As I say every year at this time: You and your honey don’t have to splurge and dine out on Valentine’s Day. There are plenty of other options. Maybe there’s no honey in the picture at all, and you’d prefer to stay at home with a big bowl of caviar all to yourself, watching 9 1/2 Weeks for the 18th time. There’s nothing wrong with that. Or an excellent Valentine’s Day celebration might entail nothing more than, in the words of the Persian poet Omar Khayyám, “A jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou.”
But, if you do decide to let someone else do the cooking, or if you’re looking for a romantic night on the town, here are some good V-Day choices. In fact, these are all of the local Valentine’s Day restaurant dinner options I’d received as of press time.
From Feb. 13 to 15, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar (20 S. 400 West, 801-355-3704, FlemingsSteakhouse.com) features a prix fixe menu beginning with a pan-seared scallop over goat-cheese polenta, a salad choice and filet mignon, paired with either pecan-crusted salmon for $59.95 or lobster tail for $69.95.
Franck’s (6263 Holladay Blvd., 801-274-6264, FrancksFood.com) is featuring a five-course Valentine’s Day dinner from Chef Robert Perkins with selections like goat-cheese creme brulee; sous vide organic duck breast; charred Snake River Farms culotte steak; sashimi white shrimp; maple-espresso tapioca and much more. The cost is $75 per person.
At Hearth on 25th in Ogden (195 25th St., 801-399-0088, Hearth25.com), Chef Kyle Lore will prepare a five-course dinner featuring items such as a shrimp and crab shumai amuse bouche; fresh pea soup; lobster and scallop risotto; Snake River sturgeon; Circle Ranch Tunis lamb chop; and Valrhona chocolate-chili ice-cream sandwiches. The price is $75, plus $25 for optional wine pairings.
There are few places more romantic than La Caille (9565 S. Wasatch Blvd., Sandy, 801-942-1751, LaCaille.com), and on Valentine’s Day, they’re pulling out all the stops with a multi-course menu for $95 per person, plus $75 for optional paired wines. Featured menu items include tuna tartare, prawn and lobster crepe, blood-orange salad, seafood bouillabaisse, beef tenderloin, crispy sea bass, desserts and many more choices.
Log Haven (6451 E. Millcreek Canyon Road, 801-272-8255, Log-Haven.com) is hosting Five Days of Romance from Feb. 12 to 16, with special menu offerings such as grilled filet mignon with roasted garlic béarnaise; Southwest-spiced shrimp cocktail; roasted tomato soup; wild game meatballs; plus specialty cocktails and mocktails like the Raspberry Kiss, Love Potion No. 9 and Vida Amore. Customers dining during the Five Days of Romance receive a $10 credit toward their next visit.
The Paris Bistro & Zinc Bar (1500 S. 1500 East, 801-486-5585, TheParis.net) is hosting a St. Valentine Day’s La Vie en Rose dinner that will feature live music from the French cafe quartet St. Bohème. Menu items include dishes such as Angus Prime rib roast Oscar; pan-seared and pancetta-wrapped Loch Duart Scottish salmon; Thai-spiced lump blue crab cakes; molten chocolate cake; and more. The cost is $74.95 per person, plus a 20 percent service charge.
For a fun and inexpensive evening, perhaps you’ll find yourself at Spitz (35 E. 300 South, 801-364-0286, SpitzSLC.com), which is hosting a St. ValenWine’s Night event. A mere $30 per person will get you hummus with fried pita; a Greek salad; street-cart fries; a Spitz sandwich wrap; and cinnamon pita with whipped cream. Utah’s own TwoDog Winery will be in the house pouring DoggyStyle White, TWODOG Cabernet Sauvignon, and DoggyStyle Red. The evening will also include prizes and giveaways from the Salt Lake Film Society and Twigs Flower Company, and the event will help support Utah FACES (Friends for Animal Care and Effective Solutions). For reservations, text TWODOG to 88202.
How about a Valentine’s Day getaway to Tuscany? Well, at least a getaway to Tuscany Restaurant (2832 E. 6200 South, 801-277-9919, TuscanySLC.com), where romance will be in the air during Chef Adam Vicker’s four-course dinner. Guests will choose from selections such as tuna crudo; herb-roasted tomato tart; beet or butter leaf salad; grilled Prime filet mignon; pan-seared snapper; braised lamb shank; housemade four-cheese ravioli; and red velvet butter rum cake or chocolate Kahlua cheesecake, to name a few of the options. The price is $65 per person.
Finally, wouldn’t flying down to Rio for Valentine’s Day be romantic? Well, how about the next best thing: Three Salt Lake City Brazilian restaurants are throwing Valentine’s Day festas for anyone who’d care to add a little tropicalia to their evening. At Rodizio Grill in Trolley Square (600 S. 700 East, 801-220-0500, RodizioGrill.com), the Together Forever dining package ($90 per couple) includes an extended Full Rodizio dinner for two, nonalcoholic drinks, a keepsake red rose, and live music in Rodizio’s intimate Club Room. At Texas de Brazil in City Creek Center (50 S. Main, 385-232-8070, TexasdeBrazil.com), guests can enjoy specially created wine, cocktail and dessert pairings along with the restaurant’s 50-plus-item gourmet salad buffet and all-you-can eat cuts of flame-grilled beef, lamb, pork, chicken and sausage. Specialty cocktails include the Brazilian Rose and Brazilian Kiss. The cost is $42.99 per person for a regular dinner or $24.99 for a light dinner. Desserts and cocktails are $5 to $10 each.
And Tucanos Brazilian Grill at The Gateway and in Provo (162 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City, 801-456-2550; 4801 N. University Ave., Provo, 801-224-4774, Tucanos.com) offers “true love with a Brazilian flair” for St. Valentine’s Day lunch ($19.95) and dinner ($27.95), Feb. 13 to 15. In addition to the endless salad bar, hot & cold buffet and churrasco selection of grilled meats, Tucanos is adding rosemary herb salmon, roasted rib-eye steak, grilled shrimp and Brazilian chocolate truffles to its Valentine’s menu. And each couple receives a complimentary rose after dinner. Muito bom!
Happy Valentine’s Day!