OK. Because it’s Valentine’s Day, it does seem a little unfair to exclude chocolate from the list. And the Big Apple isn’t short on spots to get your cocoa fix. AZYA Wine & Chocolate Bar recently expanded to the West Village, while Cocoa Bar has plied the Lower East Side and Brooklyn with chocolate and vino. If it’s just a box of chocolates you’re after, however, you can’t go wrong with Kee’s Chocolates or Christopher Norman, and newcomer Ladurée whips up some tasty bars in addition to its famed cookies. At least arguably tastier than balut.