Local businesses prep for V-Day

It’s Valentine’s Day, and for many of New Haven’s finest eateries, that means breaking out the candles and aphrodisiacs to draw cupid’s arrow to their dining rooms.

Employees at several of downtown’s more luxurious and intimate restaurants said they are planning to add special dishes to their menus to commemorate the holiday. But at more inexpensive Yale favorites, it’s business as usual, employees said.

Pacifico Restaurant on College Street will scrap their normal menu for a one-day-only fare, according to a flier sent late last month encouraging fans of the restaurant to “celebrate love with a romantic candle-lite dinner.” For $40 a person, Pacifico will be dishing out a special four-course meal, and live Brazilian jazz will set the mood on the restaurant, a manager said.

Meanwhile, Scoozi on Chapel Street, typically closed on Mondays, will add grilled Atlantic swordfish, a filet mignon with lobster, and a strawberry parfait for dessert to its menu, according to manager Jennifer Walsh, though there will be no Brazilian jazz.

Ibiza on High Street will dish out a special $67 menu that has not yet been drawn up, assistant manager Maria Gonzalez said. Zaroka, too will serve up a special menu, but as of press time its contents had not yet been determined, an employee confirmed for the News.

At some restaurants, the Valentine’s Day party has already begun — at Zinc, the nectar began flowing Friday and continued through the whole weekend. Zinc, like Scoozi, opened its doors an extra day for the holiday. The Chapel Street restaurant will serve up an aphrodisiac wine that traces its roots back to Ancient Rome, according to its website.

“Legend has it that both Julius Caesar and Marc Antony presented Cleopatra with several gourds of Brachetto,” the website reads. “The empress then had her lovers drink the wine in order to unleash their passion.”

Many Yale favorites, though, will stick to their standard offerings for the Hallmark holiday. Thai Taste on Chapel will not be serving up pink noodles or any other Valentine’s Day gimmicks, nor will its neighbor across the street, Thai Pan Asian, according to employees at both restaurants. For the less ostentatious lover, Willoughby’s on York Street is selling “chocolate ambrosia hearts” — heart-shaped chocolates — for $3.99; further down York, the aisles of Walgreens are littered with Valentine’s Day balloons, fine chocolates and other trinkets.

For those seeking more relaxation once dinner’s over, and those without a Valentine of their own, College Wine, Zachary’s Liquors and The Wine Thief all stay open until 9 p.m.

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