If there is a more popular day/night for dining out than Valentine’s Day, I don’t know about it. I’ve received dozens of blurbs, press releases, emails and texts from local restaurants pitching their V-Day “specials” to me. Too often, Valentine’s Day dinners are, frankly, overpriced affairs that usually feature overcooked lobster tails and cheap bubbly. However, after sifting through piles of them, here are some tempting Valentine’s Day dining options that I can recommend.
I like the look of the Valentine’s Day menu for February 14th at Current Fish & Oyster. The cost for Chef Alan Brine’s three-course V-Day dinner is $70, not including beverages, tax or gratuity. For the starter course, diners can select Brine’s winter pear salad, king crab bisque, local burrata, togarashi seared ahi or crab cakes. Main course choices include grilled swordfish, chef’s surf & turf (with Korean barbeque short rib and pan seared scallops), branzino, Double R Ranch prime rib, roasted cauliflower or Current’s famous fish stew. Dessert offerings from pastry chef Amber Billingsly include Persian love cake, chocolate strawberry sundae, ruby chocolate and coconut pot de crème or a chocolate torte. Diners can add Current’s seafood tower ($75) with 12 oz. Maine lobster tail, a fresh-off-the-boat selection of East and West Coast oysters ($3 ea.) or West Coast Kumamotos ($3.75 ea.).
Ogden’s Hearth on 25th will offer a special “Love Affair” menu on February 14th and 15th. The $40 prix fixe three-course menu includes options such as lobster bisque, cast iron roasted half chicken, elk, salmon, New York steak, chocolate mousse, skillet chocolate chip cookie, and more.
In Deer Valley, I think the best Valentine’s Day dining option is at Fireside Dining where you and your honey can cozy up to a crackling fire and enjoy heart-warming dishes such as curried beet ginger soup, poached egg lentil stew, pomegranate and maple glazed duck breast, almond flour dusted trout, veal and wild mushroom stew, fire roasted leg of lamb and seared venison racks. $90 for adults and $30 for children ages 6 – 11. Guests will be sent with a take-home breakfast item package with haute hot chocolate or hot chocolate on a stick.
Manoli’s is always a terrific choice for dinner, no matter what day of the year. For Valentine’s Day Manoli’s will offer guests a variety of meze, dessert, wine and cocktail specials in addition to their excellent everyday menu.
Oquirrh restaurant will offer a Valentine’s prix fixe menu on both February 14th and 15th. The cost is $79 per person, gratuity not included. Optional wine pairings will be available for $40 per person. Menu choices include items such as foie gras with quince jam; dry-aged ribeye with black garlic jus; braised octopus puttanesca; vegetable risotto with black truffles; house-made bucatini with bone marrow; pork loin with parsnips, cabbage and Luxardo cherry; plus dessert.
Pago will offer Valentine’s Day diners a special five-course tasting menu priced at $95 + $45 for optional wine pairings, plus tax and gratuity. Menu items include Yukon potato tots with caviar or shaved truffle, fresh oysters, crudo, duck confit rigatoni, broiled King crab, wild mushroom & savoy cabbage wontons, Morgan Valley lamb, bison short ribs, cataplana Portuguese stew, celery root Wellington, desserts, and more.
If you’d prefer not to fight the V-Day crowds on February 14th, you’ll be happy to know that Log Haven offers Romantic Wilderness Dining with their Four Nights of Passion, February 13th through 16th. Bestowed with many Best Romantic Utah Restaurant awards, Log Haven will offer a special Valentine’s menu with live music, specialty cocktails and mocktail. In addition to the regular Log Haven menu, Chef Dave Jones will also be adding dishes such as Tuscan white bean soup with sweet Italian sausage, grana padano, and carrot top pesto; and red wine/Port braised short ribs with charred Brussels sprouts, candied pancetta and whipped ricotta polenta. For dessert, chocolate ganache tart with white chocolate ice cream will be added to the sweets menu. Specialty cocktails include a Blushing Geisha and the Blown Rose, along with a mocktail called the Chaste Geisha.
A romantic five-course dinner at Snowbasin’s Earl’s Lodge would be a good choice for Valentine’s Day. The cost is $90 per person, not including beverages, tax or gratuity. Menu items include an appetizer of BBQ pork belly with fried green tomatoes, sundried tomato jam, and Port wine reduction; lobster bisque soup course; and a salad of pickled beets, arugula, goat cheese, candied walnuts, and raspberry vinaigrette. Entree options are braised Short rib, with creamy polenta, maitake mushroom, and San Marzano tomato ragu, with fried basil or butternut squash ravioli with brown butter and sage cream sauce. For dessert there will be lemon curd cheesecake with a raspberry and blueberry coulis. For reservations, call 801-620-1021.
In Park City, Powder restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria would be an elegant choice for Valentine’s Day dining. The evening begins with a choice of West Coast oysters, Wagyu beef bavette tatake or organic frisee and mizuna. Drink in the evening with a Champagne intermezzo before moving on to the main course of Chilean sea bass, Colorado lamb loin or Niman Ranch New York steak. Devour passion fruit mousse for a sweet finish. Dinner is $150 per person, and an additional $55 for specially selected wine pairings.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all you lovers!
Culinary quote of the week:
All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.— Charles M. Schultz
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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