Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Ah, Valentine’s Day. We’re sharing the love for dining options galore including some creative choices, fun events and some karma-boosting chocolate gift ideas (for your sweetheart or for yourself!).
Here’s to a great meal – with or without a sweetheart! Note that per person/per couple costs do not typically include beverages, tax or gratuity.
Haven is hosting a couple of unique opportunities to dine and celebrate in February including a Father-Daughter brunch on February 12th hosted by Chef Randy Evans and his daughter, Delaney with a special menu and face-painting. For the 14th, there’s a four-course prix fixe dinner for $60 per person (not including beverages, tax or gratuity) featuring highlights from the new menu. For the entire month of February, there’s a “separate checks, please!” special that is perfect for singles with three courses paired with your choice of cocktails or wine for $40 per person (tax and gratuity not included). Call 713-581-6101 for reservations.
The Barbed Rose is celebrating love by creating a Pop-Up restaurant on February 11th only. It will be a romantic evening filled with incredible food, wine and song with Executive Chef Jason Chaney’s five-course authentic Italian menu, with Italian wine pairings. The Pop-up Dinner starts at 5pm, Music starts at 8pm. Who would have thought that we would have a Pop-up restaurant in Alvin? Course highlights include a starter of seafood salad with squid, mussels and shrimp; a second course of Corzetti – pancetta roasted garlic, parmesan and pinenuts; third course is Pasqua Pinot Grigio – a seafood skewer with swordfish and shrimp, blood orange risotto with Jerusalem artichokes; fourth course is Veal Saltimbocca with gnocca, tomato, sausage and fennel and the dessert course is Mezzacorono moscato – housemade canolis. Cost for dinner and dancing is $100 per person, not including tax or gratuity. For the full menu and reservations, click here
Haak Vineyards hosts a three-course dinner with pairings and performance by singer Dena Blue on Friday, February 10th. First course is sautéed clams in house-made white wine Dijon sauce; second course is baby greens with a mandarin orange and toasted sesame oil vinaigrette, main course is roast duck with apple plum sauce, jasmine and wild rice with apples and pecans and sautéed cabbage; dessert course is plaintains, sweet with a hint of spice sautéed with Haak’s own white port. $85 per person not including tax or gratuity. There are also special events on 2/11 and 2/11 – call for details and reservations: 409-925-1401, x105.
Beginning Saturday, Feb. 11th, Khun Kay Thai Café is bringing back its Roll in the Hay through 2/14. Chef Kay has taken moist, tender chicken breasts and wrapped them around delicious fresh shrimp (ie The Roll) and then encased it all in crispy fried Chinese noodles (The Hay). These rolls are then served in a rich and tasty peanut sauce. Another special on the board this year is Khun Kay’s Golden Chicken, a tender, Thai-seasoned oven-roasted half chicken. The name refers to both the color of the crisp-roasted bird and to The Golden Room Thai Restaurant from which Khun Kay evolved. The restaurant was opened 30 years ago this month by Chef Kay Soodjai and Supatra Yooto at the same 1209 Montrose location. The duo’s Khun Kay Thai Café now stands at the same address. Call 713-524-9614 or visit www.khunkaythaicafe.com
Narin's Bombay Brasserieis offering their "Indian Fare Love Affair" five-course dinner menu featuring items such as Strawberry Blush Spinach Salad, Paneer Tikka & Cocktail Samosas, and a choice of decadent dessert on the 14th. Guests can also order from the traditional menu. For $90 per couple (not including beverages, tax or gratuity), the "Indian Fare Love Affair" dinner includes champagne and a romantic rose for your Valentine. Call 713-622-2005 for reservations.
Enjoy a delicious five-course menu from 2/11 – 2/14 at Alden-Houston Hotel's *17 for $95 per person not including beverages, tax or gratuity. Choices for each course featuring menu items like compressed strawberries/ frisee/ pickled enoki , a second of potato gnocchi with guanciale/ poblano/ smoked butter; third course of gulf prawns with tomato conserva/herbed panko; fourth course of wild boar chop with cipollini puree/ guancale/ sous vide artichoke and a decadent dessert for two. There are also numerous accommodation specials for the weekend. See the entire menu here . Call 832-200-8888 for reservations.
From 2/10 – 2/13, Chef Hugo Ortego offers a special a 3-course menu, along with a complimentary appetizer at Backstreet Cafe. Cost is $95 per couple, plus beverage, tax and gratuity. Then on 2/14 Chef Ortega will offer a special menu in addition to the regular menu for $65 per person along with live Jazz by Bob Chadwick. Numerous choices for each course including many delicious options like shrimp and crawfish bisque to start, a small plate of butternut squash and goat cheese ravioli with fresh sage and brown butter sauce, a main of slow-braised short rib over mashed potato and celeriac served with swiss chard (seven different entrée choices) and four different dessert choices including warm chocolate cake with chocolate-raspberry sauce, candied walnuts and housemade chocolate ice cream. For the full menu and reservations, call 713-521-2239 and visit www.backstreetcafe.net.
Celebrate with your Valentine at Vine Wine Room’s Couples Vegas-Style Vow Renewal Package including a champagne toast, a bottle of red or white wine and a chocolate lava cake. Best of all your vows will be officiated by the King himself. Yes, Elvis will be in the building. Vegas Vow Renewals will happen Tuesday, February 14 at 6:00 p.m. Cost is $59 per couple. Reservations required – call 713-463-8463.
To celebrate its first Valentine’s Day, Down House(1801 Yale) has created a romantic dinner-for-two menu at two seatings, 6:30 and 9:30 pm. Ticket price is $65 and includes a special cocktail for two and dinner for two. Tickets can be purchased via www.downhousehouston.com; email firstname.lastname@example.org to specify which seating you’d like to reserve and if you’d like to arrange for a double or triple date with other couples.
Not exactly a meal (well, maybe for some) but Crave Cupcakes has a special offering for Valentine’s Day. Curbside pick-up at their Kirby and Uptown Park locations for a clever and delicious gift box of 4 cupcakes — red velvet, vanilla, dark chocolate, strawberry on chocolate with I CRAVE U fondant plus a I CRAVE U greeting card, all for $20. Details at www.cravecupcakes.com. More cupcake options? Sprinkles Cupcakes is offering a special “XOX” box February 3-14. Topped with XOX and heart sugar decorations, each dozen box contains the perfect mix of flavors including red velvet, chocolate marshmallow, dark chocolate and vanilla. Details at www.sprinkles.com .
Grab a bottle of your favorite vino and head to Two Saints Restaurant, 12460 Memorial Drive, for a special three-course prix fixe dinner on Valentine’s Day. The dinner features a choice of starter: Roasted Red Pepper soup with crab or Caesar salad or eggplant napoleon with goat cheese and feta cream; Entrée choice of fillet of salmon with bacon and leeks with vin blanc or breast of chicken calvados with saffron rice or filet mignon au poivre. Dessert choice is chocolate lava cake with mixed berries or tiramisu. There will be two seatings, at 6:00 p.m. and 8:30p.m. Cost $45 per person and does not include corkage, beverages, gratuity, or tax. Two Saints Restaurant is BYOB. Call 713.465.8967 for reservations.
The Inn at Dos Brisas is Texas’ only 5-star Forbes in the state of Texas, as well as a luxury, upscale resort on a working organic farm and horse ranch. Friday, Feb. 10th through Valentine’s night, they’re offering a package for families with activities for the grown-ups as well as the kids. Chef Raj will feature items like Texas Akaushi Prime Beef Rib Eye, Broken Arrow Ranch Quail, Day-boat Maine Lobster, Nantucket Bay Scallops and Hudson Valley Foie Gras to join fresh items grown at Dos Brisas like Wild Asparagus, Black Krim Greenhouse Tomatoes, Rose Fin Apple Potatoes, Meyer Lemons, Black Eyed Peas and Elderberries. With some of these, Chef Raj is creating a magnificent Chef’s Tasting Dinner for Two, based on the favorites of each guest couple. Meanwhile back at the ranch, children six and up will be entertained in an area away from the restaurant. There will be movies, crafts, and a special kids meal that will be served in the children’s area. Cost for this eight-course, Menu Gourmand is $160. There is also an a la carte side to the “Grand Collection” menu offering three choices at $95. There is a $25 per child fee. Advance reservations are required. Beverages, tax and gratuity not included. The Inn is offering special Valentine rates for overnight stays as well (restrictions apply). Visit www.dosbrisas.com for details.
Philippe is offering a Valentine’s “Aphrodisiac” Menu for $65 per person (not including beverages, tax or gratuity) on Saturday, February 11th and the 14th in addition to their regular dinner menu. First course is artichokes filled with goat cheese and French Chili, endive salad, rosemary quail egg emulsion and fig balsamic vinaigrette. Second course is a duo of short ribs and tuna, beef braised with a mustard, basil crust and tuna seared with a ginger basil crust, fennel potato mash and grilled asparagus with a coffee cardamom sauce. Dessert is red velvet cake with chocolate ganache, cream cheese, rose ice cream with candied pistachios, violet pavlova with vanilla Chantilly and fresh raspberries. Visit www.philippehouston.com for reservations.
Canopy is offering a four-course menu created by Executive Chef Elizabeth Brooks on the 14th for $60 per person (not including beverages, tax or gratuity) with numerous choices for each course. Stand-outs choices from the menu include a first course of Del Cielo Camembert Cheese Tart with frisee, apples, spiced walnuts and a honey balsamic reduction; a second course offering of Cornmeal fried oysters with a crawfish fondue and fried green tomato along with entrée choices ranging from crispy skinned red snapper with lentil-basmati rice pilaf, orange braised fennel and saffron-Pernod sauce to pan seared duck breast with crispy confit duck leg, herbed couscous, English peas, sautéed garlic kale and red currant-pomegranate sauce; lamb chops (five different entrée choices in all) and a lovely sounding blueberry and marscapone stuffed crepes with lemon verbena ice cream and passion fruit glaze. Details and reservations at www.canopyhouston.com.
Piatto is offering a “surf and turf” special in addition to their regular lunch and dinner menu on the 14th. It includes beef tenderloin medallions and stuffed shrimp along with green beans for $29.95 per person, with a complimentary glass of champagne. Details and reservations at www.piattoristorante.com.
Sullivans Steakhouse is providing a variety of romantic offerings and diverse menu choices for their three-course menu from Chef Teli Trikilis from 2/11 – 2/14 including an “add-on” gift option which includes a box of chocolate, a red rose, two glasses of champagne and a card to hold a picture of the couple, which will be taken upon arrival to the restaurant. $89 - $150 per couple for dinner w/ choice of add-on and seating location. Beverages, tax and gratuity not included.
Hugos has special menus for the weekend before Valentine’s Day and for Valentine’s Day itself. From February 10th to 13th, in addition to the regular menu, Chef Hugo Ortega will be offering a 3-course menu, along with a complimentary appetizer. Cost is $95 per couple. Then on the 14th, there will be a special four-course menu in addition to the regular menu for $65 per person (not including beverages, tax or gratuity) with live music by Viento. Highlights include a first course of shrimp posole; second course quail with rose petal sauce, a main of chicken enchiladas - one topped with salsa rojo and one topped with salsa verde served with rice and beans (six entrée choices total) and a dessert course platter of two churros, petite flan and Ruben’s miniature housemade criolli chocolate cake and Mexican cookies. Call 713-524-7744 for reservations and visit www.hugosrestaurant.net.
For a bargain option, consider P.F. Chang’s (multiple locations) prix-fixe four course meal for $39.95 for two. You can customize your meal with your favorite dishes from the “Chang’s for Two” menu including two soups, one starter, two entrees and two mini-desserts. Visit www.pfchangs.com .
Chef John Watt will offer a special 3-course menu on the weekend before Valentine’s Day (February 10, 11 & 12) and on the 14th at Prego. Cost is $44 per person (does not include beverages, tax or gratuity) including choices for each course with standouts including the farm-raised Texas Beef Carpaccio with arugula, tomato and truffle oil to start; pan-seared Berkshire Heirloom pork chop topped with black Oregon truffle sauce, grilled zucchini and sweet potato gnocchi as a second; and chocolate truffles, tiramisu and strawberry shortcake for dessert. For the full menu and for reservations, call 713/529-2420 and visit www.prego-houston.com.
Enjoy a relaxed Valentine’s dinner with that someone special or the family at Kenny & Ziggy’s. During dinner service on Valentine’s Day, enjoy a complimentary dessert to share with (a minimum of 2 people and 2 entrees purchased) - Chocolate Mousse Tower with mango/passionfruit mousse, coconut mousse, vanilla sponge and dark chocolate stripes.
Consider a four-course sensuous, Lebanese dinner for two at Skewers Mediterranean Grillon the 14th. It can begin, for example, with a flaming cheese appetizer to heat things up. Among the other choices (each course has several) during the rest of the evening are Tabouli, the freshly made salad for the tomato of your eye; skewers with lamb from the land and shrimp from the sea for couples who mean the whole world to each other; and the restaurant’s famed rice pudding as kind of hint that rice goes well at weddings, too. The dinner ends with complimentary champagne to cool things off. On Valentine’s night, the full-service restaurant (it’s fast-casual for lunch) will offer this multi-choice, prix fixe dinner for two for $75 per couple. See the full menu at www.skewersgrill.com.
Trevisio is one of Houston’s most beautiful restaurants, and a perfect place to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Chef Jon Buchanan is offering the restaurants a la carte menu plus a special 4-course pre fixe menu from 5 to 10 p.m. for $65 per person (not including beverages, tax or gratuity). There are choices for each course. Highlights include butternut squash soup with crème fraiche and toasted pumpkin seeds to start; -grilled quail over soft polenta with mostarda di frutta as a second and buttermilk custard, orange marmalade and a burnt sugar crust for dessert. For full menú and reservations, call 713-749-0400 and visit www.trevisiorestaurant.com.
MKT Bar (1001 Austin) in Phoenicia Downtown is serving $12 steak dinners all week, Monday, February 13, through Friday, February 17, 2 to 10 pm. Dinner includes salad, potatoes and steak. Pair it up with a glass of Valentine’s-themed wines, such as a sparkling rose. There will be live music, too. Check www.phoeniciafoods.com for details or call 832-360-2222.
Quattro at the Four Seasons, will be offering a His & Hers Valentine’s Menu on Saturday, February 11 and on the 14th. Cost is $85 per person plus tax and gratuity. Prosecco upon arrival and then for “His” - a duo of scallop: tartar with black truffle scented with red onion compote; pheasant consommé , creamed soft farm egg and sottocenere cheese and a veal filet cooked in its own juice with sweet bread pumpkin cake. “Hers” – a jumbo crab salad, pistachio, olive oil ice cream; beetroot ravioli, bone marrow bread sauce with truffle; halibut in black ink crust, cherry tomato and foie gras. “Together” – a special “lover’s” dessert. For reservations, call 713-276-4700 and visit www.quattrorestauranthouston.com.
Trattoria Il Mulino at the Westin Houston Memorial City is serving a four-course prix-fixe menu for $150 per couple (includes two complimentary glasses of Prosecco). Choices for each course with standouts including the Caprese salad with slices of buffalo mozzarella, vine ripe tomatoes and basil leaves along with ravioli filled with porcini mushrooms served in a champagne cream sauce with black truffles to start; pappardelle pasta with tomato basil sauce and sausage as a second; salmon filet served with wild mushrooms sautéed in olive oil, garlic and cherry peppers on a bed of sauteed broccoli rabe as a third and flourless chocolate cake and panna cotta served with whipped cream zabaglione and fresh berries for dessert. Call 832.358.0600 for reservations.
The Tasting Room at CITYCENTRE, Uptown Park and River Oaks are hosting a special wine tasting on 2/11 from 1-4 PM called “Be Mine” Wine Tasting. Guests will enjoy 30 wines and delicious bites from Chef Raymond that pair perfectly with the featured wines. Tickets are $40 per person or $75/couple, available online or at the restaurant. Check out www.tastingroomwines.com for details.
The Tasting Room at Uptown Park is hosting a 3-course “Be Mine” Wine Dinner on 2/11 and also on 2/14 for $95 per couple ($135 per couple w/ pairings). See the complete menu and book your reservation here .
MAX's Wine Dive has added a few Valentine's inspired items in addition to the regular dinner menu for the romantic holiday. The special menu, called "Return of the Aphrodisiac Selections," includes selections such as, Cold Water Oysters with traditional accoutrements, Diver Scallops with Saffron Cream and angel hair pasta, Kobe Tomahawk for Two with twice baked potatoes and two salads, and Truffle Honey
S'mores with Roasted Banana Gelato. See the entire menu here.
The Grove will be offering two menus for Valentine's Day: a $60 3-course prix fixe menu as well as an à la carte menu. The prix fixe menu will include items such as Oyster and Artichoke Soup to start, several meat and fish options for the entrée, and your choice between cheesecake, chocolate cake and Texas pecan cake for dessert. Check out www.thegrovehouston.com for reservations.
Monarch Bistro will be offering a four-course prix fixe menu at $55 for Valentine's Day
with mouth-watering items, such as a first course of foraged mushroom risotto, oysters and pearls or Hawaiian Nairagi crudo; second course of romaine heart salad or Boniato sweet potato soup; entree
options of Pan Roasted Breast of Duck, New Zealand Black Cod, Six Point Ranch Berkshire Pork, or Triple Seared NY Strip and dessert of white chocolate crème brulee. Visit www.hotelzaza.com/#houston/monarch for details and reservations.
Lovebirds will enjoy a romantic dinner at “the Bird,” Mockingbird Bistro. This Valentine’s Day, Chef John Sheely is offering a 3-course pre fixe menu. Cost is $65 per person plus tax & gratuity, or $95 per person plus tax & gratuity with the Sommelier’s wine pairings. Numerous options per course featuring yummy-sounding starters like sweet corn and crab soufflé with butter-poached Maine lobster, bay scallops and saffron/sherry nage (four starter choices). Entrees like pan-roasted jumbo Diver scallops with celery root puree, yellow foot chanterelle mushrooms, passion fruit/champagne emulsion (five entrée choices) and a dessert of Granny Smith apple bread pudding with cinnamon ice cream and pecan caramel sauce (four dessert choices). See entire menu here and call 713-533-0200 for reservations.
Tila’s is offering an alacarte menu for a romantic celebration including live music performed by a master guitarist-romantic vocalist. Consider the Chile En Nogada (as featured in the movie “Like Water for Chocolate) - Roasted Poblano Pepper filled with minced chicken breast, raisins, apricots, peaches, pineapple, mango and apple, topped with a creamy-cheese roasted walnut, cashew and almond sauce, sprinkled with fresh Pomegranate seeds. Served with Mexican Rice and Black beans. Call 713-522-7654 for reservations or check out www.tilas.com.
Bistro Provence has a special menu beginning Sunday, Feb. 12 and continuing through Tuesday, Feb. 14, Jean-Philippe and enevieve Guy along with Executive Chef Jeremy Griffin are presenting a special, fixed-price, three-course menu just made for couples in love. There are multiple seatings each evening (call for details). From a quartet of special appetizers to choose from, the dinner begins with “The Seduction.” Things heat up with “The Passion,” a choice of four main course dishes which include Sole Jezebel. “Happily Ever After” brings desserts to the table along with a complimentary glass of “Domaine Sorin” sparkling Bandol rosé. The three-course dinner is $65 per person, not including tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and will be secured by a credit card. Call 713-827-8008 for reservations and details.
Flemings celebrates with three evenings of luxe specials and a unique Valentine gift for couples dining on Sunday,Monday and Tuesday, February 12th through the 14th.Executive Chef Russell Skall has created three mouthwatering entrees perfect for Valentine’s dinner that will be available in addition to Fleming’s popular a la carte menu. Filet Mignon & Prawns, Prime New York Strip & King Crab, and Colossal North Atlantic Lobster Tail with Lobster Mac & Cheese will be offered, each at $69.95. A dessert for two, Red Velvet Cake with Espresso Truffles, is $9.50. Special wine pairings are available along with a Cupid-perfect cocktail for the holiday: The Bella-Tini is a Bellini-inspired cocktail with Belvedere Vodka, peach purée and Mas Fi Cava sparkling wine for $9.95.To give guests another reason to celebrate, Fleming’s is offering each couple dining on these days a complimentary $25 Fleming’s Dining Card to use toward a future visit. Visit www.flemingssteakhouse.com for reservations.
“Gift” back: Make this Valentine’s Day special to more than just your sweetheart with these thoughtful and karma-boosting picks:
Whole Trade™ Roses – No matter what they say, every girl loves roses. Delicate and fragrant, these beautiful blooms come in all shades to fit any relationship -- from romantic red to friendly yellow. And by purchasing Whole Trade roses, you’re helping to ensure more money to the producers, better wages for workers and sustainable farming practices in Colombia and Ecuador, where the roses are grown. Prices vary by region. Check your local store for deals.
Whole Foods Market™ Organic Tanzanian Schoolhouse Project Milk and Dark Chocolate Bars – These Whole Trade, single origin chocolate bars are made entirely from cocoa purchased directly from farmers in the Kyela, Mbeya district of Tanzania and are Fair Trade. Your Valentine will love these milk and dark chocolate treats even more because a portion of the proceeds from ever bar supports education programs for school children in the district.
365 Everyday Value™ Organic Dark Chocolate Bar with Almonds - This Whole Trade bar is sure to deliver rich cacao flavor and texture with just a hint of bitterness (the good kind). The intense flavor of cacao is balanced effortlessly with a wonderful organic vanilla extract from Madagascar and organic cane sugar from Brazil, both ethically sourced as well.
Whole Trade Drinking Chocolates from Allegro Coffee Company® – Your sweetie can drink up with a clear conscious, because this Whole Trade product help to put more money into the pockets of producers and ensure sound environmental practices.
• Mayan Spice 68 – Discover the legendary drinking chocolate of the Mayans and Aztecs, complete with its original blend of bold spices. The tantalizing blend of sweet chilies, allspice and black pepper creates a wonderfully warming, invigorating treat for you and your honey.
Theo Chocolate Bars in three classic flavors – Orange Dark Chocolate, Cherry and Almond Dark Chocolate and Chile Spice. Fair Trade, organic cocoa; local mint, cherries and almonds; recyclable (and beautiful!) packaging are just a few of the choices Theo’s has made to make the world better for producers, the planet and chocolate lovers everywhere.
Divine Chocolate Milk Chocolate Hearts and Bars – Divine’s cocoa beans are carefully fermented and dried by the farmers who co-own the company. When consumers purchase Divine Chocolate products for their loved ones, they're supporting farmers in Ghana by ensuring that they receive a Fair Trade price for their cocoa beans.
Posted by Jodie Eisenhardt at Wednesday, February 08, 2012