The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Torch Eats: Valentine’s Day special

Three pieces combining some romantic – and delicious – Valentine’s Day ideas for you to share with your loved ones.

Five budget-friendly places worth trying on Valentine’s Day 

By Carolina Krawczynski

Are you looking for some last minute Valentine’s Day plans for you and someone special? If it’s only for you to enjoy on your own, that’s fine too. We all know the struggle of wanting to go to out to a nice place to eat but, as college students, that is out of the question. Nevertheless, don’t let that stop you from going out. Check out these perfect spots that can make your Valentine’s Day the more lovable and your wallet happy.

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Torch Photo/Carolina Krawczynski

Vive la Crêpe

With seven amazing locations around Manhattan, you can’t go wrong with warm, scrumptious crepes to start of the day. I mean, nothing screams Valentine’s Day like a sweet crepe filled with juicy strawberries, soft banana and warm Nutella topped with whipped cream and powdered sugar. It is the perfect combination of breakfast and dessert in one. The locations are very intimate and casual, all with wonderful staff that will willingly put anything into your crepe upon request. On the menu, you can find three main different types of crepes, savory, omelet and sweet, along with your typical café beverage variety. If you are looking for a casual small setting with amazing breakfast options, this is the place to go! Jouir!



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Torch Photo/Carolina Krawczynski

Located in Downtown Manhattan you can go here for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, dessert, etc. and still have a variety of wonderful choices while sitting in a rustic, but chic and fashionable Italian setting. Gemma is a fancier option for Valentine’s Day, with a strictly Italian with a menu of cliché meals. It holds a great atmosphere, not too quiet but also not too chaotic, making it a perfect brunch spot or great dinner location. The menu consists of a large range of Italian and American dishes great for any time of the day. While it is a bit expensive, the food and experience are both amazing.


Grimaldi’s: Under the Brooklyn Bridge

If you are looking for more of an experience/memory rather than fancy restaurant, check out Grimaldi’s Under the Brooklyn Bridge. Located in Dumbo, Brooklyn, the coal brick-oven pizzeria is just around the corner of an amazing view capturing the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan on the other side. But, that is not all that is lives up to. Grimaldi’s makes, in only a few minutes, the finest coal-fired brick oven pizza New York has to offer. With a variety of choices, the Italian joint has reasonably priced pizzas that will always leave you wanting more. If you are looking for a cheap but memorable night out, you can never go wrong with a slice of pizza and a romantic view of the city.

Max Brenner

For all the chocolate lovers, this is your place to be! Why just get one box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day when you can get an entire fresh and warm dessert! Max Brenner – the ultimate chocolate bar – is a place where calories don’t count and dessert comes first. Located in several places around Manhattan, this is the perfect spot for those of us that really care more for the dessert than the dinner and, let’s be serious, it is Valentine’s Day. Being in a decent budget, the menu has a variety of basic food choices from burgers to pizzas. Though the real magic is in its dessert menu with choices like “The Melting Chocolate Truffle Heart Cake and Shake” or “crystal Churros Fondue.” This choice is perfect for a lively atmosphere, great service and loads of chocolate.

La Lanterna di Vittorio 

Simple, but incredibly amazing, La Lanterna di Vittorio is known for its setting both beautiful day and night. In a room with vines on the walls, a sunroof and colorful lanterns hanging from above, this is definitely a romantic choice with delicious Italian cuisine. During the day, you have the setting of a garden area filled with colorful designs and simple furniture. However, at night, the rooms lit up with glowing fireplaces, waterfalls and beautiful lanterns. The ambiance provides a cozy feel perfect for a comfortable date night. The menu is comprised of Italian cuisine (with great desserts as well) and a variety of café beverages. The choices are vast and food delicious. If you’re looking for a comfortable, friendly atmosphere and simple entrées don’t miss out on this one!

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Torch Photo/Carolina Krawczynski



Valentine’s Day dinner and dessert done right

By Jamie Pfeiffer

Valentine’s Day in one’s frivolous mind may appear to be a time to cherish and spoil one’s lover with the impression that there is no such thing as a budget. One never ponders the idea to stay in for the evening when they could be buying extravagant gifts and eating high-class meals.

Sadly, for a college student, Valentine’s Day might be horrifying when you imagine the amount of money you are presuming to spend on your loved one. For a Valentine’s Day date to be romantic, all one needs is an intimate location, some delicious dishes for sharing, and possibly some cheap red wine. I have just the perfect local spot to get all three: my all time favorite is a small pizzeria called Forno Pizzeria E Trattoria, located in Maspeth, N.Y.

This restaurant could be overlooked because it is a small location snuggled between houses; therefore, it is perfect for a no-wait and no-crowd date night on Valentine’s Day. Forno is a nook of a place, authentic enough to appear to be taken right out of Italy, giving it an amazing atmosphere. Forno has abundant menu options for a cheap V-Day dinner. From a personal perspective, they have the best Chicken Parmesan I’ve ever tasted. The chicken is sliced so perfectly thin to be marinated delightfully in their homemade sauce. This plate, which could be sufficient for two, comes with a side of pasta for only $18.

One of the most interesting aspects of this cozy restaurant is that it is BYOB. That’s right, Bring Your Own Booze, which means you can bring any type of (cheap) wine to spruce up your romantic evening. If you’re not salivating yet, just imagine one of the deserts offered: Nutella thin-crusted pizza. Besides all of their other pizza options, this dessert option can definitely be the cherry-on-top of an evening with a sweet, yet not overbearing pleasure to the lips.

Forno’s Nutella Pizza Slices – Torch Photo/Jamie Pfeiffer

As Forno is my top choice for an evening of Italian cuisine, we can’t forget what Valentine’s Day is also known for: chocolates and desserts. One scrumptious dessert place is Eddie’s Sweet Shop. This ice cream parlor is located in Forest Hills and has been around since the 1960s. The vintage elegance of the place is enough to make a flattering vibe while you and your lover sit in the back booths eating a sundae stacked with toppings. All of the ice cream is made right in the shop along with their original whipped cream that is fluffy enough to be a meal on its own.

Eddie’s price list, ranging from $5-$8 per sundae, isn’t even breaking the bank considering one scoop, with toppings, could be split amongst two: isn’t sharing on Valentine’s Day the most tender aspect? Lastly, for those who are on an extremely tight budget, there is always your local White Castle. White Castle will be taking reservations and will make your evening meal most likely cost less than $10. This isn’t the most romantic option, but they do supply red table clothes and an atmosphere decorated perfectly for the occasion (red heart balloons on deck). Don’t even fancy the idea of spending a fortune this Valentine’s Day. Go on, explore and try out a new location nestled here in Queens.

Eddie’s Sweet Shop one-scoop sundae - Torch Photo/Jamie Pfeiffer
Eddie’s Sweet Shop one-scoop sundae – Torch Photo/Jamie Pfeiffer




Stella 34 Trattoria

By Evelyn Miller

One of the most iconic places in New York City has to the Macy’s Store on the corner of Broadway and 34th Street. Known for its array of shopping options, the store also hosts an eatery to cater to even the most precocious customer. The restaurant is called Stella 34 Trattoria and is located near the entrance on 35th street.

Although the prices can be a little expensive, it is a great place to go with your significant other on Valentine’s Day. Its ambiance is beautiful and has lots of open windows that face towards the street. The interior is modern with celebrity portraits on the walls. It is inviting and one of the cool aspects is that, if you’re waiting for tables, you can go explore the store.

Despite the prices, there are a number of ways you can still eat without breaking the bank. A good way to do so is to share a pizza. The pizza is delicious with a number of flavorful toppings. The price for a medium size pizza is around $20. The staff was very helpful in suggesting that a couple can share a pizza and each side can get their own toppings. That way each person can get what they want and save some money. As a bonus, on Valentine’s Day, you can request the chef to make your pizza into the shape of a heart. This is not only cute, but it’s also fun. They’ll have a desert special as well.

This restaurant is the kind Valentine’s Day pick where you can have a nice meal and enjoy the night out!


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