Honestly, Jose and I have never been big on celebrating Valentine’s Day. We may hand each other a Trader Joe’s bouquet of flowers or a heated Starbucks croissant, but fancy dinners, and diamonds have never been our thing. However, I love eating out and exploring new restaurants. Although we rarely dine out on Valentine’s Day, here are a few of our favorite romantic places that can make any evening feel like Valentine’s Day.
- Absinthe - We recently spent a fancy parent’s night out here with my sister and brother in law and it quickly became one of our favorites. It’s a swanky little San Francisco restaurant with a romantic ambience. They have a lovely drink menu that we really enjoyed and Jose loved their mashed potatoes.
- Allspice - This cozy little Indian restaurant has the most quaint romantic feel but the food is above and beyond. If you are a lover of Indian food, like me, you’ll absolutely love this place. But don’t just take my word for it, Allspice has been featured and KQED’s show Check Please and has great reviews. I love the vegetarian jasmine butternut squash soup.
- Quattro at the Four Seasons Hotel - If you’re not one for huge overwhelming menus, then this is the place for you. They have just a few things on their menu, but everything is tasty. We especially love their creamy pastas, fresh salads, and their selection of wines. And, during the winter months be sure to visit the beautiful Apres Village that’s more like a mountainside ski retreat with movie nights included! But make reservations early, they sell out fast.
- Buon Gusto - This authentic Italian restaurant is right in our back yard in South San Francisco. I have a wonderful memory of heading here after a long day of Christmas shopping with Jose and the kids. It was bustling with locals and the wine was flowing. We didn’t have reservations and had a long wait, but the staff was so nice and gave our kids bread until our table was ready and the food was more than worth it. Check out any of their steak and pasta dishes, you won’t be disappointed.
- Benihana - Ok, full disclosure, this is Jose’s pick. With so many amazing restaurants in the Bay Area, this is truly one of his top picks. While it doesn’t quite make my top 5, I have to admit, the food is tasty, the show is really fun, and we have a lot of great memories here. Plus, if you like sake, there’s a nice selection for you to try.