Don’t panic, but the biggest date night of the year is just a week away. It’s OK, we’re here for you. We’ve put together this list of the city’s best Valentine’s Day menus, with picks for every kind of couple, from traditional and romantic to hip and intimate. Start booking.
“Think global. Eat local” is the motto at this much-loved Danforth restaurant, perfectly summing up its farm-to-table approach to a menu of international dishes. Aphrodisiacs are weaved throughout the restaurant’s three-course Valentine’s Day menu, which includes oysters as an amuse bouche and chocolatey desserts like flourless chocolate cake. Globe Bistro has received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for seven years and running, so you can count on having a top-notch selection of wines by the glass and bottle to pair with your meal. With high ceilings, soft lighting, and chic, minimalist decor, the setting is certainly a stylish place to celebrate.
This trendy Ossington restaurant offers some of the city’s most interesting Canadian fare, with a menu that takes inspiration from traditional Aboriginal cuisine and dishes prepared by the country’s early settlers and immigrants. Boralia’s three-course Valentine’s Day menu gives diners a choice between two tempting mains: stuffed petrale sole with field pea miso butter; and roast elk with black trumpet mushrooms. The restaurant’s interior pays homage to its Canadiana menu without overdoing the kitsch, decorated with cedar beamwork and copper light fixtures reminiscent of aurora borealis.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out this glitzy, 16,000 square-foot lounge which debuted last summer, then Valentine’s Day just might be the time to splurge. The restaurant serves up a contemporary French menu in an impossibly glamorous rooftop setting, 16 stories above the city, with views of its 155-foot-long pool. Lavelle’s five-course Valentine’s Day menu includes chef Romain Avril’s signature tuna tartare, which is delicately finished with soy dressing, daikon, pickled ginger, and dehydrated congee sesame cracker. The poached halibut with coconut white bean puree and green curry broth promises to be equally impressive.
With its upscale comfort food menu and setting in a restored early 20th-century building, the Maple Leaf Tavern strikes an effortless balance between cozy and classy. The restaurant’s five-course Valentine’s Day menu is designed to be shared, beginning with starters like smoked duck sausage and potato focaccia and finishing with a cheese course featuring truffle honey and house-made bread. If the Valentine’s Day dinner menu is a bit pricey for your budget, consider opting for the more affordable Valentine’s brunch hosted on February 11 and 12. Another shareable menu, brunch selections include roasted mushrooms, corned beef hash and grilled bacon.
Chef Jackie Lin foregoes white tablecloths and fine china at his 30-seat Japanese restaurant. Instead, prepare yourself for a stripped-down experience where the focus is the freshest possible seafood, which is delivered to the restaurant three times a week. The restaurant’s Valentine’s Day menu is available from February 7-14, giving you the option to celebrate early if you’re struggling to secure last-minute reservations for the big night. It’s an omakase menu, which means the choice of items served is left to the discretion of the chef. As a bonus, diners who order the Valentine’s Day menu have a chance to win a one-night stay at Langdon Hall that includes breakfast for two.
The Shangri-La’s Valentine’s Day dinner is hosted in the Museum Room, an elegant event space that isn’t normally open to the public. The room features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking University and Adelaide, as well as 13 Italian crystal chandeliers hanging from 24-foot-high ceilings. While the dramatic setting is enticing enough, the menu looks excellent too, with six courses that include black truffle cauliflower soup as well as a choice between 48-hour braised shortrib and pan-seared Patagonian toothfish. Shahi Teruko will be performing live during dinner, further enhancing the oh-so-dreamy ambiance.