Valentine’s Day may mean creme brulee by candlelight or burgers and fries in the afternoon, the grand gesture meal or something thoughtful and informal.
But food is often at the heart of love. For new couples, decades-long romances, or friends gathering to toast their singleness, the Triangle has plenty of special meals for Feb. 14.
With Valentine’s Day falling squarely in the middle of the week, some restaurants are offering nine days worth of special menus, while most are one-night only affairs. Here is our roundup of restaurants mixing it up this Valentine’s Day. All are on Feb. 14 unless noted. Reservations are highly encouraged, if not required.
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Alley Twenty Six
320 E. Chapel Hill St., Durham
984-439-2278 or alleytwentysix.com
A Valentine’s Day pairing dinner is $60 for the prix-fixe food menu only. A cocktail prix-fixe menu is an additional $35, which pairs cocktails to the food menu. Cocktails also available a la carte. Include a Bittersweet Love Bourbon paired with marinated strip loin and shaved Brussels sprouts.
Brio Tuscan Grille
4325 Glenwood Ave., Suite 5000, Raleigh, Crabtree Valley Mall
919-881-2048 or BrioItalian.com
BRIO Tuscan Grille is serving a Valentine’s Day menu for more than a week, offering lunch and dinner specials from Feb. 9-18. The menu includes an antipasti plate, entrees of lobster and shrimp scampi and steak and a molten chocolate cake for dessert.
The Capital Grille
4242 Six Forks Road, Raleigh
919-787-3901 or thecapitalgrille.com
The North Hills steakhouse looks to extend Valentine’s by offering a free glass of champagne and hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries on Feb. 13. They’re also hosting a two-day raffle for a two-person reservation on Valentine’s Day during the prime time of 7 p.m. – perfect for any procrastinators.
4351 The Circle at North Hills, Raleigh
919-789-0606 or coquetteraleigh.com
A meal with an amuse-bouche and three courses is $60 per person and includes main courses of trout, quail, loin of lamb and gnocchi. Plus, there are wine and cocktail features.
415 East Chapel Hill St., Durham
919-251-9335 or dashiramen.com/valentine
Dashi, typically a no-reservation restaurant, is offering seats to a five-course omakase menu. The meal will feature hamachi, scallops, black truffle, oysters and a dessert of pineapple. The cost is $55 per person.
Dean’s Kitchen + Bar
1080 Darrington Drive, Cary
919-459-5875 or deanskitchenandbar.com
A Valentine’s menu is served Feb. 12 to 14 starting at 5 p.m. with filet mignon and rock lobster tail.
Dram & Draught
623 Hillsborough St., Raleigh
919-607-8501 or dramanddraught.com
Cousins Maine Lobster food truck will serve from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. as Dram and Draught handles the beverages, plus live music.
315 E. Chapel Hill St., Durham, in The Durham hotel
919-768-8830 or thedurham.com/dining
A four-course menu will be served from 5:30 to 10 p.m. and will feature scallops, duck and desserts like a coconut panna cotta. Dinner is $55, not including beverages, tax and gratuity. A wine pairing is an additional $27.
Elaine’s on Franklin
454 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
919-620-2770 or elainesonfranklin.com
Serving a special menu on Valentine’s Day, including wine pairings.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
4325 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh
919-571-6200 or flemingssteakhouse.com
From Feb. 9-18, Fleming’s is serving a special prix fixe meal for $75 per person, including prosciutto-wrapped scallops, beet and goat cheese salad, filet mignon, barbecued salmon, shrimp and crab. Dessert includes chocolate-covered Madeleines and chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Hibernian Irish Pub
Two locations: 311 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, 919-833-2258; 8021 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh, 919-803-0290
The Glenwood Avenue location will serve its dinner for two package Feb. 10 through 14 with a Pink Party Feb. 10 at 10 p.m. to kick things off. The North Raleigh location will serve it only on Feb. 14. Entrees include prime rib.
1505 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
919-918-2545 or ilpalio.com
Serving a four-course prix-fixe menu from 5:30 to 9 p.m., including smoked salmon with caviar, beef carpaccio, gnocchi with black truffle, spaghetti with clams, grilled swordfish and octopus and fennel rubbed pork chop.
Italian Wine Dinner
Mel’s Commissary, at 109 W. Main St., Carrboro
The owners of Al’s Burger Shack, Mel’s Commissary & Catering and Italian Pizzeria III are collaborating on an Italian Wine Dinner Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. The six-course meal will feature Italian dishes paired with wine for $60 (not including gratuity). This is the latest collaborative dinner in a series called Caffe Marrone.
423 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill.
919-969-8846 or lanternrestaurant.com.
Serving a 3-course prix-fixe menu for $75 with optional wine pairings for $27. Options include shellfish and coconut stew with lobster dumplings, five-spice pork belly, wok-seared scallops and a hotpot with soba noodles, plus a hot chocolate cake or roasted banana ice cream sundae for dessert.
Mulino Italian Kitchen & Bar
309 N. Dawson St., Raleigh
919-838-8595 or mulinoraleigh.com
Serving a three-course menu for $69 per person. Dishes include lobster bisque, beef tenderloin, saffron risotto and a dessert.
The Overlook at Residence Inn
616 S. Salisbury St., Raleigh
919-856-0017 or overlookraleigh.com
Serving a prix-fixe menu for $79 per couple, including scallops, ribeye steak and a chocolate hazelnut terrine. There’s an optional wine pairing for $14 per person.
401 Foster St., Durham.
919-683-1213 or piedmontrestaurant.com
Serving a six-course tasting menu, either vegetarian or non-vegetarian, for $70 per person, plus an optional $30 wine pairing. Expect extravagance, decadence and black truffles.
Rose’s Noodles, Dumplings and Sweets
121 N. Gregson St., Durham.
919-797-2233 or rosesdurham.com
The sweet shop within Rose’s Noodle’s Dumpling and Sweets is taking Valentine’s orders for macarons, cakes, tarts and other pastries. The ramen shop will serve its regular menu on Valentine’s Day, but on Friday, Feb. 16, it will serve a special Chinese New Year’s feast all day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The menu includes dumplings, spring rolls, a whole braised fish and pork belly with preserved mustard greens.
4325 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh
919-787-3052 or seasons52.com
A three-course dinner for two is $60 Feb. 11 to 13, complete with a sparkling toast. Beverages not included.
410 Glenwood Ave., Suite 100, Raleigh
919-833-2888 or sullivanssteakhouse.com.
Serving a three-course prix-fixe menu for $79 per person, featuring a tomahawk porkchop with chipotle peach salsa, crab and basil stuffed shrimp and Bananas Foster bread pudding. Or you could spring for a Chocolate Meltdown for two with a tableside presentation. The Valentine’s menu will be the only one served at Sullivan’s on Feb. 14. It also will be offered Feb. 9-11 and Feb. 16-18, alongside the full dinner menu.
200 N. Greensboro St. Carrboro
919-240-7937 or tandemcarrboro.com
The regular menu will be served in addition to a dinner-for-two option for $65. That includes Angus beef ribeye, beef short ribs and more.
919-237-2254 or tastecarolina.net/raleigh
The food tour company Taste Carolina organized a Valentine’s Day tour in downtown Raleigh. The cost is $79.50 per person and includes stops at Chuck’s, St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar, Gallo Pelon, Pizza La Stella and Bittersweet. The tour begins at 5 p.m. and will include walking from place to place, with food and drink included at each stop.
326 Hillsborough St., Raleigh
919-881-8333 or tavernaagora.com
A special Valentine’s Day menu features filet and shrimp and whole baked stuffed Branzino along with special desserts and appetizers. They can be ordered a la carte in addition to the regular menu.
Verandah at the Mayton Inn
301 S. Academy St., Cary in the Mayton Inn hotel
919-670-5000 or verandahcary.com
Serving a three-course menu for $60 per person, including rabbit stew and frisee salad, braised short rib and duck breast and dessert.
500 Glenwood Ave., Suite 100, Raleigh
919-803-6033 or vidrioraleigh.com
Valentine’s Day will have extra features, in addition to the regular dinner menu. They include roasted oysters, butternut squash risotto, crab-stuffed prawns, and a New York Strip.
Drew Jackson; 919-829-4707; @jdrewjackson