Who says romance is dead? Woo your sweetie with a box of chocolates and a night on the town at one of the Valley's best dining spots. Valentine's Day gets a bad rep as a capitalist holiday, but when you honor local food and enjoy the work of great chefs, both your money and your heart will be in the right place.
For $45 per person, you and your special someone can enjoy a three-course dinner. Plus, you'll get two bottles of wine: one for dining, and a dry rosé to take home for your private celebration. There are plenty of option to choose from, including crab cake-stuffed mushrooms, white fish with fennel chowder, filet mignon with garlic mashed potatoes, chicken picatta with Brussels sprouts and fried capers, and salmon with truffled mushroom risotto, roasted cauliflower, and toasted almonds. Desserts include bing cherry chocolate crème puffs. Reservations required; call 480-398-7700.
Along with the regular menu, featuring smoked beef brisket and pulled pork, both Bootleggers locations will have Valentine's Day specials for diners. Diners can order Cinnamon Ancho Braised Oxtail ragu with sweet potato fritters, broccoli raab florets, aged provolone, and honey crème fraiche ($26); seared U-10 Scallops, salsa verde, smoked king crab reduction, frisee and arugula salad with a grapefruit vinaigrette and crispy grits ($30); and banana bread pudding with coffee chocolate ganache and salted peanut butter ice cream ($8). For the Phoenix location, call 602-996-4228; for Scottsdale, 480-404-9984.
The restaurant at The Westin in downtown Phoenix will have a four-course Valentine's dinner for $54 per person, available from Thursday, February 14, to Saturday, February 16. Begin with traditional oysters Rockefeller, crab cakes with citrus fennel and tarragon pesto, or smoked cauliflower agnolotti with brown butter emulsion. There are four entrées to choose from: braised short rib with bordelaise and potato puree, roasted chicken with oyster mushrooms and butternut squash gnocchi, mushroom risotto with grilled miso marinated tofu and oyster mushrooms, and surf and turf. Desserts include champagne-soaked cake with fresh strawberries and Chantilly cream. Reservations required; call 602-429-3600.
Dating a picky eater? For $50 per person, enjoy a five-course Italian dinner at El Pedregal at The Boulders. The holiday meal incudes Mom's Maryland crab cakes, Gorgonzola pecan salad with hazelnut dressing, raspberry sorbet with champagne float, and prime rib with formaggi patata. Or, let your honey order from the regular pizza menu so you'll both be happy with your dining experience. Dinner will be served from 5 to 9 pm, and it concludes with a mango ice cream sandwich with macadamia nut cookies. Book a table by calling 480-575-6991.
From 5 to 11 p.m., couples can enjoy a three-course prix-fixe menu for $66 per person. With six starters, four main dishes, and two desserts, the options are sure to please everyone. Popular dishes include the Stetson chopped salad, exotic mushroom pan fry, and filet mignon with mashed sunchokes with Yukon potatoes and truffle demi-glace butter. Holiday specials include calamari bruschetta, mustard-glazed pork belly, and lamb sirloin with whiskey/black peppercorn gastrique. Finish the meal with one of pastry chef Country Velador's creations: Angels & Devils Duet featuring flourless chocolate cake with chile/peanut brittle and angel food bread pudding with strawberry balsamic jam and vanilla bean custard sauce. During lunchtime, look for "aphrodisiac features" to get you in the mood for a one-on-one evening. For reservations, call 480-946-3111.
The Valentine's menu at Rusconi's is highly customizable with at least four options per course. You can enjoy duck risotto with preserved fruit and sherry jus, blackberry glazed pork tenderloin with sweet potato gnocchi, and passion fruit panna cotta. And your honey can have guajillo seared ahi tuna with quinoa-mushroom salad, pecan wood-grilled beef tenderloin filet with roasted garlic and herb spaetzle, and mocha dark chocolate budino with grilled apple relish and salted caramel. The three-course meal is $49 per person; make sure you get a taste by calling 480-483-0009 for reservations.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, enjoy a romantic picnic basket for $39.95. The Farm Kitchen is preparing sandwiches, salads, and homemade sweets to share one-on-one in the pecan grove. Wine and champagne are available for an additional cost. Picnic reservations required; call 602-276-6545.
Quiessence will also be serving a Valentine's special, available February 13 to 15. The four-course meal features prosciutto with apple butter and brioche, poached oysters with black truffles and fromage blanc, sweet potato soup with pepita pesto, and Sicilian cauliflower with dates and spinach. One entrée is pork shank with mascarpone grits, parsnips, shaved chocolate, and crispy cracklings; the other, Scottish salmon with sweet rose salt, quinoa, citrus salad, and beet puree. Assorted desserts will conclude the meal. Seatings are from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and dinner is $79 per person. There is also one private brick-oven table available per night, priced at $125. Make your reservations by calling 602-276-0601.
Along with its menu of Southwestern specialties -- including chocolate and espresso rubbed pork tenderloin with vanilla bean Serrano chile butter sauce ($24) -- there will be à la carte specials. On Valentine's Day only, diners can order smoked prime rib with green chile and cheddar mashed potatoes, gunpowder au jus, and horseradish cream ($33), or lemon and butter poached lobster tail with sweet corn, potato and quinoa cakes, roasted beets, fennel and baby carrots, topped with mango butter ($35). To book a table, call 602-264-0700.
Sushi lovers can score a five-course prix-fixe dinner for $60 per person, or select from the regular menu. The Valentine's dinner begins with an amuse bouche of fresh oysters with mignonette sauce. Dining options include halibut with apricot jam, Korean-style beef tartar, smoked mushroom and lemongrass soup, baked crab hand roll, and seared duck with braised pork belly, cauliflower puree, roasted beets, and fried Brussels sprouts. The holiday menu is available from Thursday, February 13, to Saturday, February 15. That Thursday, Sushi Roku will also be offering a Valentine's Industry Night deal: a bottle of Norton Rose sparkling wine or La Marca Prosecco with dessert for $15.
The Valentine's prix-fixe menu is $64 per person. The meal begins with a caviar purse amuse bouche, and then there are two options for each of the three courses. For example, diners can choose black pepper peekytoe crab fritters with Asian pear and cilantro to start, slowly cooked salmon with black olives and passion fruit as an entrée, and a rose macaron with vanilla parfait, raspberries, and candied rose petals for dessert. Call 480-214-8000 for reservations.
Start your dinner by feeding your beloved a luscious bacon-wrapped date stuffed with butter pecan goat cheese, shishito chili paste, and pecan confetti. And that's just the amuse! The three-course dinner is priced at $55 per person. Main course options include vanilla butter poached lobster tail with Arizona citrus; braised Hudson Valley duck breast ragout with celery root puree, petite green beans, and mission fig vinaigrette; Nimbus Oatmeal Stout braised short rib with green chile cheddar grits, and roasted heirloom tomatoes; and golden seared tofu scallops, braised farm greens, tepary beans, organic quinoa, and candied Queen Creek olive gastrique. The shared dessert is chocolate truffle flourless cake with mascarpone vanilla bean ice cream. Reservations required; call 602-817-5400.
There's a dining option to suit every couple at The Biltmore. Have Valentine's Afternoon Tea ($38 to $46) with special chocolate desserts and tea sandwiches on February 13, 14, or 15. At night, dine in either of the resort restaurants, or in your private room or suite ($150 for 3 courses plus wine). On Valentine's Day, Frank & Albert's will have a three-course prix-fixe menu for $65, including surf & turf, apricot-glazed salmon, and a chocolate buffet. Enjoy sparkling wine with dessert for $25.
Wright's will be serving a blow-out four-course menu plus Kumomoto oyster and Osetra caviar amuse bouche, available February 14 to 16 for $95 per person. There are two options per course, such as lobster bisque with champagne-poached shrimp, foie gras tourchon, sous vide lobster with risotto and shaved truffles, and lemon ricotta cheesecake with roasted strawberry soup. End your romantic weekend with a Sunday Sweetheart Brunch ($59), available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For dining reservations, call 602-381-7632.
This West Valley fine dining restaurant is offering a five-course Valentine's dinner for $69.99 per person. Start by sharing shrimp cocktail, pig wings, pretzel fondue, or Rhode Island-style calamari. Entrées include an 8-ounce NY strip, 10-ounce prime rib, half-rack of lamb, half of a chicken, sea trout, or salmon. The meal also includes chopped or Caesar salad, choice of side, and one of four desserts. Add a lobster tail for $15, or Merus crab legs for $20. Make reservations by calling 623-566-2224.
Head to Gilbert for a simple yet stunning prix-fixe meal for two. The first course is a crispy potsticker salad with organic greens and mango sauce. Then enjoy a choice of seared salmon with mushroom duxelle ravioli and asparagus in lemon butter sauce, or filet mignon with crispy layered potatoes, organic Agritopia Farms vegetables, and truffled madeira au jus. Dinner ends with a chocolate board including shortbread, truffles, and chocolate-covered strawberries. Dinner is $70 for two, or $100 with wine and a cocktail.
Valentine's dinner will be offered on Friday, February 14, and Saturday, February 15. The four-course menu, priced at $65 per person, features Italian favorites and delicious cuts of steak. Wine pairings are an additional $20. The regular menu will also be available. From 7 to 10 p.m., guests can enjoy a live jazz quartet in the living room. If you know you want to end the night dancing, this is a great destination.
A special five-course prix-fixe dinner will be served on Valentine's Day with oysters, Maine lobster with avocado and asparagus, bone-in Niman Ranch beef filet with spinach and potatoes, Hudson Valley foie crème brûlée, and chocolate cremeux. Dinner is available for $85 per person, including a glass of MUMM Napa; cocktail or wine pairings are an additional $35. Couples can also book a night's stay, including a wine reception and dinner, starting at $389/night. For dining reservations, call 602-258-0231.
A five-course tasting is an incredible deal at $66 per person, with an optional foie course available for $21. Dishes include marinated beets with avocado and hibiscus, cauliflower soup with trout roe and black garlic, and osso bucco with whipped potatoes, truffle, roasted mire pois, jus, and gremolata. The evening ends with two romantic desserts. The first is caramel pudding with caramelized brioche and red wine pear sorbet. Then feed one another long-stem strawberries dipped in white and dark chocolate. Bink's Scottsdale will be serving a similar dinner ($72 per person) save the first course, which is replaced with a shrimp ceviche. For Bink's Midtown, call 602-388-4874; for Scottsdale, 480-664-9238. Roaring Fork
There will be à la carte Valentine's specials in addition to the regular dinner service, which begins at 4 p.m. Entrées include a 40-ounce tomahawk ribeye for two, crab-stuffed sole with red pepper beurre blanc, and lobster bisque. Dines can also choose one of the sweetheart desserts, like holiday crème brûlée. Or, end the evening by feeding your date tuxedo (white and milk chocolate dipped) strawberries. To book a table, call 480-947-0795.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
Love live music? Reserve a cozy, romantic spot at Kazimierz World Wine Bar by calling 480-946-3004. The Old Town Scottsdale speakeasy is offering a 3-course pair & share Valentine's Day menu with fondue for two and wine pairings. The prix-fixe menu is $44 per guest, and seatings are available from 6 to 8 pm. The live music will kick off at 9 pm so stay for an unforgettable dessert. Reservations are required.
This three-course meal includes two options per course. One partner can choose carrot soup with parsnip crumble, scallops with heirloom cauliflower puree and braised pistachio, or chocolate marquise with blood orange and pecan brittle. The other can dine on mozzarella salad with kumquats, hanger steak with parmesan risotto and red wine sauce, and fior di latte panna cotta with chocolate cookie crumble. Dinner is $60 per person, $35 for wine pairings, and seatings are from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on February 14 and 15. Call 602-243-8539 to book a table.