Eat Here: Valentine's Day Dining Guide

Valentine’s Day is a time to honor and adore the one you love. 

While we should make time every single day to show our special someone how much we appreciate and cherish them, sometimes our busy schedule obstructs bold chivalry. Valentine’s Day gives us the guilt-free opportunity to block out everyday problems and focus purely on uninhibited passion and love. 

There is an undeniable connection between food and romance, which is why fine dining is often the most popular way for couples to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Every year, San Diego romantic restaurants offer special prix-fixe menus that are hand-crafted with love and artistically prepared with passion. Whether it’s your third date or 13th wedding anniversary, every couple deserves to dine in style this Valentine’s Day.

Discover our ultimate 2011 San Diego Valentine’s Day dining guide.

Flavor: New Del Mar dining hot spot Flavor Restaurant and Lounge is going all out to sweep you off of your feet this Valentine’s Day in San Diego. Offered throughout Valentine’s Week (2/11 – 2/18), Flavor’s three-course menu is abundant in options. Begin with your choice of Roasted Sweet Pepper Bisque, Citrus Poached Maine Lobster Salad or Tamarind Glazed Crispy Pork Belly with Thumbelina carrots, candied pearl onions and fermented black beans. Entrée options range from Artichoke & Roasted Fennel Ravioli to Duo of Prime New York Strip and Short Rib, Macadamia Nut Crusted Petrale Sole, and Chinese Five Spiced Long Island Duck Breast with garlic sticky rice, steamed spicy mushroom dumpling and Chino Farms choi sum. The three-course Valentine’s Day dinner is $55 per person. For more details and to make reservations, please call or visit Flavor in Del Mar.

Dining in the Dark: During the enlightening Dining in the Dark adventure, guests lose their sight and must rely on their senses of taste, smell, touch, and hearing to navigate through the night. This one-of-a-kind experience takes romantic Valentine’s Day dining to a whole new level of intimacy. Guests will enjoy a three-course prix-fixe meal prepared by the Chefs of the US Grant. Start with the Vine Ripened Tomatoes Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella, Chiffonade Basil, Balsamic Vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil; followed by Pan Seared Chicken Breast with Wild Mushrooms, White Cheddar Polenta and Market Vegetables. Save room for dessert – Raspberry Truffle Cake with White Chocolate Mocha Sauce. Vegetarian options are available upon request. The three-course meal is $99 person or $198 per couple, plus tax. Dinner is seated at 5:30pm and 8:30pm Friday, February 11 through Monday, February 14, 2011 at the US Grant Hotel. Reserve your spot and buy tickets now at

El Bizcocho: To really impress your loved one on Valentine’s Day this year, take the culinary high road to El Bizcocho at Rancho Bernardo Inn. El Bizcocho is serving a special four-course Valentine’s Day dinner menu, featuring Oyster Shooters with Yuzu Mignonette, Champagne foam, Avocado, White Asparagus Soup 40 min egg, Black Truffle, Micro Celery, Atlantic Salmon with Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese “ravioli”, Walnut Puree, Pomegranate, Mache, Filet Mignon with Brie pommes Puree, Rappini, Saffron Pickled Raisins, and Purple Kale. Make sure to save room for dessert – Red Velvet Valrhona chocolate and rose-infused ganache with white chocolate cream, and champagne-filled strawberries. El Bizcocho’s Valentine’s Day dinner is $75 per person or $115 per person with wine pairings. For more details and to make reservations, please visit El Bizcocho in Rancho Bernardo.

Addison: Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to discover the decadent indulgence served on a silver platter at The Grand Del Mar’s award winning fine dining restaurant, Addison. On Monday, February 14, guests are invited to savor Chef William Bradley’s six-course tasting menu, featuring specialties such as Baby Sea Scallops with wild sorrel, uni and toasted sesame; Lamb Rack Persillé with crèpinette and potatoes “croustillant”; and Spiced Fig Newton with brown butter caramel and crème fraîche gelato. The six-course Valentine’s Day dinner is $135 per person or $195 per person with wine pairings. For more details and to make reservations please visit Addison in Del Mar

Quarter Kitchen: From the chic atmosphere to the inventive culinary artistry, you and your special someone are sure to be seduced when dining at Quarter Kitchen this Valentine’s Day in San Diego. The Andaz Hotel’s popular restaurant and lounge is offering a four-course Chef’s Sweetheart Tasting Menu crafted by Chef de Cuisine Michael Liotta that is available all weekend long – February 11 – 14. Following a chef’s whim amuse bouche, enjoy Celery Root and Apple Soup with white truffle or an Arugula Salad with housemade ricotta, spiced pecans and rum raisins. Your main course options include Butter Poached Tenderloin Braised Short Ribs with mustard onion soubise and smoked potato puree; Seared Ahi with marinated farmer’s potatoes, warm frisee, tomato confit and lemon ginger sauce; and more. Indulge in a succulent dessert of Dark Chocolate Semifreddo with red wine sauce and port mousse. To turn the heat up, couples can book the exclusive “Chef’s Bed,” a secluded dining area surrounded by candle light, with plush pillows, throw blankets, and a “breakfast in bed” service style. The four-course Valentine’s Day menu is $65 per person. For more details and to make reservations, please visit Quarter Kitchen in San Diego.

KITCHEN 1540: You’re invited to do Valentine’s Day the 1540 way. L’Auberge Del Mar’s signature restaurant, KITCHEN 1540 is hosting a Yours & Mine Valentine’s Day dinner, featuring a fun and interactive duo of menus – one for you, and one for your date. Share the love and try every taste, or keep all four courses to yourself. Highlights of the “Yours” menu include Duck Confit, Nantucket Bay Scallops and Braised Pork Ribs; while the “Mine” menu boasts Kusshi Oysters, Crisp Pork Belly and Colorado Lamb Loin. Last but not least, “Share” a Chocolate Sundae built-for-two for dessert. The Valentine’s Day Yours & Mine dinner is $69 per person or $99 per person with wine pairings. For more details and to make reservations, please visit KITCHEN 1540 in Del Mar.

Searsucker: Impress your sweetheart by dining at downtown San Diego’s hottest new restaurant this Valentine’s Day in San Diego. Searsucker is offering a special Love Day 2011prix-fixe menu, consisting of raw, hot, breath, bold, and celebratory items that include; Oysters and Champagne, Stag “Venison” Carpaccio and Truffles, Short Rib with Crisp Onions and Horseradish, Pork Belly with Huckleberry Glaze and Butter Bread, Charred Tomato and Fennel Soup, Filet Lobster Cake, Pork Butt and Apple with Brandy Bread Pudding, Barley Risotto with Wild Mushroom and English Peas. Searsucker’s prix-fixe menu is $88 per person. For more details and to make reservations, please call 877.351.8073 or visit Searsucker in San Diego.

Trattoria La Strada: Celebrate Valentine’s Day Italian-style at the traditional and timeless Trattoria La Strada in the Gaslamp Quarter. Trattoria La Strada is offering a special four-course dinner, featuring such romantic favorites as Champagne & Sweet Basil Granita, Gnocchi alla Carbonara, House Made Ricotta Ravioli, Butter Poached Maine Lobster, Herb Marinated Salmon, and 8oz Meyer Ranch Prime Top Sirloin. Save room for a Dessert Trio with Red Velvet Cake, Amaretto Cheesecake and Strawberry Sorbet. This romantic Valentine’s Day menu is $59 per person. For more details and to make reservations please call 877.785.6451 or visit Trattoria La Strada in San Diego.

Grant Grill: For an elegant Valentine’s Day celebration as timeless and classy as your loved one, visit Grant Grill at the US Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego. This sophisticated restaurant is going all out to make your night memorable, offering dinner, drinks, music, dessert and a special gift. All weekend long, Grant Grill will host a romantic live music act in the lounge, complemented by a five-course menu. Enjoy such signature menu items as Truffled Potato Parfait, Corned Muscovy Duck, Hamachi, Roasted Scallops, California White Sea Bass, Lamb Loin, Dry Aged Rib Eye, Passion Fruit Cream, and Hazelnut Mascarpone Gateau. The best dessert of all is the Grant Grill’s gift for your special woman: a heart pendant specially created for the US Grant Hotel. The five-course Valentine’s Dinner is $95 per person. For details and to make reservations please visit the Grant Grill in San Diego.

Soleil @k: This Valentine's Day weekend, the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter has an offer you’re sure to fall for. All weekend long, Soleil @k is offering a specialty three-course menu and complimentary champagne toast for $35 per person.  Once you've dined at Soleil @k, travel 22 stories in the air and get priority access to party at rooftop hotspot, ALTITUDE Sky Lounge. If you want to keep the party going, stay all night with room rates starting at $159 per night. Singles, groups and couples welcome. For more details and reservations please call 619.450.2412.

  La Valencia Hotel: The stunningly romantic Sky Room is serving a decadent five-course Valentine's Day dinner prepared by Executive Chef Lance Repp, including specialties such as Wild Mushroom Ravioli, Maine Lobster, Braised Veal Cheeks and Greg Norman Petit Filet. Sky Room’s five-course menu is $125 per person and $175 per person with wine pairings. To make reservations please call 858.551.3744. The other two featured restaurants at La Valencia Hotel –The Mediterranean Room and the Whaling Bar & Grill – are offering a special three-course Valentine's Day dinner served all weekend long, February 11 – 14. This dinner will also be prepared by Executive Chef Lance Repp and will include specialties such as Pan Roasted Scallops, Butter Poached Lobster, Rosemary Roasted Rack of Lamb, and Tomato Fennel with Burrata. This three-course Valentine’s Day dinner is $125 per person with wine pairings. For reservations in the Mediterranean Room, please call 858.551.3765 and for the Whaling Bar and Grill, please call 858.551.3761. For more details please visit La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla.

Hornblower Cruise: Switch things up and enjoy your romantic dinner outside a conventional restaurant. This Valentine’s Day, love isn’t in the air – it’s on the water. Hornblower Cruises & Events is playing Cupid and hosting a whole weekend of Valentine’s Day couples cruises, ranging from the Valentine’s Weekend Brunch Cruise to Valentine’s Weekend Dinner Cruise, Cupid’s Dinner Cruise with Band, and ultimate Romance Dinner Cruise. We recommend the Romance Dinner Cruise on February 14th – a three hour cruise on a romantically decorated yacht, featuring free-flowing champagne, a three-course seated dinner, themed DJ entertainment and of course, scenic San Diego views. Featured romantic dinner items include a Petite Cut Filet Mignon, Chocolate Fantasia and more. The Romantic Dinner Cruise is $119 per person, and boarding time is 6:30pm. or more details and to make reservations, please visit Hornblower in San Diego.

West Coast Tavern: The historical West Coast Tavern in North Park will sweep you off your feet this Valentine’s Day with a romantic four-course menu that starts with an amuse bouche of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. First choice courses include a Laura Chenel Goat Cheese and Wild Mushroom Tart with dried cherries, organic spinach and aged balsamic reduction; or a Seafood Martini with New Zealand black mussels, spot prawns, Maine lobster, Muscat grapes, goat cheese crisp and sweet vermouth cream. For your second course, enjoy your choice of Deconstructed Dungeness Crab Ceviche or Butternut Squash, Lemongrass, Coconut Bisque. Main course options include Pan Seared New Zealand Baby Lamb Rack with savory fig bread pudding, baby carrots, dried apricot and currant pan sauce; Seared Jumbo Scallop with oyster mushroom risotto, Meyer lemon and smoky tomato broth; and Roasted Portabellini Mushroom stuffed with veggie ratatouille and organic baby squash. Save room for dessert – your choice of Port Wine Poached Pears with French vanilla ice cream and a brandy caramel sauce; or Lavender and Honey Mille Feuille. The four-course Valentine’s Day menu is just $50 per person, including wine pairings. For more details and to make a reservation please call 877.394.9932 or visit West Coast Tavern in North Park.

Roberto DePhilippi’s: Arguably one of the best Valentine’s Day dining deals in all of San Diego, Roberto DePhillipi’s Steakhouse in Chula Vista is offering a three-course meal and a bottle of wine or champagne for just $50 total. Love birds will enjoy their choice of soup, Caesar salad or house salad. The second course, either a 6 oz Filet or 6 oz Halibut, is served with garlic bread and your choice of baked potato, double baked potato, steak fries, fresh vegetables or rice pilaf. Save room for dessert – raspberry cheese cake, chocolate coffee crème or apple tart with vanilla ice cream. And the best part? A bottle of house wine or champagne is included in the cost of the meal. The three-course Valentine’s Day dinner is $50 per couple. For more details and to make reservations, please call 866.579.8392 or visit Roberto DePhilippi’s in Chula Vista.

Extraordinary Desserts: If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day dining experience that is as sweet as your special someone, opt for the Sweetheart Sunday Brunch at Extraordinary Desserts in Little Italy on February 13th. Enjoy your pick of gourmet pastries, fresh fruit, homemade granola, fine smoked salmon, rustic breads, house chutneys and spreads, imported cheeses, and one glass of sparkling wine. Sweetheart Sunday Brunch is $22.95 per adult. For more details and to make reservations please visit Extraordinary Desserts in San Diego

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Just the Beginning: We will be updating this 2011 San Diego Valentine’s Day Dining Guide every day!

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