Ah, Valentine’s Day. The day of love and seduction is also the day when Austin chefs get the most creative and serve up their most imaginative and enticing offerings. With Valentine’s Day falling on a Tuesday this year, several restaurants are extending their day of love offerings which allows for the possibility of opting out of the busiest day in the restaurant business. For traditionalists, Austin is overflowing with Cupid’s cuisine offered only on February 14.
Whatever your taste, you are certain to fall in love with these offerings. Avoid disappointment by making your reservations well in advance.
There is always an air of sophistication at III Forks and you never know who you might see sipping cocktails around the piano bar. It is intimate and traditional and perfect for a romantic evening. The special Valentine’s prix fixe menu is available February 10-14. Start with a salad or lobster bisque, continue with mouthwatering filet mignon and lobster tails, and finish with a chocolate lovers’ delight. $160 per couple.
If you want to make an evening of it, Hotel Ella and Goodall’s Kitchen are offering a romantic stay package from February 10-14, which includes a three-course dinner for two with sparkling rose and chocolates in your room upon arrival. Goodall’s will also host a special Valentine’s pre-fixe menu, which will include an amuse bouche of arancine porcini mushroom, smoked mozzarella, black truffles; tuna carpaccio; choice of pan roasted barramundi or grilled filet mignon; and gateau frit for dessert. Dinner is $55 per person with a $40 wine pairing option. Reservations are available from 5-10 pm.
Hudson’s on the Bend
The long-time Lakeway favorite is back and better than ever. With new ownership, a new chef, and revamped cuisine, this Hill Country classic will offer a three-course meal which includes roasted beet and carrot salad or brown butter sweet potato bisque, Waygu New York strip or uni-spiced Lockhart quail, and chocolate ganache or lemon tart. $105 per person.
We bet that Jeffrey’s has seen the most proposals of any restaurant in Austin. It is a special restaurant for special occasions. If you plan to pop the question, they know how to make the evening one to remember. This year they will offer a four-course menu that includes foie gras two ways, lobster bisque, pan-roasted Dover sole, and cote de boeuf for two. $100 per person.
If you want bragging rights for one of the newest and hippest spots in Austin, visit Kuneo, chef Paul Qui’s latest. On February 13 and 14, Kuneo will offer a seven-course prix fixe menu with an optional beverage pairing that is composed of aphrodisiacs — talk about seductive. The menu includes oysters, sea brim, rabbit, caviar, black chicken, and white chocolate rose petals with white miso panna cotta. Prix fixe menu is $85 per person and $125 with drink pairings.
June’s All Day
In the mood for a little fun? June’s All Day is having a Valentine’s Day party with Deejay Lingerie. The three-course meal includes an oyster and caviar amuse bouche, black truffle handkerchief pasta, dark chocolate devil’s food cake, and more. $65 per person.
The special Valentine’s Day offerings, which will be available in addition to the regular menu, will include dressed oysters, dates and figs and venison terrine, and wood grill surf and turf, plus specialty items such as lamb chops, and chocolate sticky toffee pudding for dessert. Launderette is accepting reservations for both lunch and dinner on the February 14.
Mueller restaurant L’Oca d’Oro is serving up very imaginative evenings on February 13 and 14. As part of a larger dinner series, the restaurant is hosting a Valentine’s Day mash-up with menus inspired by the music of Stevie Wonder and Public Enemy. Guests will have a “love” or “hate” option for each course of the four-course meal, and the restaurant will be playing music by each of the artists throughout the evening. Some of the very creative offerings include: "Stevie at the Beach" fruitta di mare, "Apocalypse" pollo alla trentina, and "My Cherie Amour" red velvet cake. Reservations are available from 5-10 pm for $55 per person with an optional $30 wine pairing.
Paul Martin’s Austin Grill
When you are the new guy on the block you have to go all out to impress the ladies, and this Domain Northside newcomer won’t disappoint. Just the special Valentine’s Day appetizer — the chilled seafood platter for two, which features fresh oysters, lobster tail, smokes salmon rillettes, and house cocktail sauce — should be enough to pique your interest. Follow it up with the New York strip, blackened ribeye with Cajun spices, or the Ahi tuna seared to perfection, complemented by the extensive wine list or classic cocktails. Valentine’s specials available all day from February 9 through 14.
Trace at the W
If you are in the mood for an ambitious menu that will take you on a “progression of love,” look no further than Trace at the W Hotel. Start with a "Crush" (strawberry gazpacho, leek and potato soup, figs and prosciutto, bluebonnet salad); follow with a little "Flirt" (foie gras parfait, blue crab toast, hanger steak tartar, sweet potato casonesi); then on to the all-consuming "Love Sick" stage (filet of beef, roasted trout, crispy pork rillette, Anson Mills polenta); and finally "Be Mine" (classic pavlova, raspberry cocoa, milk chocolate). Three-course option is $65 per person; four-course option $75 per person.
Uchi and Uchiko
If you have always wanted to visit these award-winning restaurants, Valentine’s Day might just be the ticket. They are serving up special seven-course tasting menus showcasing their greatest hits. Meant to be shared by two people, the menus will feature both sweet and savory courses. Available only on February 14. $150 for two. Reservations are strongly recommended.