Roses are red; violets are blue; with Valentine’s near, have you made a reservation for two?
If the way to your darling’s heart is through food, there are plenty of options in and around Vancouver. Read on and get booking; all prices are per person except where noted.
It is the language of love, after all… Les Faux Bourgeois has a three-course Saint Valentin menu, with multiple options including escargots de Bourgogne and crispy-skin duck breast with spiced orange jus ($68). Tableau Bar Bistro’s chef de cuisine Catherine Stewart brings her Michelin-star experience in France to Vancouver with a three-course menu ($90) which has selections like winter truffle salad, mushroom tart, rack of lamb, and ling cod with lobster.
The newly opened Verre in Coal Harbour offers a five-course menu of classical French flavours with a Mediterranean touch; look for items such as truffled duck rillette, seared scallop and pork cheek, and, to finish, salted-caramel crème brûlée ($75). The seven-course dinner at Provence Marinaside includes Dungeness crab with celeriac remoulade; roasted parsnip soup with truffle Chantilly cream and shaved black truffle; main options are a double-cut Australian lamb chop pôele or Mediterranean seabream ($94).
Cacao Vancouver takes a bold, modernist, playful approach to Latin American cuisine, and on Valentine’s, chef Jefferson Alvarez is creating a five-course menu that comes with a glass of bubbly to start and truffles to finish ($65).
You get dinner and an improv comedy show at Havana Vancouver’s Night of Love and Laughter. Among the choices on chef Andrew Hounslow's Cuban-meets-Pacific Northwest four-course dinner menu are mussels Espana, with Salt Spring Island bivalves and Two Rivers chorizo; paella; and flat-iron steak with chimichurri and Cuban-spiced roasted cauliflower ($55).
Choose from items like Dungeness crab and shrimp cake, halibut cheeks Provencal, and jumbo-scallop linguine from the three-course menu at WildTale ($49). At Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House, the lover’s platter runs all weekend and includes lobster, snow crab, jumbo scallops and prawns, wild sockeye salmon, oyster Rockefeller, steamed mussels, pico de gallo, and drawn butter ($174.95 for two people).
Miku’s Valentine's Day Kaiseki ($98) is a full seafood experience with oyster two ways (fresh and aburi), Alaskan king crab, Ocean Wise Ōra king salmon, and two new aburi nigiri: sablefish and Selva tiger prawn.
The farm-to-table Mackenzie Room’s Date Night menu runs from February 11 to 17, with chef Sean Reeve taking inspiration from a love song for each dish. Arctic char tartare with citrus, sea asparagus, and crème fraiche ice cream, for instance, was inspired by Frank Ocean’s Thinking of You; it’s paired with with Channel Orange, a cocktail with pineapple, rye whisky, and cardamom featuring Odd Society’s Prospector ($50).
With a wine list that’s 100-percent British Columbian, Forage has a three-course prix-fixe menu with dishes such as bison short rib, Dungeness crab, fresh oysters, and Northern Divine caviar ($85). Burdock & Co’s Andrea Carlson was recognized as the “Local Champion" in the 2018 B.C. Restaurant Hall of Fame; she’s planning a menu with farm-fresh vegetables, ethically raised meats, and sustainable seafood sourced from nearby producers to go along with the Mount Pleasant resto’s completely naturalist wine list.
If you’re going to splurge, there’s a multicourse meal complete with live piano at Bacchus Restaurant and Lounge. Executive chef Montgomery Lau’s selections include chamomile-cured amberjack, foie-gras torchon with hibiscus jam, miso-glazed sablefish with lavender, pan-roasted Yarrow Meadows duck, saffron risotto, and more ($135).
At YEW seafood + bar ($99 per person), a Veuve Cliquot ambassador will be on hand to suggest wine pairings for a five-course tasting menu, including a vegan version. The non-vegan meal features baked oysters, roasted sablefish with Dungeness crab, and a dessert to share, while meatless dishes include roasted mushrooms; a beet salad with cardamom, maple, and tahini; and braised fennel with confit tomatoes.
At Hawksworth, it’s a multicourse meal with three small dishes to share to start (Deep Bay kusshi oysters, free-range beef tartare, and red-onion-marmalade-and-whipped-goat-cheese tart) then six plates, from lobster parfait with Thai salad to poached saddle of rabbit with truffle-scented jus ($160; vegan menu available). Gastown’s L’Abattoir is serving its new winter menu but dates can finish with a special Valentine’s Day s’more, made dark chocolate ganache, toasted marshmallow ice cream, and graham-and-milk chocolate crumb.
Dockside at the Granville Island Hotel has a four-course dinner featuring choices like a Cornish game hen ballotine, grilled squid, and pork tenderloin Wellington ($75). The Sandbar is offering an oyster platter for two ($42) with a dozen assorted oysters, including kusshi, Chef’s Creek, and Irish Point as well as other special dishes.
The mains up for choosing on Seasons in the Park's three course menu ($65) are filet mignon, duck confit, and lobster ravioli.
Fraserhood’s Crowbar is cooking up a set menu for couples ($200 for two) that includes dry-aged rib steak, pasta, two sides, and a decadent dessert. At Homer Street Bar and Grill, the four-course menu ($70) starts with a fried chicken heart, followed by a choice of albacore tuna crudo or whipped chicken liver; main options are a smoked duck breast or steak Oscar for two.
Over at H Tasting Lounge, Alex Mok’s four-course Fly Me to the Moon menu features plates that evoke themes of romance and travel; choices include baked Fanny Bay oysters, beef tenderloin, and sake kasu black cod; the evening finishes with a brandied cherry chocolate fondue ($180 per couple).
At Black + Blue, the chef’s selection of canapes precedes a three-course meal, with highlights including the option of a tableside Caesar salad, surf and turf, and baked Alaska ($85). The Pourhouse kitchen will also cater to couples with a special main: Cornish game hen for two served with sage and caraway, chestnut gnocchi, roasted cabbage, pan sauce, and grated chestnuts ($31). The Ben Lockwood Trio will be playing live jazz from 7 to 10 p.m.
Cibo Trattoria executive chef Curtis Luk has a Valentine’s Day menu ($68) featuring Insalata di Barbabietola (roasted beets, orange, pine nuts, baby arugula, fontina); Tagliolini Con Scampi (with lemon, basil, and stracciatella); grilled rack of lamb; and more.
Trattoria is serving up Prosecco, a chef’s platter (braised lamb shank with creamy polenta, seafood carbonara with prawns and scallops, ahi tuna with seasonal vegetables and olive tapenade), and chocolate mousse cake ($80 for two).
Make it a hands-on dinner date with an interactive class at the Dirty Apron Cooking School. All week, the Beatty Street spot has classes inspired by romance, including Culinary Couplings: Adding Romance To Your Plate; Better Together: An Ocean-Inspired Couples Class; Roma: Small Plates for Two. There’s a Demo & Dine, too called Entre-Nous- French à la Carte ($170).
At Rocky Mountain Flatbread, kids get their own three-course menu ($13.50), while chef Oliver Zulauf has also created a three-course dinner menu for adults ($30) with hand-made raw chocolate pairings from Koko Monk Chocolates.More