Pasta at Centrolina, which offers a multi-course Valentine’s Day takeout menu as well as dine-in. Photograph courtesy of Centrolina
Maybe you’ve been holed up with your special partner since March (so special at this point). Or maybe you’ve found pandemic love. Either way, Valentine’s Day is good time to shake things up with a distractingly delicious and/or decadent meal.
Valentine’s Day falls on Sunday, February 14 of President’s Day weekend this year—meaning a lot of restaurants are offering special menus for more than one brunch or dinner. As is often the case these days, offerings vary widely by business. Some restaurants are only doing takeout, while others also have indoor or heated outdoor dining. Some are only serving prix-fixe, but some are doing a la carte menus plus some V-Day specials. If you see something you like, don’t hesitate to reach out to the restaurant directly for options.
1346 Fourth St., SE
Chef Michael Rafidi’s wood-fired Levantine restaurant serves a Valentine’s Day feast to-go in addition to dine-in options. The menu of modern Mediterranean dishes ($125 per person) includes homemade pitas and spreads like crab and chermoula labne, vegetable dishes, coal-fired lobster, barbecue lamb, and halva-sea salt chocolate chip coolies. Order online for pickup or delivery Feb. 12 to 14.
301 Water St., SE
If you can’t take a romantic vacation, maybe a vacation-inspired menu will do the trick. Chefs Gerald Addison and Chris Morgan channel the islands with a Jamaican jerk lobster dinner for two with Caribbean-style chow mein and vanilla glazed rum cake ($100 for takeout and indoor dining). Order online for pickup on Feb. 14.
1906 14th St., NW
Chef Ryan Ratino’s five-course Valentine’s Day takeout menu doesn’t skimp on luxe ingredients. There’s grilled lobster, short ribs, tuna tartare, and dark chocolate ($125 per person) —plus additional luxuries like a foie gras tart or truffles. If you want to dine out without dining indoors (also an option), individual heated patio “lodges” for two are available. Order online for pickup, Feb. 12 through 14.
974 Palmer Alley NW
Chef Amy Brandwein has prepared a five-course tasting menu for two with wine pairings ($185), or diners can go a la carte for dine-in at the City Center DC Italian restaurant. The to-go tasting, which comes with heating and serving instructions, includes upscale dishes like chicken consommé with crab and pork triangoli, heart shaped ravioli stuffed with ricotta, and poached black cod in porcini broth. Pre-order 48 hours in advance for pickup and delivery, Feb. 12 through Feb. 14.
3221 Mount Pleasant St., NW
The popular Mount Pleasant destination nails a high/low mashup for Valentine’s Day takeout: a whole Amish fried chicken feast with biscuits, sides, homemade dipping sauces, pickles, and double chocolate layer cake ($130 for two)—plus luxe add-ons like wild sturgeon caviar ($50) and Champagne ($40). Order online by Feb. 10 for pickup, Feb. 12 through 14.
623 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Chef Andrew Markert is taking a break from his sandwich pop-up menu to bring valentines—and singles—something more decadent: a three-course meal for two ($120) or one ($65) with dishes like lobster bucatini and wagyu bistro steak. Both menus come with poetry and a link to a special Spotify playlist. Order takeout for Feb. 13 and 14.
1401 Okie St., NE
Ivy City’s Michelin-starred tasting room is offering a to-go menu as well as a dine-in option. The three-course takeout dinner ($130 for two) includes choices like foie gras parfait, lobster bisque, braised lamb shank, and chocolate budino. Add on cocktails and wine for an additional $70. If you’re into breakfast in bed, sister market Baker’s Daughter makes a take-home Valentine’s brunch. Pre-order online for pickup Feb. 13 and 14.
1509 17th St., NW
Chef Johnny Monis’s Valentine’s Day feast for two reads more like Komi, his shuttered tasting room, and less like Happy Gyro, his diner-inspired pop-up—as it should for $330 (for two). The seafood- and vegetable-heavy menu features dishes like Greek island-style lobster pasta, adana-spiced pork ribs, sea bass with sauces and homemade pita, and more (all come with finishing/reheating instructions). You can also opt for beverage pairings ($$130 for two). Order online for pickup, Feb. 13 and 14.
1734 N St., NW
In addition to dine-in menus for brunch and dinner, chef Anthony Chittum serves a takeout Mediterranean feast for two ($220) with five snacks and appetizers, a choice of entrees like beef wellington or whole roasted fish, salads, sides, breads, and a Sicilian pistachio tart. Pre-order online by Feb. 11 for pickup on Feb. 14 between 11 AM and 3 PM.
1015 Seventh St., NW
Michelin-starred chef Eric Ziebold puts on a refined Valentines spread to-go as well as dine-in options at the Shaw restaurant. The four-course takeout prix-fixe for two ($87.50 per person) starts with lobster bisque and ends with a warm chocolate-hazelnut pithivier, with a whole roasted cornish hen, gruyere pudding, and cider jus in between. Pre-order online for takeout Feb. 12 through Feb. 14.
Le Diplomate and St. Anselm
1601 14th St., NW; 1250 Fifth St., NE
Stephen Starr’s DC restaurants are celebrating the holiday with takeout specials in addition to dine-in and heated outdoor seating. At Le Dip, guests can opt for a takeout dinner for two ($140) with baked oysters, braised short ribs, sides, dessert, and a split of sparkling (order here for pickup Feb. 12 – 14). Over at St. Anselm, they’ve put together a package for two with video instructions and everything you need to make a seared porterhouse steak, creamy truffled mac and cheese, and other classics for $175 (pre-order online here by Feb. 11 for pick-up on Feb. 13-14). February 13th or 14th between 2pm-5pm. or call St. Anselm at 202-864-2199). You can also add/gift a seasoned cast iron skillet for $24.
1511 17th St., NW
An all-seafood menu returns to the Thai restaurant for a full week in February—plus a few specials on Valentine’s Day. The $130 coastal spread stars a whole 1.5 pound crispy fish, plus shareable dishes like crab and coconut husk, stir-fried shrimp with egg and curry, and more. A $70 beverage pairing matches the spice and seafood. Preorder online, Feb. 9 through Feb. 14, for pickup.
1340 4th St., NE
Chef Nicholas Stefanelli has been running a pickup and delivery service, Masseria a Casa, from his Michelin-starred Italian restaurant since early in the pandemic. In addition to indoor and heated outdoor dining, he’s celebrating Valentine’s Day with a four-course dinner ($75 per person) or brunch ($42.50 per person) for home diners. Optional perks like wine pairings and caviar are available. Order online for pickup or delivery Feb. 13 and 14.
1346 Florida Ave., NW
Spice things up with a wood-grilled feast from Rose Previte’s atmospheric restaurant. In addition to indoor and heated outdoor dining, there are family-style packages ($65 per person) loaded with kebabs, homemade pita, dips, vegetable sides, a special cocktail, and sweets from pastry chef Paola Velez. Pre-order online for Valentine’s weekend pickup.
449 K St., NW
Chef Elias Taddesse will blend his Ethiopian heritage with a fine dining restaurant experience at his Mount Vernon Triangle burger/sandwich spot, which opened during the pandemic. The five-course Valentine’s Day menu for two features courses like oysters with Ethiopian spice condiments, berbere-cured salmon, lamb saddle with chocolate jus, and more. Order online by Feb. 11 for pickup on Feb. 13 and 14.
401 7th St., NW
All of José Andrés’s ThinkFoodGroup restaurants are offering Valentine’s Day specials. For takeout, we like the looks of Oyamel’s Valentine’s Day feasts for two (six courses, $100) or four (seven courses, $200). Highlights include beet-cured Japanese ono, tamales norteño, and posole rojo. Both menu options include chips, salsa, guacamole, and dessert. There’s also heated outdoor patio seating. Order online for pickup.
3310 Rhode Island Ave., Mount Rainier
If you’re a couple that likes to cook together but hates shopping, chef Jesse Miller’s three-course menu ($70) is a fun one—everything is packaged at his new Mount Rainier restaurant and then designed to be finish at home. Courses include a stacked miso Caesar, surf-and-turf with braised short ribs and a blue crab-stuffed Anaheim pepper, and chocolate chess pie. There’s also a vegetarian menu for $60. Fun extras include a cocktail kit ($85) with four drinks, a shaker, a jigger and a set of two of Pennyroyal’s vintage glasses. Pre-order by Feb. 7 for pickup.
633 D St., NW; 1190 New Hampshire Ave., NW
All of restaurateur Ashok Bajaj’s restaurants— including finer dining options like Annabelle and Modena—are offering special menus for indoor, outdoor, and/or carryout dining. We particularly like the sound of the three-course offering from Rasika, his upscale Indian restaurants in Penn Quarter and West End. The $65 spread includes dishes like honey-ginger scallops, dum ka lobster, and a dessert sampler. Order online (note the location) for pickup.
The Salt Line
79 Potomac Ave., SE
If you’ve found your lobster, might as well celebrate with lobster. Chef Kyle Bailey’s four-course to-go menu stars all sorts of seafood, including crayfish bisque, tuna tartare, and a whole 2 1/2 pound lobster with “clam bake” stuffing and black truffles ($185 for two). If you’re an active couple, check out the virtual oyster shucking classes ($90), done in conjunction with the Oyster Recovery Partnership. You’ll pick up two dozen local oysters, knives, gloves, and swag at the restaurant. There are also dine-in options. Pre-order online for pickup Feb. 13 and 14.
Schlow Restaurant Group
Multiple locations in DC and Mosaic District, VA
James Beard-winning chef Michael Schlow has designed a romantic menu for two ($125) available for pickup at his three DC restaurants (Tico, Alta Strada, and Glover Park Grill), and at Alta Strada Mosaic District (see details here). A three-course menu includes several choices of American classics like lobster bisque, filet mignon, and pastry chef Alex Levin’s chocolate cake with salted caramel sauce. Add-ons include Champagne, caviar, and supplies for breakfast in bed. Pre-order by Thursday, Feb. 11 for pickup Feb. 12 through Feb. 14.
1324 H St., NE
If your idea of romance is lots of gooey cheese, DC’s only Swiss restaurant is your place. Patrons can book semi-private indoor chalets, keep cozy outside, or opt for takeout packages of fondue ($160 for two) or raclette ($175). Both packages include appetizers, sides, wine, homemade breads, and dessert—and there’s an option to rent equipment if you don’t have your own. Order online for takeout.
399 Morse St., NE
You may know this place as a pizzeria, but the Valentine’s take-home dinner package goes upscale with a four-course dinner for two for $150 (or you make it an anti-Valentine’s Day for one that includes a bottle of rosé, priced at $90). Dishes include lobster ravioli with foie gras, whole dorade with ratatouille, and chocolate-vanilla millefoglie. Pre-order online by Feb. 11 for pickup on Feb. 12 and 13.
3462 14th St., NW
The “fiery love” package for two from this popular Lao spot is more affordably priced than many ($80 for two) but doesn’t skimp on the flavor thrills with dishes like roasted beet laab, crispy duck leg and breast with red curry sauce, garlic fried rice, and chili-dark chocolate bark. The meal also includes a Valentine’s cocktail for two. Pre-order online for pickup on Feb. 14.
Tres by Taco Bamba
Locations in Northern Virginia and Rockville
Chefs Victor Albisu and Faiz Ally created a new, upscale dinner kit service in Northern Virginia and Rockville that’s reminiscent of their cooking at their swanky Mexican spot, Poca Madre (now closed). For V-Day, a three-course menu ($65 per person) features dishes like lobster tortilla soup, paella, and salted chocolate pot de crème—plus empanadas and cocktails available a la carte. Order online starting February 8 for pickup at select Taco Bamba locations, or email now [email protected]