Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, meaning that couples and those hoping to become couples are scrambling to come up with great date ideas. There’s no question that San Diego has plenty of romantic eateries. From upscale steakhouses and wine bars to quiet, dark and intimate restaurants, a little investigation can yield a ton of great Valentine’s Day destinations.
Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular days of the year for people to dine out, enjoying romantic shared meals and drinks before heading somewhere more private to enjoy the rest of the evening with dancing or intimate conversations. Picking a place that accepts reservations and fits with your personality and preferences is critical to date success.
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There’s also something to be said about taking the time to dress up and impress your date. You need the dinner destination to reflect your snazzy suit or favorite dress. Picking a place with the right menu and ambiance can be a daunting prospect, especially if you’re hoping to propose or use this date as a springboard to take your relationship to the next level.
Of course, you don’t want to end up stuck in a foyer, waiting for a table. Now is the time to start planning and making reservations, potentially at more than one place. After all, romance can mean different things to different people. Depending on your mood and what kind of food your date is craving, your initial plan could suddenly seem like more of a disaster than a home-run concept.
We’ve rounded up five great options that could have you swimming in romantic bliss. Just remember not to wait until the last minute!
Dress to the Nines
The Godfather Restaurant
Location: 7878 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday: 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Sunday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
If you want to take your date somewhere that inspires dressy attire and flirtatious conversation, The Godfather Restaurant is a great choice. Located in Kearny Mesa, this establishment is both classy and affordable, allowing you to enjoy a classy night out without destroying your monthly budget.
With a full bar and very intimate atmosphere, this place is a great choice. They take reservations, so make yours now before there’s no space left. With dark wooden walls, private booth spaces and a mafia-themed decor, this Italian restaurant with a full bar is an ideal date night destination. It’s been rated by Zagat as one of the top 25 Italian restaurants in the entire country.
However, those accolades haven’t made this place pretentious. Their dinner menu is full of crowd-pleasing classics. They serve salmon Carpaccio, antipasto salads, fried calamari and shrimp cocktails for starters. Their incredible pasta dishes all come with soup or house salad, and there’s something for every taste here.
From four cheese penne and of course lasagna, to pesto linguine and ravioli, they cover all the pasta classics. They also serve dinner plates featuring Sicilian chicken dishes, fresh fish and seafood, veal and perfectly cooked steaks. Be sure to carefully review their wine menu or order a cocktail from their well-stocked full bar.
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Dinner at the Harbour
Location: 880 Harbor Island Drive
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
If you want a perfect view with your dinner, head over to Harbor Island, where you can make reservations for a romantic meal at Island Prime. This restaurant sits on stilts that provide an incredible view of the ocean, the San Diego skyline and Coronado across the bay.
They have already released their special menu for Valentine’s Day, and it’s sure to make your date swoon. Instead of ordering a la carte from their menu, this holiday will feature a three-course prix fixe menu, priced at $74.95 per person.
The first course includes your choice of seared Pacific Yellowfin tuna, a salad with local baby greens, pomegranate seeds and goat cheese crostini or a trio of West Coast oysters, roasted and served with jalapeño butter. Main course options include glazed tofu, crab crusted Icelandic cod, salmon, Jidori chicken breast, and filet mignon or New York Strip. You and your date can finish the evening by sharing red velvet cheesecake, tiramisu or Key Lime tart.
Sadly, many of the prime hours are already booked, so hurry and score a table before there’s no availability left. They are extending the special menu to the 13th and 15th as well, so you could still have a chance to experience it.
Seafood Specialty Dinner
Top of the Market
Location: 750 N Harbor Drive
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Located upstairs from The Fish Market right on the waterfront, Top of the Market is a great destination for a romantic dinner. As you might expect given their downstairs neighbor, they serve up incredibly fresh and creative fish and seafood dishes, as well as other New American cuisine.
They are offering a specialty menu for Valentine’s Day, which includes a four-course meal for $95 per person, with an optional wine pairing for another $40. You can add a chilled seafood platter for $59 more.
For your first course, you and your date can choose from a prawn cocktail, a half dozen oysters, ahi tuna crudo, Spanish octopus, or crispy artichokes and Brussels sprouts. For your second course, there are several soup and salad options available, including a Farmers Market greens salad, a Sweet Gem Caesar salad, and an autumn pears and burrata salad with crispy prosciutto. Those who prefer soup can enjoy either New England Clam Chowder or lobster bisque.
Your main course could be grilled swordfish, salmon, sea scallops, Yellowfin tuna, Dungeness crab cioppino, lobster, kind crab legs, filet mignon or short ribs. For dessert, you can choose from creme brulee, a chocolate hazelnut bar, Georgia peach cheesecake, Key Lime pie or panna cotta.
Make it More Intimate
Location: 4090 Adams Avenue
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
If you’d rather avoid the crowds and would prefer a more casual, romantic atmosphere, check out Bleu Boheme, a lovely French bistro. The atmosphere here is both intimate and creative, with beautiful lighting and large windows.
Your meal generally starts with a fresh loaf of bread and butter. While you whet your appetite, you can peruse their impressive selection of wines. They also have a full bar, with plenty of creative cocktails like a blue martini.
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It’s important to note that their menu changes weekly, so there are likely to be some special offerings for Valentine’s Day. Proud to feature local and seasonal ingredients, you’ll find incredible seafood and produce here. Some of their common appetizer dishes include escargot, steak tartare, a charcuterie plate, crab croquettes, foie gras, salmon tartare and gnocchi. They also offer fresh salads and soups that change regularly.
For the main dish, options range from pork steaks, open face beef sandwiches, roasted trout, sea scallops, duck confit, Jidori chicken breast, beef bourguignon, steak frites and roasted salmon. Their dessert menu is a “can’t miss,” with an excellent selection of sherry’s, ports and cognacs to accompany it. They offer chocolate mousse, crepes and chocolate cake, as well as several other options.
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A Neverending Romance
Savoie Italian Eatery
Location: 2015 Birch Rd., Chula Vista
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11:30am-10:00pm; Friday- Saturday 11:30 am- 1 am
Savoie is a great place to bring the person you want to plan a romantic evening for. You will both be taken away with the beautiful and elegant decor. The service greets you pleasantly and welcomes you to feel at home at the restaurant. Start your evening with a fun cocktail to get started or a glass of wine from their large selection. With the high ceilings, and bright decor you will feel as though you’re eating in a timeless magazine cover.
On February 14th, bring your SO to eat at Savoie and indulge in their Valentine’s Day Menu. Spend a little extra for your special person; the cost of this meal is $75 per person plus tax and gratuity. Your table will be spoiled with a four course meal from an appetizer plate to dessert. For starters you will be able to choose an appetizer and salad. Some of the option include the beef carpaccio, crab cake, veggie portobello, lobster bisque, or barolo pear salad.
Choose between the ribeye, filet mignon, lobster fra diavolo, rack of lamb, sole palermo, and chicken cremerie as your main course. Then finish of your meal with a chocolate cake or sorbetto.
You’ll get the best of all ingredients and care at Savoie Italian Eatery. At your stay here you will feel like royalty and will be taken care of the right way for this special evening. Call ahead and make a reservation to ensure a table as it will be a busy night and slots are expected to fill up.