Filet Mignon & Chocolate Strawberries: Valentine’s Dining in the D

By: Toni Cunningham | February 10, 2014
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Valentine’s Day is only four days away, and for those of you who have been struck by cupid, that means it’s also time to make a dinner reservation. Heaven forbid you forego eating out on the most romantic evening of the year!

While there is the option of staying in, that wouldn’t allow for your lady to show off her new heels, now would it? (JK, no one is going to wear heels with 18 feet of snow on the ground. If she does, run). To accommodate the demand for dining out, there are tons of Metro Detroit restaurants offering special Valentine’s Day dinner menus all weekend long.

Vinotecca, 417 S. Main St., Royal Oak, is offering a special a la carte menu on both Friday and Saturday night. The appetizer consists of Stuffed Avocado, and your four-entrée choices include Smoked Prime Rib, Shrimp and Scallop Tortellini, Coconut Breaded New Zealand Cod and Pan Roasted Duck Breast. Finishing off the meal is Bananas Foster Cheesecake. With a spread like that, who cares if your date is boring you to tears, am I right?

Lena, 226 S. Main St., Ann Arbor, is a Latin American eatery with a special Valentine’s Day menu that reflects the restaurant’s unique flair. Each item is priced a la carte and offers at least two selections per entrée. Appetizer choices include Wild Mushroom Soup and Seared Mussels, while Shrimp and Grits, Chicken Apano, and Grilled Fillet Mignon round out the entrée options.

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Dessert includes either Chocolate Dipped Strawberries with Chantilly cream or Passion Fruit Parfait with raspberry macaroons. You had me at chocolate dipped.

Dino’s, 22740 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, is serving an a la carte Valentine week menu from Monday, February 10 through Sunday, February 16. Appetizers include Almond Encrusted Brie Cheese and Buffalo Fried Shrimp, and you have your choice of four different entrees: Beef Wellington, Seared Scallops, Sweet & Spicy Salmon and Jamaican Jerk Chicken.

On Valentine’s Day only, Dino’s will have Chateaubriand for two, which for those of you who aren’t as fancy as I, means tenderloin steak (who are we kidding, I Googled it). Served with a mushroom wine sauce, potatoes, asparagus, salad and dessert for the low price for $48, this doesn’t seem like a bad option. Unless, of course, your date is a vegetarian—in which case, you blew it.

Quarter Bistro, 300 S. Maple Rd., Ann Arbor, is holding a pre-Valentine’s Day event, so if your honey will be out of town on the actual day and/or you’re juggling multiple dates, keep reading! The restaurant will hold a wine tasting on Thursday, February 13 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. During this time, you’ll be able to sample over 50 wines and tons of Bistro appetizers.

For only $25/person, you could be chowing on Alligator Voo Doo, Bistro Crab Puffs, Calamari and more.

Atwater Brewery, 237 Joseph Campau Ave., Detroit, is offering an exclusive Valentine’s Day Brew Tour and Tasting event on Friday night. After the 7 p.m. tour sold out in just nine minutes (with a limit of 10 couples), a second tour was scheduled for 8 p.m. (with eight couples—and there’s a good chance it’s full as of press time).

Each guest will receive a 30-minute tour, exclusive beer samples, a pint of beer and a custom pint glass. Prizes will be given out throughout the evening and it costs just $50/couple. I would categorize this under “totally not lame Valentine’s Day activity.” But then again, I’m a lady of simple tastes.

Brizola, 555 E. Lafayette St., Detroit, is located inside the Greektown Casino Hotel, and the restaurant is offering a prix fixe menu for Valentine’s Day evening from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The meal includes a Signature Greektown Salad, Filet Mignon and Lobster Tail, your two choices of Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Jumbo Baked Potato, French Green Beans or Baby Carrots, followed by Hot Chocolate Lava Cakes for dessert.

The evening will cost a pretty penny—$90, and that’s without the booze you must ingest to transform yourself into a fun individual. But who knows, maybe you’ll win big at the casino before dinner and spending that much money on one meal will become reasonable.

Forest Grill, 735 Forest Ave., Birmingham, will serve its Valentine’s Day menu on both Friday and Saturday. The four course prix-fixe meal costs $65/person ($130/couple), and includes several fancy items. To give you an idea, the third course includes your choice of salmon, citrus, braised fennel and beet gastrique; farm egg, Madeira sabayon and wild mushroom; or scallops, cous cous, chorizo and ver jus blanc.

As if all that doesn’t sound appealing enough, you can add $35/person to your bill for an additional wine pairing with each course. You wouldn’t want your significant other to think you’re cheap, would you?

Rugby Grille, 100 Townsend St., Birmingham, is making its Valentine’s Day menu available on both Friday and Saturday night. The first course includes your choice of Tempura Boquerones or Ahi Tartare; the second features Lobster Bisque or Salad Lyonnaise. There are two options for the main course, including Grilled Wagyu Short Rib or Pan Roasted Bronzino (aka octopus). If, after all that, you have room for dessert, Chocolate Dacquoise is your one and only option.

This one is $90/person ($180/couple), so I’m thinking this particular dinner is maybe more for doctor/lawyer types, not creative kiddies like myself.

Keep an eye out for my jewelry-gifting guide tomorrow, and for the love of St. Valentine, please make a reservation for whichever event you choose to attend, as you’re not going to be able to simply stroll in.

Don’t forget the box of chocolates, either. Happy Valentine’s Day!