Valentine's Day Options That Won't Break Your Bank (Or Your Mind)


Hearts forever. Photo: ©

By Dana Eastland. Look, Valentine’s Day can be a challenging night to eat out, and it’s coming up on Saturday February 14th. But there are ways to do it that won’t make you crazy. Here are some of our picks to keep the overpriced tasting menu and hearts and flowers insanity at bay.

The ever-fabulous Juanita MORE! (who is also well known as an excellent cook) will be hosting a special evening at ~HECHO~ with seatings at 5:30pm, 7:30pm, and 9:30pm. The prix-fixe menu includes an appetizer, salad, choice of entrée, and dessert, and beverages can be purchased from Hecho; here’s the food menu. This isn’t couples-only, either—they have tables for groups of four or six, as well as a communal table where single diners are encouraged (email to reserve a spot at the communal table). Reservations can be made here, and the dinner is $55 per person including food. 2200 Market St. at 15th St., 415-926-5630.

SoMa wine bar ~LES CLOS~ is offering a four-course prix-fixe for Valentine’s Day, for just $48 per person. The menu includes an entrée choice of poussin for two or petrale sole for two (cute!). Optional wine pairings are available for an additional $48 per person. Reservations can be made by emailing the restaurant. 234 Townsend St. at Lusk, 415-795-1422.

~MARLA BAKERY~ is doing a nicely priced five-course prix-fixe for $50 per person. New chef Duncan Holmes’ menu starts with a Kusshi oyster, and includes a foie gras mousse with kumquat marmalade and savory walnut cracker. Check out the menu here. You can also purchase a special confections box for $16, made in-house by co-owner and wizard Amy Brown. 3619 Balboa St. at 37th Ave., 415-742-4379.

So this isn’t exactly on Valentine’s Day, but that could be a good thing if the big day doesn’t work for you. ~FRONT~ in Potrero is hosting an artsy tasting for the adventurous only, called Inter-courses. Har. We said adventurous! The tasting courses will be interactive and artistic, and created in collaboration with artist Leah Rosenberg. Cocktails will be served between each course, as well. Tickets are $60 for a table for two, including all food, cocktails, and an edible memento to take home. Tickets are still available for the 6:30pm seating on Thursday February 12th and the 8:30pm seating on Friday February 13th. 150 Mississippi St. at Mariposa, 415-437-6822.

Also on Friday February 13th (oooh) is a Modern Turkish Dinner at ~NAKED KITCHEN~ from the folks at Troya. The dinner is actually a fundraiser for the Clinic by the Bay, and tickets are $85 for communal seating or $135 for the chef’s table. Tickets include a five-course dinner and wine pairings; chef’s table diners also get a special amuse-bouche.

Then, on Saturday February 14th, Naked Kitchen is hosting a special brunch with chef Anthony Yang. The Valentine’s-themed installment of his Ante Meridian series will feature four courses of Yang’s inventive food, with a menu that will be revealed on the day of the event. Brunch begins at 11am and tickets are $55 per person, and include brunch and one glass of sparkling rosé. Other beverages are BYO. 945 Valencia St. at 20th St.

For a nice daytime option, ~SPQR~ is offering a four-course prix-fixe at lunch on Valentine’s (remember, it’s a Saturday) for $48 per person. (Then, at dinner, it will be a five-course prix-fixe for $90 per person.) Reservations can be made by email or by calling 415-771-7779.

Go retro and sweet with a treat from ~THE ICE CREAM BAR~—or you can even take something to go. They’re offering a variety of specials all weekend, from Thursday February 12th through Sunday February 15th. They’ll be serving a special baked Alaska with passion fruit ice cream and rum caramel sauce; heart-shaped ice cream sandwiches; and This Drink Is My Date at the fountain, with Allagash Curieux bourbon-barrel-aged ale over butterscotch, milk chocolate, and banana puddin’ ice creams, all topped with caramelized banana, whipped cream, and a cherry. Whoa. That’s definitely worth going steady for (or maybe you were looking to get pinned?). 815 Cole St. at Frederick, 415-742-4932.

Over in Oakland, ~DOPO~ is offering a prix-fixe, three-course menu of simple Italian classics, including a lasagna of pork sausage and ricotta; check out the full menu here. The dinner is $50 per person, and wine pairings will be available as well. Seatings are 5:30pm, 7:30pm, and 9:30pm, and reservations can be made by calling the restaurant. Plus, they are even saving some tables for walk-ins. 4293 Piedmont Ave. at John, Oakland, 510-652-3676.

Once again this year, ~LUKE’S LOCAL~ is offering everything you need to eat well at home and impress your sweetie. You can choose from one of three dinner kits: fresh rigatoni with winter vegetables and Truffle Tremor cheese ($29); herb roasted chicken with bread salad ($29); and filet of beef with bordelaise sauce, chanterelles, and potatoes ($45). They’ve also got all the accoutrements, including bouquets of flowers (for only $15 each), cookie dough from Black Jet Baking Co., a cupcake kit, and much much more. Delivery is free if you spend more than $50, so all you’ll need to do is find a bottle of wine.

Event Info

Tuesday Feb 3, 2015 – Sunday Feb 15, 2015