News & Politics

Eat Your Heart Out: Valentine’s Day Restaurant Menus (Updated)

Whether you’re looking for roses and chocolates at the table, anti-love movies while dining, or an aphrodisiac attack, Washington restaurants have something for you and your date

>> Got a restaurant special you’d like to see included? E-mail with details.

Love in the Big Easy: This Cajun-inspired restaurant is offering a relaxed version of the prix-fixe approach: Instead of limited options, you have the run of the whole dining-room menu.
Cost: Four courses, $56 to $64, depending on the entrée.
On the menu: Oysters and pearls are delivered to everyone as a lagniappe (a gift), followed by an appetizer, entrée, and dessert of your choice from the daily menu. Starters include such dishes as smoked-chicken-and-sausage gumbo, fried green tomatoes, and charbroiled oysters with garlic butter. Entrées include snapper almandine, crabcakes on creamed corn choux, sauteed veal medallion with jalapeño-and-cheese grits, and roasted duck with dirty rice and collards. For dessert, choose from chocolate cake for two with bourbon sauce, bourbon-vanilla crème brûlée, or warm vanilla bread pudding.
Availability: The prixe-fixe menu is available Friday, February 11, through Monday, February 14—when it’s mandatory.

Setting the mood—or not: Againn’s anti-Valentine’s Day lineup is for those who love to hate cupid. If a showing of The Break Up or I Married An Axe Murderer doesn’t put you off romance, seeing “spotted dick” on the menu might. If you give the restaurant your business card or sign up for the newsletter, you’ll get a free-movie voucher.
Cost: Three courses, $40 per person. À la carte menu also available.
On the menu: For the three-course prix-fixe menu: daily-changing soup or house-made black pudding; pan-seared salmon or mixed grill of Tamworth pork; and stout ice cream or that spotted dick—a British fruit-studded pudding.
Availability: Friday, February 11, through (un) Valentine’s Day.

Art and Soul
Two’s company: Chef Art Smith has designed a five-course menu with twosomes in mind, pairing a duo of items on a number of dishes. On February 12 and 13, there’s a list of “seven deadly sins” cocktails and special brunch items.
Cost: Five courses, $70.
On the menu: The first course is a duck rillette with foie gras and truffle amuse. For the second course, choose from six raw oysters (half with ginger-lime mignonette and basil gelée, half with blood-orange-mimosa granité); arugula salad with strawberries, cocoa-dusted pine nuts, and Champagne-strawberry vinaigrette; creamy parsnip soup with pumpkin-seed oil and cranberry conserve. For the third course, choices are surf-and-turf of seared rare tuna and beef tartare with winter radishes; lobster risotto with caviar crème and crispy leeks; and wild-mushroom fritter with chestnut purée and herb salad. The main courses are beef duo of grilled filet and braised short rib; rack of lamb with smoked spaetzle and carrot purée; snapper filet with broccolini, roasted onion, and chile-honey vinaigrette; or chicken confit with goat-cheese polenta, garlic greens, and lemon-pomegranate jus. Dessert choices are chocolate two ways (dark-chocolate malt and warm white-chocolate cake); fig tart with coriander cream and vanilla-port reduction; and grapefruit semifreddo with pine-nut cake. Red-velvet “babycakes” are included to take home.
Availability: Monday, February 14. 

Ba Bay
His and hers: Capitol Hill’s newest Vietnamese restaurant is offering two tasting menus—for him and her—with wine pairings and cocktails.
Cost: Four courses, $55 per person.
No matter your gender, choose either of these menus: “For Him”: beef-tartare summer roll with crispy shallots; egg-filled meatball en crepenette with cilantro purée; roasted beef with crispy cauliflower; and spiced bread pudding with brown-sugar ice cream. “For Her”: papaya-and-grilled-lobster salad with pickled banana blossoms; crispy tofu stuffed with pork and lemongrass sauce; grilled Arctic char with anchovy-braised eggplant; and a gingered dark-chocolate mousse with hazelnut purée and profiteroles.
Availability: Friday, February 11, through Sunday, February 13.

Love is a journey: This intimate French bistro in Alexandria is offering a “journey and spices” menu, with inspirations from a variety of countries.
Cost: Four courses, $79; $119 with wine pairings.
On the menu: To start, guests choose between a ginger-and-shiitake-mushroom velouté with gingered-tempura shiitake; or curry-lobster salad with endive, treviso, and mango. The second course is either a Hudson Valley foie-gras duo with pomegranate gastrique; or goat-cheese terrine with dates, pistachios, and arugula. Entrée choices are turbot filet with chermoula and vegetable tajine; duck with mole sauce and roasted-pineapple-and-banana purée; slow-cooked veal loin with bagna cauda sauce, confit fennel, olives, and oranges; and stir-fry of winter vegetables with tempura mushrooms. Desserts are citrus-almond genoise cake with margarita semifreddo; or warm chocolate cake with chipotle-chocolate syrup.
Availability: Monday, February 14. 

Belga Café
Red, Hot & Naughty: Is the title of the Valentine’s Day menu at this Capitol Hill spot.
Cost: Four courses, $69.99.
On the menu: Start with an amuse of beef tartare with sourdough crisps and caviar cream; and a ginger soup with orange and carrot. The appetizer is marinated gravlax with asparagus, slow-cooked egg, and basil. Choose between two items for the entrée: Branzino filet with oysters, pasta, and wheat-beer sauce; or venison filet with pear gelée, red cabbage, and “stud muffin” orange bread crumbs. A selection of chocolate desserts finishes the meal.
Availability: Monday, February 14.

Bistro Bistro
The price is right: A free Champagne toast in this Dupont Circle brasserie sweetens the deal.
Cost: Four courses plus an amuse bouche, $45 per person.
On the menu: A trio of bruschetta starts the meal, followed by a choice of spinach salad with raspberry dressing; crab-stuffed mushrooms; four-cheese ravioli; and sauteed shellfish and mushrooms in tomato-cream sauce. For a second course, choose between shrimp bisque and French onion soup. Main courses are grilled pork chop with apples and brandy sauce, and grilled salmon with dill sauce. The dessert options are crème brûlée or chocolate soufflé.  
Availability: Monday, February 14.

Bistro Cacao
A rose for the lady: And the bill for the gentleman. That’s the theme—chivalry is not dead—at Bistro Cacao’s valentine’s dinner, set in a French bistro outfitted with red curtains.
Cost: Four courses, $65 per person.
On the menu: First-course choices are parsnip-crab soup or arugula salad with caramelized pear and blue cheese. That’s followed by a choice between foie-gras terrine with fig confit and a lobster purse with lobster-beet sauce. For the main course, choose from halibut with roasted artichokes and caviar-Champagne sauce, and filet mignon with foie-gras-and-chanterelle sauce with baby vegetables. A strawberry-coulis flute comes for dessert, as well as either pear tart with vanilla ice cream or chocolate cake with strawberries and raspberry-mango sauce.
Availability: Monday, February 14.

Black Market Bistro
All-American love: This quaint country house is the setting for a solid American menu.
Cost: Four courses, $85; $25 for wine pairings.
On the menu: First-course choices include a market salad with oranges, almonds, and goat cheese; oyster stew with caviar; lobster linguine with broccolini and shellfish butter; and braised pork belly with roasted beets and green lentils. For the second course, choose from monkfish osso buco with cockles and house-made sausage; wood-grilled Arctic char with cellophane noodles and soy vinaigrette; and pan-seared scallops with butternut squash, wild rice, and forest mushrooms. Third-course choices are barbecue-braised short rib with truffled potato salad and biscuit; filet-mignon tournedos with puff pastry, duxelles, and béarnaise; or roasted chicken with spicy cauliflower or lemon-and-green-olive sauce. Dessert offerings are chocolate-raspberry torte; lemon-hazelnut marjolaine; and warm French apple tart with caramel ice cream.
Availability: Friday, February 11, through Sunday, February 13. 

Take me away: For lovers who’d like to dine alone, BlackSalt is offering a takeout dinner for two.
Cost: Three courses, $95 for two.
On the menu: Pick one option for each courses; portions feed two. For a starter, choose from baby arugula with caesar dressing, red onion, and toasted brioche; roasted-squash bisque with balsamic and spiced mascarpone; or a dozen shucked Wellfleet oysters with mignonette. Entrées include hickory-grilled salmon with red mole and plantain chips; split lobster topped with shellfish cream and stuffed with forest mushrooms, lobster knuckle, and cornbread; or wood-grilled ribeye with twice-baked potato, smoked bacon, and caramelized-onion jus. Dessert includes a chocolate-Chambord truffle cake with raspberry compote and whipped cream; chocolate-dipped strawberries; and two white-chocolate/pistachio shortbread cookies.
Availability: Orders are taken through Friday, February 11. Pickup is Monday, February 14. 

Blue Duck Tavern
Feeling anything but blue: Paint the town red after dining on chef Brian McBride’s set menu, or choose from à la carte offerings. 
Cost: Four courses, $70 per person.
On the menu: The first course is Virginia Olde Salt oysters and sweetbread crepinettes. The second course is foie-gras ravioli with fried sage and cherries. The entrée is roasted veal chop for two with winter vegetables. The dessert is milk-chocolate icebox cake with hazelnut brittle and poached kumquats.
Availability: Monday, February 14. 

Bourbon Steak
Love with a side of luxury: This steakhouse in the Four Seasons Hotel is pulling out all the stops with a set menu that features lobster, oysters, and black truffles.
The gifts of love: The restaurant has teamed up with M29 Lifestyle so that last-minute shoppers can buy a gift over the phone that's wrapped and presented at the table before the six-course tasting menu.
Cost: Six courses, $199 per couple; $60 per person for wine pairings.
On the menu:
Start with a chilled oyster with mignonette gelée, followed by tuna tartare with toasted sesame oil, ancho chile, and Asian pear. The third course is lobster risotto with black truffles. The entrée is a châteaubriand for two with steakhouse sides. Desserts are passion fruit panna cotta with exotic fruits and lemongrass consommé, and warm milk-chocolate fondant with Nutella ice cream.
Monday, February 14

Brabo by Robert Weidmaier
A trip across the pond: The menu at this Old Town hotel restaurant features cooking techniques from all over Europe.
Cost: Five courses, $85; $130 with wine pairings
On the menu: The amuse bouche is a house-cured salmon Napoleon with crème fraîche and trout roe. The first course is either a pan-seared scallop with yellow-wax-bean risotto and oxtail reduction; or citrus and pepper-crusted tuna tataki with cauliflower purée, watermelon radish, and ginger vinaigrette. The second course is lobster ravioli with artichoke, sundried-tomato ragout, and lobster cream; or spaghetti à la chitarra with braised lamb, roasted mushrooms, and Parmesan cream. The third course is either herb-crusted filet of St. Pierre with rock shrimp, gnocchi, and shellfish butter; or beef short-rib roulade with potato purée, wilted spinach, and red-wine reduction. The cheese course is blu de bufala with quince, almonds, and frisée. The dessert is either lime semifreddo with herbed strawberry broth; or chocolate decadence with cherries, candied walnuts, and port-wine reduction. Finish with chocolate truffles.
Availability: Monday, February 14. 

Brix American Bistro
A toast to us: A glass of Champagne is included in the four-course menu.
Cost: Four courses, $60 per person.
On the menu: Appetizers are an artichoke stuffed with grilled vegetables and mascarpone; Blue Point oysters with Champagne mignonette; lobster parfait with hearts-of-palm and cilantro dressing; and grilled quail with artichoke and white-bean ragout. A salad course follows with the choice of grilled hearts of baby romaine with Caesar dressing; or assorted field greens with asparagus. For the entrée, choose from free-range chicken with mustard-mushroom sauce; surf-and-turf of filet mignon and jumbo shrimp with crabmeat beurre blanc; grilled swordfish with basil oil and tomato chutney; lamb chops with goat-cheese mashed potatoes; and grilled-vegetable lasagna. Pick between red-velvet cake and Champagne-strawberry sorbet for dessert.
Availability: Monday, February 14.

Café Saint-Ex
Virginia Logan Circle is for lovers: This 14th Street cafe is serving a set menu, as well as à la carte options.&nb
Cost: Five courses, $55; $20 for wine pairings.
On the set menu: Start off with a saffron-tea oyster shooter; followed by an appetizer of Humboldt Fog goat cheese with smoked mushrooms, pine nuts, and pumpkin jam. The third course is slow-roasted lamb with house-made tagliatelle, parsnips, and pomegranate; and the fourth is pan-roasted lobster with toasted-coconut risotto and curry nage. Dessert is a milk-chocolate-and-banana bombe with orange-rum anglaise and hazelnuts.
Availability: Monday, February 14.

Casa Nonna
Nonna knows best: Italian comfort food gone upscale is the theme at this sleek Dupont Circle restaurant.
Cost: Four courses, $50.
On the menu: Antipasti is either tuna tartare with beets, fennel, and blood-orange vinaigrette; or foie gras crème brûlée with moscato-poached pear. The pasta course is either taglierini with lobster, Meyer lemon, and chives; or heart-shaped ravioli with burrata, basil cream, and cherry tomato. The secondi is roasted scallops with grapefruit-caviar emulsion; or braised beef short rib with celery-root purée, Brussels sprouts, and mustard. Dessert is either warm chocolate crepes with wine-poached pear and caramel gelato; or panna cotta with passion fruit gelée.
Availability: Saturday, February 12, through Monday, February 14.

Co. Co. Sala
Better than a box of chocolates:
The cheese-and-chocolate-spiked menu includes a dozen aphrodisiac ingredients and finishes with a “chocolate seduction” dessert.
Cost: Five courses, $75 per person
On the menu: The first course is goat cheese and beets with pink-peppercorn cream. The second course is a blue-cheese-and-pear tart with greens, candied walnuts, and balsamic. The intermezzo is raspberry-and-clementine granité with tomato espuma. For the main course, choose from sage-and-Parmesan gnocchi with arugula, basil, and almond cream sauce; cocoa-nib tenderloin with cherry-tomato marmalade and potato gratin; or pineapple-ginger-glazed salmon with roasted cauliflower, almonds, and pomegranate. The dessert is warm chocolate soufflé with raspberry-rose panna cotta and hazelnut praline. A glass of brut rose Champagne accompanies dessert. 

Columbia Room
Drink love in: The mixologists at the Columbia Room are serving a tasting of elixirs, paired with light dishes.
Cost: Three cocktails and courses, $94 per person.
On the menu: First, sip the “sighs of love cocktail” (sparkling wine, cognac, and “sighs” syrup), paired with sweet potatoes, rose syrup, and ambergris. Next, the Copenhagen special (barrel-aged aquavit, Swedish punch, and lemon juice) is paired with beef carpaccio, roasted beets, arugula, and horseradish slaw. Finally, try chocolate wine with a selection of chocolate truffles.
Availability: Monday, February 14.

Shoestring romance:
This neighborhood spot has a set menu, modestly priced for two, but diners can also choose from the regular menu or daily specials.
Cost: Three courses, $49.95 per couple.
On the menu: For a starter, choose between pepper-crusted-beef crudo with green-apple vinaigrette; or sesame tuna with cucumber, wasabi, and miso vinaigrette. Entrées are either roasted rack of lamb with rapini, figs, and port reduction; or sea bass with vegetables and whole-grain mustard sauce. Dessert is vanilla panna cotta with raspberry coulis.
Availability: Monday, February 14. 

For the picky date: Unlike more strictly set menus, chef Tom Power’s version offers five options per course.
Cost: Three courses, $69 per person.
On the menu: The first course includes a choice of parsnip soup; red Bordeaux spinach salad; wild-mushroom blintz with wine sauce; salad of local beets and goat cheese; and seared scallops with red-pepper sauce and truffled frisée. The second-course choices are crispy striped bass with saffron fettucini; peppered rare tuna with sushi rice and hijiki; roast venison with chestnut purée; prime striploin with rutabaga gratin; and braised pork belly with savoy cabbage. For dessert, choose from house-made ice cream; pistachio bread pudding; local-apple tarte tatin; pumpkin cheesecake; and Michel’s chocolate-hazelnut bars.
Availability: Monday, February 14, from 5 to 11.

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar
In it for the long run: The “everlasting lovers brunch” provides time to gaze amorously at your date, and you can bond over loosening your belt buckles after unlimited trips to the buffet spread.
Cost: All-you-can-eat brunch, $30 per person.
On the menu: A selection of 26 Cuban-inspired brunch items include chocolate waffles with banana-and-dried-cherry syrup; crab-and-potato cake with poached egg and avocado; cornmeal pancakes with bacon, rum-molasses syrup, and mango butter; omelets with chorizo; and grilled baby octopus with Haitan eggplant salad.
Availability: Saturdays and Sundays in February from 11 to 3.

Share the love: Dino’s “menu for lovers” is designed for couples who like to pick from the same plate—each two-person course is delivered on a single platter. On Valentine’s Day, every course in the “Festa di San Valentino” menu is individual. No one wants to fight over the last bite on the most romantic day of the year.
Cost: The menu for lovers (four courses) is $89 per couple. The Valentine’s Day menu (four courses) is $59 per person.
On the menu: For the sharing menu: Start with cicchetti, or small bites—Tuscan bânh mí, pork-potato croquettes, and eggs alla diavola—followed by pasta baked in foil with seafood. The entrée is a mixed grill of pork belly, lamb chops, and pancetta-wrapped scallops. The meal ends with a cheese course and chocolate truffled bacon. On Valentine’s Day, you’ll start with the essence-of-tomato soup. That’s followed by a choice of pancetta-wrapped scallops and dates; Tuscan bânh mí with a pickled and Sriracha-anchovy aïoli; pork-and-potato croquettes with smoked mozzarella; linguine with seafood meatballs; and cannelloni with mixed mushrooms, Grana, and buffalo-milk ricotta. Entrée choices include rack of lamb with salsa verde; pork roast with slow-braised onions; spicy fish-and-shellfish stew; and a farro-risotto cake on tomato sauce and bean stew with mushrooms and grilled squash. Dessert choices are bacon-and-olive-oil cake; flourless chocolate cake; tiramisu; and house-made gelato with chocolate and hazelnuts.
Availability: The menu for lovers is offered Friday, February 11, through 13. T
he Valentine’s Day menu is offered Monday, February 14, from 5 to 10.

Elizabeth’s Gone Raw
Pure love: All the cacao-accented dishes on this pre-Valentine’s Day special menu are vegetarian and raw. An after-party includes an organic-wine open bar and raw hors d’oeuvres. 
Cost: Five courses, $75; $40 for the after party.
On the menu: The first course is a rosemary-pear soup with chocolate crème fraîche. The second course is shaved-fennel salad with orange, spinach, chocolate-balsamic dressing, and a chocolate hemp cracker. The third course is sorbet made from chocolate and cold pressed Turkish coffee. The fourth course is a chocolate-coconut spring roll on spicy kelp noodles with chile paste and cilantro sauce. The fifth course is cacao cake with lavender.
Availability: Friday, February 11. 

Meet me on the equinox:
Guests can choose between two set menus at Todd Gray’s seasonal restaurant.
Cost: Three courses, $70; $95 with wine pairing. Five courses, $90; $125 with wine pairing.
On the menu: Choose any three or five courses from this menu: For the first course, choose from creamy potato soup with lobster, lemon crème fraîche, and caviar; Dungeness-crab salad with apple gelée, avocado mousseline, and garlic tuille. The second course is calamari risotto with Iranian saffron and caramelized artichoke hearts; or sauteed Jerusalem-artichoke gnocchi with smoked-eggplant purée, red-wine butter, and pecorino. Next, choose between pan-roasted snapper with cabbage slaw, grilled oyster mushrooms, and coconut-snapper broth; and black-sesame-crusted arctic char with spinach, forest mushroom “cannelloni,” and vermouth-ginger cream. The fourth course is bacon-wrapped venison with Niçoise-olive jus; or rosemary-roasted veal with balsamic-glazed sweetbread, spinach “fonduta,” and pine-nut-raisin jus. The cheese course includes boutique cheeses with warm cashew-raisin bread. Desserts are either chocolate pudding with olive-oil ice cream and chocolate biscotti; or rose-mascarpone ice cream with broken raspberry macaron and lychee coulis.
Availability: Monday, February 14.

Amor en Español:
This Logan Circle Spanish hot spot is taking reservations for Valentine’s Day only, meaning you won’t have to endure the typical hour-plus wait.
Cost: Price varies per order.
On the menu: Ladies get a glass of complimentary cava. The regular dinner menu is available.
Availability: Monday, February 14.

Evo Bistro
It’s all about timing: This intimate small-plates spot has different prices for each of its seating times.
Cost: Three courses, $45 for seatings at 5, 5:30, and 6; $55 for seatings at 7:30 and later.
On the menu: Appetizer choices include butternut-squash soup with goat cheese and serrano ham; six Blue Point oysters with Champagne mignonette; or crabmeat salad with baby arugula, beets, and orange segments. Main courses include a surf and turf (poached lobster tail, grilled filet, basil mashed potatoes, asparagus, lemon-butter sauce, and truffle sauce); horseradish-crusted sea bass with crispy leeks, chorizo oil, and Champagne-butter sauce; or lamb shank with couscous, chickpeas, and saffron broth. Desserts are either chocolate soufflé with vanilla ice cream, raspberry, and chocolate sauce; or house-made apple crumble with vanilla ice cream.
Availability: Monday, February 14.

Farmers & Fishers
No other fish in the sea:
Farmers & Fishers is offering a set menu that includes a glass of Riesling or Pinot Noir with dinner and sparkling wine with dessert.
Cost: Three courses, $58.
On the menu: Choose between a house salad or butternut-squash soup to start. Pick two main-course options, which are served with seasonal vegetables of the day and whipped potatoes: grilled Angus filet; Maryland crabcake; spice-grilled chicken; fresh catch of the day. Dessert choices include carrot cake or devil’s food chocolate cake. 
Availability: Saturday, February 12, through Monday, February 14. 

Georgia Brown’s
Aphrodisiac attack: With its aphrodisiac-inspired set menu, this low-country-cuisine kitchen is getting into the spirit.
Cost: Three courses, $55 per person.
On the menu: For the appetizer, pick from sherry-infused crab soup; “fire and ice” oysters (grilled with bacon and on the half shell); pimento-cheese flatbread; fried green tomatoes; romaine heart with watercress pesto dressing; grilled-asparagus salad with goat cheese and truffle honey; or green eggs and ham—deviled eggs with brown-sugar bacon and herb oil. Entrée selections include buttermilk fried chicken with truffle mashed potatoes; grilled salmon with caviar-butter sauce; coffee-rubbed lamb chops with fig mole; roasted scallops with burgundy risotto and bull’s-blood greens; truffled lobster mashed potatoes; devil shrimp with macaroni and cheese; or a New York strip with bacon-wrapped fried oysters. Dessert choices are cheesecake with Champagne-macerated strawberries; honey-and-pear crème brûlée; chocolate lava cake; cream puffs with cardamom-caramel drizzles; and a banana-pudding trifle.
Availability: Monday, February 14.

The Grille at Morrison House
Perfect pair: Chef Dennis Marron incorporates both seafood and meat into most of the courses.
Cost: Five courses, $85.
On the menu: The amuse is tea-smoked fluke sashimi with orange essence and a sesame-seed tuile. Next comes oyster cream with sturgeon caviar and pancetta, followed by a tartare trio with steak, tuna, and beet. There’s an intermezzo of tangerine sorbet with rose water and Champagne air. Entrées are a choice of surf-and-turf of roasted lobster tail with sea beans, miso aïoli, and braised Kurobuta-pork cheeks with truffled potato; or turf-and-surf  of pan-roasted petit filet mignon, fennel purée, and tomato jam with baked fresh-water prawn and day-boat scallop scampi. Dessert is honey-rose gelato with candied rose petals and almond cake. All guests will leave with a box of chocolates featuring an assortment of house-made sea-salt truffles in a heart-shaped box.
Availability: Friday, February 11, through Monday, February 14.

Hank’s Oyster Bar
Aphrodisiacs, three ways: Get your mind out of the gutter! This urban seafood house is offering a platter of six oysters, served three ways: raw, fried, and as sake shooters.
Cost: $9 per platter.
On the menu: In addition to the special platter, the full à la carte menu is available.
Availability: The platter is available at the DC location Monday and Tuesday evenings through February, and at the Old Town location only on Tuesdays through February.

The Heights
Heightened sensations: The menu includes a bottle of wine and a chocolate dessert meant for double dipping.
Price: Three courses, $89 per couple.
On the menu: Start with fried oysters with chipotle aïoli; or stuffed mushrooms with bacon, spinach, and Parmesan reduction. Entrées are duck ragu over creamy polenta with braised kale; or grilled swordfish medallions with green lentils and vegetable slaw. Dessert is chocolate fondue for two with fresh fruit and house-made biscotti.
Availability: Monday, February 14. 

I Ricchi
That’s amore: A bouquet of roses and a box of chocolates are included as part of the prix-fixe menu.
Cost: Three courses, $150 per couple.
On the menu: First-course offerings are roasted-tomato soup with minted mascarpone; marinated grilled radicchio-and-arugula salad with Parmesan; and risotto with winter vegetables. Second courses are a pasta (ricotta-and-spinach tortelloni with creamy tomato sauce), meat (beef filet with green-peppercorn sauce and Tuscan crouton), or seafood (grilled colossal shrimp with peppers). Choose between a citrus bavarian with raspberry sauce; or house-made hazelnut gelato for dessert.
Availability: Saturday, February 12, through Monday, February 14.

The Inn at Little Washington
There’s nothing little: About the blowout menu from Patrick O’Connell in his romantic country inn.
Cost: Nine courses, $278 per person.
On the menu: The meal begins with a number of small courses: black-truffle popcorn; house tasting spoon sampler; and a demitasse of roasted-pepper soup. The fourth course is chilled lobster with braised celery, root vegetables, and citrus vinaigrette; followed by miniature filets of black cod with lemon-vodka sauce and shrimp dumplings. Next comes macaroni and cheese with country ham and shaved truffles; then veal-cheek risotto with gremolata. Sweet courses start with panna cotta parfait with cranberry jelly and end with a trio of desserts: Frozen raspberry soufflé; hot bittersweet chocolate soufflé; and lemon-pudding cake.
Availability: Saturday, February 12, through Monday, February 14. 

J&G Steakhouse
Beef up the romance: Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s steakhouse in the W Hotel is offering a tasting menu with optional wine pairings. For extra points, head up to the hotel’s rooftop bar for drinks with a view of the White House and Mall.
Cost: Five-courses, $85; $125 with wine pairings. Valentine’s-themed cocktails are $13.
On the menu: Start off with warm oysters, basil cream, and potato crumbs. Second, choose between hamachi sashimi with soy-ginger dressing, radish, and avocado; or beets with yogurt, mache, and hazelnuts. Third, choose between a lump-crab cake with miso mustard and clementines; or wild-mushroom broth with Parmesan, chili, and thyme. For the next course, choose between Parmesan-crusted chicken with lemon-basil butter; or filet mignon with soy-caramel sauce and gingered mushrooms. Dessert options are warm chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream; or crème fraîche cheesecake with kumquat marmalade and citrus sorbet.
Availability: Friday, February 11, through Monday, February 14. 

Logan Tavern
Fond of you: Over fondue! Dinner includes two courses plus Kahlua fondue for dessert.
Cost: Three courses, $89 per couple.
On the menu: Start with beef carpaccio with black truffles, shaved pecorino, and arugula; or herb gnocchi with shrimp, pancetta, peas, and lemon-caper sauce. Entrée choices are tournedos of petit filet two ways (Sauternes reduction with shallots; lavender compound butter); or salmon “osso bucco” with stewed leeks, tomatoes, and saffron risotto. Dessert is Kahlua fondue with fresh fruit, marshmallows, and cake for dipping.
Availability: Monday, February 14.

Lyon Hall
For free spirits: Lyon Hall offers an un-set Valentine’s Day menu, so you can mix and match from the romantically minded dishes and others on the menu.
Cost: Items are $13 to $55.
On the menu: The appetizers are venison carpaccio with crispy parsnip and chocolate/black-pepper vinaigrette ($13); and pan-seared scallops with sunchoke-truffle purée, celery, and apple ($15). The entrées are local rockfish with spinach, lemon sabayon, oyster jus, and caviar ($28); and grilled ribeye for two with wild mushrooms, fingerling potatoes, and red-wine jus ($55). Desserts are a chocolate-fondue platter for two ($18); and a brandied-cherry crepe brûlée for two with white-chocolate ice cream and candied hearts ($18).
Availability: Monday, February 14.

Classic romance: Dine on traditional French food in one of the only Washington restaurants where waiters still wear suits and chefs don toques.
Cost: Four courses, $135 per person
On the menu: The amuse bouche is a Napoleon of Scottish smoked salmon. That’s followed by a choice between butter-poached lobster tail with spinach risotto and lobster essence; or veal-cheek tortellini. Main-courses choices are prime Angus strip loin with potato gratin, Cabernet reduction, and béarnaise sauce; or filet of turbot with winter squash, vermouth essence, and fried leeks. Dessert is either a passionfruit cheesecake with mango sorbet; or chocolate-mousse tower with raspberry coulis. Complimentary truffles and petit fours end the meal.
Availability: Monday, February 14. 

McGinty’s Public House
Virginia is for lovers:
This Irish tavern has locations in Arlington and Springfield.
Cost: Three courses, $65 (includes a Champagne toast).
On the menu: First-course choices are a goat-cheese tart with arugula, roasted eggplant, and roasted tomato; lobster bisque with sour cream and croutons; or caesar salad with chopped eggs, Parmesan, and anchovies. For the second course, choose from ribeye steak with potatoes, green beans, and red-wine sauce; chicken Napo
leon with cranberry cream cheese, carrots, potatoes, and marsala sauce; or crabcakes with asparagus, mashed potatoes, and herb beurre blanc. Dessert is either crème brûlée; cheesecake with raspberry sauce; or house-made chocolate mousse.
Availability: Monday, February 14.

Simply French: Chef Michel Richard’s menu includes some classic, simple French dishes.
Cost: Four courses, $95 per person (à la carte also available).
On the menu: Diners start off with oysters on the half shell with raspberry aspic; then comes butter-poached lobster with beets and vanilla emulsion; filet mignon with red-bell-pepper sauce; and finally, a chocolate heart with rose-flavored mousse and rose petals.
Availability: Saturday, February 12, and Monday, February 14, from 5:30 to 10:30. 

Nando’s Peri-Peri
It’s getting hot in here: All four locations of this order-at-the-counter chicken spot are offering a “Peri-Peri Is for Lovers” platter that includes chicken rubbed with the African Birds Eye chili.
Cost: $34.95.
On the menu: The platter comes with a whole, grilled, spice-rubbed chicken; two large sides such as Portuguese rice or corn on the cob; a chocolate spoon cake; and bottle of Cara Viva wine.
Availability: Through February.

Oval Room
Modern love: Chef Tony Conte is preparing a contemporary-American dinner at this downtown DC power-dining restaurant.
Cost: Three courses, $85 per person.
On the menu: Appetizers include a choice of parsnip soup with meyer-lemon agnolotti and crab fondue; big eye tuna with wasabi ice, candied cherry leaf, and ginger jelly; crudo of sea scallops with black truffle; sauteed foie gras with glazed pineapple and clove oil; or celery-root custard with sea urchin and white chocolate. For the main course, choose from duck with tater tots and honey quince; crispy rockfish with crab chowder and pancetta; spinach-ricotta dumplings with wild-mushroom sauce and truffles; olive-oil-poached lobster with lobster sabayon ($5 upcharge); and lacquered beef short ribs with tarragon and blood orange. There are two categories for dessert: chocolate (chocolate-and-red-beet cake with pistachio ice cream; chocolate custard tart; or chocolate-cassia soup) and exotic (braised pineapple with margarita sorbet; mango custard and exotic fruits; and passionfruit soda).
Availability: Monday, February 14. 

Underwater love: You have the pick of the entire fish-filled menu for the Valentine’s Day prix fixe.
Cost: Three courses plus an amus bouche, $55 to $75, depending on the entrée.
On the menu: A chef’s amuse bouche starts the meal. Then, choose from Peruvian-style ceviche; fried oysters with chipotle slaw; and grilled-pear salad with buttermilk dressing. Entrées options are crispy rockfish with lobster nage; caramelized bay scallops with saffron and pumpkin ravioli; or a simply grilled fish with a choice of sauces. Special desserts finish the meal.
Availability: Monday, February 14.

Prove your love: At this wine-centric spot in DC’s Penn Quarter, there are two levels of wine pairings.
Cost: Four courses, $85; $130 with regular wine pairing, $185 with top-tier pairings.
On the menu: The appetizer is lobster salad with hearts of palm, mango, avocado, and hibiscus vinaigrette. The second course is truffle-topped pasta “love letters” stuffed with spinach, artichokes, and ricotta. The third course is roasted beef tenderloin with red-wine-braised short ribs and foie gras croquettes. For the final course, choose between a selection of cheeses or a chocolate-and-passionfruit dessert.
Availability: Monday, February 14.

Seeing red: This handsome Bethesda Row restaurant is laying the romance on thick with a complimentary Champagne toast, chocolates, roses, and live music and dancing with the Oakley Jazz Trio (6 to 9) and the Latin Trio Caliente (9 to 11).
Cost: Three courses, $59 per person; $29 for wine pairings.
On the menu: Highlights of the menu include sea scallops with oxtail risotto and salsa verde; game-and-foie-gras terrine with quince relish; lobster hot pot with lobster broth and egg noodles; and filet mignon with sauteed foie gras and truffle sauce.
Availability: Monday, February 14, from 5:30 to 11.

Restaurant Nora
Organic connection: Washington’s first certified-organic restaurant is serving a pre-set menu with eco-friendly ingredients.
Cost: Four courses, $125.
On the menu: First-course choices are lobster bisque with crème fraîche, parsnip chips, and lobster-herb salad; endive-and-beet salad with gorgonzola, walnuts, and pomegranate vinaigrette; or truffled duck terrine with orange-cranberry chutney. For a second course, choose from red-pepper-and-artichoke tart with goat cheese, leeks, and black-truffle vinaigrette; lemon-poached shrimp with sturgeon-caviar dressing, hearts of palm, and pomegranate; or house-made ravioli with chorizo and spinach stuffing, tomato-and-ancho-chili broth, and root vegetables. The third course is pan-seared lobster with saffron risotto, romesco sauce, Jerusalem artichokes, and fennel; beef-tenderloin Wellington with porcini mushrooms, rapini, and Cabernet sauce; olive-oil-poached halibut with sturgeon caviar, blood-orange sabayon, trumpet mushrooms, and butternut-squash purée; roasted lamb loin with juniper jus, truffled-turnip gratin, and roasted shallots; or sweet-potato gnocchi with shaved black and white truffles, roasted fennel, mushrooms, and charred radicchio. Dessert choices are molten chocolate cake with blood-orange ice cream; chocolate-caramel peanut bar with crème fraîche; pecan-date tart with bourbon ice cream; amaretto crème brûlée with orange-cranberry compote; lemon-meringue tart with dried cherries and candied citrus; trio of sorbets with passionfruit, coconut, and blood orange.
Availability: Monday, February 14. 

Withstands the test of time: Let Ris Lacoste, a chef who’s been in the area a long time and has worked with Julia Child, cook for you on Valentine’s Day.
Cost: Six courses, $65; à la carte prices vary.
On the menu: The amuse is curried carrot soup with candied orange peel and pistachios. The first course is shrimp-and-crab cocktail with cucumber salad and horseradish sauce. The second course is crispy sweetbreads on angel-hair pasta with sage butter, mushrooms, figs, and prosciutto. The third course is braised beef short ribs w
ith blue-cheese-barley risotto, mushrooms, and port-wine sauce. Dessert is chocolate-passion mousse with red hot candies. The final course is a “Mayan Kiss” cocktail with Kahlua and cream.
Availability: Monday, February 14.

The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, DC
What dinner?: Skip straight to dessert at the “chocolate decadence buffet” in the Ritz-Carlton Lobby Lounge. Pair the sinful desserts with—what else?—Champagne.
Cost: Five items, $35; $5 per additional item; $38 per Champagne flight.
On the menu: The dessert buffet includes candies, tarts, and cakes such as tiramisu cheesecake; cherry jubilee; chocolate-raspberry tart; chocolate pana cotta; and white-chocolate macarons.
Availability: Friday, February 11, through Monday, February 14; seatings at 6, 8, and 10.

The Source
A menu built for two: Some dishes here are meant for sharing.
Cost: Five courses, $125; $180 with wine pairing.
On the menu: Couples start with a shared amuse of chilled Kumamoto oysters with black-truffle mignonette. After that comes “fire and ice” maki rolls (king-crab roll for one diner, spicy tempura shrimp for the other). The third course is a whole steamed bass for two, served with Thai-style-chili and yuzu-ponzu sauces. For the entrée, choose either American-style Kobe ribeye steak or whole lobster. There’s a special chocolate-and-fruit dessert.
Availability: Saturday, February 12, and Monday, February 14, in the main dining room.

A tale of two cities: Urbana offers two tasting menus inspired by romantic cities: Toulon, France, and Milan, Italy. Diners can mix and match, or stay loyal to one.
Cost: Three courses, $75.
On the menu: For Toulon: The first course is a salad with farmers market greens, kumquats, and citrus dressing. The second is polenta with pocini, sauteed mushrooms, and camembert. The third course is bouillabaisse with  local seafood, tomato, red pepper, and shellfish broth. The third course is coconut panna cotta, wild-strawberry compote, and tarragon ice cream. For Milan: The first course is toasted pumpernickel soup with a farm egg and balsamic reduction. The second course is risotto with onion, saffron, and Parmesan. The third course is osso buco with braised oxtail, baby vegetables, and fingerling potatoes. Dessert is chocolate terrine with hazelnut pannetone and chocolate sauce.
Availability: Monday, February 14.

Light the fire: This Tysons restaurant is putting a steakhouse spin on Valentine’s Day.
Cost: Four courses, $80 per couple.
On the menu: Choose one to share: Spinach-and-artichoke fondue with garlic toast; baked goat cheese with tomato-basil sauce and foccacia; or fried calamari with cocktail and ranch. The next course is either caesar salad with garlic croutons or chopped salad with chicken, avocado, tomatoes, blue cheese, and lime-citrus vinaigrette. Choose two for the main course (items can be individually plated): Shrimp and penne pasta; cedar-plank salmon; fresh fish of the day; prime rib; petite New York strip; or braised short ribs (a lobster tail can be added for $19.95). Dessert is either baked-apple skillet pie with vanilla ice cream and caramel; chocolate-pecan-cookie skillet with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge; or seasonal berry crisp with ice cream.
Availability: Friday, February 11, through Monday, February 14.

Zen experience: Chef Susur Lee’s modern Asian cuisine is served over four courses.
Cost: Four courses, $65.
On the menu: Choose from three items for the first course: Shiitake-and-spinach pot stickers with chili sauce; pork belly with frisée and soft-poached egg; or smoked-scallop crudo with pickled cherries and aged balsamic vinegar. The second course is a half portion of 19-ingredient slaw salad with salted-plum dressing. For the third, choose from caramelized black cod with preserved vegetables and miso mustard; stir-fried chicken or tofu with vegetables, mushrooms, and cashews; or Cantonese-marinated skirt steak with wasabi potatoes, chili ponzu, and hazelnuts. Dessert is either warm chocolate cake with vanilla-bean ice cream; lemongrass panna cotta; or selection of ice cream and sorbet.
Availability: Friday, February 11; Saturday, February 12; and Monday, February 14.

Zola and the International Spy Museum
For clandestine couples: The “love concierge” at the International Spy Museum has arranged a night for those who prefer love on the down low: A three-course dinner, Champagne toast and cocktail at Zola, followed by admission to the general spy exhibit.
Cost: A three-course dinner, glass of Champagne, cocktail, and museum admission is $110 per couple; $55 per individual.
On the menu: Start off with the vodka-based Gold Dust cocktail, followed by an appetizer of lobster and oyster with cucumbers, kumquat, and potato chips. The main course is either lamb with spaghetti-squash agnolotti, porcini-mushroom jus, and red-onion syrup; duck with foie gras custard and caramelized endive sauce; or goat-cheddar polenta with carrot fricassée and broccoli pesto. The dessert is either white-and-black semifreddo; or olive-oil madeleine with yogurt streusel.
Availability: Every Friday and Saturday evening throughout the month of February.

Jazzed up: Piano and bass players set the mood at this Penn Quarter supper club.
Cost: Three courses plus an amuse bouche, $85 per person.
On the menu: The amuse bouche is a crudo of Nantucket bay scallop with avocado and caviar. Appetizers options are lobster bisque; king-crab salad with avocado purée and oranges; tuna sashimi with smoked-soy gelee; Wagyu-beef carpaccio with arugula and Parmesan; grilled baby octopus with aged vinegar; and seared scallops with butternut-squash purée and balsamic brown butter. Entrée selections are lobster paella; prime strip steak; Alaskan halibut; seared duck breast; roasted pork chop; black bass; rack of lamb; or potato ravioli. There’s a dessert sampler to finish.
Availability: Monday, February 14, from 5 to 10:30.

Smith Commons
Uncommonly romantic:
One of the newest additions to the H Street, Northeast, dining scene is this three-story warehouse that’s urban-chic romantic.
Cost: Four courses, $70; $95 with wine pairings.
On the menu: First-course options are beef carpaccio with caper oil and baby arugula; and endive salad with feta, hazelnuts, and dried cranberries. The second course is a creamed mussel soup with coconut-infused curry. Choose between veal porterhouse with ba
ked potatoes and scallions; and a half grilled lobster with garlic butter and mixed greens for the entrée. Dessert is a Belgian-chocolate lava cake.
Availability: Friday, February 11, through Monday, February 14. 

Shower him/her with gifts: At this Falls Church fine-dining destination, chef Bertrand Chemel is loading his menu with luxury of all sorts: lobster, truffles, and filet mignon among them.
Cost: Six courses, $130 per person; $75 for wine pairings.
On the menu: The menu Friday and Saturday starts off with a Maine-lobster duo with black-brioche-crusted lobster and lobster bisque. That’s followed by a cheese fondue with shaved black truffle and cauliflower. Next is steamed Japanese bass with tangerine beurre blanc and caviar, followed by filet mignon with oxtail crust and sunchokes. Dessert is a blood-orange mimosa with Champagne gratiné, and finally, chocolate mousse with a coconut biscuit and mango-banana sorbet. Sunday and Monday, guests choose between the lobster duo or a foie-gras napoleon with quince. The second course is the cheese fondue with shaved black truffle and cauliflower, followed by either Japanese bass with tangerine beurre blanc and caviar; or Atlantic turbot with parsnip crust and kale. Meats include a choice between filet mignon with oxtail crust and sunchokes; or roasted veal loin with artichoke, herb emulsion, and mushrooms. The blood-orange mimosa is followed by either white-chocolate ice cream with lychee chiboust; or chocolate mousse with a coconut biscuit and mango-banana sorbet.
Availability: Friday, February 11, and Saturday, February 12, when an à la carte menu is also available. The set menu is the only option Sunday, February 13, and Monday, February 14. 

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Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.