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Valentine's Day dining specials

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It’s one of the busiest restaurant days of the year, so you’d better plan ahead for your heartfelt romantic meal. Need some ideas? Here are a few places that will be running special deals or experiences for you and your sweetheart.

Chef Jim Copening is preparing a special dinner for sweethearts at his Arts & Eats Restaurant and Gallery (1114 12th Street W., Bradenton, 201-6647) in Bradenton’s Village of the Arts. On Valentine’s Day, from 6-8 p.m., the colorful restaurant – with abundant artwork overseen by Jim’s artist wife Donna Slawsky – will be the setting for a romantic dinner of Caprese salad, NY strip steak with potatoes gratin and asparagus or grilled or fried shrimp with onion rings and asparagus, followed by chocolate rum fondue with strawberries and pound cake, all for $50. The dinner for two includes champagne and live music.

Also in Bradenton’s Village of the Arts, Ortygia (1418 13th St. W., Bradenton, 741-8646, ortygiarestaurant.com) will host a special four-course Valentine Dinner for $75.

Libby’s Cafe + Bar (1917 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 487-7300, libbyscafebar.com) plans to extend the love with specials running Feb. 14-17. Along with Libby’s regular menu, the restaurant will serve Lobster and Long Stem Artichoke Gratin, Parmesan crust, Café Crackers ($18); 8-ounce Boneless Rib Eye Filet, Crescent City Style Andouille, Sweet Potato Cake, Bell Pepper Relish, Crispy Poached Egg ($30); Mile High Chocolate Cake for two ($10); and Chocolate Covered Strawberries for two ($8). There will also be a special on splits of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Split for $20.

The Table Creekside (5365 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 921-9465, tablesrq.com) will serve its normal menu on Valentine’s Day, but guests can also sign up for a chance to win a free stay at Indigo Hotel in downtown Sarasota.

Mattison’s City Grille (1 N. Lemon Ave., Sarasota, 330-0440, mattisons.com) will kick off Valentine’s Day at 4 p.m. with specials including Baked Stuffed Oysters with spinach, chorizo and roasted garlic with a red pepper hollandaise; Grilled Steak Oscar with asparagus, rosemary scented potatoes and a citrus hollandaise; Seafood Paella with scallops, shrimp, clams, mussels and spanish chorizo in a saffron infused rice; Strawberry Mousseline with Chantilly cream and a chocolate covered strawberry. The current menu will also be available. The Venturas will start playing at 7 p.m., if you want to kick up your heels.

Mattison’s Forty-One (7275 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 921-3400, mattisons.com) will also get started at 4 p.m. with specials including Fresh Oysters, Châteaubriand and Beef Filet with sea scallops and a lobster butter. The Valentine’s Day dessert menu will include a Sweetheart Chocolate Grand Mariner Fondue for Two; Black Forest Napoleon; Passion Fruit Panna Cotta with a coconut tuile; and Ménage at Trois - tastes of Tiramisu, Chocolate Pot de Crème and a Chocolate Truffle. The current menu will also be available. Live music from Rob Satori will begin at 6 p.m. in the piano lounge, with Big Z rolling out tunes from 8:30-11:30 p.m. in the Galleria.

Carmel Cafe (8433 Cooper Creek Blvd., Sarasota, 893-5955, carmelcafe.com) will serve a Valentine’s Day prix fixe, including three courses for $29.95 per person, from Feb. 14-16. You’ll start with a Mod Med appetizer sampler, then choose from lobster bisque or a variety of salads, with veal osso buco, shrimp and vegetable couscous, parmesan crusted sole or steak Madera for your entree.

Last modified: September 13, 2013
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