Reporting Sara Pelissero
Everyone’s favorite corporate-created holiday is just around the corner. Yes, it’s the day that makes every single girl cringe and every married man dig deep in his pocketbook. But one day a year shouldn’t be the only time you enjoy a little romance.
There are plenty of great romantic spots for any celebration all over the Twin Cities — each one with its own highlights and romantic low lights. We’ve listed just a few of our favorites for you here, but feel free to comment below and let us know where you go to get your romance on.
La Belle Vie
Want to impress your date? Take them to La Belle Vie, where the food and the atmosphere literally define elegance. Known as one of the best restaurants in the Twin Cities, this place is sure to make your guest swoon upon first glance, with its white table linens and crystal chandeliers. Each dish looks like a work of art, which could almost make you hesitant to dig in but then the flavors and aromas quickly change your mind.
Nicollet Island Inn
For years, Nicollet Island Inn has been known for its romantic offerings and being considered the Valentine’s Day destination. So much so that they’ve created a five-course Valentine’s Day couple’s menu, complete with all the essentials — warm, comforting food plus chocolate and strawberries for dessert. Feeling too full? Book a room and stay the night — packages even include a horse-drawn carriage ride.
From the inside out, Forepaugh’s screams romance. From its Victorian mansion setting to the gorgeous, warm and cozy dining rooms, this place has three stories to ensure a sophisticated setting no matter what you’re celebrating. Crystal chandeliers have created a great backdrop for wedding receptions, while ornate decorations provide a great ambiance for wining and dining.
For a delicious dish without breaking the bank, 128 Café has you covered. From Sunday to Thursday, diners can try the three-course dinner special for just $25. That includes soup or salad, a special entrée and dessert. It’s a cozy, tucked-away setting with a perfect touch of charm that sets the mood brilliantly for any type of date night.
20.21 Restaurant & Bar — CLOSED
Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Chalk this one up as another “all-out” Valentine’s Day spot, made for impressing and dazzling. The spectacular views of downtown are second only to the incredible Asian-inspired cuisine from the culinary master himself, Wolfgang Puck and Executive Chef Asher Miller. Settled above the always elegant Walker Art Center, an evening at 20.21 is truly the place to see and be seen.
Vincent A Restaurant
1100 Nicollet Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Vincent goes beyond its humble title of “A Restaurant” and truly plays up its romantic features during the month of February — and beyond. The American-influenced French cuisine pairs perfectly with the open dining room and elegant lighting. The white linens give a true sense of class while the large windows provide romantic downtown views. Vincent will serve a special Valentine’s Day menu from the Friday before Valentine’s until Monday.
It doesn’t get much cozier for a dinner for two than swiping a table next to a roaring fire inside W.A. Frost. This classic St. Paul favorite serves the finest in locally sourced food and has consistently been noted for its romantic setting over the years.
Café and Bar Lurcat
For a more modern, trendy night of romance, head to Café Lurcat, where the dining room was built with celebration in mind. Between the great views of Loring Park and the truly amazing dishes being crafted in the open kitchen, this place is truly everything you’d want and more from a night out on the town. Once you’re finished dining (I highly recommend the sea bass) head over to Bar Lurcat and explore the many varietals of Lurcat’s wine menu.
It’s been said that Italy is one of the most romantic places to visit. Well, in St. Paul, they’re bringing a little taste of Italy to Minnesota. This urban Italian restaurant offers a warm, inviting spot for couples to cozy up with a comforting bowl of freshly tossed pasta. Feel free to reenact the spaghetti scene from “Lady and the Tramp,” if you’re so inclined. We won’t tell.
1432 W 31st St.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Perhaps I’m a tad biased here, because I had an incredibly romantic dinner at Lucia’s for my birthday, but it is my belief that you simply cannot go wrong at Lucia’s. Whether it’s a lunch date, an elegant dinner for two or even a next-morning brunch (bow-chicka-bow-wow), Lucia’s never disappoints. And even though they’re typically closed on Mondays (which Valentine’s Day falls on this year), they’re making an exception for the holiday. Booya.
Sara Boyd is a web producer and columnist at WCCO.COM.