Ah, Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air. Get dressed up to go out on the town and indulge in the best, most romantic dinners that the Twin Cities have to offer. Whether beginning a new relationship, reaffirming an established love or rekindling an old one, dinner on Valentine’s Day is a special affair. The following restaurants offer the best fixed-price menus as well as impeccable service and intimate ambiance to ensure that you have the perfect evening. Here are the restaurants recommended last year: Best Restaurants for Valentine’s Day 2013
289 E. 5th St.
St. Paul, MN 55101
Love local? Does your sweetheart, too? Heartland’s prix fixe menu will offer the best of local ingredients turned into an amazing meal. Its quieter location on the eastern edge of Downtown (in the charismatic Lowertown neighborhood) will only add to the charm. Leave your car with the valet (only $5) and settle into the intimate dining room. Order a glass of wine and let Lenny Russo’s team dazzle you for all three courses. You won’t believe that everything you just ate can be made with ingredients found within 100 miles of the Twin Cities.
4300 Bryant Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55409
Your sweetheart is looking for the most creative, cutting-edge dining experience. And they really want to be wowed. So you take them to Piccolo. Garnering national attention for the gastronomical delights created by chef/owner Doug Flicker, Piccolo strays from the traditional steak and potatoes to create unrivaled flavor for the ultimate culinary experience. And a good meal is a natural aphrodisiac.
Enchanted Evening at Marjorie McNeely Conservatory
1225 Estabrook Drive
St. Paul, MN 55103
If you’re not looking for the traditional white tablecloth, fine dining Valentine’s dinner, the conservatory at Como Park in St. Paul hosts an enchanted evening for you and your loved one. Surrounded by strikingly beautiful flowers and overhanging vegetation, with live music floating through the air, the conservatory might just be the most romantic destination on this list. The glass-domed building itself is one of the most incredible places to share your meal with that special someone. Featuring a double-entrée menu provided by Lancer catering, you won’t find another Valentine’s day dinner quite like this one.
Related: How To Spend Your Anti-Valentine’s Day
2060 Randolph Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105
This restaurant’s story is steeped in romance, founded by a couple who fell in love in Italy back in the 60s. That romance spreads throughout the entire restaurant, through the kitchen and right onto your table. The dining room is cozy and elegant, and there’s no place better to share spaghetti and have a moment a la “Lady and the Tramp.” Tucked into one of St. Paul’s historic corners, with storefronts from yesterday filling the area and the stunning St. Catherine’s campus across the street, Luci Ancora will provide an experience straight from the movies.
La Belle Vie
510 Groveland Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
The ultimate in luxury is provided by the stars of La Belle Vie. If you want your date to feel like royalty, a night at this crowning jewel of the Minneapolis dining scene will not disappoint. Featuring the finest in French and Mediterranean cooking, chef Tim McKee’s kitchen provides one of the finest dinners in the Midwest. From each course of the tasting menu, to the wine pairings, to the service and ambiance, the restaurant’s attention to detail shows in every aspect of the experience. Your special night will be, in a word, perfect.
Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.