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Jan 15, 2010 04:18 PM

Recommended Valentine's Day dinner?

I was wondering if anybody recommended a good Valentine's Day dinner in the Los Angeles area. I've noticed that some places metaphorically "take the night off" for Valentine's Day and sometimes even have a 20% surcharge on what their food normally costs. For example, we went to Providence last year and the food was mediocre and disappointing at best (the wine and service were great though). But we've gone before then, and it was fantastic. Does anyone know of anyplace in town that is romantic and sets the bar high for Valentine's Day? My date and I normally would not be so picky for this holiday, but it actually also happens to be our anniversary.

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  1. Valentine's Day is rough - it's the busiest night of the year, so you're probably not going to experience the best that ANY restaurant has to offer. and since it falls on a Sunday this year some places may not even be open. how about celebrating on Friday night, the 12th? that way you get a special night out and you don't have to worry about getting up for work early the next morning ;) plus, a lot of other couples may decide to celebrate on Saturday instead of Sunday, so that increases the chance of restaurants beiing slammed. doing it on Friday will probably allow for a more enjoyable and peaceful experience.

    another option would be to stay home and hire a private chef to prepare a romantic dinner for the two of you.

    1. Valentine’s Day is indeed the worse day of the year to impress that special someone in your life by dining out. Due to the rush, food and service are both usually sub-par. If you want to really impress and inspire togetherness as well, why not spend some time together beforehand reviewing some blogs and recipes and planning a special menu to cook at home together.

      You can fortify the spice rack and pick up or order online any special ingredients between now and then. Being that Valentine’s Day falls on Sunday this year, on Saturday, the two of you can visit one the farmer’s markets and pick up some farm-fresh eggs, chicken, fruits, veggies, nuts, honey or other items of your hearts’ desire. Use your local butcher shop or fishmonger to source premium fresh meats and seafood.

      Valentine’s Day can then be spent at home, cooking up one of the most “together” meals of your lives. You can perhaps cheat a bit by ordering a delicious cake or other dessert preparation if baking is not your forte or to save time. Spend some time together between now and then exploring your options, the last of which should be dining out. Don't forget the vino!

      Bon Appetit!

      1. A couple of years ago I had a very good Valentine's dinner at Water Grill. it was crowded but not sold out, and everything was up to par. Not cheap, of course, but well worth it.

        1. We usually avoid going out on Valentine's as well, but last year, we went to Melisse during Valentine's weekend because they were doing our ideal menu (with some degree of apprehension) and thought they did a wonderful job. Their menu for Valentine's day proper is more expensive than the special they do for Friday/Saturday, but I have every confidence in them. I have only ever had one dish there that I thought was imperfect -- a shortrib ordered by a friend -- but every single other thing I have ever had there has been either solid or transcendental. (I went four times last year -- once for Valentine's day, two for the 10-year anniversary 10 course special, and once for a farewell dinner on my company).