Valentine's Day Round-Up

By: Grey Marin

Add Valentine’s onto your “Holidays I Can Eat Excessively on and it’s Okay” list. For many, Valentine’s Day is chock-full of thoughtful gifts and romantic activities, strawberry picking and candle-lit picnics, breakfast in bed and a haiku you’ve been working on for six months.

But the ultimate splurge goes to the nightcap dinner where you stare longingly into the eyes of your lover and say, I think we ordered too much food.

Whether you’re spending it solo, with the singles from your Friendsgiving lunch, or your significant other, we’ve created a guide to make sure no Valentine’s Day goes uncelebrated.

Pre-fixe dinner for 2 at Red the Steakhouse

We’re big fans of Red, which also happens to have one of the most romantic ambiances on the beach. The Valentine’s Day three-course menu for two features all of Chef Peter Vauthy’s classics including the Four Cheese Mac & Cheese, the 22oz Bone-In Ribeye & 16oz Lobster Tail and the White Chocolate Pistachio Cake. Prices start at $245 per couple and includes half a bottle of Veuve Rose. Call 305.534.3688 to make a reservation.

Week-long V-Day Specials at Cypress Tavern

Leave it to Michael Schwartz to take care of you on Valentine’s Day, and every other day of the year too, really. Since Valentine’s lands on a Tuesday this year, Cypress Tavern is extending the celebration until the weekend with its Regina George of brunches. There will be a three-course pre-fixe dinner menu offered on the 14th, priced at $89 per person and paired with half a bottle of champagne. Those who dine on Tuesday are invited back for brunch on Saturday (the 18th) or Sunday (the 19th) where the first bloody mary or mimosa is on the house.

Teleport to Europe at Soya e Pomodoro

If you were hoping to celebrate Valentine’s in Italy this year but the Universe conspired against you, Soya e Pomodoro is the next best option. The historic block where it’s nestled will trick your brain into thinking you might actually be in Venice. Try the homemade eggplant parmigiana, recipe courtesy of the owner’s mamma, while you’re serenaded by the live jazz music.

Stand up Comedy at Ricky’s South Beach

For the less traditional celebration of love, head to Ricky’s for a night of stomach cramp-inducing laughs. Local and national comedians headline Ricky’s LaughParty Comedy Tuesdays, a weekly tradition that prompts the biggest anomaly you’ll ever find on the beach: no cover charge. Enjoy bites from the carnival-inspired menu, like deep fried Milky Ways and sliders, tons of arcade games and beer. Performances begin at 9 PM.

Ten-Course Tasting Menu at Sarsaparilla Club

You can trust the duo behind Sarsaparilla Club – Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth  – to put together a solid Valentine’s Day tasting menu, featuring some classics dishes alongside specials like Persian Love Fried Rice and Pink Deviled Eggs. Dishes include Pork Belly Bacon Steamed Bun, Beet & Goat Cheese Dumplings and Green Curry Fried Chicken. There will also be a completely vegetarian menu for the special night. The tasting menu is $79 per person with an optional $35 beverage pairing.

Feel like you’re on a Mediterranean cruise at Mandolin Aegean Bistro

It’s almost as if all couple-owned restaurants are romantic by default, and therefore a Valentine’s Day dream. The husband and wife team behind Mandolin serve up Turkish and Greek fare from inside a restored home. Its simplicity is almost whimsical, making Mandolin’s candlelit outdoor seating akin to the quaint eateries of the Greek islands. Mainstays include Manti (Turkish dumplings) with minced lamb and garlic yogurt, Greek and Turkish samplers and Pork Souvlaki.

Photo: Mandolin Aegean Bistro

Photo: Mandolin Aegean Bistro

Keep it casual-ish at Ironside Pizza

A pizza date may seem a little juvenile, but add an Italian staff and a BYOB policy and suddenly you’re in Lady and the Tramp. The restaurant is located inside Miami Ironside, a sustainable urban center in the Upper East side featuring edible gardens and over 65 creative businesses. Ironside Pizza serves Neapolitan fare of pizzas (including vegan and gluten-free options), homemade pastas, calzones and gelato. Bring your favorite beers or bottle of wine and they’ll keep it chilled by your table while you eat and hold hands.

Photo:  Ironside Pizza