Metro Weekly

Valentine’s Day: 8 Romantic Options for Dining in DC

An elegant tasting menu focused on a few of the area's select dining specials for Valentine's Day Weekend

Buca di Beppo: Valentine's Day Heart-shaped Lasagna
Buca di Beppo: Valentine’s Day Heart-shaped Lasagna

MISS PIXIE’S: LE DIPLOMATE DINNER RAFFLE

Countless couples will celebrate their romance as well as their love of fine French bistro fare by calling on Le Diplomate this Valentine’s holiday. But only one lucky couple can luxuriate in all that from a private perch across the street with the vivacious Pixie Windsor acting as your own personal server and host — and with the N Street Village reaping sweet charity from the whole affair.

Between now and the morning of Valentine’s Day 2022, every donation, made in increments of $5, will benefit the city’s largest nonprofit service provider for women experiencing homelessness. And the more one donates, the better their odds of winning a three-course meal from Le Diplomate — to be served by candlelight, under the cherry blossoms display in the window of Miss Pixie’s Furnishings & Whatnot, on a February night of the winners’ choosing. In addition to this BYOB dinner, the lucky lovers will also walk away with gift cards for Logan Hardware and Salt and Sundry, as well as Miss Pixie’s.

The drawing will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 14, and announced immediately following on the store’s Instagram feed, @misspixiesdc. Raffle tickets can be purchased by phone, but you’d do better to buy them at the store. After all, with an in-store visit you can also check out all the quirky and original Valentine’s Day cards, many of them made by local artists, from what is touted as “the largest selection in the city.” Call 202-232-8171 for the raffle or visit www.misspixies.com for more information.

BUCA DI BEPPO: LASAGNA LOVEFEAST

Lovers of lasagna are being lured to this family-style Italian chain for its Valentine’s Lasagna Lovefeast feeding at least two and available for dinner Sunday, Feb. 13, and Monday, Feb. 14. The baked pasta dish features towering layers of meat sauce and four cheeses and comes with a salad, garlic bread, and cannoli, all for $59.99, and available for dine-in or to-go from the D.C. restaurant, perched between Dupont Circle and Kalorama. Call 202-232-8466 or visit www.bucadibeppo.com.

Tournedos Rossini
Tournedos Rossini

CLYDE’S RESTAURANT GROUP

Between Friday, Feb. 11, and Monday, Feb. 14, you and yours can indulge in Lobster Shepherd’s Pie ($39.99), Filet Mignon & Crab Cake ($49.99), or Filet Mignon & Lobster ($59.99) at the various locations of Clyde’s (202-333-9180, www.clydes.com), as well as Old Ebbitt Grill (202-347-4800, www.ebbitt.com) and The Hamilton (202-787-1000, www.thehamiltondc.com).

Or you can opt for the Three-Course Chef’s Valentine’s Day Menu at 1789 Restaurant (202-965-1789, www.1789restaurant.com), the local restaurant empire’s crown jewel in Georgetown. Prepared by Executive Chef Kyoo Eom and priced at $105 per person, the menu includes your choice of Crispy Lobster with papaya and Napa cabbage or Short Rib Agnolotti with tomato compote and escarole to start, Butter-Poached Turbot with shrimp rice cake and Osetra caviar or Tournedos Rossini with foie gras and shaved winter black truffles as entree, and Raspberry Mousse or Dark Chocolate Gateau with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream for dessert.

Additional appetizers and entrees are available a la carte, ranging from Butternut Squash Soup ($17) and Grilled Spanish Octopus ($19), to Sherry-Glazed Eggplant ($31), Brioche-Crusted Halibut ($44), and Roasted Rack of Lamb ($52).

THE PEMBROKE

On Monday, Feb. 14, Executive Chef Taylor Burlingame will offer his seasonal a la carte dinner menu featuring romance-inducing specials, none more tantalizing than Fork-Tender Beef Short Rib in a red wine reduction sauce with pomme purée and baby carrots ($36). Offering expansive and uninterrupted views from the ground floor of the Dupont Circle Hotel, the Pembroke invites guests to linger on its plush banquettes and blue leather chairs or wander around the grandly renovated hotel to check out more of the glamorous and elegant design by Martin Brudnizki, including the Doyle Bar (202-448-4301, www.doyle.bar), which is offering a prix-fixe package for two on Valentine’s Day serving two glasses of Taittinger Champagne, a selection of cheese & charcuterie, and five chocolate-covered strawberries ($70 per couple). Call 202-448-4302 or visit www.thepembrokedc.com.

THE MANOR TAVERN

You could start with Smoked Salmon Devilish Eggs ($15), Boom Boom (Goes My Heart) Shrimp ($16), or Silky Creamy Crab Bisque with smoked gouda and red pepper cream ($16), and splurge with Steak au Poivre with roasted asparagus and garlic butter-whipped potatoes ($59), Crispy Duck Legs with chorizo cassoulet and baby spinach ($36), or Seductive Grilled Lobster with avocado lime butter and roasted root vegetables ($49). And that’s just scratching the surface of one of the most extensive a la carte menus being offered anywhere on Valentine’s Day, which just may be worth the extra time and effort it’ll take to get to this leafy and historic LGBTQ-friendly destination north of Baltimore. Overseen by Chef Jerry Edwards of Chef’s Expressions Catering, the focus at Manor Tavern is on “Modern Country Cuisine” that supports local farms and sources. Call 410-771-8155 or visit www.themanortavern.com.

CASTA’S RUM BAR

A lushly inviting retreat year-round, this brick-lined Cuban lounge and cigar patio in the West End inspires the romantically inclined during the “Month of Love” by wearing its heart on its plate — serving up heart-shaped empanadas both savory, with flavors including Chicken, Picadillo, Spinach & Cheese, Breakfast Empanada, and Pizza, and sweet, from Guava & Cheese to Nutella & Banana ($12 per empanada). Casta’s Rum Bar (202-660-1440, www.castasrumbar.com) also serves a special strawberry daiquiri topped with cava called Cupid’s Arrow and a cigar-infused rum negroni called El Tabaquero all of February ($12 each). And starting at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 15, the venue welcomes singles for a playful Anti-Valentine’s Day party with a live DJ.

Clyde's Restaurant
Clyde’s Restaurant Group

CUBA LIBRE

The city’s most prominent Cuban outpost is offering Valentine’s Day guests a special treat of chocolate truffles and blindfolds, the latter intended for, as the official description puts it, an “extra-sensory dining experience — or save it for later to satisfy other cravings at home.” Valentine’s Day a la carte specials at Cuba Libre, available Friday, Feb. 11, through Monday, Feb. 14, include the appetizer Pulpo a La Parrilla, or a grilled marinated baby octopus salad with cucumber-capers salpicon and roasted garlic alioli ($15), an entree of Filete de Lomo, chimichurri-marinated grilled filet mignon with culantro béarnaise sauce and papas asadas ($35), Torta de Chocolate, or flourless dark chocolate cake with strawberry coulis and whipped cream, for dessert ($9), and the bold and bright Island Rose Martini, Garzon Rose Pinot Noir with vanilla rum, elderflower liqueur, fresh lime, and edible rose petals ($12). Call 202-408-1600 or visit www.cubalibrerestaurant.com.

LE SEL

One of D.C.’s newest French bistros opened last summer on the ground floor of what used to be the Hotel Rouge. Thoroughly renovated and renamed the Kimpton Banneker Hotel, the boutique property, located a block north of Scott Circle on 16th Street, is inviting locals to fall in love all over again this holiday. For starters, there’s The Art of Love experience at the on-site restaurant Le Sel, a feast of epic proportions including a seafood platter, tableside flambé Tomahawk steak entree, a dessert menage a trio with Grand Marnier crème brule, chocolate hazelnut tart, and baba au rhum with chantilly crème and pistachios, plus a glass of champagne ($214 per couple).

If you’d like a full weekend getaway, the hotel offers a Suite Love package with overnight accommodations in a Studio Suite room that includes breakfast in bed for one morning, sparkling wine and chocolate-dipped macaroons upon arrival, and a $25 credit to the new rooftop bar Lady Bird (available rooms are $269.80 plus fees per night, two-night minimum). Call 202-234-6399 or visit www.thebanneker.com.

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