In the mood for love

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From a tango musical written by a Latin Grammy winner to meals laden with chocolate and champagne, there are plenty of ways for Queens couples to celebrate their love this Valentine’s Day.

Thalia Spanish Theatre in Sunnyside will offer a performance of the world-premiere musical “Borges & Piazzolla Tango,” written and directed by 2007 Latin Grammy winner Raul Jaurena, on Valentine’s Day at 4 p.m. The “romantic and sexy” story about love and reconciliation will also be shown at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday of Valentine’s Day weekend as well, theatre spokeswoman Kathy Giaimo said.

“There’s going to be amazing musicians,” Giaimo said.

The show, which runs until March 21, is based on music that composer Astor Piazzolla wrote for stories by famous Argentinian surrealist Jorge Luis Borges and centers around a knife fight between two men over a woman. Jaurena, who penned the performance, received his Latin Grammy for best tango album, which was recorded at the Thalia Spanish Theatre, located at 41-17 Greenpoint Ave. in Sunnyside.

Tickets are $25 on Fridays and $30 Saturdays and Sundays. Seniors and students pay $27 for the Saturday and Sunday performances. For information and tickets, call (718) 729-3880 or visit

Sapori d’Ischia, a restaurant at 55-15 37th Ave. in Woodside, will offer a four-course meal that “keeps with the theme of red,” owner Antonio Galana said. There will be insalata rossa — a red salad with items like red candied beets, and plenty of pasta, champagne, and roses for all the women. The meal comes with a $75 price tag for each person.

“We’ll have live music and an elaborate menu,” Galana said. “It’s a very romantic day.” Galana said there have been a number of marriage proposals at past Valentine’s Day celebrations, which may have been a surprise for the recipient of the request but was par for the course for Sapori d’Ischia.

“There have been high-profile engagements here,” Galana said. “We make it so romantic. Everything is candlelit, and there’s rose petals everywhere.”

Couples who want to have a cozy night indoors will for the first time be able to buy a “romance to go package” from London Lennie’s in Rego Park, said a spokeswoman for the restaurant, Megan Esteves.

“It’s an amazing pre-made dinner for two that they’ll deliver in Manhattan and Queens,” Esteves said.

The $160 package includes a four-course dinner of jumbo lump crabmeat stacks with avocado and mango drizzled with tomato sherry vinaigrette and chive oil, lobster bisque, a three-pound lobster stuffed with crab meat, and a dessert of raspberry mousse with whipped cream, mixed berries and raspberry drizzle. The restaurant is also throwing in votive candles and rose petals. For an additional $25, customers can receive prosecco.

The to-go meal will be available Feb. 12-15 and must be ordered 48 hours in advance. Residents may call (718) 894-8084 for orders or dinner reservations.

London Lennie’s, located at 63-88 Woodhaven Blvd. in Rego Park, is also featuring an extensive menu at their restaurant on Valentine’s Day. Should individuals have to wait to eat at the establishment, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary this April, Chef Jeffrey Baruch will offer couples oyster-shucking lessons and a complimentary glass of champagne.

“It’s definitely going to be effervescent in there,” Esteves said. “It will be a very fun evening.”

For those looking for something a little less expensive, White Castle restaurants throughout the borough will provide a candlelit dinner with special menus, tableside service, and flowers between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Valentine’s Day.

“Since we first offered reserved Valentine’s Day seating in 1991, this has become an annual tradition for many couples,” said Jamie Richardson, vice president of corporate relations. “It’s been a huge hit because a lot of our loyal customers — fondly known as ‘cravers’ — either met in a White Castle Restaurant or have other enjoyable memories they like to celebrate here.”

To make a reservation at White Castle, call (718) 899-8404 ext. 304.

Jeff Lazar, one of the owners of Lazar’s Chocolates in Bayside, said they will be offering their typical Valentine’s Day fanfare for those with a sweet tooth — chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. Located at 212-67A 26 Ave. in Bayside, Lazar’s offers a variety of heart-shaped boxes of candy that vary in price from $15 to over $100.

“You can put your favorite items in a heart box,” Lazar said. “We also have a custom wish bar, which is a half-pound bar of chocolate, and we write ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ on the bar with a name.”

Those not in a relationship can celebrate Valentine’s Day, too, with a cruise on New York Harbor, said Tegan Firth of Statue Cruises. Individuals sans partners can sign up for a singles cruise through the New York Harbor Saturday, Feb. 13, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are $69 per person with open bar and $35 without the open bar.

Couples can take their own cruise on Valentine’s Day from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Tickets will be $75.

Both cruises will take place on a ship with two fully enclosed decks, a large dance floor, and a roof deck.

“People are always looking for something new and exciting to celebrate Valentine’s Day,” Firth said. “It’s a good way to get out of the red roses Valentine’s Day. Being out on the water and gazing over the skyline is the most romantic setting.”

Updated 5:58 pm, October 10, 2011
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