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By Rebecca Fending
If you’re looking to make plans for Valentine’s Day, look no further. Whether you and your sweetheart prefer the classic dinner date or are looking for adventure, there’s no shortage of things to do in Florida.
Dinner Date by Region
- Bascom’s Chop House: Located at 3665 Ulmerton Road in Clearwater, this steak house is worth every penny when it comes to celebrations. With an extensive and award-winning wine menu, Bascom’s is the perfect place for an exceptional date night. A special Valentine’s prix fixe menu will be served the nights of February 13 and 14. For $69 per person, you can choose one appetizer, one soup, an entrée and finish with a dessert. Reservations are recommended, make yours now or learn more at bascoms.com.
- Rococo’s Steak House: At 655 2nd Avenue South in St. Petersburg, Rococo’s offers a “chic twist on classic steak house fare.” With filet mignon, rack of lamb and roasted chicken, there’s a menu item for every appetite. To pair with your entrée is a number of different wines, beers and house-made cocktails. To make reservations or peruse the menus, visit rococosteak.com.
- Salt Rock Grill: Located at 19325 Gulf Boulevard in Indian Shores, this beach landmark is the place for seafood lovers. Salt Rock offers raw bar appetizers such as fresh oysters on the half shell, Florida stone crab claws and a Shellfish Tower. You can also make your own surf-n-turf dish by tacking on a side of lobster tail or Alaskan king crab to any steak cut. For those opposed to seafood or red meat, Salt Rock also offers chicken, pork chop and vegetarian dishes. Learn more and make Valentine’s reservations at saltrockgrill.com.
- Stoney’s Steakhouse: Stationed at 403 Bayfront Place, Stoney’s is known for their swanky atmosphere and steakhouse cuts. From a classic New York Strip to Stoney’s signature prime rib, meat lovers are sure to be satisfied. The steakhouse also boasts a number of fresh-caught seafood dishes (shrimp, scallops, snapper, etc.) and even a lemon basil sauce kissed chicken breast. Visit their Facebook page to learn more and make your reservation for February 14.
- D’Amico’s The Continental: At 1205 3rd Street South, this Parisian-styled steakhouse is totally unique and promises the best. With mouthwatering wines and cocktails to accompany your entrée, D’Amico’s is the perfect place for romance with your valentine. From the fresh seafood catch of the day to Japanese waygu, make your night magical with any number of items on the menu. Make reservations at damicoscontinental.com/reservations or visit damicoscontinental.com for more information.
- Yabba Island Grill: If you’re looking for an opportunity to enjoy Florida’s weather, Yabba Island Grill features airy, outdoor seating for guests. Located at 711 5th Avenue South, this grill specializes in local Florida catches, including peppercorn seared tuna, pictured below. They also have a variety of grilled meats, including pork chops and steak cuts. Learn more at yabbaislandgrill.com or make reservations at yabbaislandgrill.com/reservations.
- Rusty Pelican: At 2425 N Rocky Point Drive, The Rusty Pelican is described as being a sophisticated bar and grill setting with American fare of seafood and butcher cuts. And with views of the beautiful Old Tampa Bay water, the atmosphere does not leave you wanting. Choose between dining for dinner or brunch, for something different. Reservations are highly recommended any time, but especially for Valentine’s Day weekend. Reserve your table now or learn more about The Rusty Pelican at therustypelicantampa.com.
- Cena: Appropriately named “dinner” in Italian and located at 1208 East Kennedy Boulevard, Cena is the spot for a deliciously modern Italian dinner date. Featured classic Italian menu items like various risottos, cacio e pepe and Veal Milanese served in an upscale and contemporary setting. Cena serves a number of different wines that pair beautifully with each entrée. Browse the menu and make reservations at cenatampa.com.
- Rooster & the Till: For those wanting a completely unique dining experience, Rooster & the Till offers locally sourced American small plates in a rustic setting. With dishes such as birria lamb neck quesadilla, seared foie gras and smash burgers, you can play it safe or get adventurous with your meal. Pair a glass of red or white with your dinner to get the full experience. Learn more and place your reservation at roosterandthetill.com.
- The Rose Plantation: Described as, “Genteel 1917 winter-estate-turned-eatery with porch seating & refined American cuisine,” The Rose Plantation lives up to this description. Located at 200 Rose Avenue in Fruitland Park, this Americana-style restaurant is so unique with a special Valentine’s menu complete with citrus-crusted salmon, stuffed angeloni and even colossal crab cakes. Save room for dessert with their homemade pie, molten chocolate lava cake or classic cheesecake. Make your reservations now at theroseplantation.com.
- Sky Fine Dining: Asian fusion in a stylish setting and located at 3600 Southwest 38th Avenue in Ocala, Sky Fine Dining is the perfect place to try for a romantic date night. From blue crab claw fried rice to their wagyu burger, these unique dishes are just what you need to break from the norm. Sky Fine also has a specialty cocktail list featuring drinks like the Blushing Geisha, made with Nigori Organic Cloudy Sake infused with fresh strawberries and a touch of lime juice – ultra refreshing and perfect to get the romance flowing. To learn more or place a reservation, visit skyfinedining.com.
- Havana Country Club Restaurant: Located at 2484 Odell Circle in The Villages, this country club restaurant offers a huge dinner menu, featuring a number of seafood dishes and butcher cuts. From their “Tropical Mahi,” topped with house made guava cream sauce, herb rice and daily vegetables, to a classic chateaubriand, Havana Country Club Restaurant is your neighborhood stop for Valentine’s Day. To see a complete menu or call with any questions, see more at havanacc.com.
- Selva: Looking to venture out on a limb? Selva serves up Peruvian-style dishes in a chic and stylish atmosphere. Located at 1345 Main Street in Sarasota, this restaurant is ideal for any appetite and diner. Try one of their house made ceviches to start, and opt for their famous skirt steak entrée, served over sweet plantains, topped with beet relish and Selva’s house chimichurri. If you’re looking for a dish without red meat, you’re in luck. Selva’s has fresh snapper, sea bass and shell fish to make up your entrée. Visit selvagrill.com for more information or reservations.
- Euphemia Haye Restaurant & The Haye Loft: Located at 5540 Gulf of Mexico Drive in Longboat Key, Euphemia Haye Restaurant has date night covered. Run out of a historic cottage on the key, this restaurant serves up global dining favorites in a fine dining way. With dishes like chicken Florentine, Grecian lamb shank and Key West snapper, there’s a variety of choices from both near and far. For more information and reservations, visit euphemiahaye.com.
- Mediterraneo: At 1970 Main Street in Sarasota, Mediterraneo features Italian cuisine set in a fine dining space. With one-of-a-kind specialty pizzas, flatbreads and salads, this restaurant is great if you’re looking to share a meal between you and your sweetheart. If you have opposing tastes, or would rather enjoy your own dish, Mediterraneo has a plethora of choices from a classic spaghetti carbonara, to something a bit different like linguine nere ai gamberi e pomodoro piccante, made with black linguine, shrimp and spicy tomato sauce. For the full menu and details about reservations, visit mediterraneorest.com.
- The Perfect Caper: Located at 121 E Marion Avenue in Punta Gorda, The Perfect Caper offers a unique mix of casual and fine dining experience with dishes inspired from cuisine around the world. Miso salmon, pappardelle and mushrooms, pot stickers and seared ahi tuna are boasted on the menu, but it doesn’t stop there. Perfect Caper offers cocktails, wine and beer to pair with your dinner. For more information, visit theperfectcaper.com.
- Harold’s: At 15250 South Tamiami Trail #107, Fort Myers, Harold’s features locally sourced meat and seafood to fit their casual dining experience. This Valentine’s Day, they’re offering a special Valentine’s menu for Sunday, February 14, at 6 pm. Start with Cliquot Ponsardin to set the mood for the evening and move through your five course meal. Priced at $170 per person, the price tag is worth the exceptional experience Harold’s offers diners. For more information, visit haroldscuisine.com.
- Pink Elephant: At 491 Bayou Avenue in Boca Grande, Pink Elephant sits as part of The Gasparilla Inn & Club, offering steak, seafood, cocktails and patio seating. With bi-level seating with a view, this dining experience is sure to be just what you want for date night. Be aware that there is a dress code for guests before being able to dine at The Pink Elephant. Dishes like crispy Thai grouper, fresh swordfish or a fail-proof New York Strip make “The Pink” what it is in terms of fresh, extraordinary meals. For more info, visit the-gasparilla-inn.com/dining.
- The Black Pearl of Dunedin: Located at 315 Main Street in, you guessed it, Dunedin, The Black Pearl has been luring people in through its doors with a mystical name and “swanky” atmosphere. The French and New American-styled menu offers an experience that can’t be matched. With elegant appetizers like escargot, or main dishes like white truffle lobster risotto or Chilean sea bass Lyonnaise, it’s no wonder why The Black Pearl has been a dining hot spot for some time. Find the full menu and reservation details at theblackpearldunedin.com.
- Fins at Sharky’s: Known for their seafood and chops in an airy, beach-side setting, Fins at Sharky’s is perfect for enjoying the Venice weather and a menu that compliments the views. At 1600 Harbor Drive South in Venice, enjoy upscale dining with a casual atmosphere. With fresh, exotic finds like octopus, calamari, Alaskan king crab and even local Gulf grouper, this restaurant is a seafood lover’s dream. Find the full menu and reservation details at finsatsharkys.com/.
Valentine’s Weekend Trip Ideas
Are you wanting to move away from the cliché and pressure of Valentine’s Day dinner? You may want to think about indulging in a weekend trip with your beau instead!
Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee
What better place for a romantic weekend getaway than a resort not too far from home? Gaylord Palms is known for their glass atriums showcasing Florida’s unique flora. With their outdoor South Beach Pool and whirlpool spa, this resort is just what you need to unwind with you better half for Valentine’s Day.
If you haven’t made it to Key West yet, or if this is your 67th time going, this island city has everything you could want for a romantic getaway. From breathtaking sunsets and sunrises to adventurous water activities such as sailing or kayaking, Key West is made for those looking for an escape. Make it a weekend trip or a weeklong stay and indulge in the warm waters of the Gulf.
With the magical enchantment of bright, open and quiet beaches with soft sands, Amelia Island is a place for lovers and escapists alike. So much so, the island’s website has its own dedicated guide to planning your romantic trip. From horseback riding on the beach, to golf, to kayaking or even just a sunset stroll, unwind and rekindle your romance at Amelia Island.