Love is in the air, but so is the stress about making sure your Valentine’s Day Dinner doesn’t break anyone’s heart.
This week on KIRO Radio’s Let’s Eat, hosts Terry Jaymes and Providence Cicero, Seattle Times food critic, offer some tried and true tips, along with some recommendations to keep the romance alive.
Terry says forget equal rights. Valentine’s Day is the one night the guys should take charge.
“You don’t want to be wishy-washy. Just say ‘I know of a great Italian place in Belltown and I’m going to take you there.’ Boom, you’re done.”
Providence’s advice is a little more practical: stick with your favorites rather than risk a disappointing dinner.
“I think familiar is probably better. Tried and true on this holiday, that’s already so weighted with expectation,” she says.
But for many, the tried and true hardly fans the flames of romance. So Providence has come up with some Valentine’s Day recommendations that caught her fancy:
She does have a big caveat: Most will fill up fast, so you might have to settle for some place else and take your honey back for a romantic dinner at these spots some other day.
Chef Ivan Szilak of the Collections Cafe transforms the Chihuly Glasshouse at EMP into a romantic getaway with a special multiple course dining experience.
The four-course menu features a variety of special dishes from appetizers to entries like seared mini lobster tail over a salad of beet and citrus, roasted red pepper risotto, grilled eye of rib with sauteed artichoke hearts and several heart warming (and possibly stopping) desserts, all set at intimate two-person tables serenaded by a jazz band providing a romantic soundtrack. It also features a bottle of wine, valet parking and and admission to the galleries.
The special is definitely a splurge, with tickets going for $275 per couple (tax and gratuity not included).
Another splurge sure to wow can be found at Copperleaf Restaurant and Bar in the award-winning Cedarbrook Lodge in SeaTac.
Executive Chef Mark Bodinet’s six-course prix fixe menu showcases local ingredients like Diver Scallops with glazed cauliflower, Nash Family Farm Poussin with grilled Bosc pears, sunchockes, celery branch and black trumpet mushrooms, and Snake River Farms Wagyu Brisket with a twice-baked Ozette potato, sweet carrots and artichoke mustard.
The special dinner is $95 per person, with wine pairings available for an additional $35 per person.
The heralded Seattle Italian eatery is featuring a “San Valentino” inspired four-course prix fixe delight showcasing such treats as Kumamoto oysters served for two to Caretto d’ Agnello, herb marinated rack of lamb with rustic potatoes and red wine-veal demi glace.
The “Festa Di San Valentino” menu costs $95 per person, including live entertainment. For those that can’t make it, Il Bistro will feature the menu through Saturday night.
Oyster, duck egg carbonara, rack of lamb and a flourless chocolate torte top Chef Ericka Burke’s five-course Valentine’s Day dinner at Seattle’s popular Volunteer Park Cafe. $75 per person, wine pairing available for $20 more.
If you’re looking for romance with an Asian twist, Providence recommends either Seattle’s Monsoon or Bellevue’s sister Monsoon East.
The award-winning Vietnamese siblings Eric and Sophie Banh are crafting a special four-course menu with such unique offerings as lobster bisque congee with Hon Shimeji mushroom and truffle oil, grilled Wagyu Coulette Steak and grilled Anderson Ranch lamb chop with honey, tamarind, pickled radish and Chinese mustard greens. Dessert features intriguing “Double Happiness Dumplings” with red bean, mung bean and ginger honey soup.
Cost is $70 per person for reservations between 6:15pm and 8:30pm. You can save a few bucks if you make reservations for 6pm or after 8:30pm, when dinner is $60 per person.
For a slightly less-expensive offering, Restaurant Bea features a three-course menu for $50 per person, with cocktail or wine pairings for an additional $22 per person.
The menu includes some tantalizing tastes including lamb meatballs with creamy polenta and roasted tomato sauce, braised beef ribs with Israeli cous cous, seared broccoli and braising sauce, and a dark cherry Pot de Creme with bourbon whipped cream and chocolate tuile.
If you can’t get into any of your top restaurants (or want to break the bank,) acclaimed Ballard dessert shop ‘Hot Cakes’ is offering “Valentine’s To Go” kits through Valentine’s Day. They feature a jar of Dangerously Dark hot fudge sauce, two Dark Decadence molten chocolate cakes and a pint of Bluebird’s vanilla ice cream, all for $25 bucks. Definitely a sweet deal.