Valentine's Day dinner options
What: District Kitchen, with its soaring ceilings and craft cocktails, is a favorite for the brunch crowd, but this Valentine's Day you'll want to stop by for dinner. Their prix-fixe menu is delightfully decadent, featuring items like shrimp and lobster bisque, umami wagyu dumplings, prime petite filet, and lobster and saffron risotto. Finish it off with their dark chocolate pot de crème and pop open a pants button.
Price: $75 per person
Photograph: Courtesy District Kitchen + Cocktails
What: Choose your own adventure with Second Bar + Kitchen. At SBK NORTHSIDE, you can opt into a four-course extravaganza with black truffle and potato ravioli, akaushi strip loin or seared sea scallop, and charlotte royale for $75 per person (plus $40 per person for wine pairings.) Or, if you’re feeling very anti-Valentine’s, join the all-black clad staff downtown with specialties like beef tartare with tarragon-cured yolk, blood sausage and deviled egg puree, and chocolate and burrata with blood orange and rosé—plus a complimentary toast of Lambrusco.
Photograph: Alex Hayden
What: Eschewing the prix fixe, both Taverna downtown and NORTHSIDE have taken their menu to a whole new level of decadence by adding some rich Valentine’s selections on the big day. Lobster bisque, a semolina ravioli filled with fontina cheese and topped with truffle fondue, pan seared beef tenderloin medallions and white chocolate mousse with panna cotta and a raspberry zabaione. Diners can, of course, also order off the regular menu that evening.
Photograph: Courtney Pierce
What: Named one of Bon Appetit’s best, Emmer & Rye are known for creativity and this is reflected in their Valentine’s prix-fixe meal. Dinner is $75 per person with additional wine pairings available. Take your best foodie friend/date for a meal that includes red shrimp with peanut, kohlrabi and smoked chile, green emmer caramelle with emberred turnip, whey, laurel and burnt orange and confit lamb with mole negro, allium and a white Sonora tortilla. Skip cake and dip into a strawberry sorbet and smoked pine cream.
Price: $75 + wine pairings
What: Let’s not beat around the bush—Valetine's Day is pretty damn sexy. And Andiamo embraces that with their aphrodisiac-heavy, four-course prix-fixe dinner. As you might expect, oysters are on the menu, though surprisingly, arugula and gorgonzola also fall into the aphrodisiac category (and are duly represented.) All dishes have Valentine’s Day appropriate names—think “Laced Hearts” and “Destiny”—so your whole meal is one big love affair from start to finish.
Price: $85 per person
What: Celebrate Saint Valentine with Le Politique’s three-course prix-fixe menu for $55. The menu is light (so maybe you don’t have to wear your toughest spanx): tartare de saumon with trout caviar, la noix de St. Jacques (seared scallop, satsuma mandarin, cauliflower and sauce maltaise) and gnocchi à la Parisienne made with sautéed Parisian gnocchi, chicken confit and parmesan. End the evening with their baked blackcurrant custard for two or pick up something special from their patisserie.
Price: $55 per person
Photograph: Wynn Meyers
What: Indulgence is the name of the game at TRACE with a lovely prix-fixe meal. The menu includes items like chicken liver mousse, Italian wedding soup, honey-glazed duck, seed and nut crusted halibut and akaushi strip loin oscar, but you can add on caviar and oysters if you’re feeling particularly fancy. Those with a sweet tooth might particularly enjoy that there are also three desserts offered: raspberry macaron, chocolate tiramisu or passionfruit cheesecake.
Price: $60 per person
Photograph: Rey Lopez
What: Not everything has to be white tablecloths and single roses. If you’re looking for a more casual (and affordable!) night, Gibson Bar’s got it: half-off full bottles of wine and a special Valentine's Day menu by Luke’s Inside Out. The menu includes prosciutto and angel hair pasta wrapped shrimp, eight-ounce hand cut beef tenderloin with lobster risotto and roasted asparagus, flourless chocolate torte with strawberry glaze and fresh whipped cream.
Price: $70 per couple
Photograph: Courtesy Gibson Street Bar
What: Skip the steak and opt for Chinese food this Valentine's Day. Wu Chow goes big with their prix-fixe option: three starters for the table (like dry fried green beans, dragon and phoenix), a main course dish (salt and pepper soft shell, surf and turf and more) and a choice of dessert, all for $50 per person. There’s also an optional wine pairing and Shanghai soup dumpling addition if you just can't stop gazing at each other over your dishes.
Price: $50 per person, optional wine pairing for $25, Shanghai soup dumplings for $10
Photograph: Natalie Paramore
What: There’s something so swanky about dining on a second story. This year, Swift's Attic augments their menu by offering a seafood platter for two (market price) with lobster, shrimp and oysters. They also have a special three-course dinner: Each course offers two to three menu items to choose from; selections include pozole verde, faro risotto, seared pork shoulder, and dessert items like red velvet cake and a tangerine vanilla mousse.
Price: $60 per person
Photograph: Courtesy Swift's Attic
What: Jeffrey’s always offers a special dining experience, but they’ve pulled out all the stops for Valentine’s Day. Their romantic menu includes canapés of tarts of beef tartare and French Kiss oysters, lobster and fennel bisque and black truffle tortelloni, a Niman Ranch petit filet with celery root mousse, and a Beeman Ranch bone-in strip for two with roasted glazed mushrooms and sauce bernaise (and desserts, of course). Extra supplements of Petrossian Caviar service for two featuring 30 grams of imperial white, Canadian caviar are also available.
Price: $100 per person
Photograph: Courtesy Jeffrey's
What: This small wine shop underwent a major renovation last year and are taking full advantage of the newly beautiful space. They’re offering a five-course menu (four savory, one sweet) with an optional wine pairing for $35 on Valentine’s Day. The standard menu will not be available, and this dinner is reservations only.
Price: $60 with an optional wine pairing for $35
Photograph: Manny Pandya Photography
What: The four-course dinner at Cannon + Belle is perfect for lovebirds who love options. Each course has three selections to choose from; highlights include drunken clams, rosé steamed littleneck clams, kielbasa, chard and collard greens and crusty bread, a Waterloo bisque with hazelnut and parsnip, poached lobster and sunflower seed pesto, Danevang’s Catch (a Texas striped bass with peas, asparagus, sweet onion, tomato and a bouillabaisse broth), grilled beef tenderloin and their sparkling sorbet: a clementine and prosecco sorbet accompanied by a lemon cooler cookie and lavender.
Price: $64, menu sharing option $20
Photograph: Courtesy Cannon + Belle
What: Juniper goes big on Valentine’s Day with a playful five course prix-fixe menu. Italian bar snacks, little lettuce salad and celery root soup, a pasta course, a main course with choices like chicken saltimbocca and NY strip steak, and dessert with the choice between tiramisu and nocciola with winter strawberry, hazelnut and apple sorbet. You definitely won't leave hungry.
Price: $60 per person
Photograph: Courtesy Juniper
What: Take your honey out for a night at one of Austin’s favorite Southern spots. Their short prix-fixe menu includes snapper crudo, a beef tenderloin with carrot, spigarello, demi-glace and a chocolate pudding with cherry, caramel, meringue. And their super famous biscuits, naturally.
Price: $100 per person, standard wine pairing $50, reserve wine pairing $100, cocktail pairing at $50
Photograph: Courtesy Olamaie
What: A trip to El Chipirón on Valentine's Day is way cheaper than a flight to Spain. The South Lamar restaurant is offering two prix-fixe menus: the shorter one is three-courses with endive salad, strip loin steak, scallops and chocolate con churros. Their more extensive menu includes roasted beet salad, plancha-cooked shrimp, rabbit with mushrooms, and the strip loin and gacha blanca with chocolate and berries.
Price: $49 or $79 with pairings
Photograph: Ashlyn Allison
What: Kemuri Tatsu-ya is always dreaming up something clever and surprising. Their Valentine’s menu is no exception. Start with a scallop and gulf drum ceviche and smoked tea-pickled beets with greens, miso ranch, and pecans. Mains include lobster, prawn, mussels, miso bouillabaisse served with grilled sourdough crouton and truffled koshihikari porridge with smoked braised beef short rib, while dessert is strawberry adzuki truffle with pound cake, whip cream and chocolate crumble.
Price: $85 per person
Photograph: Jody Horton
What: Native may be known for its hip hostel vibe, but their kitchen is really showing up to the table on their Valentine’s and vinyl night. This year, grab dinner (and a room?) in super cool surrounds with a prix fixe that includes scallop crudo, coriander crusted lamb chops with liver pate, pan seared prawns with black vinegar, and spiced tofu with mushroom saute, then top your evening off with coconut bread pudding with sweet red bean. The best part? The price tag also includes a bottle of wine.
Price: $150 per couple
Photograph: Charles Reagan
What: Josephine House is a bonafide romantic dinner destination—why not spend your Valentine's Day dinner here? First course options include cured Skuna Bay salmon with marinated cantaloupe, caper berries and lemon fennel crema, and a lobster wedge salad with crispy bacon and blue cheese, grape tomatoes, red onion and buttermilk dressing. Move on to steak filets or crispy red snapper, then finish with a final dessert course: flourless chocolate torte with ginger poached pear, salted almond ice cream and a honey pie with pine nuts.
Price: $75 per person
Photograph: Courtesy Josephine House