Love is in the air

11 swoon-worthy Austin restaurants for a romantic Valentine's Day dinner

11 swoon-worthy Austin restaurants for a romantic Valentine's Day

III Forks Valentine's Day
Toast your sweetheart with a decadent Valentine's Day dinner. Photo courtesy of III Forks

UPDATE: A previous version of this story listed a Valentine's Day event at Guero's Taco Bar. That event has since been canceled.

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and if you’re a diligent and organized lover, you’ve already locked in your reservations, ordered the flowers, and bought the jewelry. If you’re like the rest of us, consider this article your friendly reminder to get on task. Tables are going fast, and dining rooms are filling up.

Here are some great suggestions for what you and your main squeeze might do on the big day. If romance ain’t your thing, there are a few ideas in here for how to avoid the mushiness as well.

Cannon + Belle
For a genuine Texas Valentine’s vibe, Cannon + Belle is offering a four-course meal that will satisfy any discerning palate. The menu features rosé steamed Littleneck clams; Waterloo bisque with hazelnut, parsnip, and lobster; beef tenderloin with a marrow hollandaise; and a clementine and Prosecco sorbet. $64 per person.

Central Standard
In the heart of the South Congress Hotel, chef Casey Wilcox and his team at Central Standard are offering a three-course Valentine’s menu in tribute to the great American love story of Johnny Cash and June Carter. You and your "Darlin’ Companion" will enjoy selections like seared scallops, fried red snapper, and pineapple pie. At $50 per person, you’ll feel like an outlaw for taking such a deal.

Geraldine’s
Not only will you and your sweetie have a great Valentine’s meal at Geraldine’s — with selections including roasted bone marrow with a bacon caraway crumble; herbed gnocchi and red wine braised oxtail; and a Heart Beet sponge cake — you’ll also enjoy some great live music while you dine. $75 per person.

The Infinite Monkey Theorem
Leave it to the “back alley winery” to inject some irreverence into the holiday. Show up on V-Day for all-day happy hour featuring the winery's signature, zero-pretense canned and on-tap wines and its Texas sparkler, “Bubble Universe,” all at deep discounts.

Kemuri Tatsu-Ya
What better way to say, “I love you,” than taking your one-and-only to one of Austin’s best new restaurant for Valentine’s Day? Over five courses, you’ll experience some of the city’s most innovative cuisine, including a scallop ceviche with yuzu and nukazuke jalapeño, a lobster and prawn miso bouillabaisse, and a strawberry adzuki bean truffle for dessert. $85 per person.

L’Oca d’Oro
Feeling a bit ambivalent about the your V-Day date? Head on over to Mueller’s L’Oca d’Oro where chef Fiore Tedesco is cooking up a Love/Hate Valentine’s Mashup inspired by the music of The Carpenters and Sex Pistols. For $65 (a $40 wine and cocktail pairing can be added), feast on hits like a brick chicken roulade and a strawberry-hazelnut hot fudge sundae.

Native
Be one of the cool kids, and take your Tinder date to Native Hostel’s Sexy Time, Vinyl, and V-Day Dinner. Enjoy some super hip tunes while feasting on a gorgeous three-course menu that includes a scallop crudo, coriander crusted lamb chops, and a coconut bread pudding. $150 per couple includes a bottle of wine.

Pitchfork Pretty
Chef Max Snyder has designed a stunning farm-to-table prix fixe meal with a wide selection to choose from. Starting with oysters on the half shell and caviar with smoked egg yolk, the full meal includes snapper crudo, grilled beets with candied ginger and sesame, a beef short rib for two, and other locavore-inspired dishes. $85 per person.

Second Bar + Kitchen
If you’re the type to wear black on Valentine’s Day, you’ll be in good company at Second Bar + Kitchen downtown. Their Anti-Valentine’s Night features special dishes like a blood sausage and deviled egg puree, a chocolate and burrata dessert, and free Lambrusco to toast your long lost love life.

III Forks
What could be more classic for a romantic dinner than a classic steak. The $65 prix fixe menu at this 2nd Street District restaurant offers a choice of filet mignon or New York strip, plus a starter and couple's chocolate ganache dessert to share. If either of you don't go gaga over red meat, opt for Atlantic salmon or roasted chicken.

Walton’s Fancy & Staple
Walton’s is opening its doors for a rare dinner service, hosting a special four-course dinner on Valentine’s night prepared by chef Phillip Anderson. Couples will enjoy an artisan cheese board, and selections which include a farm-fresh butter lettuce salad, coffee crusted hangar steak, roasted salmon, and desserts from its acclaimed bakery. $75 per person.