Valentine’s Day is one of the hospitality industry’s busiest days.
If you plan to dine out, there are plenty of special events, just be certain to make your reservations well in advance.
Bona Italian will be offering its regular menu as well as a featured special of herb-crusted ribeye, warm tortellini salad, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, and truffled hollandaise. Guests will receive a complimentary glass of champagne at the end of their dining experience. The room will be reset for a comfortable but more upgraded romantic setting with candles at every table and fresh roses on each table. 2468 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors, 954-565-7222, bonaitalian.com.
Take to the sky at Sparrow on the top floor of the Dalmar. The trendy rooftop bar features sweeping views of Fort Lauderdale from its coastal-chic patio or through the floor-to-ceiling windows inside the bar’s 1960s inspired space. Nibble on the Asian bar snacks (sushi, bao buns, lobster mac and cheese, and dumplings) and sip a tropical-themed classic cocktail. 299 N. Federal, Fort Lauderdale, 954-945-9100, sparrowbar.com.
It may not be the most romantic dinner, but if you can get 6-10 folks together and don’t mind heading up to Coral Springs, you can book the Nonna’s Kitchen private dining room at Tavolino Della Notte. Enjoy authentic Italian American fare in a recreated family kitchen, circa 1950. 10181 W Sample Rd., Coral Springs, 954-509-0046, tavolinorestaurant.com.
Union Kitchen & Bar will offer several aphrodisiac-inspired dinner specials. Highlights include an oyster trio, caviar for two, lobster, and a homemade strawberry panna cotta. These specials are available in addition to the restaurant's regular dinner menu. 2309 N. Dixie, Wilton Manors, 754-216-0143, unionkb.com.
The theme for Cuba Libre’s Valentine’s Day is “Blinded by Love” and will begin on Friday, Feb. 11. Dinner specials come with a black satin eye mask and chocolate truffles, while supplies last. 800 E. Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale, 954-314-6500, CubaLibreRestaurant.com/en/fortlauderdale.
Lips will offer a free glass of champagne as part of its three-course prix fixe dinner and show for $40 per person. Seating starts at 7 p.m.1421 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Oakland Park, 954-567-0987, FlaDragShow.com.
Seminole Casino in Coconut Creek offers a couple of options for lovebirds. NYY Steak, the property’s fine dining steakhouse, will present a variety of special dishes. While 1st Street Deli will offer a three-course special for $40 per person. State Road 7 and Sample Road, 954-977-6700, CasinoCoco.com.
No Man’s Land is all about aphrodisiacs this Valentine’s Day. Get in the mood at this speakeasy-themed spot with a dozen oysters and a bottle of champagne for $100. 666 N. Federal, Fort Lauderdale, 954-368-2616, nomanslandftl.com.
Pizza Craft is the place for lovebirds seeking a special experience; an indulgent three-course dinner for two showcasing specialty Italian dishes that feature truffles. Available beginning Feb. 11-14, the dinner is $99 per couple. 330 Himmarshee St., Fort Lauderdale, 954-616-8028, pizzacraftpizzeria.com.
If you’re still a little unsure about dining out, there are some terrific options for a romantic meal at home. Wild Fork, with eight locations in South Florida, offers a cook-at-home meal bundle with menus including filet mignon, lobster tails, and escargot, wildforkfoods.com. Doris Italian Market & Bakery is offering a special dinner for two packages at all locations, Feb. 5-15, dorismarket.com.
New Places New Faces
Chef Timon Balloo, the James Beard semifinalist who launched Miami’s Sugarcane a decade ago, has opened Katherine, a new pescatarian-focused spot in downtown Fort Lauderdale at 723 E. Broward. TheKatherineRestaurant.com.
Parkland restaurateur Doug Zeif (former senior vice-president of the Cheesecake Factory) has opened a new restaurant in Coconut Creek. Truli features build-your-own pasta bowls (with 10 pasta types and nine sauces), build-your-own pizzas, and classic dishes such as chicken Parmesan and steak tagliata. 4443 Lyons Rd Coconut Creek; 954-399-7677, TruliItalian.com.
Ya Mas! Taverna, a new Mediterranean eatery from Memphis Garrett’s hospitality group (No Man’s Land, Poke House, Blue Wave Sushi) will bring an indoor/outdoor taverna focusing on classic and modern interpretations from Greece, Turkey, and Israel. 1103 E Las Olas, yamastaverna.com.
Also coming to Las Olas, side by side, are Big Buns Damn Good Burgers and Matchbox. Matchbox already has a location in Sunrise, while Big Buns is first entering our market from Arlington, Virginia.
Tops in the Nation?
Yelp just released its list of the country’s top 100 restaurants. We’re not certain which algorithm is used to make the selections, but Delray’s Wine Room Kitchen and Bar ranked 31st, while neighboring Dada came in 45th. Sassafras in West Palm captured the 56th spot. Not one place in Miami or Fort Lauderdale made the list. Care for a grain of salt with that info?