Head over heels

11 dreamy Austin restaurants for a romantic Valentine's Day date

11 dreamy Austin restaurants for a romantic Valentine's Day date

Pitchfork Pretty Valentines day
Let Pitchfork Pretty set the scene for a swoon-worthy Valentine's Day. Photo by Julia Keim

In case your sweetheart has not been dropping hints, let us interrupt your daily procrastinating to offer an all-important reminder: February 14 is only two weeks away. Unless you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a couple of P. Terry’s cheeseburgers (hey, you do you), it’s time to make reservations at one of Austin’s most romantic restaurants. From elegant prix fixe feasts to swanky specials, we got the goods on the best the Capital City has to offer.

Apis Restaurant & Apiary
Head out to the Texas Hill Country for a tasty retreat. Chef Taylor Hall pulls out all the stops with truffle pasta, Osetra caviar and dry aged beer tartare, and six-day aged Rohan duck. Optional snack starters like the restaurant’s famous egg toast are also available. Reservations start at 5 pm and the cost is $95 per person.

Arlo Grey
Impress your date with a beautiful dinner at the Line Austin’s signature restaurant. The five-course menu sparkles with dishes like seared diver scallops with sunchoke, dill, and cracked wheat and a roasted Cornish game hen stuffed with ’nduja and served with a root vegetable and farfalle pot au feu. Reservations are 5-10 pm and the cost per person is $100.

Cafe Josie
This Clarksville classic is taking a break from the usual all-you-can-eat format to offer a five-course experience for $75 per guest. The offerings, available from 5-9:30 pm, include bay scallop ceviche with tiger’s milk and Thai chili, smoked pork tenderloin with herbed polenta, and foie creme with roasted strawberries.

Emmer & Rye
One of Austin’s most acclaimed restaurants will naturally be a V-Day hot spot, so make those reservations now. From 5-10 pm, pony up $100 per person to enjoy fare like a Carolina Gold rice cracker with lamb tartare and mint, a New York strip with cauliflower and miso brown butter, and a refreshing orange sorbet with red beet vinegar ice, salted cream, and candied beets. Wine pairings are available at an additional cost.

Let Austin duo (and real-life couple) Beth // James serenade you as you relish moonstruck specials like foie gras and wild mushroom flatbread with basil pesto, caramelized apple, and preserved Meyer lemon relish and raspberry rose entremets with lemon cake and white chocolate mousse. Dinner runs from 5:30-10pm. The music starts at 9:30 pm.

Kemuri Tatsu-Ya
Take a break from the usual steak at this East Austin charmer. Instead of a prix fixe meal, Kemuri is offering a trio of specials from 5-11 pm, along with the regular menu. Relish in 50-day dry aged beef tataki with charred scallion butter and caviar or share a duck leg for two with a hearty winter root salad and chile-infused cured duck yolk. Either way, you’ll have hearts in your eyes as you finish every last bite.

Monger’s Market + Kitchen
Dive deep into this seafood joint’s fresh caught menu, which features three courses for $60, available until 10 pm. Choices include crispy Gulf oysters with saffron aioli and smoked tomato chow chow, crab-stuffed flounder with leeks, and roasted sea bass with truffle dashi and blistered tomatoes. All the dessert options are intriguing, but our vote goes to the pineapple upside down cake with coconut ice cream.

Known for its impeccable service as much as its innovative Southern cuisine, chef Michael Fojtasek’s lauded eatery is wooing guests with a three-course dinner for $85. From 5-10 pm, the feast offers tempting selections from the regular menu, plus the restaurant’s famous biscuits.

Pitchfork Pretty
Caviar with smoked egg yolk, cultured cream, and potato panisse; scallop with frozen radish, buckwheat, and tangerine; and beef tongue with pickles, onions, and white bread are just some of the highlights of Pitchfork’s lavish Valentine’s prix fixe. The $75 price includes seven show-stopping courses plus a complimentary round of bubbles. Hours are 5-10 pm.

Second Bar + Kitchen
Sweet dreams are made of cheese at this perpetual downtown face. From 4-11 pm, enjoy a cheese board, a bottle of bubbles, and emoji macarons for $25 or order pasta for some Lady and the Tramp-style canoodling.

Vino Vino
Both singles and couples are invited to enjoy this Hyde Park classic’s clever Valentine’s feast. the “Loves Me” menu includes dishes like roasted beets with rose jam, crème fraîche, and pistachio while the “Loves Me Not” comforts with sumptuous mac ’n’ cheese and an ice cream sundae. Both are available for $75 February 14 through 15 with optional $35 pairings.