Image: Tomokase

If COVID-19 is a concern, and it should be, the last way you want to spend Valentine’s Day this year is over a multi-course restaurant dinner that runs for hours. Such a mistake could well turn out to be the last way you celebrate Valentine’s Day.

But supposing you could eliminate the middle man, i.e the restaurant? Suppose you could enjoy a dining extravaganza in your own home? Here are two high-end possibilities for achieving just that, both centering on the elegant Japanese notion of omakase, which translates to “selected by the chef.”

In New York anything is possible — even hiring your own handpicked sushi chef and maître d’ for an evening. Tomokase, a unique catering service, offers a 2- to 3-hour dinner for up to 8 people. The chef serves a sushi tasting menu of 15 courses based on the catch of the day in front of you and your guests, while the maître d’ attends to all your needs, including your beverage orders. All dishes, utensils and condiments are provided. The service is available to homes in Manhattan, Long Island City and Brooklyn. For the Valentine’s Day weekend, Tomokase is featuring a special 20-course omakase extravaganza that includes an amuse bouche and dessert as well as a sake pairing. The cost, to be prepaid, is $295 a person plus a $50 service charge. Order through Tock.

A key part of the omakase experience is the artistry of the chef as he creates and serves one culinary masterpiece after another. If you’re willing to dispense with the pomp, you can still satisfy your omakase fix by availing yourself of Mifune‘s 18-course tasting menu to go. Among the offerings you will find a foie gras terrine with strawberry ginger jam and house made focaccia, beef tataki with garlic ponzu sauce, and a duck parmentier croquette with sauce gribiche. The menu at the Michelin-recognized restaurant, which may be found here, is subject to market availability. The cost is $130 per person, plus $15 for delivery. The dinner is available on Fridays only but can refrigerated and reheated as necessary for Valentine’s. To place an order, email or order through the website by no later than 10 p.m. the night before.

Mifune, 245 E 44th Street (bet Second and Third Aves.), 212-986-2800.

See also…

Where in New York to Dine — or Order in from — on Valentine’s Day 2021