Dining

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

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If you are still looking for a Valentine’s Day date idea for you and your significant other, fear not, as we’ve rounded up some of the best deals, specials, and romantic atmosphere around San Diego. Check out these ideas so you can make the most of your Valentine’s Day in 2020. 

Patisserie Melanie – Hillcrest 

Visit Paris without leaving America’s Finest City at Hillcrest hotspot, Patisserie Melanie, where Chef Melanie Dunn’s love of Parisian baking transfers delightfully into her hand-made pastries. One bite of Melanie’s signature chocolates, and you’ll be transported to the city of love because nothing says date night more than a dessert that accommodates two spoons. Patisserie Melanie will be celebrating their two-year anniversary, so be on the lookout for new items and giveaways. 

The Westgate Hotel – Downtown 

This Valentine’s Day lovebirds can cozy up at The Westgate Hotel to enjoy a four-course prix-fixe menu with an optional wine pairing prepared by Executive Chef Fabrice Hardel. Dive in with the coastal Diver Scallop, then transition to the Cape Grim New York Steak. Top your night off with the decadently sweet Raspberry Mascarpone Mousse. Dinner pricing starts at $79 per person.

JRDN – Pacific Beach 

Domaine Chandon Valentine’s Tasting: Kick off the long weekend a little early with Domaine Chandon on JRDN’s sunset patio. Indulge in tastings of a variety of sparkling wines paired with small bites, all prepared by Executive chef David Warner. Pricing is $40 per person.

Three-Course Prix Fixe Valentine’s Day Dinner: Opt a romantic setting by the coast and toast to your love while taking in breathtaking views and listening to the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean at JRDN in Pacific Beach. Enjoy a three-course menu with options that highlight the freshest coastal cuisines. Pricing is $65 per person.

Bencotto Italian Kitchen – Little Italy 

Nothing says romance like a truly authentic Italian dinner, and Bencotto is one of the premier restaurants in San Diego. Located in the heart of Little Italy, Bencotto makes for the perfect romantic Valentine’s Day evening. In addition to a special Valentine’s Day a la carte only menu on Friday, February 14, they will be celebrating all week by offering a Valentine’s Day three-course prix fixe menu, on February 12, 13, 15 and 16 for $45 a person. Choose from authentic Italian selections paired with fines wines for a night to remember.

Olivewood Gardens & Learning Center Cooking Classes – National City

Feeling a little creative this Valentine’s Day? Skip going out for dinner and learn to prepare your own gourmet meal with a professional chef. Local couples will have the chance to pick fresh fruits and vegetables from the garden and learn how to cook a delicious and nutritious dinner for Valentine’s Day.

Monello – Little Italy 

A chic Italian restaurant located in the heart of Little Italy, Monello will be offering a special Valentine’s Day a la carte menu on February 14, in addition to a special three-course prix fixe menu on Feb. 12, 13, 15, and 16 for $40 per person. Options will include Panzerotti Al Tartufo, fried mini calzones stuffed with mozzarella, shiitake mushrooms and white truffle, Gnocchi di Brasato, homemade large potato dumplings filled with braised beef in a parmesan cream sauce with poppy seeds, and Tagliatelle Nere, squid ink fettuccine in a spicy pink tomato sauce with shrimp.

Trust Restaurant – Hillcrest 

If you want to try a little of everything when you go out to dinner, sharing is the best way to experience the intricacies of Trust’s menu. Featuring options from the farm, to ranch, the ocean, and beyond, Trust is the place where you can have it all. Must-haves include the Wood-Grilled Cauliflower with golden raisins, mint, serrano aioli, black lentils, cilantro, curry vinaigrette and the Yellowfin Tuna Sashimi with ponzu, garlic, sriracha, and chili oil. Top off the evening with a decadent dessert like their Banana Bread Pudding with sour cream ice cream, caramel Anglaise, and cashew praline.

Fort Oak – Mission Hills 

Dinner at San Diego’s Best New Restaurant in 2019 might be a good option for your Valentine’s Day activities. Fort Oak exemplifies fine dining, and you and your loved one will no doubt be impressed. With dishes like Hearth Roasted Carrots with quinoa, Humboldt fog, pickled fennel, smoky yogurt, tarragon or the Old Bay Prawns with traditional cocktail sauce and lemon are sure to win some hearts. Other favorite dishes include Goat Milk Cavatelli with charred broccoli, fennel sausage, truffle, soft herbs, grana di Capra and the Duroc Pork Chop with black garlic sauce, coal-roasted brussels sprouts, and potatoes, ginger, garlic chips, herbs.

Rare Society – University Heights 

Treat your sweetheart to a night at San Diego’s newest steakhouse, Rare Society, whose sexy, cozy atmosphere pays tribute to old Las Vegas, and is the perfect setting for the most important date night of the year. The shared plate menu features Santa Maria-style wood-fired steaks, chops, and seafood with mouthwatering steakhouse sides to accompany. After dinner, cozy up on their outside patio, and end the night with one of San Diego’s best Espresso Martinis and a slice of Old Fashioned Cake.

Zinqué – Little Italy 

They say the French are the essence of romance, so why not do Valentine’s Day Parisian-style at Zinqué? Start the romance early at their new Happy Hour from 4 – 7 pm on Valentine’s Day, where all bar bites are $9 and under, wines are $4 off, and signature cocktails are $5 off. (Regular Happy Hour runs Monday through Friday, 4 – 7 pm). Whether you make it a casual night with friends or invite your longtime crush on a date, glasses of French bubbly like the Rosé Champagne, FR, and delicious bites such as the Pan Con Tomate with San Daniele Prosciutto are perfect for sharing. Then, cozy up by the fireplace with your date on the outside patio to cap off the night.

20|Twenty – Carlsbad 

Gear up for a cozy four-course prix-fixe menu created by Executive Chef Julian Quiñones. all guests will be treated to an Amuse-Bouche to get their taste buds in the mood, and then can choose from the exciting menu offerings while taking in beautiful coastal views. We recommend starting with the Heirloom Tomato and Crab Bisque or Lobster Squash Blossom, then moving on to the delicious mains like Prime N.Y. Strip or Seared Yellowfin Tuna and Scallop Duo. Don’t forget to leave room for Flourless Chocolate Cake or White Chocolate Mousse, paired with their Royale Martini, featuring Venom vodka, lemon juice, Chambord, and sparkling wine, to cap the night off. Pricing is $75 per person.

The Cork and Craft – Rancho Bernardo 

Executive Chef Scott Cannon is serving a 4-course prix fixe menu with impressive selections. A choice of Caviar or Chicken Liver Mousse starts off the show-stopping menu. Featuring delectable options like Caviar, Seared Ahi, Stuffed Quail, with desserts like the Tangerine Bar or Red Velvet Cake to cap off the night. Pricing is $69 per person.

Giardino – Lemon Grove 

All you need is a cozy Italian spot for your Valentine’s Day, and luckily Giardino has you covered all the way. Giardino is offering an a la carte dinner menu in addition to a 3-course menu for $45. The preset menu features dishes such as Lobster Bisque, Salmon San Remo and Short Rib. End the meal with a Heart Shaped Chocolate Mousse.

Cusp Dining & Drinks – La Jolla

If a place is voted one of San Diego’s Most Romantic Restaurants, it might be a good idea to consider a visit for your Valentine’s Day plans. Situated atop the 11th floor of Hotel La Jolla, not only is it lovely, it has the food and service to match. Chef Ingrid Funes is serving her regular menu alongside chef specials, like a Land & Sea Duo of scallop and prime beef short ribs. For dessert, order Bananas Foster Cheesecake or her infamous Chocolate Crunch Bar.

Pacifica Del Mar – Del Mar 

Celebrating 30 years atop Del Mar Plaza, Pacifica has remained a popular destination where the neighborhood gathers for good reason. Chef/Partner Chris Idso is serving his entire menu where each entrée selection comes with a choice of soup or salad to start. The special menu will be available from Feb. 13-16.

Catania – La Jolla 

The buzzing La Jolla eatery is offering a special Dinner for Two menu in addition to their regular menu. Chef Dustin Karagheusian’s Valentine’s Day menu includes a two-person 4-course meal for $99, featuring dishes such as Beef Heart Carpaccio or Oysters to start, Beet Agnolotti, Wood-Grilled Filet, Local Pan Roasted Halibut and more. Guests can finish with Panna Cotta or Chocolate Nemesis for dessert, or toast over a bottle of bubbly.

Whisknladle – La Jolla 

For over a decade, Whisknladle has proven to be a quality spot for food, drinks, and simply having a good time. For Valentine’s Day, Chef / Partner Ryan Johnston has created specials worth dining for. Start with Oysters and bubbly, then share a Lobster Mac n’ Cheese or order the Petite Filet. End the meal with a special Strawberry Vacherin dessert.

Gravity Heights – Sorrento Valley 

Fresh off a 1 year anniversary, the bustling Sorrento Valley restaurant and brewery is offering a more laid back kind of Valentine’s Day. Order from Gravity Heights’ regular menu, or take part in their Dinner for Two. The optional preset menu features dishes to share, like Beet Salad, Pork Ragu Gnocchi, Scallops, Cherry & Chocolate Chip Cookies and 2 glasses of Cava for $69.

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