Valentine’s Day Dining Guide 2015
All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.
–Charles M. Schulz
A few oysters, Caribbean spiny lobster, and champagne doesn’t hurt either! Here at Spoon we’ve compiled a list of restaurants on the Island of Enchantment offering special Valentine’s Day menus. Spend the evening with someone who brings color to your cheeks and choose from the many meticulously crafted multi-course menus – some even include glasses of bubbly. Remember – where the price is listed per person or per couple, cost does not include tax or tip.
For as love frequently preserves from the attacks of hunger, so may hunger possibly, in some cases, defend us against love.
-Henry Fielding, from Tom Jones
And by the way, who needs a date? You and a pack of your most cynical friends can go to Papillon where they will serve their standard fare as sharing plates. The bar at Gallo Negro is always rocking – go it alone and meet someone interesting! Is your love but a new and blossoming bud? Did your cousin Pedro set you up on a blind date with that girl from his office? Never fear, restaurants like Cocina Abierta, Yantar, Santaella, Jose Enrique and many others are offering their standard a la carte options to save you from having to commit to anything long-term, like marriage or dessert.
Valentine’s Day Prix Fixe Dinners
Get away from it all and head to Isabela for this stellar menu crafted by
Executive Chef Jose Carles Fábregas. Stay the night and in the morning head to their whale-watching deck to spot humpback whales. It’s currently peak season, but they’ll soon migrate north for mating season. Can you imagine anything more romantic? Neither can we. Menu highlights include: Caribbean Lobster Bisque, Spanish Octopus a la Plancha with Pigeon Pea “Gandules” Escabeche, and their Market Fresh Catch of the Day.
-$150 per couple (2 glasses of sparkling wine included)
-For reservations call: 787-609-5888
Mi Casa by Jose Andres
In beautiful Dorado, head to the restaurant of the incomparable Jose Andres at the Ritz Carlton Reserve. Highlights include: Mixed Tapas, Smoked Red Snapper, and Grilled Ribeye.
-For reservations call: 787-626-1100
Avocado Cocina Local
In Guaynabo, chef René Marichal will be offering deliciously innovative riffs on Valentine’s Day favorites. Highlights include: Coffee Rubbed Ribeye Carpaccio with Mushroom Escabeche; Shrimp and Scallop Salad with Melon and Mandarine Foam; Turbot Filet with Strawberry Risotto and Champagne Veloute.
-$99 per couple (2 glasses of sparkling wine included)
-For reservations call: 939-204-4532
Visit Zest where tremendous chef Raul Correa will be serving up some favorites. Visit the bar, Mist Ultra Lounge before or after dinner for cocktails.
-$75 p/p, reservations required
-For reservation call: 787-728-3666
Perla restaurant in La Concha Hotel offers one of the most romantic environs this Valentine’s Day. Sit in their oyster-shell-shaped dining room and receive an aphrodisiac by osmosis as you eat facing the Atlantic Ocean. Dining highlights include: Black Truffle Soup, Fried Oysters, and Grilled Angus Filet Mignon.
-For reservations call: 787-977-3285
Visit this Old San Juan stalwart and choose your own adventure. Highlights include: White Bean Truffle Soup, Lobster Risotto, and Truffle Pappardelle.
-4 courses -$55 p/p,
-5 courses $75 p/p,
-6 Courses $85 p/p
-For reservations call: 787-724-3969
Sage Steak Loft @ The Olive Boutique Hotel
Acclaimed chef Mario Pagan’s new restaurant is described by the hotel as his, ‘Ultrachic culinary living room.’ End the night with dessert on the rooftop facing the Condado Lagoon. Highlights include: Bronzino with Lime Spinach Grits and a Port Cranberry Reduction; Prime Petit Mignon with Yucca Gnocchi with Stilton Sauce and Caramelized Onions.
-two seatings at 6:30 or 9:30
-For reservations call: 787-705-9992
In the arts district of Santurce, Chef Maria Mercedes is serving a delectable menu that includes fresh fish crudo, saffron & langoustine pasta, parsnip bisuqe and more!
– 3 seatings
-For reservations call: 787-554-5445
The Caribbean Journal recently voted chef Xiomara Marquez as their chef of the year. Choose from their a la carte menu or be whisked away by their 4 course option.
-For reservations call: 787-724-3636
Visit the Isla Verde outpost of this famed New York Italian restaurant. Their Truffle Ravioli is to die for.
-For reservations call: 787-253-1700
This underrated gem in Isla Verde brings their culinary A-game every time. Recent highlights include: Seared Halibut, Candied Fennel, Crispy Leeks and Barley Risotto; Ahi Tuna Salad, Grilled Octopus, Pickled Green Papaya and Asian Greens.
-For reservations call: 787-919-7575
Relatively new to the Condado scene, Parcela (rather excitingly) cure their charcuterie in-house. Highlights of this menu include: Headcheese Torchon Fritter with Pickled Beets and Goat Cheese; Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Paprika-Spiced Risotto and Fresh Vegetables.
-For reservations call: 787-728-9876
For value and charm in equal measure, visit this hip Peruvian restaurant on Calle Loiza. Full disclosure – we went last year and it was delicious and refined.
-meal includes two glasses of sangria
-For reservations call: 787-200-5877
Over at Papillon choose from their standard a la carte menu served as special sharing plates. They will feature a charity bar with special guest bartenders. All bar proceeds will benefit Lily’s Angels Charity for children with Down’s Syndrome.
-For reservations call 787-919-0500
On Sunday February 15 keep the romance rolling at brunch with your beloved. Famed chef Mario Pagan will host a brunch replete with live music.
-For reservations call 787-522-6444
Restaurants with Standard À la Carte Menus
-Bistro de Paris
-Nonna Cucina Rustica
By: Caroline Johnson