Valentine’s Day is Saturday and that means the day — heck, the weekend — is wide open for romantic meals.
This is a busy holiday for restaurants, so reservations are a must. Many have special menus — or drinks or desserts — for the evening. If you can’t get a reservation for Saturday night, consider going for lunch or Friday since many restaurants will have specials all weekend long.
Here’s a taste of what local restaurants are doing.
• Daily Grill has aValentine’s menu
starting at $29. Diners can get pan-seared scallops, rack of lamb for filet or lobster.
The regular menu is also available that night, including the Daily Grill’s newly revamped dessert menu. The size and cost of the desserts have shrunk. The restaurant found diners couldn’t stomach a huge dessert after a full meal, so they made them smaller. The prices were also reduced from the $10 to $13 range to between $6 and $7.
A carrot cake bread pudding has been added to the dessert menu, and favorites such as sugar-free cheesecake and brownie sundae are still around.
• Wine lovers,Vino & Friends
is having Valentine’s meal Friday and Saturday. The three-course meal includes a choice of grilled rack of lamb, crispy duck, crab-stuffed ravioli or a grilled filet.
The cost is $60 per person, with $20 per person wine pairing with each course.
• Fans of the now-closed Palomino’s restaurant can get a meal prepared by namesake chef Paul Palomino atZen Wok
on Valentine’s Day.
Zen Wok at Herndon and Palm is second location for the people who own Zen Wok Fusion in the Tower District. Palomino and Zen Wok chef Mark Martin will prepare a Pacific Asian-inspired four-course meal with a choice of surf and turf (filet mignon kabob with wok-fired jumbo prawns in a chili jam), a Thai glazed apricot chicken and more for $49.99.
If that’s too tough on the budget, the original Zen Wok Fusion in the Tower District is offering a four-course meal for $29.99. Entree choices include honey walnut shrimp, Thai coconut curry and mango chicken.
• Eureka! will have its regular menu on Valentine’s Day, but has created his and hers Valentine’s drinks. The “his” beverage (presumably sold to anyone who’s willing to pay for it regardless of gender) is a Russian Imperial stout from San Diego’s Mission Brewery that was aged for eight months in bourbon barrels.
The “hers” cocktail is a raspberry chocolate kiss with Prichard’s Double Chocolate Bourbon, raspberry flavor and red grapefruit juice.
• Little romanticTrelio
in Clovis is limiting reservations to 40 guests per night Friday and Saturday.
The restaurant is serving a three-course meal for $78 per person. Entree options include a 32-day dry-aged rib-eye steak, a roasted eggplant pasta and whole roasted Branzino (European sea bass).
• Campagnia has a special menu for Valentine’s, including everything from “Tony’s spicy shellfish cioppino” to a filet mignon wrapped in grilled applewood bacon. Heck, even the mac n cheese there sounds delicious: “cheddar, asiago, and gorgonzola cheeses with applewood bacon, scallion and sundried tomatoes.”
• Other restaurants have Valentine’s specials too, including theManhattan Steakhouse
(lots of steak options),Crab Cakes
in Oakhurst (go there if you want lobster),Ducey’s on the Lake
in Bass Lake (steak and lobster for two) and theElbow Room
. If you want to know if your favorite restaurant is doing something, give them a call or check out their Facebook page.
• Three restaurants in Visalia owned by the same family have all kinds of yummy things on the menu.Jack & Charlie’s
has a four-course meal for $58 a person that includes a choice of duck breast, grilled lamb shoulder or filet mignon with puff pastry. Caviar can be added to your meal for an extra charge, ranging from $55 for half an ounce to $145 for an ounce and a half.
The Vintage Press will have a special menu with various prices. One thing to check out here, says lead server William Sa: “We’re famous for the mushroom puff pastry. That’s what people come for.” It’s made with mushrooms simmered in a cognac cream sauce with tarragon.
The Southern Pacific Depot Restaurant will have several options on the menu, including steak tartare, a raw beef dish. The Visalia restaurant will also serve oysters prepared three ways.