In the dominant American culture, couples are almost required to eat dinner out on Valentine’s Day. Picking a restaurant can be daunting but Kansas City chefs have really kicked it into high gear this year with special menus, prix fixe affairs and little extras to entice local diners. Take a gander at some of the options.
The northland’s Trezo Mare has a very good deal going for Valentine’s Day, a 4 course menu for $75 per couple. Actually it is a five course meal if you count the spanakopita amuse-bouche. This place does seafood quite well, so the seared scallops with cauliflower puree and pomegranate gastrique seems quite intriguing, not to mention the presence of raw oysters on the appetizer list.
One this city’s finest restaurants, Blue Stem, is offering a 3 course meal for $65. Considering how much money you could spend there on a normal night, this has all the makings of a steal. You will need to sign up for one of three seatings (6, 7:30 and 9 p.m.) or you can take your chances by stopping by the lounge which operates on a first come, first served basis. They are also hosting a Valentine’s Day tea on Saturday for $25 per person.
Classy Korean joint Sobahn in Mission will be closed for regular business but is open to customers who RSVP for their multi-course Valentine’s Day extravaganza. They offer 4 courses for $25, 5 courses for $30 or 7 courses for $40. Meat, vegetarian and seafood preferences will be honored. If I was inclined to head out on Sunday, this is the place I would try.
Swoon-worthy Cafe De Amis in Parkville has a nice, special menu (PDF) for the holiday including fresh oysters, several cocktails and a number of rich, French inspired entrees and appetizers. This could make for a very romantic getaway for the evening. But bring your wallet: entrees range from $53-85.
McCormick & Schmick’s on the Plaza is jumping on the affordable bandwagon with a 3 course Valentine’s menu (PDF) for $29.95. Diners can choose between filet mignon or lobster tail, and between crabcake, salmon or shrimp which, along with vegetable and salad sounds like a mighty fine if traditional spread.
Also for the plaza-bound, Re:Verse has a 4 course Valentine’s meal for $60 per person, $70 with wine pairing. You get a choice between 2 items for each course.
On Martini Corner, The Drop’s Kelli Daniels has put together a delightful five-course meal in memory of her chef father who passed away this time last year. The menu is $100 per person and will be the only food offered on Sunday evening. This is sure to be a tasty and emotional evening.
Oft-overlooked Californos in Westport is offering its Valentine’s Day menu on both Saturday and Sunday. If you are feeling more adventurous you can shell out $10 for their roaring 20s themed St. Valentine’s Day Massacre Masquerade bash on Friday, which will feature gaming tables, appetizers and a costume contest.
Popular Tapas joint La Bodega has a four course menu with a selection of soup or salad, tapa, entree and dessert for $60 per person. Seafood is well-represented here with samon, clams, lobster, scallops and swordfish all making an appearance.
I admit to being lulled by the delicious sounding menu at Pierpont’s in Union Station. While prix fixe at $65 a head, you can choose among tuna, filet mignon, salmon or lobster for an entree. The Valentine’s menu is also available on Friday and Saturday.
Chaz at the Raphael Hotel off the Plaza has another set price menu at $60 per person. It gets extra points for names and descriptions that tread the line between jaunty and cheesy. Courses are titled Beginning, Prelude, Embrace and Endearment. Also, menage a trois for dessert anyone?
This list doesn’t even begin to enumerate the Valentine’s Day possibilities. Some other options include Michael Smith, NoRTH, Bristol Seafood Grill, The Majestic, Lidia’s, JP Wine Bar, Tannah’s, not to mention all the other fine restaurants simply offering their regular menus.
Regardless of where you choose to eat on Valentine’s Day, be sure to call ahead and make a reservation. This holiday is stressful enough without having to go hungry for lack of planning.
originally published on KCFreePress.com, 2010