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Valentine's Day, the day for celebrating romance and love, often comes with a side of pressure, especially when it comes to the perfect dinner. The ingredients seem simple—great food, warm hospitality, a special indulgent dessert or cocktail, and a nice dose of romantic ambiance.
Finding a restaurant that can deliver all that on one of the busiest dining days of the year isn't easy. That's why we did the work for you and found restaurants across the county with excellent food and service—and that special something that makes for a romantic evening.
Topping the list for indulgent meals were the best steakhouses, seafood restaurants, and Italian spots around the U.S., all with enough variety to suit most palates and tastes. We looked for restaurants that offered interesting wine lists, tempting cocktails, and exciting menu additions. We found quite a few with excellent, shareable specials, including a tomahawk steak for two, heart-shaped lasagna, and lots of delightful desserts. Here are the restaurants where you'll want to take your special someone on the most romantic day of the year.
Buca di Beppo
You'll love this Italian chain for its quirky decor and charming atmosphere, which makes it a clear choice for a fun Valentine's Day dinner. In addition to the regular menu, the chain will offer a special dinner for two that includes a choice of mixed green or Caesar salad, along with garlic bread. The next course is the iconic heart-shaped lasagna, which features layers of meat sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan. Finally, order something sweet to finish: cannoli with heart-shaped sprinkles.
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Brio Italian Grille
With about 60 locations around the U.S., this upscale, but still casual, Italian chain is perfect for a cozy romantic meal. This year, the restaurant is offering a Valentine's Day dinner for two, in addition to its regular menu. Choose from a chopped or Caesar salad to start. For an entrée, the choices include lobster and shrimp fettuccine, pasta bravo, chicken caprese, or grilled salmon. The meal ends with a caramel mascarpone cheesecake adorned with a chocolate heart to share.
The Capital Grille
This beloved steakhouse offers aged cuts of beef, Dirty Goose martinis, and impressive seafood towers, all of which add up to a pretty stellar evening, especially on Valentine's Day. The restaurant's full menu will be available, along with its extensive wine list. Your meal will be followed by complimentary chocolate-covered strawberries to share with your special someone.
The upscale seafood chain—with locations from Boston to Portland, Ore., and lots of places in between—is offering a luxurious prix fixe meal for two, with a choice of clam chowder, strawberry salad, and seafood salad to start, followed by a choice of Key West sea bass, seared scallop and lobster risotto, or a surf and turf with a 7-ounce filet and petite lobster tail. Save room for dessert as the restaurant is offering a red velvet hot chocolate lava cake to share.
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse
When you want one of the fanciest restaurants on a list of fancy, romantic restaurants, you go to Del Frisco's. You won't go hungry after trying the special tomahawk steak for two, which is available the entire week of Valentine's Day. The 32-ounce bone-in steak comes topped with jumbo shrimp and will be served with an amuse-bouche plus three courses (these vary by location). You can also toast your sweetheart all month with the Forbidden Fruit cocktail made with Wheatley vodka, Cointreau, pomegranate syrup, grapefruit juice, and prosecco. Half bottles of Champagne will also be available.
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Eddie V's Prime Seafood Restaurant
Promising the freshest seafood and excellent service, Eddie V's is hosting live jazz-inspired music at many of its locations this Valentine's Day. You can amp up the romance with the special bourbon cocktail "With Love, Eddie," which comes with a personalized love letter. The restaurant's full dinner menu will be available, including oysters, Norwegian salmon, a center-cut filet, and bananas Foster prepared tableside to finish.
With about 20 locations in California and Las Vegas, this smaller chain strives to offer diners "the most authentic Italian experience outside of Italy." Its restaurants are known for their award-winning wine lists and will offer their classic menus for Valentine's Day. This elegant chain tailors the menu to each location, ensuring fresh ingredients paired with traditional Italian cooking techniques. On most menus, you'll find high-end shareable pizzas such as the Calabrese with spicy salami, Gorgonzola, mozzarella, tomato sauce, and oregano and fresh, handmade pasta.
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Morton's The Steakhouse
This steakhouse has widespread success across the country, and is a well-known romantic destination. Morton's famously attentive and friendly staff will be serving a specialdinner for two that includes choice of a salad to share, a 28-ounce bone-in strip and two cold-water lobster tails with choice of toppers, two accompaniments for the table, and a dessert for two. This all comes in Morton's elegant setting, with extensive wine and cocktail selections.
What's sexier than fresh seafood? With about 20 locations around the country, including New York City, Denver, Kansas City, and Beverly Hills, this restaurant chain guarantees a great meal thanks to its 30-year commitment to sourcing the best ingredients from both land and sea. For Valentine's Day, Ocean Prime will serve its full menu, with selections including Chilean sea bass with lobster ravioli and the Ocean sushi roll with tuna, salmon, hamachi, avocado, and chili garlic oil that is sure to please.
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This sexy steakhouse, with locations in New York City and Las Vegas, has a red velvet decor that puts romance on the menu before you even order. The regular menu will be available, but you and your date can also feast on day-boat scallops, an 18-ounce chateaubriand for two, a 7-ounce American Wagyu filet mignon with soy caramel sauce, and, to finish, and a red velvet cake with cream cheese gelato on the big day.
For a chic, modern steakhouse dinner with a dash of glam, look no further than STK. The chain has grown to about 20 locations worldwide that feature high-end steaks, specialty cocktails, and fresh seafood. For the the week of Valentine's Day, the restaurant chain is offering all of its menu favorites, along with Wagyu filet, caviar, bottles of Dom Pérignon, and chocolate lava marshmallow cake.
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