Heart Stoppers: Valentine's Menus By CoursesBy Scott Kearnan
February 6, 2014
Time is ticking like a racing heart. The countdown is on until Valentine's Day, and though we've already offered up a slew of ideas for those seeking more unconventional outings, we know that sometimes a multi-course meal is the way to someone's heart. Whether you're looking for three-, four-, five-, or six-course meals, we've rounded up a trio of options for each that will win over any food lover. (And suit different budgets, too.) Why? Because we love you.
The Living Room ($45 per person or $85 per couple). The North End hangout is taking a "Latin for Lovers" approach to its menu, with selections like pork carnitas, sopa de mariscos (including littleneck clams, shrimp, mahi mahi and calamari), and a coffee-crusted strip steak with mofongo (fried plantain).
Coppa ($55 per person; $90 with wine pairings). The South End enoteca from chefs Ken Originer and Jamie Bissonnette has a tantalizing trio of courses on deck. Highlights include "Lady and the Tramp" spaghetti and meatballs for coy sharing, seared foie gras with tamarind and persimmon, pancetta di malale (pork belly with black tahini, black lime-roasted carrots and pickled ramps) and wood oven-roasted duck leg confit with pomegranate molasses glaze and pig's foot baked beans.
Strega Waterfront ($65 per person; $85 with wine pairings). The Seaport Italian will still make its a la carte menu available, but the prix fixe boasts some dramatic dishes we can't pass up: like heart-shaped ravioli, seafood-stuffed lobster tails and chocolate-covered strawberries.
Restaurant Dante ($75 per person; $110 with wine pairings). The Cambridge Italian is serving a "Perfect Date"-inspired menu divided into four courses with cute names like "Foreplay" (which included "canoodles" of lemon tagliatelle) and "Climax" (beef tenderloin “in crostada,” with porcini, fig, and gorgonzola dolce). Get a little crazy with the "menage a foie" (foie gras three ways) and finish by "Spooning" some rum cake with passion fruit.
MET Back Bay ($120 per person). The restaurant's Townhouse, a plush, private adjunct designed to evoke the Brahmin character of its historic brownstone environs, makes things intimate with its four-course menu; only eight tables will be available at each seating (6 PM and 8:30 PM), though a few are still available here. Expect vichyssoise with diver scallop, American paddle fish caviar roe and filet mignon with crispy shallot rosti, creamed spinach and Bearnaise. Optional add-ons include a caviar and champagne tasting combo. Your beating red hearts will dine like blue bloods.
Deuxave ($125 per person; $200 with wine pairings). French is the language, and cuisine, of love. And we could just kiss the menu that chef Chris Coombs has in mind. Expect coeur de foie gras (caramelized brioche, pomegranate Asian pear salad, mint purée, candied poppy seeds, and pomegranate pink peppercorn syrup), seared diver scallops with beet green ravioli and spiced cauliflower, and the "love bird" of crispy-skinned pheasant with a wild mushroom tart. Mwah.
Local 149 ($55 per person; $75 with wine pairings). The Southie neighborhood spot will turn out a tasty five-course tasting menu that includes white asparagus soup (with apple cider glaze and smoked salmon mousse), yellowtail hamachi tartare with maple soy pork belly and pickled jalapeno, and slow braised beef short ribs with fontina polenta and cherry pepper relish.
Craigie on Main ($149 per person; $198 with wine pairings). Chef Tony Maws has a gorgeous five-course spread starting at 5:30 PM: think rose-cured hamachi sashimi, red wine-braised veal cheek ragout with Tennessee black truffle, and smoked Tasmanian sea trout pastrami. But if you and your lovebird are night owls, good news: after 10 PM you can get a four-course version for $95 each.
No 9. Park ($155 per person; $240 with wine pairings). The Barbara Lynch flagship, where you'll find sous chef, Top Chef contestant and 30 Under 30 honoree Stephanie Cmar, has a predictably polished five courses in store: including lobster with red beetroot and hazelnuts, ricotta fattisu with burnt onion and polenta bianca, and poussin al Matone: bacon and foie en brik with black walnut pesto, and quail egg. Make it an eight-course feast for $195 per person, plus $115 for wine pairings.
Legal Harborside ($85 per person; $125 with wine pairings). If you want to go for a six-course supper without breaking the bank, the Seaport standalone from Legal kicks things up a notch from the surf 'n' turf found at the brand's other locations. Expect bay scallop tiradito with sweet yuzu melon and avocado puree, butter poached lobster with ricotta gnocchi and uni foam, and a Creekstone beef trio of dry-aged sirloin, oxtail ragout and marrow white bean puree.
Bergamot ($85 per person; $140 with wine pairings). The Somerville gem is sure to sparkle on Valentine's Day. You'll find grilled tuna with smoked oyster (a natural aphrodisiac) and eggplant and olive tapenade, lacquered sweetbreads with cauliflower coulis and porcini bread pudding, and an herb-roasted lamb loin. We're smitten.
TW Food ($95 per person; $150 with wine pairings). The classy Cambridge restaurant will be showing some love to vegetarians on Valentine's Day. One six-course spread will pull out all the stops for Grand Marnier five-spice duck, foie gras millefeuille and lobster bisque with candied turnips and tangerines. But there's also a veggie option that could tempt even the most ardent carnivore with parsnip creme brulee, smoked grain tagliatelle with avocado, cabbage and cubanelle relish, and potato gratin with Parmesan, chestnut and black truffle.