Hidden Romance- Light Up Your Valentine’s Day Close to Home

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Valentine’s Day Dining in Hoboken and JC

Valentine’s Day is a bit far off but I wanted to put together a group of “hidden” places you might not think of for celebrating with your loved one. These are mainly small, intimate spaces, many are BYOB and all of them will take a reservation so what are you waiting for?

Bora is a cozy brick-lined space below stairs on Grove Street offering Portuguese specialties ranging from succulent seafood, well-cooked meats, and perfectly spiced rice, to delectable desserts, and mouthwatering vegetables. There’s no printed menu so be sure to have a look at the chalkboard as you walk in. BYOB

The Oak on Pine is in a little pocket of Jersey City near Liberty Park that is making a name for itself for great eats. Enjoy the Southern-inspired menu, especially anything featuring their transcendent buttermilk fried chicken and hope that someone comes along to play standards on the upright piano. Save room for their house-made desserts- these are big enough to share. BYOB.

Otto Strada in Hoboken will give you the best of old-school Italian with homemade pastas, as well as marinara and carbonara but also try the delicious pizzas and burrata. Huge portions encourage romantic sharing and lips meeting a la Lady and the Tramp over a plate of spaghetti.

Rasoi, located in Little Bombay close to Journal Square is easily the best Indian food to be had in the area. The potato samosas and chicken lollypops (in a wonderful sticky Asian bbq sauce) are great starters. For main courses, any one of your Indian favorites here is sure to please- Saag Paneer, Chicken Tikka Masala and others- all cooked to your preferred level of spice. Full bar available.

If a Carribean vacation is out of reach, head to Harry’s Daughter for a meal that will have you hearing steel drums! Delicious homestyle peri-peri shrimp, oxtail stew and pumpkin rice to name a few. If you like spicy, try the jerk chicken! The charming space offers indoor swings for your Instagram Valentine moment. Full bar available.

On the Zen side try Honshu in the Paulus Hook section of Jersey City- located on the second floor at 95 Greene Street this restaurant offers a wide selection of fresh fish (including sea bream) and unique appetizers like fried baby octopus. Full bar available.

Chef Tan has just opened this month in Jersey City at 558 Washington Boulevard in Newport! If the cold has you craving something with a bit of heat you’ll find a mix of Hunan and Sichuan style dishes here as well as more “Americanized” Chinese dishes. Sichuan dishes — known for their spice and heat — including Szechuan Spicy Tofu, Duck Blood & Stripes in Spicy Sauce, and Fried Chicken in Chongqing Style. While a full bar was incomplete when we visited you should ask when you reserve before bringing your own bottle.

Rumba Cubana in the Pavonia section of Jersey City offers Latin heat home-style with satisfying traditional Cuban cuisine. This family-owned establishment is great for soul-satisfying dishes like Lanchita De Regla (fried sweet plantain stuffed with ground beef and melted cheese) and the Cuban appetizer platter which includes croquetas and empanadas. Full bar available.


Valentine’s Day Dining in Hoboken and JC Valentine’s Day Dining in Hoboken and JC Valentine’s Day Dining in Hoboken and JC

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