Celebrate Valentine’s Day at your favorite Santa Cruz or San Jose restaurant

Delicious Hawaiian Tuna Tartare at Lark Creek Blue on Santana Row

Delicious Hawaiian Tuna Tartare at Lark Creek Blue on Santana Row

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to enjoy a romantic meal at one of your favorite restaurants, whether it’s in Santa Cruz, San Jose, or another nearby area. See below for details for Valentine’s Day 2013 on Thurs. Feb. 14, and I’ll publish more restaurants in the next day or two.

Santa Cruz Area

La Posta

This downtown Santa Cruz restaurant is offering a special prix fixe dinner menu. It’s $65 for three courses; optional wine pairings are extra. Call (831) 457-2782 for reservations. Choices include appetizers Roasted beet sformato with sunchoke crema, walnuts and parmigiano or Duck confit, roasted carrot, fennel, mâche and brandied red currants, entrees Halibut with cardoon gratinata, spinach and saffron-fennel vinaigrette or Mushroom, squash and chard rotolo with ricotta, brown butter and sage; desserts Chocolate tart with rose gelato and pistachio croccante or Selection of Italian cheeses, fruit, nuts and local honey.

Location: 538 Seabright Ave, Santa Cruz

Café Sparrow

The Aptos restaurant is offering a Valentine’s menu with a la carte choices including its signature Peppered Filet Mignon plus lots of selections that aren’t normally offered. Call (831) 688-6238 for reservations. Choices include appetizers Seafood chorizo with roasted fingerlings and saffron aioli, Lomi ahi poke with wasabi mirin emulsion, and Fried gruyere risotto cake with cilantro lime, entrees Brie roasted bone in pork chop with house made apple butter, sweet corn tamale and Potato crusted California sea bass with berry beurre rouge, pecan & wild rice pilaf, and sides Green chile macaroni and cheese and Roasted brussel sprouts in vinaigrette with raisins & pine nuts.

Location: 8042 Soquel Dr., Aptos

Gabriella Cafe

Gabriella, in downtown Santa Cruz, is serving a four-course prix fixe dinner for $65. Call (831) 457-1677 for reservations. Highlights include filet mignon, duck breast, Dungeness crab, oysters, beet pasta, and chocolate torte.

Location: 910 Cedar St, Santa Cruz

San Jose

Lark Creek Blue

This Santana Row venue opened in August, replacing Lark Creek Restaurant Group’s Yankee Pier. It’s offering a three-course prix fixe menu for $55. Call 408) 244-1244 for reservations. Appetizer choices include Hawaiian Tuna Tartare with horseradish, soy, cashew crackers, sesame oil or Seared Scallops with artichoke puree, fried baby artichoke and lemon vinaigrette. Entrée choices include Grilled Ahi Tuna Steak with horseradish cream, tempura crumbs, chili Napa cabbage or Local Petrale Sole which is pan roasted and served with spinach, shoe string fries, brown butter, capers and parsley. I had the pleasure of dining at Lark Creek Blue in January, and I wholeheartedly recommend you visit the restaurant soon. In fact, two dishes that I greatly enjoyed are on the Valentine’s menu: the tuna tartare, which successfully balanced ultra-paper-thin fresh fish with a delicate flavorful sauce, and the grilled ahi, which included a very fresh, moist, and tender piece of seafood plus delicious chili-spiced cabbage that was perfectly cooked (next time I visit, if that cabbage is on the menu I’m going to ask for extra!).

378 Santana Row, Suite 1100, San Jose