Endless orders of oysters on the half shell, indulgent desserts, and wicked wine pairings.
By Gwen Hughes 1/31/2019 at 11:00am
While you might be expected to put together a massive feast for every other holiday of the year, Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to leave it to the professionals. Whether you and your other half are looking for housemade ravioli, liberal lobster courses, or even a dinner or weekend getaway, these destinations have got you covered. Your only job? Make the reservation.
Chef Shota Nakajima will host a seven-course dinner at his Capitol Hill eatery. Not only that, but his private cellar will be open for the guests to indulge in. Temari sushi will kick things off, followed by lotus root dumplings, egg katsu with caviar, and a whole lot more. Call 206-294-5230 or book online; $100 per person.
The Alderbrook Resort and Spa is serving up more than picturesque views this Valentine’s Day. Its on-site restaurant, which overlooks the Hood Canal, will host a dinner of beef tenderloin with foie gras or king crab housemade ravioli. Another bonus: Your reservation is a guaranteed front row seat to guitarist Tarik Bentlemsani’s romantic set. Call 360-898-5500 to make reservations.
Take in Lake Washington with a “Love Potion” amuse bouche in hand at Bellevue’s Ascend. Then indulge in a four-course meal with optional “enhancements” like North Pacific oysters or a two-pound lobster thermidor pot pie wrapped in nori parmesan puff pastry. Call 425-625-2080 or book online; $135 per person.
At Bastille, a flight of sparkling wine can be added on to the specialty Valentine’s dinner all weekend long. Dungeness crab salad with cara cara oranges and gnocchi with mushroom ragout and whipped feta are also cause for celebration. Call 206-453-5014 or book online; $21 champagne flight.
For seafood enthusiasts, this Ethan Stowell spot will provide a menu teeming with crustaceans. Options include lobster deviled eggs, lobster bisque, and lobster fritters, to name just a few. And if the lobster becomes too much, steak and caviar add-ons offer decadent variety. Call 206-420-8192 or book online; $85 per person, $40 wine pairing, $15 caviar addition.
Stowell’s “under the sea” penchant continues at Cortina. Try lobster ravioli with black trumpet mushrooms or opt for oysters with verjus granita. Finish the evening off with a traditional torta caprese (Italian chocolate almond cake) topped with chocolate ganache and rose creme fraiche. Call 206-736-7888 or book online; $85 per person, $45 wine pairing.
From the first taste of the herb gougeres to the last of rosemary chocolate tart, El Gaucho has got your Valentine’s Day covered. And if you’re keen on an accompanying cabaret show, it may be the restaurant for you. Call 206-728-1337 or book online; $150 per person, or $115 at the bar.
If one evening is not enough for your love story, head east to the Eritage Resort in Walla Walla. Their holiday meal includes a shared entree of Meyer Ranch New York steak or grilled portobello steaks drizzled with chimichurri sauce. Call 833-374-8243 or book online; $150 per couple.
Cozy up to your better half at chef Ryan Donaldson’s Ballard spot with a shared meal for two. Things start off seafood-focused—oysters on the half shell, grilled octopus—but soon turn to vegetables with asparagus soup, olive loaf, wild mushroom pot au feu, and fried brussels sprouts. Beef tenderloin and sea scallop au poivre too. Call 206-420-4670 or book online; $65 per person.
Pacific Northwest fare is the name of the game at this Ethan Stowell dining room inside the Four Seasons. Try dungeness crab bisque, prawn pappardelle, and sockeye salmon—and top it off with a dark chocolate lava cake or rosemary lemon torte for the table. Call 206-749-7070 or book online; $99 per person.
Each of the five courses at Heartwood Provisions can be paired with a signature, chocolate-themed cocktail (and a Jcoco chocolate bar, too). Dungeness crab custard and muscovy duck breast with quinoa may not be obvious cocoa pairings, but the partnership between beverage director Amanda Reed and chef Varin Keokitvon is sure to yield unique results. Call 206-582-3505 or book online; $95 per person, $7 cocktail pairings.
For a more casual date night option, head to Hollywood Tavern in Woodinville for a six-course lineup. The roadside restaurant will feature three different varieties of oysters, cooked even more ways. An added bonus: Before the mollusk-themed meal, enjoy a fireside cocktail featuring next-door neighbor Woodinville Whiskey’s signature bourbon. Call 425-481-7703 for reservations; $100 per person, 21-plus only.
Queen Anne dwellers (and Ethan Stowell enthusiasts) will not go hungry with this four-course feast. With an anchor of pasta—tagliarini with uni butter, ricotta ravioli, or potato gnocchi—the meal will also include an add-on option of oysters with champagne mignonette for $3.25 each. Call 206-838-8090 or book online; $85 per person, $55 wine pairing.
Award-winning chef John Sundstrom has created a menu of romantic fare, including Samish pearl oysters and prawn fondue. End the meal with Theo Chocolate panna cotta accompanied by white chocolate brittle and hazelnuts. Call 206-323-5275 for reservations or book online; $130 per person, $60 wine pairing.
Foie gras profiteroles, hamachi crudo, scallops, and Snake River Zabuton steak are on the menu at this sleek Eastside spot. But knowing Brian Clevenger, the pasta course—capelletti with ricotta, black garlic, and prosciutto—is probably the star of the night. Call 206-402-6106 for reservations or book online; $75 per person, $35 wine pairing.
Chef Thierry Rautureau will host a four-course dinner at his downtown restaurant. Begin with foie gras terrine or lobster bisque, then choose sturgeon, venison medallions, or root vegetable en croute to round out the evening. Call 206-402-4588 for reservations or book online; $99 per person, $89 wine pairing.
If downtown isn’t your scene, head to Rautureau’s Madison Valley location for a more chill (but equally French) dining experience. The special to share is a 32-ounce cote de boeuf with pommes soufflés (rib-eye with fried potatoes). For something lighter, opt for chestnut soup with truffle oil or housemade semolina pappardelle. Call 206-328-6645 for reservations or book online; $59 per person, $30 wine pairing.
An embellished version of the year-round prix fixe menu is a surefire winner at this Ballard spot, whether it’s ribbon pasta with dungeness crab and meyer lemon or sea scallops with shaved fennel. Make sure to indulge in a refined, familiar course of cookies and chocolate truffles too. Call 206-257-4390 or book online; $85 per person, $45 wine pairing.
This rooftop is date night destination even without the Valentine’s Day menu of fried cauliflower, prawns over hummus, and “rocky road” parfait. Lucky for guests, they don’t have to choose when it comes to the family style meal. Call 206-457-8287 or book online; $120 per person, $45 wine flight.
Ethan Stowell’s smallest restaurant isn’t missing out on the big day. Its four-course meal will rival its sister restaurants with dishes like seared duck breast with celery root puree and wood grilled scallops. Call 206-812-1580 or book online; $85 per person, $40 wine pairing.
Belltown bar No Anchor provides a less traditional pairing option: Beer may accompany a four-course meal of raw scallops with caviar, endive salad, smoked duck breast, and whipped dark chocolate. Dinner is available for parties of two only. Call 206-448-2610 or book online; $75 per person.
Seasonal dishes (three options for each course, in fact) rule at Outlier. Highlights include a 21-day dry aged sirloin and wild mushroom lasagna. Wine-poached apples with shortbread and a scoop of apple jack ice cream finish things off. Call 206-624-7755 or book online; $65 per person.
This Seattle stalwart will host three nights of Valentine’s Day dinners (February 14–16) with a three-course seafood-inspired menu, boasting dishes like oyster tempura and poke tacos. Call 206-789-3770 or book online; $65 per person.
Ray’s a la carte menu includes dungeness crab lumpia, grilled mahi mahi, and a surf n’ turf special along with the perfect garnish: the restaurant’s signature view. Call 206-782-0094 or book online.
Madrona’s own French brasserie will host a four-course date night dinner for the big day. Fish bisque, rabbit croquettes, and grilled half lobster may feel decadent enough or, for the ultimate indulgence, add an optional caviar service, which comes with vodka and savory madeleines. Call 206-454-7932 or book online; $85 per person, $40 wine pairing.
Hotel Theodore’s dining destination begins its six-course Valentine’s menu with—what else?—our favorite local aphrodisiac, oysters on the half shell. Roasted beets with fresh burrata, egg tagliatelle topped with white truffles, surf and turf, and a chocolate torte follow. Avoid crowds by celebrating after the big day—the Valentine’s menu will be available through the weekend. Call 206-859-4242 or book online; $95 per person.
At yet another one of his restaurants, Ethan Stowell will serve a four-course dinner featuring classic dishes like rigatoni bolognese, seared scallops, braised beef short rib, and gnocchi topped with cured pork and cheese. Call 206-838-2878 or book online; $85 per person, $40 wine pairing.
This French restaurant in the heart of downtown will serve a filling meal featuring dishes like truffled cauliflower soup and Maine lobster ravioli with caviar creme fraiche. And if four courses aren’t enough, diners can add on chef Michael Mina’s ahi tuna tartare for two. Call 206-456-7474 or book online; $90 per person, $45–$65 wine pairing.
Talk of the town Edouardo Jordan is helping everybody feel the love at Ravenna’s Salare. The five-course, prix fixe meal includes a scallop dish with avocado mousse and charred pineapple sauce, black bass with pepper jus, and (be still our hearts) a lemon thyme olive oil cake. Call 206-556-2192 or book online; $75 per person, $50 wine pairing.
Pike/Pine’s rustic Italian farmstead starts the night with duck confit before moving onto herbed arancini, a choice between clam and braised short rib pastas, and another pasta course (this time taleggio cappelletti). Pick between steak with black truffle potato puree or pan-seared troll king salmon to finish things off—but save room for chocolate cake truffles or angel food cake. Call 206-251-7673 or book online; $120 per person.
Oysters with citrus champagne mignonette and parsnip and pear soup will cover the table at this Ethan Stowell destination. Then a pasta to share, a main course, and—finally—a silky lemon ricotta cheesecake. Call 206-789-1200 or book online; $85 per person, $55 wine pairing.
Jason Stoneburner will serve grass-fed beef crudo, artichoke tortellini, and grilled tuna alongside a “Bubbles for Lovers” wine flight for Valentine’s Day. The champagne (and prosecco) will be flowing all weekend, with reservations available Thursday through Sunday. Call 206-695-2051 or book online.
There’s no special Valentine’s Day menu at this Columbia City spot, but does there need to be? With half-off bottles of wine and pastry specials from dessert doyen Kim Mahar, Super Six is a destination worthy of the year’s most anticipated date night. Call 206-420-1201 or book online.
Both locations of Ethan Stowell’s pasta haven will serve a four-course Valentine’s Day meal. Dishes including foie gras mousse bruschetta, tagliatelle with smoked shellfish, and roasted porchetta grace each menu; up the ante by adding five grams of Perigord black truffles to select dishes for $15. Call 206-838-8008 (Belltown), 206-420-8355 (Capitol Hill), or book online; $85 per person, $45 wine pairing.
Chef Maria Hines’s cozy Wallingford restaurant is offering a four-course menu complete with choices of seared scallops, carnaroli risotto, and venison with huckleberries. Save room for the Theo Chocolate ganache cake, orange rose cashew cheesecake, or a peanut butter and jelly cannoli. Call 206-633-0801 or book online; $95 per person, $45 wine pairing.
Snag a reservation at this cozy Cal Anderson–adjacent spot before it’s too late. The porcini mushroom-topped pappardelle is no doubt a winner. Otherwise crispy red snapper or beef tenderloin will more than suffice. The Tin Table’s regular a la carte menu will be available as well. Call 206-320-8458 or book online; $50 per person.
On Cupid’s big day, Tutta Bella’s everyday Neapolitan menu will be complimented by a special tiramisu for two. Even sweeter: They’re throwing in a complimentary Baci truffle, a chocolate covered hazelnut candy, along with the clandestine love story that inspired the Italian chocolate company. See website for details.
Italy meets Pacific Northwest at this classic downtown dining room. It’s really a no-brainer. The only question is: Oysters on the half shell or Tuscan kale salad? Crab risotto or lamb sirloin? The choice is yours. Call 206-624-5500 or book online.
Seared sea bass with cauliflower puree or ricotta gnocchi? This downtown restaurant serves both, and Valentine’s Day patrons will also receive a “special treat” for dining on the holiday. Call 206-676-4600 or book online; $65 per person, $35 wine pairing.
At Brian Clevenger’s original pasta palace, agnolotti served with nettle, brown butter, pine nut, and pecorino perfectly marries flavors from Italy and the Pacific Northwest. And there’s another three courses too, with picks like black cod, pork belly, and—no surprises here—risotto. Call 206-466-2533 for reservations or book online; $75 per person, $35 wine pairing.