Many younger New Yorkers, while willing to observe the holiday in their own creative ways, are thumbing their nose at the traditional Valentine's Day dinner out.
A nationwide survey last month by CreditDonkey.com found that 65 percent of respondents still planned to take their significant other to dinner this Feb. 14, but only 49 percent wanted to be taken out. That proves, the researchers assert, that "many partners don't always want what they get."
Ashley Mason, 21, a restaurant lover and blogger, is one of those New Yorkers who won't be dining out Thursday.
Restaurants "are extremely expensive on Valentine's Day," often incorporating pricey prix fixe menus that are full of fatty items such as foie gras and filet mignon, Mason said.
Nor does the Upper West Side resident relish dressing up to slog through what is typically less-than-spectacular winter weather only to encounter a crowded, busy restaurant.
Cooking a romantic meal with her boyfriend, Didrik Soderstrom, 22, at his Greenpoint apartment, "is so much less stressful. And you can really spend time together, which is what Valentine's Day is really about," Mason said.
About 43 percent of the younger generation prefers to stay in and cook a special dinner on the internationally recognized day of love, according to a recent survey by the dating site Chemistry.com.
Dinner out on Valentine's Day "doesn't apply to me and my wife at all," said Matt King, 22, of the Bronx, who works as a security guard. He and his wife, he said, "celebrate our love for each other every day."
Some young people may skip city restaurants on the holiday, but "the explosion of dining culture and influx of tourists . . . has kept Valentine's Day one of the biggest days of the year for restaurants -- even if it's on a weekday," said Andrew Moesel, spokesman for the New York City chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association.
Saruh Lacoff, 25, and her partner of four years have taken each other on zero-cost adventures to parks, the Staten Island Ferry and music events on Feb. 14. In years past, Lacoff and Evan O'Donnell, 25, both musicians who live in Brooklyn, have filled up dozens of stickers and hand-cut paper hearts with sentiments expressing appreciation for each other.
"I don't ignore" the day, Lacoff said. "I just don't buy into the monetary aspect." She said she has no need to be wined and dined on Valentine's Day. O'Donnell doesn't even need to buy her chocolates, because he "shows me appreciation all the time," she said.
Women who feel truly treasured by their mates don't really need a show of costly caring on Feb. 14, agreed Nicole Matthews, 26, of Brooklyn, a marketing professional who is single.
"If you're on point on everything else, then Valentine's Day is just another day. But if you're not a partner who consistently displays love, caring and appreciation," Matthews continued, "then Valentine's Day is the ultimate makeup day."