A romantic dinner at a nice restaurant may sound like the perfect Valentine's Day plan, but Joanne Chen at Time offers a few reasons why couples might want to eat at home instead. For one thing, it's a good bet that the restaurant will be jam-packed with couples just like you, and its staff will be frazzled with all those less-than-lucrative tables for two and their special orders. (Unless, as is also common on nights like this, the restaurant punts and imposes a fixed menu to keep the flow moving.)
“Remember Atari?” asks one restaurant consultant. “If a typical night is a level 3 or 4, Valentine’s Day is a level 10—or 11." Of course, diners lucky enough to get a table are oblivious as they make googly eyes and linger over wine, "not noticing the starving couple at the bar, staring (or is it glaring?)" in their direction, writes Chen. But even if you're fine with a crowded, hectic dining experience, she has a closing argument: "An alcohol-infused three-course dinner isn’t exactly the best preparation for lovemaking." Click for Chen's full column.