Whether you’re looking to spend some quality time with your significant other or reward yourself for being an impeccably sexy single, selecting a Valentine’s Day destination successfully is largely dependent on ambience. Fortunately, Middletown’s diverse array of eateries and activities provides a variety of atmospheric options to flavor your holiday festivities.
1. Sweet Harmony Café and Bakery
Located conveniently at 330 Main St., Sweet Harmony Café is a popular destination for University students. The idyllically cozy venue serves as the perfect getaway whenever the on-campus environment becomes over-stimulating. With its brightly colored murals, welcoming wait-staff, and, most importantly, delicious selections of house-made comfort drinks and food, the eatery exudes warmth and contentment and is the perfect choice for a low-key, intimate Valentine’s Day.
2. Ford News Diner
The Ford News Diner offers yet another low-key V-Day setting. Stationed close to the left of Sweet Harmony, the eatery, with its understated storefront and small interior, boasts a kind of old-school vibe and provides customers with a truly memorable eating experience. Granted, the menu is not as extensive or intricate as the more well-known O’Rourke’s and Athenian Diners (Ford doesn’t even hand out a menu), but the food that it offers is always served up quickly and, more importantly, cooked to perfection. As a matter of fact, Ford News is home to Nicole’s favorite stack of banana chocolate chip pancakes. Furthermore, the more manageably sized menu guarantees that customers will spend less time deciding on their order and more time conversing and enjoying each other’s company.
3. Mikado Japanese Restaurant
Located just off of Main Street (3 Melilli Plaza), Mikado Japanese Restaurant provides for a more funky, contemporary Valentine’s Day atmosphere. Despite the restaurant’s more upscale ambience, it creates a quiet and intimate enough environment for quality conversation. Furthermore, featuring a wide array of yummy appetizers, sushi, hand rolls, and kitchen entrees, Mikado’s menu is particularly conducive for food sharing, if you’re that kind of couple (or those kind of singles).
4. The Middletown Roller Skating Rink
Nothing is more romantic than snapping on some roller blades, holding hands, and gliding along to the smooth tunes provided by the Middletown Roller Skating Rink. Bring your crush along with you, and make sure to pretend to be terrified and grab hir if you think you’re falling (in love, that is). Nothing says sex quite like breaking a few collective bones while skate-dancing to Rihanna.
5. Italian Culture Center of Middletown
French might be the language of love, but Italian is almost as romantic. Spend the day learning Italian at the new culture center, located at 222 Main St., and then head over to Fiore and practice your skills. You might just end the night by saying, “Ti amo”!
6. Knitting classes at Pamela Roose
Pamela Roose (88 Court St.) is the perfect choice for a romantic evening: the store is peaceful, well lit, and stocked with miles of fluffy yarn. Under the loving tutelage of owner Pamela Steele, a knitter with over thirty years of experience, by spring break you’ll be whipping up some hir-and-hir sweaters to wear like the cute couple you are.
Of course, February, with its blustery winter conditions, discourages many of us from leaving the boundaries of campus. Even if this is the case for you and your beloved, fear not! If you and yours are not up for the wintry trek down to Main Street, there are still many ways that you can enjoy Valentine’s Day the delicious way.
1. Order in some take-out
Fortunately, many Middletown restaurants offer the convenient option of take-out. Of these select eateries my favorites include Haveli Indian Restaurant, Tandoor Indian Restaurant, Asian Restaurant, and Typhoon, but you of course can take your pick. Any cuisine will do, and all are complemented perfectly by the fluffy pillows, warm blankets, and good movies found in your room.
If you are not keen on braving the winter weather, but are still looking for a somewhat adventurous Valentine’s Day experience, take to your on-campus kitchen. It doesn’t matter what you make—your recipe of choice can be as simple as a couple of sandwiches or as complex as boeuf bourguignon. So long as you enjoy your company, the culinary experience will be a bonding one.
3. Use those meals!
When your love is real, you don’t need to spend big bucks on fancy chocolate or “50 Shades of Grey.” Bring a tablecloth and some nice candles to Usdan, and you’ll basically be eating at the nicest restaurant in Middletown.
Barreling down Foss at top speed is just like falling in love (a simile that’s definitely been proposed on ABC’s “The Bachelor”). When you’re done, head inside for some hot chocolate and canoodling. Don’t forget to create two snow angels and then make it look like they’re holding hands.