Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day 2014

Felton’s Hallcrest Winery has Valentine’s weekend dessert & wine pairing


Celebrate Valentine's weekend at Hallcrest Winery Photo courtesy of Hallcrest

Celebrate Valentine’s weekend at Hallcrest Winery
Photo courtesy of Hallcrest

Hallcrest Winery in Felton is celebrating Valentine’s Day all weekend by hosting a Pinot Noir tasting with cheese and homemade chocolate desserts Friday-Sunday afternoons, with a live music bonus on Saturday.

Wine Proprietor John Schumacher has chosen his favorite Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Cruz Mountain Pinot Noirs, and the Hallcrest team has selected the perfect desserts to pair with each wine.

This pairing will take place from 1-5 p.m. daily Feb. 14-16 in the  candlelit tasting room, which provides a romantic atmosphere. The live music on Saturday is by singer/songwriter Kara Hesse.

The winery requests RSVPs for parties of four or more. The event is open to all; it’s free for Hallcrest wine club members and $7 for non-members.

379 Felton Empire Road, Felton



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Heart-healthy fish at Whole Foods Market for Valentine’s Day and beyond

whole foods paiche

Pan-Seared Paiche with Spicy Avocado Sauce and Greens, made with Whole Foods Market recipe. Photo courtesy of WFM

Whole Foods Market has started carrying a new fish called paiche, which is a whitefish from the Amazon. After trying a complimentary sample, I wanted to pass along some information about paiche (pronounced “pie-chay”). I also have a recipe to share plus an opportunity for one of you to win a Whole Foods Market gift card (see end of article for contest details).

And in case you were wondering, it’s not merely Valentine’s season: February is National Heart Month, so it’s good to think about eating heart-healthy foods like fish!

As stated in a December 2013 New York Times “Front Burner” article, paiche is a freshwater fish with a “mild, sweet flavor and a meaty, dense texture that is suitable for sautéing, roasting and grilling; it also holds up well in stews.” The article warns that although the fish is threatened by overfishing and deforestation, it’s being sustainably raised in ponds in Peru monitored by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. It is being filleted, shipped frozen from Peru, and thawed at Whole Foods Market.

WFM is the only national retailer that’s currently carrying paiche, and it’s priced at $14.99/lb. This paiche is raised without antibiotics, pesticides or added hormones. It has an optimal ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, plus 20 grams of protein in every 3.5-ounce serving. It has a lower fat content than some similar whitefish like Chilean seabass—as I soon discovered, the decreased fat correlates to decreased flavor.

I got my paiche at the market with complimentary seasoning added to my filet (whenever you buy seafood at WFM, you can ask for seasoning at no extra cost). I chose a lemon-herb combination; in the future I would try something with more kick like a Cajun seasoning blend—that was available at the market too—or fresh garlic and other strong herbs. The fish was subtly flavored after my husband grilled it; it’s one of those products that takes on the flavor of what you add to it. The texture was pleasing, very steak-like. A bonus of the mild flavor? My 2 ½ year old daughter loved it! It actually made her open to trying seafood in general whereas she had previously been a bit hesitant; last night she was willing to taste freshly grilled salmon and asked for more.

Another advantage to a mild-tasting fish is that you can use it as a conduit for a sauce or ingredient that you want to be the star of your dish. I bet the paiche is perfect for this Pan-Seared Paiche with Spicy Avocado Sauce and Greens recipe provided by WFM, which includes jalapeno (see photo).

Want the chance to win a gift card so you can buy paiche and/or other ingredients at WFM? Keep reading!

Prize: A $50 gift card to Whole Foods Market.
To enter, email your name to tfatemiwalker@yahoo.com and include the words “Whole Foods seafood.” Deadline to enter is Fri. Feb. 14, 2014 at 9 p.m.
This contest is open to readers of Tara Fatemi Walker’s Examiner.com and Santacruzfoodie.com sites. Employees of Examiner.com are not eligible for this promotion.

On Twitter? Please follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Last-minute Valentine’s Day restaurants in Santa Cruz area and Monterey

Pasta at Lago di Como in Santa Cruz

Pasta at Lago di Como in Santa Cruz

Valentine’s Day is Friday – many restaurants in the Santa Cruz and Monterey areas are fully booked– but others are still available. I’ve listed a few that still have available reservations via OpenTable.com.

Here are my Valentine’s guides for other cities, with menu highlights:

Also, Chaminade in Santa Cruz doesn’t have online reservations — you need to call for availability — but it does have two large dining areas, plus a few other Valentine’s-and-beyond specials worth reading about.

Chaminade (831-475-5600) is serving Friday dinner from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Executive Chef Kirsten Ponza has created a palate pleasing, heart pounding, three course prix fixe menu to be enjoyed at Linwood’s Bar & Grill or the Sunset Dining Room.  Guests will enjoy a choice of salad, entrees that include filet mignon, duck confit, double cut pork chop, petrale sole or a roasted wild mushroom lasagna, and a delectable dessert.  Price is $65 per person not including tax or gratuity.

Here are Chaminade’s wine, spa, and hotel specials:

Sip & Savor Sparkling Wines of the World
On Saturday, February 15th, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Chaminade Resort & Spa is hosting a sparkling wines of the world tasting event.  The package includes a sampling of four different types of sparkling wines including prosecco, cava, brut and blanc de blanc paired with savory menu items, a guest speaker who will share the nuances of champagnes and sparkling wines from grape to bottle and “how to” tips and demonstrations.  Package price is $50 per person or $90 per couple plus tax and gratuity.   For reservations and information, call 831-475-5600.

Spaaatacular Valentine’s Day Treatments
The Spa at Chaminade has created two exclusive treatments featuring aphrodisiac ingredients guaranteed to heighten the senses of the most discerning spa goer – including Aphrodite herself!  Be My Valentine package includes an antioxidant cocoa body wrap, a seasonal rosemary and peppermint facial, a glass of Gloria Ferrer champagne, and chocolate covered strawberries.  Package price is $352 and includes a 20% savings and includes gratuity.  Serenity for Two includes two 80-minute simply Zen massages in The Spa’s couples room, followed by a relaxing reprise in a heated whirlpool on The Spa’s private patio and topped off with a glass of Gloria Ferrer champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for two.  Price is $376 and includes a 20% savings and includes gratuity.  For reservations and information call The Spa at Chaminade at 831-465-3465.  Both treatments will be offered February 1-28, 2014.

An Affair to Remember
Spend Valentine’s weekend at Chaminade Resort & Spa overlooking Monterey Bay and enjoy luxurious accommodations for two, a bottle of sparkling wine or cider, chocolate covered strawberries, a $75 resort credit in Linwood’s Bar & Grill and 20% off select spa services and spa products.  Package prices start at $259, not including tax or resort fee.  For reservations or information call 1-800-283-6569 or visit www.chaminade.com. This deal might be available later in February, as well.

As of 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, the following restaurants (listed alphabetically) still had selected Valentine’s Day dinner reservations available. Call or make reservations through OpenTable.com:

  • Café Mare  (831) 458-1212
  • Chocolate the Restaurant (831) 427-9900
  • Hoffman’s Bistro (831) 420-0135
  • Johnny’s Harborside (831) 479-3430
  • Lago Di Como (831) 454-8257
  • Pearl of the Ocean (831) 457-2350
  • Rosie McCann’s (831) 426-9930

As of 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, the following restaurants (listed alphabetically) still had selected Valentine’s Day dinner reservations available. Call or make reservations through OpenTable.com:

    • Domenico’s on the Wharf (831) 372-3655
    • the C restaurant & bar (831) 375-4800
    • Fish Hopper (831) 372-8543
    • Jacks-Portola Hotel & Spa (831) 649-2698
    • Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar (831) 372-2628
    • Tarpy’s Roadhouse (831) 647-1444

TusCA Ristorante (831) 372-1234

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Special Valentine’s Day chocolate gifts including LINDOR truffle heart boxes

LINDOR Elegance Heart filled with milk chocolate truffles for Valentine’s Day. Photo credit: Lindt Chocolates

LINDOR Elegance Heart filled with milk chocolate truffles for Valentine’s Day. Photo credit: Lindt Chocolates

Chocolate is a perfect Valentine’s Day gift, and Lindt Chocolates has many offerings for the occasion.

Also, Lindt is spreading the Valentine’s Day love online with a fun Facebook game where you can win instant daily prizes including chocolate gift baskets, massages, spa treatments, and jewelry. The grand prize is a trip for two to Napa Valley! Visit Facebook.com/LindtChocolate and play the “Match to Melt” game. The promotion lasts until Feb. 14, 2014.

I had the chance to sample the company’s delicious milk chocolate LINDOR truffles recently, and they really are a great treat! The signature truffles, as always, will be offered in varying sizes, packages and designs this season.

Here are a few other Valentine’s Day highlights that Lindt has announced:

  • LINDOR Elegance Heart (10.6 oz.): This beautiful heart (see photo) is filled with delicious LINDOR Milk Chocolate truffles sure to melt the heart of your Valentine: $14.99
  • LINDOR Truffles Milk Heart (8.5 oz.): Give a piece of your heart with the new LINDOR Truffles Gift Heart.  Surprise that special someone with this elegant and festive heart, filled with irresistibly smooth Milk Chocolate, Caramel and Dark Chocolate LINDOR truffles: $9.99
  • Frog Prince Hollow Figure (100 g.): It takes kissing a few frogs to find a prince!  This delicious milk chocolate hollow Frog Prince figure is a sweet Valentine’s surprise.  Available exclusively at Target: $3.99
  • HELLO Mini Sticks Bag (4.9 oz): Say “hello” to your loved one with a delicious assortment of Strawberry Cheesecake, Caramel Brownie, Cookies and Cream and Crunchy Nougat chocolate mini sticks.  This playful collection will win over the chocolate-lover in your life and is available in assorted and Strawberry Cheesecake varieties.  Available exclusively at Target: $3.99
  • Classic Romance Heart (9.8 oz.): This romantic heart is filled with delectable classic assorted praline chocolates and is the perfect gift for your Valentine: $19.99

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Bay Area Valentine’s Day dining Part 3: San Jose area & Los Gatos restaurants

King crab, heart of Palm, uni mousse, passion fruit, bok choy at Alexander’s Steakhouse SV in November 2013. Credit: Alexander’s Steakhouse SV Facebook page

King crab, heart of palm, uni mousse, passion fruit, bok choy at Alexander’s Steakhouse SV in November 2013. Credit: Alexander’s Steakhouse SV Facebook page

It’s less than a week to Valentine’s Day 2014—here are some menu highlights for restaurants in San Jose and Los Gatos; soon I’ll publish a bit of info on Monterey & Santa Cruz.

If you are interested in other cities, see my menu highlights for San Francisco and the North Bay & East Bay.

San Jose Area

The Loft Bar and Bistro (Downtown San Jose) & Capers (Campbell)

Sister restaurants The Loft and Capers are offering special Valentine’s Day menus. Make reservations and get more information by calling 408.291.0677 (The Loft) or 408.374.5777 (Capers).

Alexander’s Steakhouse Silicon Valley (Cupertino)

Cozy up in Cupertino for a sumptuous 6-course tasting menu with optional wine pairings at Michelin-starred Alexander’s Steakhouse. The restaurant will offer dishes such as Butter Poached Maine Lobster with golden beets, vanilla, and fennel and Certified Angus Beef Prime Filet Mignon with parsnip, black trumpet duxelle, and bordelaise sauce. The dinner is $175 per person with optional wine pairings for an additional cost.

A Bellagio (Campbell)

Italian restaurant A Bellagio is serving a four-course prix fixe dinner in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Dishes include Ravioli d’Argosta allo Champagne e Gamberetti (Ravioli stuffed w/ lobster, served w/ creamy Champagne sauce & bay shrimp) and Costolette D’Agnello (Roasted Rack of Lamb served over polenta w/ fresh green beans, finished in a black truffle & cognac demi-glace). Dinner is $75 per person and reservations can be made via OpenTable.com or by calling 408.370.7705.

Los Gatos

Dio Deka

Mediterranean restaurant Dio Deka is serving a four-course prix fixe dinner for Valentine’s Day. There will also be live music, memento photos, and long-stemmed roses at each table. Dinner is $95 per person and reservations can be made via OpenTable.com or by calling 408.354.7700.

The Lexington House

The Lexington House is the newest addition to the Los Gatos’ dining scene. For Valentine’s Day, Chef Philippe Breneman will offer dishes from the regular menu such as Diver Scallops basted in brown butter with winter squash, furikake and dashi, Chicken Liver Mousse with seasonal pickles on Watsonville sourdough and Llano Seco Pork Sugo Gnocchi with crispy artichoke served with a Gremolata egg. The Lexington House presents an ever-changing menu featuring unique Northern California food, classic, inspired cocktails, small batch spirits, craft beer, and limited production wine. For guests looking for something new and unique this Valentine’s Day, The Lexington House is a perfect way to celebrate in style. The Lexington House is a walk-in only restaurant but does consider reservations for larger groups of 6 or more by calling 408.354.1600.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Bay Area Valentine’s Day dining Part 2: East Bay & North Bay restaurants

A previous dish at FIVE in Berkeley: Crispy rolls with julienne vegetables, quinoa salad, heirloom tomato, cucumber, fried kale, butter lettuce Photo Credit: FIVE Facebook page

A previous dish at FIVE in Berkeley: Crispy rolls with julienne vegetables, quinoa salad, heirloom tomato, cucumber, fried kale, butter lettuce
Photo Credit: FIVE Facebook page

Here are highlights for Valentine’s Day menus at selected East Bay and North Bay restaurants including one with optional hotel accommodations.

Also see this article on San Francisco Valentine’s Day venues.

I’ll publish more restaurant information — including the South Bay with a few in the Santa Cruz and Monterey regions — over the next couple days.

East Bay
A16 Rockridge (Oakland)
Celebrate amore Italian-style this Valentine’s Day at A16 Rockridge with Chef Rocky Maselli’s special 5-course prix fixe menu. Diners are invited to enjoy Southern Italian delicacies such as Burrata with prosciutto di san daniele and crostini, Raviolo with Quattro formaggi in tomato sauce with basil and ricotta salata, and Wood Roasted Ribeye with potato, baby fava greens and salsa verde. For dessert, guests can choose between two romantic dishes: Layered Cake with white chocolate mousse, dark chocolate pudding, blood orange butter cream and a salted chocolate cookie crumble or Honey and Rose Panna Cotta with Champagne granite, hibiscus sauce and candied rose petals. The prix fixe menu will be served at a cost of $85 per person with optional wine pairings for an additional cost.

Bocanova (Oakland)
Bocanova is serving a prix fixe dinner in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Executive Chef John Jackson has created a special menu for two, with dishes such as Mushroom & Fresh Cheese Soup with bacon, saffron, parmesan, deep fried mushrooms and a spicy aioli; Dungeness Crab, Mango & Papaya Salad with a citrus dressing; Spicy Shortribs Asada Negro braised in chocolate, cacao and red wine; and Prickly Pear Sorbet. Dinner is $48 per person and reservations can be made online or by calling 510.444.1233.

FIVE Restaurant (Berkeley)
FIVE is serving a four-course Valentine’s Day prix fixe dinner. Selections include grilled beef filet mignon with truffle sauce, twice baked potato, lobster and sour cream, fried artichoke heart and sautéed spinach, and crab stuffed sole baked in papillote with julienne vegetables, heart of palm, and blood orange sauce. Dinner is $60 per person with one glass of sparkling wine included. Optional wine pairings are available for an additional cost. Make reservations through OpenTable.com or by calling 510.225.6055.
North Bay
Fast Food Francais (F3)
Celebrating its one-year anniversary on Valentine’s Day, Fast Food Francais (F3) is looking back at the past year and changing the full menu. From February 7-21, the restaurant is bringing back favorite, classic dishes from the past year and making them available for a limited time. It will also offer a $50 truffle burger, which includes seven grams of truffle and seven ounces of wagyu beef served with gilded fries. Reservations can be made online or by calling 415.887.9047.

Silverado Resort & Spa (Napa)
The beauty of Napa Valley is wonderful for a romantic dinner. Wine and dine your Valentine in style at Silverado with a dinner reservation in The Grill or Royal Oak. Reservations for both restaurants are required so please call 707-257-5431 or email Dining@SilveradoResort.com.

Valentine’s Day; February 14th 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm – Treat your loved one to a three-course dinner with a glass of sparkling wine for just $60 per person.  A limited a la carte menu is also available.
February 15th and 16th 5:30 pm – 9 :00 pm – Enjoy a la carte dining featuring “Sweet Specials.”

February 14th – 15th from 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm – The Royal Oak will be serving a special four-course dinner for $78 per person. Additional wine pairing for $25

Be My Valentine Package:
A cozy bedroom, plus champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries on your arrival night and a delicious breakfast each morning. The Be Our Valentine Package includes:

  • Deluxe Accommodations
  • Continental breakfast for Two in The Grill
  • Sparkling Wine
  • Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Buckeye Roadhouse (Mill Valley)
Buckeye Roadhouse is serving a $69 prix fixe dinner menu for Valentines Day. Dishes include crab bisque with cognac crème fraiche and chives, Dungeness crab cocktail with Meyer lemon, avocado, and red amaranth, crusted Hampshire pork chop with bacon, bread crumbs, capers, and lemon, and braised lamb shank “gremolata” with saffron couscous and pine nuts. Make reservations on the restaurant’s web site or by calling 415.331.2600.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Bay Area Valentine’s Day dining Part 1: San Francisco restaurants

Chef Kajino’s Petrale Sole with Organic Bloomsdale Spinach, Winter Root Vegetables and a Lemon Beurre Blanc, from CHAYA’s January menu (a variation of this is available on Valentine’s Day)

Chef Kajino’s Petrale Sole with Organic Bloomsdale Spinach, Winter Root Vegetables and a Lemon Beurre Blanc, from CHAYA’s January menu (a variation of this is available on Valentine’s Day)

It’s almost Valentine’s Day 2014 – where does the time go? Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to enjoy a romantic meal at one of your favorite restaurants, and I’ve gathered some information for several San Francisco venues. See below for details and menus plus information on a few SF hotels if you want to turn the romantic holiday into a weekend getaway. One hotel even offers marriage proposal packages!

I’ll publish information on restaurants in other Bay Area cities including Santa Cruz and San Jose over the next few days.

For those looking to avoid a prix fixe menu, 1760 provides a welcome alternative. Chef Adam Tortosa will offer his nightly a la carte menu of shareable dishes with a few key additions for the holiday. To further the experience, Wine Director Gianpaolo Paterlini’s wine list focuses on selections that complement the creative cuisine. Cocktails crafted by Bar Manager Christopher Longoria also highlight seasonal ingredients and are known for approachable yet distinctive flavors. For reservations visit http://www.1760sf.com/reservations/ or call 415-359-1212

For more than two decades, Acquerello has offered romance and an unparalleled Italian fine-dining experience in San Francisco’s Nob Hill neighborhood. Acquerello restaurant is housed in a former chapel, and the space is graced with arches and a rustic wood-beamed vaulted ceiling, perfect for an intimate dining experience. Dishes on the special Valentine’s Day Tasting Menu may include the Santa Barbara Uni served with crab, apple, turnip and pepperoncino, Petaluma Farms Poultry Lasagna or the Re-Interpreted Veal Osso Buco. For dessert, indulge in the Madeleine Cake with Rosé-White Chocolate, pistachio and candied rose petals. Price per person $215 excluding wine, tax and gratuity. Wine pairing $95. For reservations please email info@acquerello.com or call (415) 567-5432

Cozy up by the fire at TBD restaurant this Valentine’s day and enjoy Chef Mark Liberman’s hearth-cooked fare. Couples can enjoy a special family-style menu for two with 7-8 small plates created for the holiday.

Alexander’s Steakhouse
Spoil your loved one at Alexander’s Steakhouse with the restaurant’s special 7-course menu with optional wine pairings. The menu highlights all of the steakhouse’s beloved delicacies including Tuna Carpaccio with Shio Koji cauliflower, pickled pearl onion and olive oil and Tajima F1 Wagyu Beef with salt roasted potato, charred leek, and black truffles. For dessert, diners can indulge in a Truffled Gouda cheese course with honeycomb as well as a chocolate course featuring Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate, Currant, and Port. The dinner is $165 per person excluding gratuity with additional wine pairings available for $95.

Presidio Social Club
Enjoy the standard Presidio Social Club menu of classic favorites along with some special additions in honor of the holiday. Get festive with the Wagyu Carpaccio with crispy sunchoke and truffle, the Broiled Black Cod and Crab Custard in an aromatic broth or the California Lamb Chops.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with CLIFT’s Sweet Escapes package including Rose champagne and heart-adorned red velvet cupcakes with extra frosting and 2 body paint brushes to have a little fun with. Also included are 2 complimentary cocktails in the Redwood Room and 20% off dinner in the Velvet Room. Upgrade upon check in based on availability.

Foreign Cinema
Foreign Cinema is pleased to usher in Valentine’s Evening with a romantic Pretty in Pink theme and a sumptuous a la carte menu filled with their favorite dishes: Cornmeal Blini with Caviar, Oysters on the Half Shell, Aged New York Steak, Filet Mignon, Big Eye Tuna, Maine Sea Scallops, Seasonally Inspired Salads, Indulgent Desserts and much more.

InterContinental San Francisco
The InterContinental San Francisco offers a “San Francisco Is for Lovers” package that includes romantic features such as champagne for two, long stem strawberries delivered to the room by butler, a bath drawn with rose petals, and a VIP turndown service. Breakfast and a late checkout are also included in the package.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Michelin Star at the InterContinental San Francisco’s Luce Restaurant. The 4-course menu for $65 per person includes dishes such as Roasted Carrots and Sun Dried Spices with nettles, smoked egg, and chicken bouillon and Pacific Halibut and Blue Prawns with fennel, golden turnip and winter squash. To sweeten the evening, upgrade to “The Sweetheart Package” for $214 per couple and enjoy a bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne.

InterContinental Mark Hopkins
The InterContinental Mark Hopkins boasts the legendary Top of the Mark restaurant and bar with a near 360 degree view of the scenic skyline of San Francisco. Situated on the 19th floor of the hotel, the world-renowned sky lounge is famed for its 100 Martinis menu, cocktails and live entertainment. This classic, romantic spot provides the perfect backdrop for a memorable proposal. The Top of the Mark offers a number of Romance Packages such as “Love Above All,” which includes a table with a view at the Top of the Mark, a bottle of Piper Sonoma sparkling wine, six red roses, an assortment of fine truffles, and a framed photo. With “The Perfect Proposal” package, guests are treated to a table with a view, a custom chocolate ring box, a bottle of Piper Sonoma sparkling wine, a framed photo, and an engagement announcement by the Top of the Mark band.  For guests unsure of how to pop the question, the InterContinental Mark Hopkins has a Proposal Desk to help brainstorm romantic solutions to engagement needs. The Proposal Desk service will facilitate endeavors from flower delivery to hot-air balloon chartering.

Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins
This Valentine’s Day, take in a romantic 6-course dinner and 360 degree view of the city at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins’ Top of the Mark. The decadent dinner includes dishes such as Arugula with strawberry, figs, honey, and walnuts and Wagyu with scallop, asparagus, tomato pierogi, and port wine essence. Dinner guests are encouraged to bring an overnight bag as they will be automatically entered into a drawing for a one-night stay in the hotel’s luxurious Presidential Suite. The dinner is $495 per couple and includes one bottle of Möet & Chandon Rosé. Reservations are required.

A16 will celebrate their 10th anniversary on Valentines’ Day 2014. Co-owners Shelley Lindgren and Victoria Libin will host a special dinner that evening where A16’s original chef Christophe Hille will collaborate on a menu with current Executive Chef Chris Thompson featuring the “classics” of A16: favorite dishes from the past decade.

CHAYA Brasserie San Francisco
On Friday, February 14, CHAYA Brasserie at the Embarcadero will celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special three-course prix fixe dinner menu for $80 per person. Guests can choose between six appetizers, six entrees, and five different desserts featuring dishes such as the signature Seared Wagyu Beef Sushi Roll with crab, tempura shrimp, cucumber, and spicy aioli; Spiced Honey Glazed Duck Breast with crispy winter root phyllo, Bloomsdale spinach, and Meyer lemon; and Coconut Ice Cream Sandwich with chocolate fudge.  Chef Yuko Kajino offers a take-home gift of CHAYA truffles, and those who dine before 7pm can enjoy the “Early Love-Bird” special with a complimentary ½ bottle of Rose. With idyllic views of the Bay Lights installation, CHAYA’s dining room provides a romantic setting with floor to ceiling windows looking out to the Bay Bridge. CHAYA is renowned for serving innovative cuisine that blends European and Asian flavors. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 415-777-8688 or visiting www.thechaya.com.

Chef Jason Wittek at Radius will offer a special 4-course tasting menu with dishes such as the McFarland Springs Ranch Trout with smoked potatoes, pickled onions and citrus beurre blanc or the Liberty Farms Duck Breast with escarole, grapes and hazelnut. End the evening of romance with a delicious dessert of Chocolate Nougatine with Vanilla & Olive Oil Milkshake. The 4-course tasting menu will be offered at $70 per person both Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15, 2014. A limited a la carte menu will also be available. Prices exclude tax and gratuity. For reservations, please visit http://radiussf.com/or call (415) 525-3676.


Bergerac in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood will be hosting “The Lonely Hearts Club” this Valentine’s Day, playing the best love songs from the 60’s and 70’s all night long. Bar goers can drink their sorrows away with the special Love in Vain, Lonely Teardrops, or Sealed With a Kiss cocktail for $7; cry over the Heartbreak Hotel or Let’s Get it On punch bowl with several friends for $30; or enjoy an Oyster Threeway for $5 (one Kumamoto, one Sweetwater, and one Virginicas oyster).

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.