Those looking for love using a fork and knife in D.C. this year have plenty to celebrate. At restaurants across Washington on Valentine’s Day, everything’s coming up roses. And since many restaurants are stretching celebrations all week, you may have more than just Feb. 14 to get your V-Day deal in.
Refinement comes alive at the St. Regis (923 16th St., N.W.), a downtown hotel. It’s offering an air of the Mediterranean this year with a three-course prix-fixe deal, along with an optional bubbly pairing. Beyond dinner Feb. 14, the exec chef is hosting a soufflé cooking class and champagne tasting on Saturday, Feb. 10, which also includes passed hors d’oeuvres and a parting gift. Plus, every Saturday in February, following the daily 6 p.m. champagne sabering, guests can take part in the St. Regis Chocolate Indulgence experience, which features themed Valentine’s Day cocktails and a chocolate buffet. Yes, a buffet entirely of chocolate.
Down by the water, sustainable-forward Fiola Mare (3050 K St., N.W.) brings home the seafood-as-aphrodisiac philosophy, along with an Italian twist. The three-course prix fixe ($95) includes antipasti, main and dessert. The creamy Buffalo mozzarella burrata is a good start, followed by options including red king prawns, creamy lobster ravioli and risotto al tartufo (black truffle shavings optional). Dessert brings panna cotta, among other treats.
Fabio Trabocchi’s celebrated new entrant Del Mar (791 Wharf St., S.W.), also by the river on the Southwest Waterfront, is going all out for its Valentine’s Day options. There are two menu options: the five-course Menu de Los Enamorados ($135) and the four-course, more prosaically named Valentine’s Day Menu ($95). In the former, you’ll enjoy tuna ceviche, a braised veal cheek dish called “Beso en el Cachete” (literally, kiss on the cheek) and more. The latter provides more choices, including one tapa starter, an appetizer, main and dessert. There are also specialty cocktails, like the tequila-based Lunas Rotas (broken moons) as well as optional wine pairings.
Valentine’s Day is meant to be hot. City Tap Dupont (1250 Connecticut Ave., N.W., suite 105)) warms it up with smoky cocktails and dinner specials. Guests can dig into hop-smoked mussels with bacon jam and burnt lemon, smoked-beef tenderloin with grilled orange cauliflower and a “Bourbon Biggie” s’mores dessert with burnt marshmallow fluff.
From smoky to sour, sister restaurant City Tap Penn Quarter (901 9th St., N.W.) puckers up with a “mini tap takeover” by sour beers. Dishes tend toward the rich side to stand up to the beers, with options like lobster pappardelle, a charcuterie board and four-layer chocolate cake with red-velvet sauce.
A Washington institution, Bombay Club (815 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) is elegance suffused with saffron. The restaurant has come back into the news with the opening of its flashy new little brother, Bindaas in Cleveland Park. For Valentine’s Day, there will be a four-course menu for ($85). Start with the popular crispy kale chat, enjoy delicately spiced curries and stay for sweet finishes. Live jazz will be performed throughout the night.
Decadence is also on the menu at the Source (575 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.), available all week long (Feb. 9-17). To provide a taste of what the five-course tasting menu entails, the extravaganza begins with oysters and royal Osetra caviar, paired with Lanson “Black Label” Champagne. Other courses include lobster and black truffle soup, a 28-day dry-aged steak and a Marjolaine pastry. You might want to break out the cocktail dresses for this one.
Befitting an establishment dedicated to vino, Cork (1805 14th St., N.W.) is hosting its eighth annual champagne dinner ($100), featuring six champagnes from diverse wine traditions. The dinner will take place in the restaurant’s brand-spanking-new private dining room, which seats 24. Wine experts Ed and Barbara from Wine Traditions will be featured to speak about the hand-selected producers.
The day before Valentine’s Day, Town Hall’s (2340 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) hosting a Galentine’s Day celebration, with half-price bottles of wine and a delightful Nutella brownie. No word if Leslie Knope will make an appearance.
Galentine’s Day is also on the menu at Pennsylvania 6 (1350 I St., N.W.), but instead, for brunch. Gather those gal pals on Feb. 10 or 11 from 11a.m.-3 p.m., and you’ll be treated to a complimentary glass of sparkling and shareable dessert for the table with mention of “Galentine’s Brunch” when making reservations. On the big day itself, the resto goes retro with its Valentine’s Day dance-themed dinner. There’ll be a three-course prix-fixe “sweetheart menu” complete with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine ($50). Straight from the middle-school gym, get ready for photo ops in front of the balloon arch and sing aloud to blast-from-the-past-tunes. Optional but encouraged? Corsages, of course.
A fresh entrant to the dining scene, Supra (1205 11th St., N.W.) is bringing high-end Georgian cuisine to Shaw. For Valentine’s Day, it’s writing a love letter to Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani. The legend has it that the artist sold all his belongings to buy the object of his adoration, a French actress, a million red roses to fill the square in front of her hotel. While going that far might not be recommended, a meal here may get you close. Start off with rose-themed cocktails, like Ring Around the Rose-y, with gin, rosewater and a rose-powder rim. V-Day-only specials include seared duck with black walnuts and baked trout over herbed asparagus salad.
RareSweets (963 Palmer Alley, N.W.) will have several treats available in store and for pre-order Feb. 9-14. Look for the Love Song Lyric cookies featuring iconic romantic hits, along with heart-shaped cookies. Kick it up with the spicy chocolate cake covered in chocolate icing with cayenne pepper and topped with toasted marshmallow.
While juicy chicken might not be an aphrodisiac, balls of fried dough just might do the trick. Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken (1308 G St., N.W.) is offering a Valentine’s Day Mini Box ($22), with orange blossom, raspberry rose, Crème Brulee, and other flavors. A sweet finish to the holiday.