Indulge in a romantic gourmet dinner this Valentine's Day with special menus at local restaurants or expertly prepared meals perfect for dining at home. (And you'll find a dozen more date ideas here.)
Shell & Bones, 100 S. Water St., New Haven, offers a special three-course prix-fixe menu Feb. 11 through 14, with entree options of red snapper a la plancha, two-way duck breast and leg confit, prime tomahawk steak or winter vegetable risotto. $69 per person; the meal also includes a bottle of Zardetto Private Cuvée Brut. The regular a la carte menu is also available. 203-787-3466, shellandbones.com.
Geronimo Tequila Bar & Southwest Grill offers Valentine's food and drink specials at its locations in Fairfield and New Haven Feb. 11 through 14. In Fairfield, featured entrees include ancho chile-glazed shrimp and scallops ($30); red chile-crusted filet mignon ($35); and grilled eggplant with roasted portobellos, spinach, goat cheese pecans and smoked tomato sauce ($20). In New Haven, specials include enchiladas mariscos with sautéed shrimp, scallops, and lobster ($30); and fire-grilled filet mignon with tricolor fingerling potatoes, sauteed broccoli rabe and goat cheese cream sauce ($35). geronimobarandgrill.com.
City Steam, 942 Main St., Hartford, offers several Valentine's dishes on Feb. 14, including a 12-ounce New York strip steak with herb-infused olive oil and roasted mushrooms with mashed potatoes ($24); pan-roasted sea scallops served with a lemongrass and sesame vinaigrette, sticky rice and asparagus tips ($22); and special drinks and desserts. 860-525-1600, citysteam.biz.
The North House, 1 Nod Road, Avon, offers a $60 prix-fixe menu on Feb. 14 in addition to its regular menu, with items like beef Wellington and chocolate truffle. Champagne and oyster specials will also be available. Reservations highly recommended. 860-404-5951, thenorthhouse.com.
Park & Oak Restaurant, 14 Oakwood Ave., West Hartford, serves a three-course prix-fixe menu on Feb. 14 for $49 (regular menu will not be available). Entree options include pan-roasted sea scallops, fried chicken and waffles, seared Long Island duck breast, fresh fettuccine with garlic and lemon roasted shrimp and braised beef short ribs. Reservations are highly recommended. Information: 860-310-2099, parkandoakrestaurant.com.
INDIA, 54 Memorial Road, West Hartford, offers a prix-fixe menu Feb. 14 with three seating times available. At 5:30 p.m., the four-course menu is $55 a person ($85 with wine pairings) and later seatings at 7 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. offer a five-course dinner for $65 a person ($95 with wine pairings). Complimentary welcome cocktail provided with all prix-fixe dinners. 860-726-4103, indiawesthartford.com
Treva, 980 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, offers a three-course prix-fixe menu for $69 a person on Feb. 14, including prosecco toast. Entree options include tagliatelle with maitake mushroom and white truffle butter; herb-roasted half chicken with polenta and haricot vert; salmon with saffron risotto; sea bass with black barley and strawberry champagne gastrique; and filet mignon with candied yam puree and broccoli rabe. 860-232-0407, trevact.com.
Àvert Brasserie, 35 Lasalle Road, West Hartford, offers a three-course prix-fixe menu for $69 a person on Feb. 14, including champagne toast. Entree options include beef Wellington with foie gras; butter-poached lobster with glazed fennel, citrus beurre blanc and Swiss chard; braised beef short rib "bourguignon" and roasted duck breast with sunchoke puree. 860-904-6240, avertbrasserie.com.
Millwright's, 77 West St., Simsbury, offers a $75 prix-fixe menu Feb. 11, 12 and 14. The meal includes gougeres and Malpeque oysters for the table along with choices of first, second, main and dessert courses. Entrée options include Wagyu sirloin, chicken roulade, Arctic char and roasted and pureed cauliflower with brown butter and almond-caper crumbs. 860-651-5500, millwrightsrestaurant.com.
Cure, 55 Mill St., Unionville, offers a $60 prix-fixe menu on Feb. 14 starting at 5 p.m., with complimentary champagne. Entrée choices include seared scallops, roasted beet gnocchi, roasted chicken and boneless beef short rib. 860-321-7821, curerestaurantct.com.
New Mill Restaurant, 493 South End Road, Plantsville, offers a variety of specials Feb. 14, with entrees like roasted sea bass, veal loin chop, ginger glazed salmon, 16-ounce NY strip, 8-ounce filet mignon and lobster ravioli. Entrees are $25 to $37. 860-620-0300, newmillrestaurant.net.
Baci Grill, 134 Berlin Road, Cromwell, hosts a Valentine's dinner dance Feb. 11 and 12 from 6 to 11 p.m. The event features special appetizers, a dinner buffet, champagne toast and cash bar. $52 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations: 860-613-2224, bacigrill.com.
Tuscany Grill, 120 College St., Middletown, offers Valentine's specials in addition to the regular dinner menu Feb. 14, including grilled swordfish with risotto, asparagus and fresh tarragon butter ($30) and rosemary-encrusted lamb chops with French green beans and chive mashed potatoes ($32). 860-346-7096, tuscany-grill.com.
Angelico's Lake House, 81 N. Main St., East Hampton, offers its Valentine's menu Feb. 11 through 14, with special entrees including grilled blackened pork loin, seafood fra diavolo, herb-crusted rack of lamb, pan blackened tuna, and roast prime rib of beef. Entrees are priced at $19 to $27. 860-267-1276, angelicoslakehouse.com.
Besito, 46 S. Main St., West Hartford, offers several Valentine's specials from Feb. 10 to 14. Entrees include pan-roasted filet of mahi mahi stuffed with shrimp, lobster and crabmeat ($32) and New York strip steak pan-seared and marinated with cilantro, queso asado, guacamole and chicharron ($30). 860-223-2500 and besitomexican.com.
G-Zen, 2 E. Main St., Branford, offers three Valentine's Day seatings Feb. 14 at 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Special menu will be announced the week of Valentine's Day, and the full a la carte menu is also available. 203-208-0443, g-zen.com.
Grants Restaurant, 977 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, offers various entree specials on Feb. 14, including Maine lobster ravioli, Pacific halibut, hickory-smoked prime rib and surf and turf with braised short rib and sea scallops. Prices range from $24 to $34. 860-236-1930, billygrant.com/grants.
Carbone's Ristorante, 588 Franklin Ave., Hartford, offers its regular menu in addition to Valentine's Day specials from 4 to 9 p.m. Entree specials ($28 to $34) include pan-roasted halibut filet, tenderloin steak San Domenico and fresh bucatini all'amatriciana. Reservations are recommended. 860-296-9646, carbonesct.com.
Carbone's Kitchen, 6 Wintonbury Mall, Bloomfield, offers its regular menu in addition to Valentine's Day specials from 4 to 9 p.m. Entree specials ($28 to $32) include butternut squash rollatino with lobster meat, butter-poached turbot and grilled baby lamb rack. Reservations are recommended. 860-904-2111, carboneskitchen.com.
VIVO Seasonal Trattoria at the Hartford Marriott Downtown, 200 Columbus Blvd., Hartford, offers its Valentine's menu from 5 to 10 p.m. on Feb. 10, 11 and 14. Menu selections include sea scallops and sweet potato hash, cheese plate for two, porcini-dusted sea bass, filet mignon, maple bacon gelato filled crepes and more. Entrees are $29 to $36. 860-760-2333, vivohartford.com.
Present Company, 2 Tunxis Road, Tariffville, will be serving a five-course menu Feb. 13 to 15 for $75 a person, $25 for additional beverage pairing. Select items include duck carpaccio, sole, sweet potato gnocchi, bone-in short rib of beef and toasted coconut creme brulee. 860-658-7890, presentcompanyct.com.
Concorde's at the Sheraton Bradley Hotel, 1 Bradley International Airport, Windsor Locks, offers a cooking class taught by executive chef Shane Arnold Feb. 14 at 5 p.m. The four-course menu includes pan-seared New York strip, scallop and shrimp ceviche, bananas foster over rum vanilla ice cream and more. Enjoy your creation after the class, along with a selection of paired beers/wines. Cost is $200 per couple. 860-386-7841, concordesrestaurant.com.
m&m Bistro at the Hartford Hilton, 315 Trumbull St., Hartford, offers its Valentine's menu Feb. 14 starting at 5 p.m. The three-course dinner includes complimentary sparkling wine toast, one appetizer, two entrees, and a dessert to share. Entree choices include grilled filet mignon, bistro bouillabaisse, grilled chicken Valdostana and heart-shaped cheese ravioli. Cost is $90 per couple. 860-240-7222, mandmbistro.com.
Dish Bar & Grill, 900 Main St., Hartford, offers a $55 three-course prix-fixe dinner menu Feb. 11, 13 and 14, with entrees such as trio of ahi tuna, surf and turf, Maine diver scallops, steak frites and coffee-crusted prime rib. Dish's full menu is also available on Feb. 11 and 13; only the prix-fixe menu is served on Feb. 14. A "Boozy brunch" on Feb. 12 is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $30 a person. 860-249-3474, dishbarandgrill.com.
Prospect Cafe, 345 Prospect Ave., West Hartford, serves a $35 three-course prix-fixe menu Feb. 10 through 14, with appetizer, entree and dessert. Entree choices include beef tenderloin roasted in salt crust, koji-cured grilled salmon or chicken tikka masala with jasmine rice and roasted mango chutney. Prospect's regular menu will also be available. 860-519-1048, prospectcafewh.com.
Blue Plate Kitchen, 345 N. Main St., West Hartford, serves a three-course prix-fixe menu Feb. 14 ($59.95 for two) from 4 to 9 p.m. Entree choices include pistachio-crusted salmon or steak au poivre. 860-906-1419, bpkwesthartford.com.
BALLO Italian Restaurant at Mohegan Sun, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville, offers weekend specials Feb. 13 to 15 in addition to the regular menu, including black truffle and lobster risotto (topped with shaved black truffles and two lobster tails) and Valrhona chocolate cake with peanut butter cup gelato ($12). 860-862-1100 and balloitalian.com.
Foxwoods Resort Casino's restaurants offer various Valentine's specials and menus at David Burke Prime, VUE 24, Red Lantern, Al Dente, Cedars Restaurant and Junior's. Visit foxwoods.com/restaurants for menus and details.
Ideal Tavern, 142 Center St., Southington, offers a three-course prix-fixe menu for $50 on Feb. 11 and 14, with entree choices of Stonington scallops, striped bass, stuffed chicken "roulade," black truffle pappardelle and Allen Brothers filet mignon (for a $5 supplement). Guests receive a complimentary glass of rose champagne. 860-863-5444, idealtavern.com.
Popover Cafe, 928 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury, offers a special Valentine's menu from Feb. 12 to 16, including smoked salmon Benedict, key lime berry crepes, breakfast street tacos with baked eggs and chorizo; stuffed French toast with Nutella, pears and honey butter and a winter vegetable frittata. Items are $9 to $16. 860-413-2392, popoversimsbury.com.
Metro Bis, 731 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury, offers Valentine's dinner for two to go, including lobster bisque, salad, choice of pan-seared crab cakes or beef tenderloin, whipped potatoes, roasted vegetables, and a chocolate ganache for dessert. Cost is $60 plus tax. Orders must be placed by Feb. 10 and can be picked up between 1 and 7 p.m. on Feb. 14.
Metro Bis will also serve dinner at the restaurant Feb. 14, with a $56 prix-fixe menu. 860-651-7417, metrobis.com.
Infinity Hall and Bistro serves dinner at its Norfolk location (20 Greenwoods Road) Feb. 14 from 4:30 to 9 p.m., with specials like surf and turf duo with tempura shrimp and two petit filets of beef ($34); seared salmon piccata ($23), housemade mushroom ravioli ($18), seared duck breast ($26) and grilled cold water lobster tail ($33). Dinner is only served at the Norfolk bistro. 860-542-5531, infinityhall.com.
Let's Start From Scratch offers a home-delivered three-course Valentine's spread for $25, with options like sweet potato gnocchi with sage cream sauce and spaghetti squash with meatballs. Sweets include vanilla bean raspberry French macaroons or dark chocolate chili truffles. Vegan and gluten-free items are available. Orders are due by Feb. 10; email email@example.com.
Cafe Louise at Indian Hill Country Club, 111 Golf St., Newington, serves Valentine's dinner Feb. 10 and 11, with entrees like Chateaubriand for two, pan-seared scallops and gnocchi, grilled ribeye and wild salmon. All entrees are $32 per person; a special couples package for $125 (plus tax) offers appetizer, salad, entree, dessert and a bottle of wine. 860-666-5600, cafelouise.com.
Madison Beach Hotel, 94 W. Wharf Road, Madison, offers special Valentine's items from Feb. 10 to 18, including beef Wellington, pan-seared halibut, veal osso bucco and lobster saffron tagliatelle (priced at $28 to $40.) 203-350-0014, madisonbeachhotel.com.
Hilton Mystic, 20 Coogan Blvd., Mystic, offers a "sweetheart menu" for $75 per couple from Feb. 10 to 14, featuring salad, shared cheese and meat platter, choice of grilled filet or pan-seared halibut and chocolate fondue for dessert. 860-572-2504, hiltonmystic.com.
Mattabesett Canoe Club, 80 Harbor Drive, Middletown, offers a special Valentine's dinner on Feb. 11 for $100 per couple, with seatings at 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m. The meal features choice of bisque or salad, appetizer, entree and dessert, with a bottle of champagne. Entree options include chateaubriand, pan-seared chicken and butter-poached lobster with scallop orzo risotto (vegetarian options available by request). A Sunday brunch buffet on Feb. 12, with reservations at 10:30 and 12:45, is $32 for adults; $20 for children 5 to 12; and $10 for children 2 to 4. On Feb. 14, Mattabesett takes reservations from 5 to 8:30 p.m., with an a la carte dinner menu. 860-347-9999, mattabesettcanoeclub.com.
@ the Barn, 17R E. Granby Road, Granby, celebrates Valentine's Day Feb. 10, 11, 12 and 14 (closed Mon. Feb. 13) with a special four-course menu for $100 per couple. The meal includes a bottle of wine, with entree choices of chicken roulade, Chilean sea bass, root vegetable risotto or hanger steak. 860-413-3888, atthebarngranby.com.
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, 42 Century Drive, Bristol, serves Valentine's Day dinner Feb. 10 through 14. A prix-fixe menu, with choice of appetizer, entree and dessert, is $65 per person and an additional $35 per person for wine pairings. Menu items include champagne-poached oysters with herbed cream sauce and truffle pearls, surf with turf with petite filet and grilled shrimp, pan-seared Cornish hen, lump crab-stuffed lobster tail, squid ink pappardelle, white chocolate raspberry creme brulee and long-stemmed strawberries with chocolate and caramel ganache. 860-584-7663, doubletreebristol.com.
Griswold Inn, 36 Main St., Essex, offers a $58 prix-fixe Valentine's dinner on Feb. 11 and Feb. 14, with dishes like pan-seared scallops, filet of beef with blue cheese gratin and midnight chocolate torte. The restaurant's full menu is available a la carte and the Inn offers a specially-priced guest room rate on Valentine's Day. 860-767-1776, griswoldinn.com.
Bear's Smokehouse in Hartford and Windsor offers a $40 surf and turf special for two, with smoked tri-tip and salmon, selection of two sides and dessert. bearssmokehouse.com.
The Blind Pig, 89 Arch St., Hartford, offers an "anti-Valentine's" dinner with bone-in rib-eye, choice of side plate and dessert for $30. 860-744-4333, blindpigpizza.com.
New England Pasta Co. and Cafe, 300 W. Main St., Avon, offers a four-course dinner for two to enjoy at home for $65, including choices of appetizer, salad, entree, dessert and coffee from Coffee Trade. Entree choices include peppercorn-encrusted tenderloin filet, mustard bourbon-glazed Faroe Island salmon, grilled chicken breast with mushroom-caramelized onion gravy, seafood ravioli or vegetable Napoleon. Orders must be placed by Feb. 9 for pickup on Feb. 14. 860-678-9100, bit.ly/NEPCValentines2017.
Table 570 Asian Fusion, 570 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury, offers a prix-fixe menu Feb. 10 to 14, priced at $88 per couple with four courses and a carafe of wine. Entrée options include firecracker chicken, a “Happy Valentine’s” sushi roll with spicy crunch king crab, avocado, asparagus and tuna; and pan-seared striped bass with crab coconut massaman curry sauce. 860-651-4888, table570asianfusion.com.
Gelston House, 8 Main St., East Haddam, offers a four-course menu on Feb. 10, 11, 12 and 14 for $75 per couple. Entree options include NY strip, Faroe Island salmon with dill honey mustard sauce, baby rack of lamb, lobster and shrimp linguini, grilled Berkshire pork chop and surf & turf with filet medallion and shrimp. Reservations are required. 860-873-1411, gelstonhouse.com.
J Restaurant/Bar, 297 Washington Street, Hartford, offers its regular menu along with Valentine's specials like shrimp kisses, zucchini stacks, grilled filet, baked stuffed shrimp, surf & turf and chocolate-covered strawberries. Entrees are $28 to $36. 860-527-7764, jrestaurantbar.com.
Valentine's dinner specials at Saybrook Point Inn's Fresh Salt restaurant are available Feb. 11 to 14 and include seafood paella, roasted salmon steak, Colorado rack of lamb and an "air, sea and land" dish with butter-poached lobster, roasted sirloin and duck confit. Entrees are priced at $22.95 to $40.95. The Inn also offers weekend getaway packages. 860-395-2000 and saybrook.com.
Tomato Joe's, 103 Tolland Tpke., Manchester, offers a special $39.95 Valentine's Day dinner for two from Feb. 10 to 14, with choice of an appetizer to share, two entrees and shared dessert. Add a bottle of house Pinot Grigio or Pinot Noir for $9.99. 860-432-8658, tomatojoesct.com.
Olives and Oil, 124 Temple St., New Haven, features special entrees on Feb. 14 like lobster ravioli ($29), shrimp scampi with squid ink fettuccine ($26); spaghetti amore with pancetta, sweet sausage and pink cognac sauce ($20) and tomahawk steak for two ($69.) 203-891-5870, olivesandoil.com.
Costa del Sol, 901 Wethersfield Ave., Hartford, offers several Valentine’s specials Feb. 14, including tabla Iberica with Serrano ham, Palacios cured sausage, manchego and seasonal cheese; St. Valentine paella de la casa with clams, mussels, shrimp, chicken and sausage and pork shank osso buco with Amontillado sherry au jus and herbed red potatoes. Items are $25 to $33. 860-296-1714, costadelsolhartford.com.
Red Lantern at Foxwoods hosts two interactive sushi-making classes for couples with executive chef Kevin Scott, on Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. and Feb. 14 at 6 p.m. The event includes sake pairings. Tickets are $175 per couple and may be purchased via Eventbrite.
Red Lantern also offers a Valentine's Day prix-fixe menu Feb. 14 for $99, with entree choices of macadamia nut-crusted salmon or sake and soy hanger steak. Information: redlanternfoxwoods.com or 860-312-8480.
Elm City Social, 266 College St., New Haven, offers a "Cupid's Chokehold" Valentine’s menu Feb. 10 to 14, with entrees like whole roasted branzino, duo of duck and wild mushroom risotto ($30 to $36.) 475-441-7436, elmcitysocial.com.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the pricing for Costa del Sol's menu.