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Week in Yelp: Black Thursday Special

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From the people who brought you The Week in Craig, one of the all time great uses of the internet, comes Eater's newest feature: The Week in Yelp, wherein Amy Blair takes aim at the ridiculousness that is the world of Yelp. Her intrepid Yelp-surfing, and words, follow:

2008_01_yelp.jpgIt's Valentine's Day, the most romantic, wonderful, beautiful day of the year!!! In honor of the occasion, I'm dressed head to toe in red, I've got on my fancy Snoopy-and-hearts underwear, and tonight my honey bunny and I shall drink an entire bottle of champagne ? which is about the one thing that will differentiate this particular night from every other Thursday in which we stay home and watch Lost. Well, that and the fact that we are bursting with love and affection for each other, because it is Valentine's Day, and, well, isn't love just so divine?! (Swoon).

Anyway, if you are hankering to ruin an otherwise excellent night of television-watching with some Valentinesy Schmalentinesy type stuff, the kids on Yelp are just full of wonderful suggestions about where you should (or should not) propose to your lady friend this evening. But don't say I didn't warn you; only an idiot wants to be proposed to in some crowded restaurant on friggin' Valentine's Day (cliché, ho hum, yawn). Then again, even idiots need love, too. Just look at me and my honey bunny. That's amore!

I don't know about you, but nothing puts me in the mood for gettin' hitched like pretending I'm an old lady who is really, really into Edith Wharton novels. Bust out your bloomers! Café Des Artistes is, apparently, hot for an old school drop down to one knee.

Romantic, French, Belle Epoque-theme to this classic New York Restaurant. Pretend you're one the grand romantic New York Dames of a past era. The service is satisfyingly old world, of course you're paying for that pleasure. Good place to pop the question.

However, in case you were considering dropping the Marry Me Bomb at the back of a South Asian bodega?don't do it (and who said Yelp wasn't helpful?).

I only recently found out about this place, and boy have I been missing out. I KNEW the neighborhood's many cabbies had to eat somewhere, I just needed to know where...

So, Shan. Very cheap (most expensive menu item = $6) and a fantastic value for the price, especially considering the ginormous portions. It's basically twelve tables in the back of a South Asian bodega, so the atmosphere is nonexistent. Though this might not be the ideal place to celebrate a birthday or Pop the proverbial Question, if it's 10:30 at night and you're in Uptown/Edgewater and you've got that craving that can only be sated by Indian/Pakistani food, slide on down to Shan and pick up a big ol' mess of biryani, a samosa, and a cup of tea and STILL get change back from a ten. If that don't turn you on, you ain't got no switches.
If you ain't got not switches (err?), and you want to get engaged at the proposal factory, head over to One If By Land, Two If By Sea?where your girlfriend can feel really bad about how crappy her new ring is compared to the one that the girl at the table next to you just got.
3 stars for food and 5 stars for service so I guess that's 4 stars.

I heard this place was proposal central so my friends and I couldn't help but keep watching all the couples around us in the hopes that we'd see someone pop the question. Sadly for us, no one did.

We had the restaurant week menu and perhaps that why I was underwhelmed by the food but I think my biggest gripe is that my entree (hanger steak) came out lukewarm, bordering on cold. I really enjoyed the appetizer of warm polenta and smoked ham soup with cheddar cheese foam - very creamy and delicious. The chocolate souffle that I had for dessert was not the best I've had but I liked the caramel ice cream it came with.

Now about the service... the waiter described the dishes in such detail listing every single ingredient and the way everything was prepared down to the minutia. We finished our bottle of wine before the entree came so they gave us each a free glass of wine. Then they kept giving us free plates of small cookies to tide us over until dessert. While we were waiting for dessert, my friend was talking about how much she loved this truffle macaroni and cheese that she had at the Village Inn. I guess the waiter overheard and thought she was talking about chocolate truffles because he came over with some port for her, saying that they usually served chocolate truffles during the holiday season and that the port was the closest he could come. How incredibly attentive - too bad I didn't talk about how much I like lobster...
If your lovely lady “expecially” loves horses (which I know is definitely something that guides my choice in restaurants) then maybe you should follow this fella's lead and pop the question at The Derby. Or, um, not.
I take out-of-town visitors here, expecially the horse lovers. The food is always good, the drinks strong, the portions large, and they always put it on their personal list of places they want me to take them on their next visit.

BTW, the Derby is the place where i popped "the question", and while it was to the wrong person my ex and I still get together a couple of times a year - and she always make sure it's at the Derby.
God, that was depressing.

Last but not least, a Valentine's Day idea for the singles. After work, head over to your nearest dive bar. Find a single lady and ply her with tequila shots and compliments all night (I promise, it will work like a charm). Around 2am, jump up on top of the bar, declare your love for her, and ask her to marry you. It's Valentine's Day, after all, and desperate times call for desperate measures. A lifetime of love is all but guaranteed?

An old friend of mine was proposed to on the bar of this bar. He got right up on the bar and popped that question.

We decided to have her bridal shower there, and the bartender was so cool he let the entire group of us (about 12 drunken women) get up on the bar to re-enact the moment.

I've had a lot of fun wild times here. Its a dive. Not all dive bars are a good thing, but this one is ok by me.

The bartenders even have the right amount of cranky going on.
Oy vey. Bartender, more champagne please.

—Amy Blair

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