Rick's Reviews: Tables for Two

Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year in the restaurant industry. Whether it’s a favorite place, or a chance to explore something new, plenty of couples will be making plans to dine out on Feb. 14. 

If you’re planning to do the same, you’d better make your reservations early. Some places offer a “special Valentine’s Day menu,” which is often just a selection of the restaurant’s usual higher-end offerings with jacked up prices. But others really do offer bargains to entice new business on the special day. The best way to make certain you’re not being ripped off is to look at the restaurant’s menu on its website. Compare the prices of the various dishes if ordered a la carte and compare them to the specials. Don’t forget to factor in any additions such as wine pairings, free drinks or flowers. If the “special” offerings are significantly higher priced, pass on it. Here are a few Valentine’s Day deals that we researched for you.

Call it “ValenWine's Day” at The Naked Grapeas it offers a $60 per couple prix fixe which includes an appetizer, a choice of entree and a dessert. Entree choices are beef tenderloin crusted with blue cheese and onion jam, chicken Francaise with crab meat, and shrimp Rockefeller with rosemary parmesan potatoes and roasted asparagus. The popular Wilton Drive spot is also offering a $10 per person wine pairing with wines selected specifically to complement and enhance each course.

3030 Ocean, in the Harbor Beach Marriott is offering a four-course dinner for $89 per person. For starters, guests can share chilled oysters and smoked sausage. Appetizer choices include ahi tuna carpaccio, warm goat cheese with local honey and baby greens or pasta with littleneck clam broth. Choice of main entrees include sautéed red snapper with rice grits, roasted beef tenderloin with braised greens or grilled lamb chops with braised lamb shank. The meal ends on a sweet note with a choice of fresh doughnuts with warm chocolate or strawberries and coconut semifreddo. 

The Grille on the Drive is doing its first Valentine’s Day in grand style by offering a four-course meal that includes a bottle of wine for $49.95. Start the meal with a choice of shrimp cocktail or oysters Rockefeller then move on to a choice of seafood bisque, burrata salad or the Grille’s Strawberry Fields signature salad. Entrée options include a choice of lamb osso bucco, filet gorgonzola, double-cut pork chop, roast duck, Chilean sea bass or stuffed lobster. End the meal with your choice of cheesecake or pecan pie

 At TooJay’s Deli guests can enjoy a $25.99 “Sweetheart Dinner for Too” through Sunday, Feb. 17.  The deal includes a choice of two soups or salads, two entrées from TooJay’s Dinner for Too menu, two non-alcoholic beverages and a choice of a dessert to share. Guests can upgrade to wine or beer for an additional $3 each. In order to get the deal, you must present the coupon from TooJay’s website. (https://bit.ly/2thiwZD

III Forks at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale is offering a romance-infused three-course prix fixe menu for $170 per couple on Feb. 11-16. First course offers a choice of the restaurant’s signature salad or lobster bisque, the entrée features two six-ounce filets mignon and two six-ounce lobster tails, served with whipped potatoes, sugar snap peas, creamed corn, tomatoes and spring onions. The meal concludes with chocolate ganache cake with chocolate ice cream and house-made chocolate mousse.

At Duneyou’ll be greeted with bubbles on arrival with wine pairings and complimentary roses. Enjoy a lover’s board with filet mignon, head on prawn, scallop, salsa verde, corn crema and bearnaise for $75 per couple. 

 Celebrate at Etaru in Hallandale or on Las Olas with a premium chef’s tasting menu. Start with a signature Valentine’s Day cocktail, followed by five courses for $120 per person. The menu features exotic dishes including Etaru’s most sought-after dishes such as the black kampachi sashimi, lamb cutlets and Wagyu beef rib eye. End the meal with a dessert platter. The Hallandale location will also screen “The Notebook” in the Beach Bar.

Lonain the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort celebrates Mexico’s exotic and soulful cuisine with a Valentine’s Day menu for $68 per person. Guests will receive appetizers for the table that include Lobster Tostada with vanilla jalapeno vinaigrette, salsa alambre and Foie Gras Empanadas with goat cheese, black cherry and habanero marmalade. For the main course there is an option of filet mignon with chanterelle fricassee and guajillo beurre blanc or salmon mole with cashews, crema fresca and piloncillo squash. Dessert for the table includes chocolate ganache. 

Big City Tavern on Las Olas is featuring a 16-ounce chateaubriand for two with mushroom demi-glace, potato gratin and asparagus, priced at $65 per couple.

If you prefer not to deal with the crowds dining out on Valentine’s Day,Doris Italian Market & Bakeryis offering special dinner for two packages at all locations through Feb. 15. The first, priced at $49.95, offers 10 jumbo cooked shrimp with cocktail sauce, two six-ounce filet mignon steaks, two four-ounce lobster tails and two fresh filled jumbo cannoli. The lobster tails and steaks not cooked. For $64.95, the deluxe package adds on a dozen fresh cut roses and a bottle of cabernet or sauvignon blanc. Packages do not need to be pre-ordered and are available for pickup at the seafood counter. 


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