Feb 022015


By Elisabeth Ann South

Battaglia band

Looking to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year on Friday instead of Saturday the 14th? These modern times make it a challenge to find a good old fashioned place to get dressed up and do dinner and dancing with live music.  I found a classy party to take you back to the big band era. Touted “Dining, Dancing and Romancing”, The Edison Ballroom is hosting a sexy, sophisticated show for even the most jaded cupid. A delectable dinner will be served by the renowned Chef Mino Newman that will include appetizers, a few incredible choices for an entrée, and of course a festive array of desserts. For music, the famed Joe Battaglia, one of New York’s foremost band leaders, will be entertaining you with music from The American Songbook played by his sensational 16 piece orchestra. Still big band won’t be the only music taking the stage. Also performing, the talented musical group known as Direct Latin Influence will put on the sultry sounds of salsa to pull you onto the dance floor. And don’t worry about your dance skills, because after a few drinks no one will even notice if you’re a little offbeat.

Be warned, or better yet, warn your date this is not a cheap night, but its well worth it. Tickets are $150 per person and include VIP seating, a four course meal, all drinks, taxes, and gratuities. Or for $100 get all this but in Mezzanine seating. If you plan on dancing the night away, as it goes until 1am, who cares where you’re sitting anyway, since you’ll only sit to eat.

If you’re a traditionalist, and insist on celebrating Valentine’s Day on the actual date, I also have a recommendation. It’s something a little bit funkier at Duane Park in TriBeCa than your candle lit white tablecloth restaurant.  Walk through the doors and you’ll be welcomed to Brian Newman’s After Dark, NYC’s premier burlesque supper club. A live band will play jazz to get you in the mood for love, while the talented women with strategically placed feathers and boas tantalize the crowd as they swivel around the stage. For dinner, Chef Richard Overholt will dominate the kitchen, creating and serving up special aphrodisiac-themed starters, followed by a full three course prix-fixe menu that will leave you ready for your own after party. The show presented for the evening is appropriately entitled “Lovebirds.” Be sure and call ahead to make your reservations, as seating is limited. There’s a 6pm show ($95 pp) and a 9:30pm ($125) to choose from, depending on whether you’d like to make it an early night or late one…in public.

My next suggestion is short and sweet.


For a few days and selected times, you can experience the Sweeter Than Sugar Valentines Tour alone, with a group of friends, or with a special someone. “In a city that is so big and has so many people, finding hidden gems with that one other person close to you makes the experience that much more personal and exclusive,” says Sarah Rolleston, co-founder of the tour company. Indulge in artesian hot chocolate, half pound cookies, and other mouth-watering sweets while brushing up on the history of the culinary arts you are sampling. Starting in Chelsea and ending in West Village, the tour includes not only confectionary treats, but also a history of the areas in which you visit, and a beautiful view from the Highline along the way. It’s $50 per person, which includes six tastings during the walk. And if you’re not ready for it to end by the time the tour stops, you have the option of ordering a glass of wine, or even the whole bottle if you so desire, at the last place on the schedule. One word of caution: this is not diet-friendly.


For tickets to Dining, Dancing and Romancing contact the Edison Ballroom or www.telecharge.com

For reservations to Brian Newman’s After Dark (157 Duane St.) call 212.732.5555. Dinner tickets do not include tax, tip, or drinks.

For a complete list of dates and times, and to purchase tickets for the Sweeter Than Sugar Valentine’s Tour, go to www.sugartoothtours.com



Elisabeth Ann South

About Elisabeth Ann South

In the four short years Elisabeth Ann South has been in New York City, she has acted in numerous independent films, had the lead in an off-Broadway show, and has become a regular contributor to FOX News as a millennial writer. Having filmed and photographed various television travel pieces, including an award winning one for the Siberian Express, she is scheduled to do a photography exhibit in her hometown of Indianapolis. She is currently working on her second book of essays.

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