Love is in the air (and on my mind) now that we are less than a week away from Valentine's Day. Last Wednesday, I experienced one of the ultimate romantic New York City dates: tickets to a show at the Metropolitan Opera. While a select few donned their finest fur coats, I was perfectly comfortable in my cocktail dress.
First, to make it a romantic evening, you're going to want to pick the right show. Don Giovanni and Carmen are two currently running shows featuring themes of lewd and lustful behavior. Think girls in corsets, lavish party scenes, dancing, and even some pyrotechnics. Even if you're not sure you'll be a fan of the opera, you'll at least be impressed at the singers ability to belt out the lyrics (without microphones) while they run around the stage.
When the ticket says "partial view" they mean it. The upper balcony seats are spacious and private, with just two to four chairs per booth, however, you'll sacrifice missing part of the activity on stage left or right. Sit further back to see more of the show.
Next, plan to go to a nice dinner beforehand. Atlantic Grill ($$$) is located steps from Lincoln Center and features a special theater menu Monday through Friday. For a quieter atmosphere, I like nearby Telepan ($$$) on the Upper West Side. Some more casual options include dining on savory pork buns and miso ramen at Totto Ramen ($$) or spicy Thai red curry at nearby Der Krung ($$). After all, a romantic night out doesn't have to break the bank.
Spend some time to walk around before the performance. There are several pieces of art and costumes on display at each level. The crystal chandeliers reflect off the ruby velvet walls and floors creating a warm, glowing atmosphere. Marvel at the effort it must have taken to cover the Opera Hall’s ceiling with 23-karat gold leaf as you take your seat. Have a glass of champagne and toast to a beautiful night with your loved one.