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January 30, 2014

Roundup: Top Picks For Valentine’s Day Dinners In Philadelphia In 2014

Love is in the air, treat your sweetie to a heart-warming dinner at one of the many restaurants serving Valentine's Day specials for lovebirds. (Photos clockwise from left E. Mencher, J. Fusco, G. Widman, C. Gabello all for Visit Philadelphia)

With just a few weeks remaining to solidify Valentine’s Day plans, now’s the time to score reservations to make a sweetheart of a holiday.

Restaurants all across the city up the ante with prix-fixe meals and amour-themed specials that both you and your Valentine are sure to love.

Reservations are filling up quickly — a number of restaurants are already completely booked — so you should start making your plans right now.

Bonus Idea: Pair that restaurant reservation with an overnight stay at a Center City hotel. Valentine’s Day falls on Friday this year, so it’s a perfect excuse to kick it up a notch by treating you and your loved one to a pampering hotel stay. Whether you’re coming in from outside of the city or are already here in town, a mid-February hotel stay can be the ideal winter getaway, staycation and/or treat that you’ve been looking for.

The best part — there are some spectacular hotel deals right now, including (as of the time of publishing) a Friday night rate of $129 at the Doubletree, $149 at the Courtyard Marriott, $169 at the Loews, $99 at the Sheraton Downtown(!) and that’s just a handful of the available options. Click here to search all available hotel rates.

Also worth considering: Valentine’s Day coincides with Presidents’ Day this year, which means a long weekend. That’s a great reason to look into a two-night stay with the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, which includes two nights accommodations, plus free hotel parking.

But, before the hotel stay comes dinner out at a top-notch restaurant.

Read on for our Valentine’s Day dinner picks, below.

Rittenhouse

 
Avance: Rittenhouse, 1523 Walnut Street, 215-405-0700. Enjoy dinner by candlelight at Avance this Valentine’s Day. Enjoy a five-course tasting menu on both February 14 and 15. Look forward to menu options like mackerel, foie gras, a dark chocolate dessert and a few surprises from Chef Justin Bogle.

Parc: Rittenhouse, 227 S. 18th Street, 215-545-2262. Parc delights with a number of inspired specials for Valentine’s Day diners. Finish your meal with a glass of wine from the restaurant’s extensive wine list and call it a night.

Twenty Manning Grill: Rittenhouse, 261 S. 20th Street, 215-731-0900. Four-courses of drool-worthy fare fill the menu at Twenty Manning Grill on Valentine’s Day. For $65, treat taste buds to menu items including seared diver scallops, butter-roasted shrimp, wild mushroom ravioli and a surf and turf entree. End the evening with a decadent dessert sampler. Click here for the full menu.

Fitler Dining Room: Rittenhouse, 2201 Spruce Street, 215-732-3331. Fill up on American cuisine at Fitler Dining Room on February 14. Diners, take advantage of the four-course meal for $75 per person.

Alma de Cuba: Rittenhouse, 1623 Walnut Street, 215-988-1799. This Valentine’s Day, take your taste buds on a trip to Havana with a decadent meal from Alma de Cuba. Be sure to top the meal off with one of Alma de Cuba’s signature mojitos.

The Dandelion: Rittenhouse, 124 S. 18th Street, 215-558-2500. Spend Valentine’s Day noshing on British-style fare at The Dandelion. While you’re there, be sure to split a winter beer flip (bourbon, Young’s double chocolate stout, orange marmalade, an egg and nutmeg) with your sweetheart.

Square 1682: Rittenhouse, 121 S. 17th Street, 215-563-5008. Square 1682 at the Hotel Palomar is set to serve a $59 four course dinner with optional aphrodisiac additions for lovebirds. Menu items include celery root soup, scallops and a petite rack of lamb. Pair your dinner with a special Valentine’s Day chocolate cocktail for $12 per glass.

Lacroix at The Rittenhouse Hotel: Rittenhouse, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square, 215-790-2533. Indulge in a decadent meal at Lacroix at The Rittenhouse. Located on Rittenhouse Square, enjoy a meal with scenic surroundings with your sweetheart. For $125 per person, with an optional $75 wine pairing, nosh on a five-course meal featuring menu items like foie gras, scallops, Wagyu beef and chocolate for two. The meal will be available from February 14 to 16. On February 16, the price is set to drop to $85 per person.

Estia: Rittenhouse, 1405 Locust Street, 215-735-7700. Get a taste of Greece at Estia this Valentine’s Day. Choose from the à la carte menu or a $70 four-course menu. The full Valentine’s Day menu is available here.

Tequila’s Restaurant: Rittenhouse, 1602 Locust Street, 215-546-0181. Warm up with Mexican fare and a margarita at Tequila’s Valentine’s Day celebration. Enjoy three inspired courses and an alcoholic beverage for $40 per person. The full menu is available here.

Del Frisco’s: Rittenhouse, 1426-28 Chestnut Street, 215-246-0533. Del Frisco’s is offering guests a decadent meal this Valentine’s Day. Indulge in a $79 filet mignon and lobster dinner inside of the Center City steakhouse.

Ocean Prime: Rittenhouse, 124 S. 15th Street, 215-563-0163. Bring your other half to Ocean Prime for a Valentine’s meal fit for a king or queen. Indulge in steaks, lobster, tuna, flavorful cocktails and much more.

Chima Brazilian Steakhouse: Rittenhouse, 1901 John F Kennedy Boulevard, 215-525-3233. Indulge in all-you-can-eat meat — filet mignon, chicken, ribs and much more — at Chima’s special Valentine’s Day dinner. In addition to meat, the Valentine’s Day package includes the expansive salad bar, a glass of champagne, dessert and coffee or tea.

Old City

 
High Street on Market: Old City, 308 Market Street, 215-625-0988. For $65 per head, High Street on Market, Fork’s sister restaurant, serves up a four-course meal sure to be full of freshly-made pastas, breads and more tasty pairings.

Fork: Old City, 306 Market Street, 215-625-9425. Sample four-courses of Valentine’s Day goodness at Fork in Old City. For $85 per person, indulge in flavorful specials that are sure to satisfy both your and your significant other’s taste buds.

Amada: Old City, 217-219 Chestnut Street, 215-625-2450. Indulge in a Spanish tapas feast at Amada on Valentine’s Day. Choose from a $60 or $75 four course meal consisting of light and heavy plates.

Cuba Libre: Old City, 10 S. 2nd Street, 215-627-0666. Cuba Libre serves up a Latin-inspired meal for $80 per couple on February 14 and 15. Fill up on three-courses of inspired fare including guava barbecue ribs, Miami spiced bouillabaisse and Cuban flan. The full menu is available here. Cuba Libre’s regular menu will be available as well.

Han Dynasty: Old City, 123 Chestnut Street, 215-922-1888. With three locations in Philadelphia — Old City, University City and Manayunk — it’s easy to arrive at Han Dynasty this Valentine’s Day. Start with an order of dan dan noodle and explore the spicy menu. Not a fan of spicy food? Be warned.

Moshulu: Old City, 401 S. Columbus Boulevard, 215-923-2500. Dine aboard the Moshulu on the Delaware River for an extra romantic meal this Valentine’s Day. On February 14 and 15, the ship-turned-restaurant is providing diners with a four-course meal full of surf and turf options.

Positano Coast: Old City, 212 Walnut Street, 215-238-0499. Sample Mediterranean fare at Positano Coast while taking in breathtaking views of Old City. Valentine’s menu items include grilled artichoke salad, lobster and crab bisque, vegetable ravioli and roasted veal tenderloin. Click here for the Valentine’s Day menu.

Washington Square West

 
Little Nonna’s: Washington Square West, 1234 Locust Street, 215-546-2100 For $55 per person, Little Nonna’s, the newest restaurant from chef Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran fills stomachs with hearty Italian bites this Valentine’s Day. Nosh on four-courses which include red wine-braised short rib, avocado and fennel salad, buffalo mozzarella and pistachio-olive oil cannoli. The full menu is available right here.

Mercato: Washington Square West, 1216 Spruce Street, 215-985-2962. Modern Italian food fills the menu at Mercato as it treats guests to a four-course chef’s tasting menu on February 14 and 15. Dinner rings in at $75 per person and features items including a trio of oysters, pan seared striped bass, red wine braised lamb shank and almond panna cotta. Don’t forget to bring a bottle (or two) of wine to this BYOB spot.

More Valentine’s Day dinner suggestions, below.

Jamonera: Washington Square West, 105 S. 13th Street, 215-922-6061. Cozy up with your honey at Jamonera on Valentine’s Day. For $55 per person, enjoy four-courses of tasty goodness. On the menu? Baked sheep’s milk ricotta, pumpkin croquetas, grilled lamb chops, churros and chocolate and much more. The full menu is available right here.

Garces Trading Company: Washington Square West, 1111 Locust Street, 215-574-1099. Chef Jose Garces’ European bistro, Garces Trading Company, serves up the best of European plates at its Valentine’s Day soiree. Choose from a $55 or $65 four course dinner and be sure to top the evening off with a glass (or multiple glasses) of wine.

Valanni: Washington Square West, 1229 Spruce Street, 215-790-9494. Visit Valanni for a four-course chef’s tasting menu for $75 per person on Friday, February 14. Keep the Valentine’s Day celebrations going all weekend and head to Valanni for a Valentine’s Day champagne brunch on February 15 and 16 for $30 per person.

The Farm and Fisherman: Washington Square West, 1120 Pine Street, 267-687-1555. The Farm and Fisherman dishes out a special four-course prix-fixe menu for $60 per person. Spend your Valentine’s Day dinner filling up on seasonal fare. The Farm and Fisherman is BYOB so be sure to bring a bottle of wine.

Opa: Washington Square West, 1311 Sansom Street, 215-545-0170. Greek fare fills the menu at Opa for its four-course Valentine’s Day dinner. For $45 per person, enjoy plates like pan fried oysters, vegetable pasta, strawberry and feta salad, lamb chops and baklava. The full menu is available here.

Northern Liberties and Fairmount

 
Bar Ferdinand: Northern Liberties, 1030 N. 2nd Street, 215-923-1313. Treat your sweetie to Spanish tapas and sangria at Bar Ferdinand. Nosh on five-courses for $65 with an optional wine pairing of $30. The complete menu is available right here.

Jerry’s Bar: Northern Liberties, 129 W. Laurel Street, 267-273-1632. Stop by Jerry’s Bar, one of Northern Liberties’ most happening restaurants for a three course dinner ringing in at $45 a head. Enjoy menu items like creamy shrimp bisque, jump lump crab cakes and strawberry shortcakes. Looking to sip, too? Jerry’s Bar serves up speciality beers, a Valentine’s Day champagne cocktail and a special champagne list. Cheers!

Standard Tap: Northern Liberties, 901 N. 2nd Street, 215-238-0630. Sip a wide variety of local beer and enjoy Valentine’s Day specials at Standard Tap in Northern Liberties.

Fare Restaurant: Fairmount, 2028 Fairmount Avenue, 267-639-3063. Looking for an organic, local Valentine’s Day meal? Look no further than Fare Restaurant as it dishes up three-courses of sustainable food. For $45 to $53 per person (depending on the selections), look forward to porcini mushroom soup, lobster rolls, cauliflower steak, halibut, chocolate covered strawberries and much more. An optional wine pairing is available for an additional $20 per person.

London Grill: Fairmount, 2301-2303 Fairmount Avenue, 215-978-4545. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with London Grill as it serves up a three-course meal for $30 with an optional beer or wine pairing for an additional cost. The à la carte menu will be available as well. Stop by on February 14 or 15 to take advantage of the Valentine’s Day dinner.

Jack’s Firehouse: Fairmount, 2130 Fairmount Avenue, 215-232-9000. Dine inside of a converted firehouse as Jack’s Firehouse dishes up a four-course Valentine’s Day dinner with all of the fixings. Indulge in a four-course feast for $50 per person or enjoy selections from the restaurants regular menu.

University City and Graduate Hospital

 
Pumpkin: Graduate Hospital, 1713 South Street, 215-545-4448. Pumpkin, South Street’s seasonal BYOB dishes up a four-course Valentine’s Day tasting menu featuring only the freshest ingredients for $75 per person. Take note, Pumpkin is cash only.

Rex 1516:Graduate Hospital, 1516 South Street, 267-319-1366. Take your sweetie on a trip South, via food of course, at Rex 1516 as it dishes out special Valentine’s Day menu additions and romance-enhancing champagne cocktails on February 14. There isn’t a prix fixe menu, just pay for dishes on a pay as you go basis.

The Cambridge: Graduate Hospital, 1508 South Street, 267-455-0647. The Cambridge, Graduate Hospital’s resident craft beer bar, takes on a different type of menu on Valentine’s Day. Lovers, sip flowery or chocolate beer — and the love-averse, sip anti-love-themed beers, think sours. In addition to beer, guests are encouraged to sample a three-course dinner for $35 per person. Full menu details have not been released yet, but be sure to check back as the date grows closer. The à la carte menu will be available as well.

Sabrina’s Cafe: University City, 34th and Powelton streets, 215-222-1022. For $25 per person, Sabrina’s Cafe in University City dishes a flavorful three-course meal complete with salmon, bruschetta, pumpkin seed encrusted ahi tuna, vegan pasta and more. The complete menu is available here.

White Dog Cafe: University City, 3420 Sansom Street, 215-386-9224. White Dog Cafe, a purveyor of fresh and local fare, celebrates Valentine’s Day with a four-course meal for $65 a pop. Think Di Bruno Bros. hand-dipped ricotta, chicory salad, seared lamb loin and dark chocolate crepe cake. The complete menu is available here.

City Tap House: University City, 3925 Walnut Street, 215-662-0105. Beer-loving couples, this one’s for you. City Tap House ups the ante with a five-course Russian River beer pairing dinner. Take note, the dinner is a few days after Valentine’s Day on Sunday, February 16. Dinner rings in at $90 per person which includes food, drinks, tax and tip.

Queen Village, Bella Vista and East Passyunk

 
Ela: Queen Village, 627 S. 3rd Street, 267-687-8512. Valentine’s Day at Ela means top-of-the-line small plates. Choose from a four-course for $65 per person with an optional wine pairing for an additional $30 or seven-course meal for $100 per person with an optional wine pairing for an additional $30. The four-course menu is available here and the seven-course menu is available here. Want to dine in your own living room? Let Ela do the cooking with its Valentine’s Day at home package — a three-course dinner for two and bottle of champagne for $100. Place your to go order right here.

The Twisted Tail: Queen Village, 509 S. 2nd Street, 215-558-2471. The Twisted Tail, Queen Village’s bourbon and live-music spot, invites guests in for a four-course meal ringing in at $55 per person. The menu has not yet been released, but be sure to check back as Valentine’s Day nears.

The Mildred: Bella Vista, 824 S. 8th Street, 267-687-1600. Enjoy seasonal American cuisine at The Mildred as it hosts couples for an evening of shareable plates in addition to its à la carte menu.

Bridget Foy’s: Queen Village, 200 South Street, 215-922-1813. Bridget Foy’s, a South Street staple, satisfies palates all around with a $40 four-course meal complete with a bottle of champagne or wine per couple — choose from malbec, pinot grigio and champagne. The full menu is available here. The lovers menu runs from February 13 through 15.

Hawthornes Cafe: Bella Vista, 738 S. 11th Street, 215-627-3012. Hawthornes Cafe is sure to satisfy any beer-lovers appetite as the beer boutique and eatery dishes up Valentine’s Day-themed specials made specially in the spirit of love. End the evening with a make-your-own six pack at the beer boutique and call it a night.

Le Viet: Bella Vista, 1019 S. 11th Street, 215-463-1570 Le Viet is the place to go this Valentine’s Day for those craving Vietnamese fare like pho. For $42.95 per couple (yes, per couple!) Le Viet dishes out a three-course meal from February 14 to 16.

Noord: East Passyunk, 1046 Tasker Street, 267-909-9704. Bring a bottle of your favorite wine to Noord for a heaping meal of Nordic fare. The BYOB eatery is presenting guests with a $50, four-course meal from 5 to 6 p.m. and a $60 five-course meal from 6:15 to 10:15 p.m.

Will BYOB: East Passyunk, 1911 E. Passyunk Avenue, 215-271-7683. French fare is the name of the game at Will BYOB on East Passyunk Avenue. On February 14 and 15, enjoy a $65 four-course French meal. Don’t forget to bring some wine to share with your sweetie as Will is a BYOB restaurant.

Fond: East Passyunk, 1536 East Passyunk Avenue, 215-551-2500. Fond serves up its modern American cuisine for Valentine’s Day diners. Enjoy a five-course meal for $55 a head. The full menu has not been released yet, but be sure to check back for full details.

Stateside: East Passyunk, 1536 E Passyunk Avenue, 215- 551-2500. Treat your sweetie to a dinner of local ingredients at Stateside’s Valentine’s Day special. From February 13 to 15, fill up on a $55 four-course dinner complete with all of the fixings that one expects at Stateside. For a slight additional cost, guests are invited to indulge in an oyster, truffle or cheese supplement.

Other Neighborhoods

 
Alla Spina: Spring Garden, 1410 Mt. Vernon Street, 215-600-0017. Alla Spina, Chef Marc Vetri’s Italian gastropub is set to offer lovebirds a $35 three-course Valentine’s Day menu in addition to the eatery’s à la carte menu. The full Valentine’s Day menu has not been released, but be sure to check with the restaurant as the day grows closer.

Sabrina’s Cafe and Spencer’s Too: Spring Garden, 1804 Callowhill Street, 215-636-9061. Head to Sabrina’s Cafe and Spencer’s Too for an affordable Valentine’s Day supper. For $35 per person, sample love-themed menu additions like lover’s lane chicken breast, vegan or veggie lover’s lane pasta and be my valentine pasta. End the meal with super tasty nutella-raspberry-red grape-amaretto crunch stuffed french toast bites. Drool. Pack a bottle of wine to bring to the BYOB restaurant. The full menu is available here.

Yakitori Boy: Chinatown, 211 N. 11th Street, 215-923-8088. For $75 per couple, Yakitori Boy takes taste buds on a trip East with a four-course meal featuring items including clam miso soup, lamb chop, diced steak and a special sweetheart sushi roll. After dinner, serenade your significant other with some karaoke.

Derek’s: Manayunk, 4411 Main Street, 215-483-9300. Sit along Main Street in Manayunk as Derek’s delights with special Valentine’s Day menu additions, and the complete regular menu, beginning at 5 p.m. Night owls, take note, Derek’s will provide guests with Valentine’s Day seatings until 11:30 p.m.

Brittingham’s: Lafayette Hill, 640 E. Germantown Pike, 484-344-5162. Brittingham’s in Lafayette Hill dishes up a $55 meal complete with American favorites including lobster bisque, lamb and a trio of desserts. The romantic meal will be available from February 14 to 16.

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