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Valentine's Day restaurant specials

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Ortygia

Ortygia

It’s never too late to make reservations for Valentine’s Day, which is one of the busiest nights of the year for restaurants. Here are few places that will offer something special on America’s biggest date nights.

Ortygia Restaurant (1418 13th St. W., Bradenton, 741-8646, ortygiarestaurant.com) in Bradenton’s Village of the Arts will host an “Aphrodisiac Dinner” on Valentine’s Day. For $75 (per couple) you will have items like Sicilian caviar with creme freche on potato crespelle, artichoke blossoms stuffed with spinach and Sicilian pecorino and more, including a rose petal panna cotta for dessert. Ortygia – which is tucked into a cozy, old-florida house with a large courtyard – has been voted one of the area’s most romantic restaurants.

Polo Grill and Bar’s (10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch, 782-0899, pologrillandbar.com) Valentine’s Day dinner features a glass of Francoise Montand Champagne along with three course, including a choice of Sarasota Seafood Panroast, Hand Carved Chateaubriand of Beef or Chicken Ballotine for the entree, along with appetizer and dessert options. The meal costs $75 per person. The restaurant will also have a strolling violinist playing in the dining room, as well as dance music from Karma that begins at 9 p.m.

Cosimo’s (5501 Palmer Crossing, Sarasota, 922-7999, cosimos.net) is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a special four-course dinner for two for %59.99. Couples can enjoy a shared appetizer, plus soup or salad, with a choice of entrée, shared dessert, and a bottle of wine. A select menu and wine list will be available with entrée choices featuring specialty dishes such as Lobster Ravioli or Potato Crusted Tilapia. The special deal will run Feb. 6-16.

Mattison’s City Grille (1 North Lemon Ave., Sarasota, 330-0440, mattisons.com) is offering romantic specials on Valentine’s Day, beginning at 4 p.m. Among the special dishes are baked stuffed oysters with chorizo, spinach and a red pepper hollandaise; grilled steak Oscar with asparagus, scented potatoes and citrus hollandaise; stuffed lobster tail with potatoes, brandy and truffle mashed potatoes. Dessert includes chocolate mousse cake and chocolate sauce over locally grown strawberries, and among drink specials are the Mattison’s City Grille Love Potion.
– Lee McCall

Mattison’s Forty One (7275 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 921-3400, mattisons.com) will also have a specials on Valentine’s Day. Selections include WiAnno oysters on the half shell and a Champagne mignonette to start, followed by sea scallops with truffle mashed potatoes, baby green beans and a lobster cream; filet mignon with truffle mashed potatoes, smoked wild mushrooms and a port wine demi; and Chef Paul Mattison’s signature Chateaubriand for two with parmesan stuffed tomatoes, asparagus and a port wine demi. Sweet chocolate Grand Marnier fondue for two is the dessert of choice, and the regular menu is available. Debbie Keeton will entertain guests in the Piano Lounge from 6 p.m.
– Lee McCall

Carmel Café & Wine Bar (8433 Cooper Creek Boulevard, 941- 893-5955, carmelcafe.com) is offering guests a special “share & pair” menu to celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend, February 13-16. Modern Mediterranean and classic dishes may be paired with three 90+ point wines for $10 a glass or $37 a bottle. Favorite dishes on the menu include Basque crab cakes, crispy scallops and prosciutto and red and yellow roasted beet salad for starters and entrees like lobster tails for two, seared tuna, filet and lobster, chicken Madeira and pappardelle Bolognese. Diners will end with lava cake and two glasses of Prosecco.
– Lee McCall

Jalea (1532 Main St., Sarasota, 955-8272, jaleasarasota.com), a downtown Sarasota restaurant that specializes in the classic and contemporary dishes of Peru and Spain, is featuring a romantic dinner for two on Valentine’s Day for $49.95. It includes peppers with goat cheese for the “love bite” followed by a “garden of passion” salad and a choice of stuffed chicken breast with jamon serano and manchego cheese; pork medallions with shallots, green peppers and roasted peppers; or pan-fried white fish with a seafood and aji amarillo sauce. The dessert is choice of flourless chocolate cake with raspberry coulis or dulce de leche with strawberries and whipped cream. The special meal is accompanied by a pitcher of rose sangria.
– Lee McCall

Chef Pedro Flores of The Table Creekside (5365 Tamiami Trail S., Sarasota, 921-9465, tablesrq.com) is preparing a unique menu inspired by global flavors from around the world Feb. 14-16. Among starters will be global bites like lobster en croute with oyster mushrooms, sweet butter veloute and pastry; Alaskan king crab fondue with popcorn panna cotta, brie gruyere mornay, crisp shallots and manchego foam; or roasted duck carpaccio, tamarind vinaigrette and Asian pear slaw. Entrees include roasted Branzino and rock shrimp with Albarino grapes, pea greens and Champagne Meyer lemon reduction; bone-in ribeye with foie gras butter, tempura scallop chips, broccoli rabe and goat cheese strudel; or hugging quails with pancetta stuffing, taro root pure and pea leaves.
– Lee McCall

Café Americano’s (1409 Main St., Sarasota, 365-1026) Valentine’s Day special includes dinner for two, a bottle of wine and the romantic music of a strolling violinist for $69.95. Guests also may order from the regular menu. Seating is limited and reservations are recommended. The café specializes in world-view menus enhanced by international wines. Sweethearts, friends or family members may dine inside or on the street-side patio with a view of historic Five Points and the city’s arts district.
– Lee McCall

Last modified: February 12, 2014
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