Crush Cupid This Year: Where to Book Valentine's Day Dinner

Categories: Holidays

Manajari Chocolate Cremeux, Parallel 37
Yes, it's almost Valentine's Day -- again. Instead of throwing together a last-minute homemade "lasagna" and trying to convince your partner that it was your plan the whole time, kill it this year by making a reservation and allowing the restaurant to do all the work for you. Because even though Valentine's Day is known as amateur hour in the restaurant community, nothing says "I love you" like a warm plate of well-cooked food ... and a stellar dessert if you're looking for something sweet in return later on in the evening.

Parallel 37
The Nabe: Chinatown
The Cuisine: New American
The Dish: The Ritz Carlton's Parallel 37 is preparing a five-course menu with dishes like fresh linguini pasta, Dungeness crab, Osetra caviar and ahi tuna tartar with Manchego cheese, crispy barley & celery, as well as decadent chocolate desserts like the Manajari Chocolate Cremeux (pictured).
The Damage: $125 per person
The Details: 600 Stockton, 773-6168.

Chaya Brasserie
The Nabe: Embarcadero
The Cuisine: Asian fusion
The Dish: Diners will choose between six appetizers, six entrees, and five different desserts. Dishes include a seared Wagyu beef sushi roll with crab, tempura shrimp, cucumber, and spicy aioli; a spiced honey-glazed duck breast with crispy winter root phyllo, Bloomsdale spinach, and Meyer lemon; and a coconut ice cream sandwich with chocolate fudge for dessert. Chef Yuko Kajino offers a take-home gift of CHAYA truffles, and those who dine before 7 p.m. can enjoy the "Early Love-Bird" special with a complimentary ½ bottle of rose.
The Damage: $80 per person
The Details: Reservations are required. 132 Embarcadero, 777-8688.

Bluestem Brasserie
The Nabe: Union Square
The Cuisine: New American
The Dish: Executive Chef Francis Hogan has created a "Fondue for Two" Valentine's Day menu throughout Valentine's weekend. The three-course menu includes a "Salad of Hearts," with artichoke, palm and celery hearts; two servings of warm mixed cheese fondue with grilled meats, fruits, and vegetables; and chocolate profiteroles and rose ice cream for dessert, served with a glass of sparkling rose.
The Damage: $65 per person
The Details: One Yerba Buena Ln., 547-1111.

Ribeye, Burritt Room + Tavern
Burritt Room + Tavern
The Nabe: Union Square
The Cuisine: Californian
The Dish: Executive Chef Lucas Knox offers a four-course menu with dishes such as the state bird with quinoa, melted leeks, cranberries and chestnuts; a light citrus-cured yellowtail with blood orange and pistachio; and a chocolate hazelnut torte for dessert.
The Damage: $85 per person
The Details: 417 Stockton St., 400-0561.

The Nabe: SoMa
The Cuisine: New American
The Dish: A four-course menu features dishes including roasted carrots and sun-dried spices with nettles, smoked egg, and chicken bouillon; and Pacific halibut and blue prawns with fennel, golden turnip, and winter squash. If you're pulling out all the stops, upgrade to "The Sweetheart Package" and enjoy a bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne.
The Damage: $65 per person/$214 for Sweetheart Package
The Details: 888 Howard St., 616-6566.

The Nabe: SoMa
The Cuisine: New American
The Dish: Chef Jason Wittek will offer a four-course tasting menu with dishes including the McFarland Springs Ranch trout with smoked potatoes, pickled onions and citrus beurre blanc; and Liberty Farms duck breast with escarole, grapes and hazelnut. For dessert, share the chocolate nougatine with vanilla and olive oil milkshake.
The Damage: $70 per person
The Details: 1123 Folsom St., 525-3676.

Uh-Huh Honey, Bar 888
And for those of us still looking for love, why not use V-Day as an excuse to drink? Bar 888 will serve the Uh-Huh Honey, a strawberry cocktail with Barcardi, lime and honey. SoMa's Bergerac is hosting "The Lonely Hearts Club," playing the best love songs from the '60s and '70s. Drink your sorrows away with the special Love in Vain, Lonely Teardrops, or Sealed With a Kiss cocktail, cry over the Heartbreak Hotel or Let's Get it On punch bowl with friends for $30, or enjoy your single-dom with an Oyster Threeway (one Kumamoto, one Sweetwater, and one Virginicas oyster). For the optimistic sweetheart, try St. Pepper's Strawberry Shortcake. (Bergerac: 316 11th St., 255-9440).

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No way any of those have tables available for the 14th a week out. An interesting article might be Where to Book Valentine's Day Dinner for Procrastinators.

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