Valentine’s Day Dining: Five Romantic Restaurants for the Established Couple

Dining out on February 14? Better book it. Many popular places are already filling up.

Get romantic at an atmosphere-rich restaurant this Valentine’s Day.

Stumped on where to go out on February 14? Here are five restaurants that would work perfectly for the long-term couple looking for a romantic evening on the town. All of them currently have tables open, but reserve now. In this town, booking a table at a decent time on Valentine’s Day is no bouquet of roses.

1) Everyone looks good in the glowy, serene lighting at Blue Duck Tavern, where new chef Sebastien Archambault and chef de cuisine John Melfi have concocted a four-course V-Day special. The menu: “espelette-pepper-crusted scallops with winter citrus, endive, and smoked trout roe, followed by butter-poached Maine lobster with cardamom, clementines, and hearts of palm, and beef Wellington reinvented with seared foie gras, black trumpet mushrooms, pommes maxim, and truffle jus.” For dessert: “warm chocolate fondant with rosemary cream and brandied cherries.”It’s $70 per person. The à-la-carte menu will also be available. Reserve by calling 202-419-6755.

2) The most elegant eatery in the Clyde’s Restaurant Group, 1789, is offering its à-la-carte menu and may be doing a tasting menu, too, though the latter has not yet been finalized. Reservations on Valentine’s Day are already scarce between 6 and 8 PM, according to a restaurant rep, but spaces remain for later in the evening. Call 202-965-1789.

3) Candlelit Tabard Inn has already booked a number of tables on the 14th, so call now if you want to partake of the four-course, $75 menu. Exact dishes have yet to be determined. Call 202-331-8528.

4) The dining room at Palena is fairly booked, but a few availabilities remain for the $125, four-course prix-fixe menu. Spaces do remain in the more casual Palena Cafe, which is serving a $65 menu. The V-Day offerings are still in the works; neither section of the restaurant will offer its regular menu. Call 202-537-9250.

5) The cozy vibe and scarlet accents at Vermilion in Old Town Alexandria make it perfect for a romantic date. A four-course menu (with two options per course) costs $75 on February 14. Wine pairings are an additional $35. Lovers who don’t love meat? There will be a vegetarian menu, too. Look for all menus to go online in early February, but, again, don’t wait to book unless you enjoy eating really early . . . or really late. Call 703-684-9669.

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