Where To Dine Out On Valentine’s Day—Or Even The Day (Or Week) After
Valentine’s Day may seem like such a cliché, but if you’re currently in any form of relationship, it’s hard not to succumb to the saccharine sentiments of celebrating this day just for lovers. No need to go for the usual red roses and chocolates, the best way to enjoy February 14 is to choose the things you love—whether it’s steak or inihaw, sushi or smoked salmon, chocolate cake or cheesecake—as long as you spend it with your loved one.
We’ve assembled 7 choice restaurants that are primed and ready to seduce you with their special Valentine’s Day menus and other come-ons. And if you’re trying to avoid the February 14 traffic, most of them are extending their Valentine’s Day promos beyond the 14th.
L’amour à la française: The Tasting Room
City of Dreams, Asean Avenue corner Roxas Boulevard, Parañaque, (02) 800-8080, available from February 13 to 15,2019
This contemporary French restaurant offers a Michelin star-level dining experience with its 5-course Valentine’s dinner menu featuring the following French dishes with Asian touches: Lentils Hummus with Hazelnut Oil, Grey Shrimp, Tiger Prawns, served with Socca; Crackers with Eggplant, Apple, and Mint; Grilled Foie Gras Terrine with Artichoke and Port Wine; Cod with Pineapple, Coriander, and Sesame Seed; Smoked Grim Beef Tenderloin with Coffee, Salsify, Hazelnut; and an indulgent dessert of Chocolate Ginger Tart with Exotic Fruits and Pomegranate. Priced at P6,600++, the dinner also comes with a complimentary glass of Henriot Brut Champagne, a door gift of Mexican hot chocolate cube and lemon cake, and a long-stemmed red rose. For an additional P3,100++, there is a wine pairing option featuring the following labels: Pascal Jolivet Pouilly Fumé Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Babich Gewürztraminer 2012, Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuissé Chardonnay 2015, Penfolds Bin 389 2011, and Jurançon Clos Lapeyre 2013.
A sunset romance: Sunset Bar at Sofitel Philippine Plaza
CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, (02) 573-5555, www.sofitelmanila.com
Sofitel offers several romantic ways to enjoy Manila Bay’s glorious sunset at Sunset Bar. Most proposal-perfect is the Love by Design bespoke dining experience which includes an exclusive 4-course dinner for two served by your very own butler, a bottle of Champagne, a rose bouquet and box of pralines, plus a live violin performance, available for P20,000 nett. Or else, you can enjoy the Valentine’s at Sunset Bar dinner buffet on February 14, featuring barbecue dishes and an upgraded buffet selection, offered at P8,000 net inclusive of unlimited local beer, iced tea, special cocktails, and the Wine of the Month.
Passion for steak and wine: Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener
Branches in Resorts World Manila (02) 511-7009, The Podium (02) 505-6272, Bonifacio Global City (02) 856-4892, available February 11 to 16, 2019
Steak and wine is a romantic pairing that definitely works. Good for two, Wolfgang’s Valentine’s Special Wine Pairing Set Menu starts with fresh oysters flown in from France, followed by a choice of Beef Barley or Caesar Salad, paired with an Errazuris Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2017. The main is the signature USDA Prime Dry-Aged Black Angus Porterhouse Steak, served with Mashed Potatoes, Creamed Spinach, and two glasses of full-bodied Errazuris Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017. To cap the dinner, dessert is Housemade New York-Style Cheesecake paired with Clos Des Verdots Moelleux, a dessert wine with aromas of honey and candied tropical fruits.
Love among the ruins: Ilustrado Restaurant and Café
744 General Luna Road, Intramuros, Manila, (02) 527-3674 or 527-2345, www.ilustradorestaurant.com.ph, available February 11 to 17, 2019
Ilustrado offers a special five-course Valentine meal that showcases the restaurant’s European culinary expertise. After the Beet and Goat Cheese Arancini amuse bouche, one can choose among three appetizers: Mushroom Duo with truffle oil in puff pastry, Jamon and Melon with Serrano ham and an olive oil-balsamic glaze, or a Salmon Mille-Feuille with dill sesame dressing, followed by a Roasted Tomato Soup with Chistorra. Main entrée choices include Australian Lamb Ribs with vegetable couscous, Miso-glazed Barramundi Fillet with cauliflower puree, and U.S. Beef Tenderloin with mushroom duxelle and creamy basil polenta. Dessert is either a Chocolate Fantasy entremet or a Berry Bavarois. Available for a la carte lunch and dinner, the Valentine’s menu is priced at P2,200+.
A perfect wine pairing: Nikkei
G/F One Rockwell, Rockwell Center, Makati City, (0916) 636-9817, IG @nikkeiph, available only on February 14, 2019 with 5 pm, 7 pm, and 9 pm seatings
The Rockwell branch of this popular Peruvian-Japanese restaurant is offering a one-night-only Valentine’s Day dinner with wine pairing, priced at P1,800 per person. The four-course menu starts with Nikkei’s signature small bites—Causa with Wagyu beef and Tiradito using white fish—paired with Il Pumo Sauvignon - Malvasia 2017 from San Marzano, Italy. The sushi course features a variety of sushi rolls, nigiri, and ceviche, to be enjoyed with a Banfi Le Rime Pinot Grigio 2017 from Montalcino, Italy. The main is the Peruvian classic, Lomo Saltado or beef tenderloin with vegetables, served with Peruvian Style Brown Fried Rice, and matched with a Pebble Lane Pinot Noir 2016 from New Zealand. The sweet ending is Suspiro Limeno made with caramel, meringue, berries, and bread.
Romance in the mall: TWG Tea Salon & Boutique
Branches in Greenbelt 5, Shangri-La Plaza, Central Square BGC, Okada Manila, Ayala Center Cebu, available until February 24, 2019
TWG Tea offers an elegant and quiet setting, amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy shopping mall. Its exquisite tea-infused Valentine’s Day menu features dishes specially created for the occasion: Beef Pastrami with Marinated Tomatoes and Feta Cheese infused with Lover’s Tea; Duck Confit with Billet Doux Tea-infused Mexican Mole Sauce served with sautéed mushrooms and baby potatoes; Beef with Red Chai-infused Red Wine Sauce with spinach and purple yam croquette; and Geisha Blossom Tea-infused Raspberry Cream on a Shortcrust Pastry. To accompany the meal is the aromatic Mon Amour Tea, an alluring black tea blended with yellow blossoms and sweet notes of quince. TWG Tea’s Valentine’s Day Menu with a starter, two main courses, choice of two teas, and dessert is priced at P2,650 for two persons.
A surf & turf affair: The Food Hall
Level 5, Sky Park, SM Aura, 26th Street corner McKinley Parkway, Bonifacio Global City, (02) 621-4002, available February 11 to 17, 2019
The newly relaunched communal dining concept The Food Hall (formerly known as the Todd English Food Hall) is offering an exclusive Valentine’s Day set menu curated by Chef Carlo Miguel. The meal starts with the Food Hall Salad and Soufflé, a refreshing Crispy Tuna Poke, followed by a delectable serving of Truffle Pasta. The main draw is the Surf & Turf platter with flat iron steak and garlic shrimps, followed by a Dessert Sampler featuring the Mini Omg, Blueberry Cheesecake, and Banana Pudding. The Valentine’s Day Special Menu is priced at P1,495+, good for two.