Valentine's Day 2019: Dozens of places to take your date for dinner in Vancouver

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      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.

      Provence Marinaside

      GO FRENCH 

      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

      GO LATIN

      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).



      GO FISH

      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. 


      Mackenzie Room

      GO LOCAL

      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.



      GO BIG 

      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. 


      Seasons in the Park

      GO VIEW 

      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.


      H Tasting Lounge


      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


      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).


      Joey Armstrong

      GO COOK

      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).


      Rocky Mountain Flatbread


      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.