by Alex Wilking | January 25, 2017 2:07 pm
It’s not hard to find a restaurant open and serving dinner on Valentine’s Day. But snagging a good reservation, let alone at a spot that mixes up the norm, takes a plan. Rather than settle for a run-of-the-mill meal, check out these exclusive menus, sharable plates, and sweet additions. Whether you’re looking for a perfect prix-fixe so you can focus on your date, or a fun treat you can send to your sweetie, Boston restaurants have you covered. —With additional reporting by Antonia DePace
Don’t see your perfect night out? Check back, as we’ll update this list regularly ahead of February 14.
Alden & Harlow
Enjoy the simplicity of an a la carte menu with delectable options. Chef Michael Scelfo will surprise your taste buds with lamb “porchetta” with minted peas, A5 Kobe beef with miso cured egg yolk, root vegetable pan roast for two with white bean butter, and more.
February 10-14, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-864-2100, aldenharlow.com.
Chef Bob Krajewski is whipping up a few a la carte specials alongside the regular menu, such as pan-roasted cod brushed with lemon and thyme, and Jonah crab parmentier with avocado and a cress salad. Couple that with the added touch of last year’s renovations, and the dining room becomes a romantic escape. The restaurant’s sister spots in Dedham and Chestnut Hill are running similar specials, too.
569 Tremont St., South End, Boston, 617-424-8577, and other locations, aquitaineboston.com.
Area Four Boston
The sleek new Area Four in the South End is dimming the lights for its first V-Day and preparing a custom dinner menu, with specials like handmade mozzarella crostini, baby carrots and miso, and a bruléed banana split. There’s a deal on Gosset Brut Excellence, along with other drink specials, including Swipe Right, or Swipe Left. Sweetest of all? A custom sweetheart candy on every table, from the romantics at Area Four.
Troy South End, 264 East Berkeley St., Boston, 857-317-4805, areafour.com.
Dine on a three-course meal of seafood favorites at this South End spot, with add-on options like a seafood tower for two. If you’re looking for a more hands-on date, gift your ride-or-die an oyster shucking lesson, complete with champagne and branded knives to take home. The couples-friendly activity picks up regularly in February.
Dinner $75, shucking lessons $100, 550 Tremont St., South End, 617-423-0550, bandgoysters.com.
Avoid the crowds on Valentine’s Day with a Sunday brunch at this South End gem the weekend before, featuring tiki drinks, tarot card readings, and a slew of brunch specials. The restaurant is running full dinner service on the holiday itself, too, with a candy bar set out for guests to snag some sweets and a cup of hot chocolate before heading home.
360 Harrison Ave., South End, 617-530-1770, barmezzana.com.
Sit back, grab a glass of draft wine, and peruse a menu of a la carte specials during the restaurant’s Nine Days of Heart Beats. As the name suggest, this special runs from February 10-18, with live music and an exclusive prix fixe menu on Valentine’s Day.
$58, February 10-18, 13 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-499-0001, beatbrasserie.com.
Join this Somerville spot for luxurious Italian cuisine. In celebration of Felice San Valentino, the chef will prepare a six-course tasting menu along with optional wine pairings. Guests can expect rich specialties like pork belly ravioli, scaloppine di vitello with black truffle, and sweet risotto with Campari and grapefruit sorbet and chocolate.
$115, $60 for wine pairings, 118 Beacon St., Somerville, 617-576-7700, bergamotrestaurant.com.
Tired of prix fixe menus? Choose Bisq this Valentine’s Day as they stick to the original menu, along with shareable specials. The restaurant will also provide guests with a discounted wine menu to celebrate the love-themed day in a low-key atmosphere.
1071 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-714-3693, bisqcambridge.com.
Bistro du Midi
Celebrate your beloved with a four-course prix fixe menu designed by Executive Chef Josue Louis. It boasts Provencal flavors with choices like heirloom Beets with ricotta salata, tangerine, and hazelnut; rich duck breast with blood orange reduction; and a tropical passionfruit custard with lime mojito ice cream.
$95, $55 wine pairing, 272 Boylston St., Boston, 617-426-7878, bistrodumidi.com
Rather than exchange cards with your significant other, show you love them with a decorated doughnut. Blackbird will be slinging out a number of themed treats for the occasion, with messages ranging from sweet and subtle, to just downright naughty.
$3, 492 Tremont St., South End, 617-482-9000, blackbirddoughnuts.com.
The South End steakhouse will plate a three-course dinner, and offer an additional selection of raw bar favorites. Menu highlights include braised beef agnolotti with broccoli rabe, cuts of filet mignon, and a seafood tower of oysters and ceviche.
$99, 1375 Washington St., South End, 617-227-5011, bostonchops.com.
The Union Square bar is joining forces with Two Roads Brewing Company of Stratford, Connecticut, to host a multi-course dinner with beer pairings. Sip Two Road’s Worker’s Comp saison after bites of beer carpaccio, and enjoy the brewery’s Espressway cold brew coffee stout with a dessert of pain au chocolat.
$55, 7 p.m., 70 Union Square, Somerville, 617-623-9211, brassunion.com.
The Butcher Shop
Want to keep it simple? Just a few shareable specials, like porcini risotto with smoked pecans, Berkshire pork loin with foie gras, apple, date relish; and peanut butter bonbons join the regular menu on Valentine’s Day. Wine pairings are also available.
552 Tremont St., Boston, 617-423-4800, thebutchershopboston.com.
Prosciutto-wrapped monkfish, grilled Duxbury oysters , hibiscus-tinged pavlova—it’s all yours and more as part of the Cambridge bar’s seven-course tasting menu from new executive chef Brandon Baltzley. If you’re not there for the cocktails, there are wine pairings, too.
$125, $200 with wine pairings, 650 E. Kendall St., Cambridge, 857-999-2193, cafeartscience.com.
Whether it be V-day classics like spaghetti and meatballs, or lobster cappellacci with scallions, the holiday a la carte menu at this South End spot is hard to top. The regular dinner menu will also be on hand.
253 Shawmut Ave., South End, 617-391-0902, coppaboston.com.
Things are heating up in South Boston—like chef Jason Heard’s roasted Brussels sprouts tinged with Serrano peppers, cherry, and maple, one of the starter options from his three-course prix-fixe. There’s also fire-grilled naan with accoutrements like baked Vermont goat cheese and blueberry; entrées like shrimp Creole, with roasted red pepper, smoked sausage, tomato, and buttermilk grits; and more.
$40, 40 W. 3rd St, South Boston, 617-658-3452, coppersmithboston.com.
Consider a destination date night at the Worcester debut from Strip-T’s alumni Sean Woods and Jared Forman. The restaurant is offering a four-course French feast with options like duck confit with pecans, baked endive with ham and cheese, smoked trout rillettes, and more. The multi-course dinner runs the weekend prior to V-Day, too, and additional wine pairings will be on hand.
$85, Friday-Sunday, February 10-12, and Tuesday, February 14, 281 Main St., Worcester, 774-420-7107, deadhorsehill.com.
Choose modern and fresh French cuisine with your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. Chef Chris Coombs has an elegant menu of Wagyu steak tartare with a black garlic emulsion and tempura broccolini, creamy king crab risotto, spiced Long Island duck breast with coffee jus, and much more.
$150, $75 for wine pairing, 371 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-517-5915, deuxave.com.
Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar
The restaurant is offering the works on chef de cuisine Brendan Pelley’s first Valentine’s Day there. Play it casual and sample a themed tasting menu with drink pairings, or go all-in with a surf and turf dinner for two, or a baller seafood tower.
$65, $95 with wine pairings, $75 raw tower, 79 Park Plaza, Boston, 617-422-0008, dorettaboston.com.
Swing by this Fort Point bar to Hula With Your Honey. Drink’s Tiki Sunday specials take over on Tuesday for Valentine’s Day, with specialty tiki cocktails and island-themed snacks.
Party begins at 4 p.m., 348 Congress St., Fort Point/Seaport, 617-695-1806, drinkfortpoint.com.
Foundry on Elm
The Somerville bar has a three-course menu that revolves around aphrodisiacs. Taste the passion in plates like truffled cauliflower soup, chicken breast slathered with a thyme-maple glaze, and sweet potato spaetzle with maple cream. If you’re looking for something a little less lovey-dovey, there will be a more low-key menu at the bar.
$45, $65 with wine pairing, 255 Elm St., Somerville, 617-628-9999, foundryonelm.com.
Kendall Square’s pristine new spot already boasts glass-walled ambience. Now, the restaurant is gearing up for V-Day with specials like spiced pork chops, grilled Alaskan king crab, and butterscotch pot de crème.
450 Kendall St., Cambridge, 617-945-9450, glasshousecambridge.com.
The Hourly Oyster House
Pretend you are in Paris with chef Taryn Bonnefoi as she prepares classically elegant plates of seared duck breast, silky chocolate-Grand Marnier soufflé, and more.
15 Dunster St., Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-765-2342, thehourlycambridge.com.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a three-course meal topped off with glittery cocktails. Priced per couple, the menu is served family style for two and includes savory roasted pear, blue cheese, and speck over arugula, along with boneless stuffed whole duck with marquise potatoes and braised leeks. Accompany your meal with one of their featured luminescent cocktails, like Make A Love Potion.
$45 per couple, February 10-14, 75 Union Square, Somerville, 617-440-6022, theindo.com
Typically closed on Tuesdays, one of the country’s—and Boston’s—top new restaurants is open on Valentine’s Day, themed as a celebration of the Lyonnais bouchon. The three-course prix fixe menu is anchored with a rich and comforting duck cassoulet from chef Josh Lewin.
Reservations available, 257 Washington St., Somerville, 617-718-0958, julietsomerville.com
Slip into this chic new den for a three-course prix fixe menu from chef Diego Orsono. The array of choices includes a warm-roasted beet and pear salad with baby kale, goat cheese, spiced bourbon pecans, and parmesan croutons; and surf and turf with eggplant caponata gratin.
$55, 354 Harrison Ave., Boston, 857-239-9276, lionstailboston.com.
Weekend brunch is getting the V-day treatment at the globetrotting Central Square restaurant. Chefs Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer are launching a Saturday brunch service on February 4, which means couples can sub the glitzy, themed dinners for eclectic small plates like fried brioche french toast and chilaquiles.
505 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-945-1008, littledonkeybos.com.
Keep it coastal this year with a shared seafood supper of local oysters, slow-poached squid, juniper-crusted monkfish, and much more.
$65, 660 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-945-2576, loyalninecambridge.com.
Enjoy a seven-course dinner at Barbara Lynch’s luxe restaurant, ranging from small plates like scallops with endive and miso, to quail with fig and chanterelles. The night caps off with a chocolate box of assorted sweets.
$250, $345 with wine pairing, 354 Congress St., 617-737-0099, mentonboston.com.
Night Shift Brewing
Beer lover? This Everett brewery is hosting a flight and cheese night in the Annex taproom for Valentine’s Day, with the help of Will Sissle of Formaggio kitchen. Specifics are still in the works, but expect four local cheeses paired with a to-be-determined flight of beer.
5 p.m., $40, 87 Santilli Highway, Everett, 617-294-4233, nightshiftbrewing.com.
No. 9 Park
The six-course Valentine’s Day menu at this Beacon Hill mainstay is designed especially for two, making it a must for date night. Just make sure you save room for a libation from the after-dinner drinks cart.
$215, $340 with wine pairing, 9 Park St., Boston, 617-742-9991, no9park.com.
Oak + Rowan
Step into this romantic new hotspot for a date filled with food that celebrates the land and sea. The five-course menu gives guests alluring dishes like satiny oysters gratinée made with Champagne sabayon and bowfin caviar, to bone-in ribeye with crunchy potato suzette, earthy black trumpets, and buttery Dorset cheese.
$95, 321 A St., Boston, 857-284-7742, oakandrowan.com
Chef Benjamin Steigers will serve a seven-course, ketto tasting menu. Translating as “lineage,” ketto will bring different preparations to the table together for a dynamic dining experience. Guests can compare contrasting plates of cod, Wagyu beef, oysters, and more as they sip on curated sakes, shochus, and European wines.
$135, $230 with drink pairings, 3 Franklin St., Boston, 857-327-7228, michaelmina.net.
At this Spain-inspired debut from chef Tracy Chang, enjoy a five-course menu of plates like steak tartare, black cod, and curry crab croqueta. The restaurant will offer a vegetarian menu as well, with dishes like seaweed salad with goji berry, and a selection of tapas.
$85, $150 with drink pairings, 310 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-945-9290, gopagu.com.
The Charlestown restaurant is offering two specials for Valentine’s Day, served alongside the regular menu. Choose from a rack of lamb doused with raspberry sauce and served with rosemary potatoes; or baked stuffed lobster plated with spinach, scallops, and truffle mac ‘n’ cheese. Each entrée comes with a berry-garnished chocolate shell filled with gelato, aptly named Frozen in Time.
1 8th St., $80 for lobster, $60 for lamb, Charlestown, 617-337-0054, pier6boston.com.
With Mediterranean-inspired dishes, executive chef Jody Adams plans to stick to the basics for this Valentine’s Day. Along with the standard menu, Adams will serve specials such as beet ravioli with lobster, and seared bass with pancetta. And don’t forget dessert: There’s a warm flourless chocolate cake accompanied by a tangy-sweet passionfruit curd and refreshingly tart raspberry meringue.
Ring Road, Boston, 617-536-1234, porto-boston.com
Davis Square’s Italian hideaway is offering a three-course menu full of lobster bisque, duck tortelloni, fig risotto, and much more. A few dishes from the regular menu will be available that night, too.
$50, 187 Elm St., Somerville, 617-625-0600, postoboston.com.
Puritan & Co.
Enjoy a four-course prix-fixe dinner with your honey this Valentine’s Day. Ignite your taste buds with rich and satiny foie gras served with spicy pineapple chutney and currant, or indulge in the marinated lobster and shrimp salad with blood orange, mint, basil, and lemongrass dressing.
$75, 1166 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-615-6195, puritancambridge.com
Row 34 Boston
Enjoy shareable platters created by chef Jeremy Sewall as he continues to celebrate New England’s rich seafood traditions. Made just for two, guests can enjoy lobster bouillabaisse, a shellfish tower, and full bottles of wine.
383 Congress St., Boston, 617-553-5900, row34.com
How about some nikkei love this Valentine’s Day? At this new, downtown hotspot, executive chef Preston Miller’s specials include soft-poached duck egg with a purple potato purée, smoked trout roe and mole cracker; and bone-in veal annatto chop with a beat jus and aji-creamed beet tops. Pretty and pink.
Priced a la carte, 505 Washington St., at the Godfrey Hotel, Downtown Crossing, Boston, rukarestobar.com.
The Somerville speakeasy is adding a few specials to its V-Day lineup, such as pan-roasted filet mignon and a flourless chocolate cake with vanilla bean panna cotta. Stick around for themed cocktails, which include the Irish Kiss with whiskey, Strega, and sweet vermouth, and A Dozen Roses with cherry and cognac.
255 Elm St., Somerville, 617-628-4444, saloondavis.com.
Executive chef Kyle McClelland highlights new specials with a whole lobster for two, “Chinese style,” made with zesty ginger, scallion, and sweet coconut sticky rice; roasted foie gras with king trumpet mushrooms; Hawaiian kanpachi with grapefruit, kumquat, Serrano chili pepper, trout roe, and smoked olive oil; and more.
February 10-12, February 14 (reservations available), 281 Dartmouth St., Boston, 617-267-0691, saltiegirl.com.
The Barbara Lynch Gruppo’s Italian eatery is offering a four-course feast for two, with sharable plates like scallop crudo and spaghetti and meatballs. Add wine pairings to make it a meal straight out of Italy.
$75, $125 with wine pairings, 348 Congress St., Fort Point, 617-737-1234, sportelloboston.com.
One of Boston’s finest is honoring San Valentino with three exclusive menus. Two of those lists are arsenale dinner menus rife with family-style plates, while a separate bar menu will offer a la carte items. If you want to avoid the other gushy couples, you can stop in and try these specials on Monday, February 13, too.
$45 and $65, 569 Columbus Ave., Boston, 617-536-9500, srvboston.com.
The Table at Season to Taste
Star chef Carl Dooley is cooking up a five-course menu at his 20-seat retreat. Featured dishes include sharable options like duck for two with pomegranate and muhammara, and single-serving plates like black truffle with roasted broccoli and house-made sourdough. The menu will be offered across two seatings that night, each with a few complimentary treats to boot.
Seatings at 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., $125, $190 with wine pairings, 2447 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-871-9468, cambridgetable.com.
This Fenway standout is serving up a few food and cocktail specials for couples, in addition to the standard menu. If you want to keep it casual, though, the Expo Kitchen’s Neopolitan-style pizzas and oysters are also quite sharable.
69 Kilmarnock Street, Fenway/Kenmore, 617-421-4470, tapestry.restaurant.
Top of the Hub
Taste through a four-course menu of blackened tuna crudo, chili-dusted shrimp and scallops, and more while the cityscape provides the mood lighting.
$125, $155 with wine pairings, 800 Boylston St., Boston, 617-536-1775, topofthehub.net.
The Spanish tapas restaurant will offer an a la carte menu of sharable plates like suckling pig, lobster fideos, and crudo.
1704 Washington St., South End, 617-536-4300, toro-restaurant.com.
At the downtown brasserie, choose from a four- or six-course feast of dishes like olive oil-poached monkfish, carrot mousse raviolo, grilled Vermont ribeye, and much more. Wine pairings will also be available.
Four-course $89/$45 wine pairings, six-course $119/$59 wine pairings, 120 Kingston St., Boston, 617-993-0750, townsmanboston.com.
Peruse a four-course menu of rainbow trout, oysters escabeche, goat’s milk gnudi, and more. Cap off the night with your choice of lush chocolate cake with whiskey butterscotch, or a flan de límon served with dulce de leche.
$65, 470 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-477-4851, tresgatosjp.com.
Enjoy izakaya small plates made by chef Tony Messina. The restaurant’s full, a la carte menu is available along with Valentine’s Day specials like langoustine sashimi with caviar, kaffir lime, and tart loomi; or A5 Wagyu sirloin with savory rice tots, sweet yu choi ohitashi, and spicy kimchee ketchup.
Eliot Hotel, 370 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-536-7200, uni-boston.com
Waypoint sticks to the basics for its first Valentine’s Day: chef Michael Scelfo’s a la carte specials are offered from February 10 through 14. Make sure to take a look at their creative wine menu as well, organized with love-themed tags such as First Date and Fifty Years.
February 10-14, 1030 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-864-2300, waypointharvard.com.
Impress your S.O. with a romantic dinner at this swanky supper club. Start with lomi-lomi salmon ceviche, then share a 32-ounce black Angus porterhouse with smoky rogue blue cheese, black trumpet mushrooms, and Alderwood salt potatoes. Keep it sweet with the shareable “Honey Pie and Baby Cakes,” with honey semifreddo, jammy pie crust, and sunflower praline alongside a mini chocolate bundt cake with bitter orange ganache.
Priced a la carte, 2 Winter Place, Downtown Crossing, Boston, 617-267-0047, yvonnesboston.com.
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