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Romantic Restaurant in the OC (Reasonably Priced)

So I want to take this girl I've been dating out on Valentines Day for a romantic dinner that will sweep her off her feet. Problem is, as a college student, my budget is slightly lower than the nicer restaurants that I've been looking into (Splashes, Villa Nova, Ocean 21, French 75, etc.) especially with the fixed Valentines Day menus that everyone is doing.

So I was wondering if you guys knew of any other romantic/private restaurants around the OC area that would be <$120 for 2 people. I really want to impress her so any input/help would be much appreciated! Thanks!

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  1. other than the obvious-don't go on V day

    Your Splashes, Villa Nova, Ocean 21 places along the beach are going to be more expesive. What part of OC do you want to be near?

    1. On Balboa Island you could do Amelia's for under $70, or Basilic for under $120. See my linked excerise:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/419975

      1. If you are both 21, try Old Vine Cafe in Costa Mesa. They are having a tasting menu paired with wine for $60 per person. It's very cute and romantic. Check out the website:
        http://www.oldvinecafe.com/

        If you want to do something different and very inexpensive (~$40-$50 total), you can order dinner for pickup at Pascal's Epicerie (they make a nice to go Valentine's dinner) and go have a picnic at Crystal Cove or on the cliffs at Laguna and watch the sunset. It's incredibly romantic.

        1. Check out Picante in Ladera Ranch.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JAB

            ooh, alright thanks I'll check them out.

            And OC area towards Irvine/Newport Beach

          2. Amelia's looks like a really good choice. But I was wondering how the atmosphere is like? Is it more laid back or do you still get the private romantic vibe?

            Also, how about the dress code? Casual? Semi? Dressy?

            1 Reply
            1. re: heylookitsme

              It's more on the private romantic side than laid-back.

              It's probably booked, but what about Sapphire in Laguna? Don't know if they're doing a special dinner or not. Or, sunset drinks at Rooftop & Tapas dinner at K'ya? Swordfish at Cafe Zoolu? All very romantic!

            2. It's been awhile since I've been, but the Wild Rabbit might fit the bill. Entrees will max out at about $35-40, so you should be able to get in under your $120 budget, depending on how much alcohol you consume. Atmosphere and setting is pretty ideal for a romantic evening.

              The website seems to not work anymore, but here's a review from the OC Register:
              http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/...

              Here's Gustavo's review from the OC Weekly:
              http://www.ocweekly.com/food/feature-...

              1. So I went to check out Amelia's and I have to say I like the traditional romantic feel to it. I was able to make a reservation for Valentines Day too

                So thanks you guys!

                1 Reply
                1. re: heylookitsme

                  I went to Amelia's for my anniversary on Saturday. It was pretty nice--just make sure you bring coats so you're warm (if you booked the patio table) and make sure they tell a server you're out there.