Holly Ebel: Love is in the air at these Rochester-area restaurants

February 7, 2019

In some ways, Valentine’s Day reminds me of New Year’s Eve. Are you going out? With friends? Staying home?

It’s not the same, of course, but there’s still the element of planning and what to do for that special evening. According to restaurant statistics, the majority of couples choose to go out. So do singles, though in groups.

For restaurants, it’s their second busiest day, only behind Mother’s Day. It can also be a pretty expensive evening, with the average bill between $150 and $160.

If you’re undecided about what to do or where to go, here are what some of our local eateries are offering. A big heads up: Make reservations today.

Two out-of-town restaurants have put together tempting dinners. Hubbell House (635-2331) in Mantorville is offering a steak and lobster special from Tuesday through Saturday next week ($34.99). The restaurant will also be serving prime rib, but only on Valentine’s Day, and then again the following Saturday ($28.99).

Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery (346-7300) in Spring Valley is serving a five-course meal from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. As of this writing, the menu had yet to be decided but the cost was set at $65 per person plus tax and service fee. There will also be special music to help set the mood.

While Chester’s Kitchen and Bar (424-1211) will have its regular full menu, the restaurant also will have special steak and seafood preparations as well as themed desserts (chocolate, you can guess). Valentine-themed drinks, like chocolate martinis based on white and dark varieties of chocolate, are also planned.

Take your special person and a big appetite to Cameo (361-2070), one of the city’s newest go-to spots. Chef Zach Ohly is putting together what he calls Cupid’s Feast. This includes a 36-ounce longbone ribeye steak, lobster risotto, six Kushio oysters, Caesar salad for two, two sides and a bottle of Brut Rose. A special chocolate dessert is being created by Danika, his wife and pastry chef. Cost for the feast is $155.

Other Valentine offerings at Cameo will include Parmesan-crusted sea bass and a truffle ricotta agnolotti (pasta) with asparagus, celery root and Parmesan sauce. Ohly has just brought out a new menu and that will be available as well.

Bleu Duck (258-4663)has one of the most attractive deals in town on Tuesday nights. Called “Date Night,” for $45 you have a choice of two entrees, a dessert and a bottle of the house wine. During Valentine week, that will be available Monday through Friday. Not Saturday, though, as Bleu Duck will be closed for an event.

At the time of this writing, the chefs at Prescotts, Pescara and Casablanca, three popular places in town, were still undecided as to what to put together. (Chefs are allowed to take their time in planning special dinners, but my guess is you can count on steak or seafood. Call this weekend. Maybe by then they’ll know.)

Somerby Golf Club has several Valentine choices, and while they are for members, Carissa, the hospitality manager, told me that non-members can get reservations if there are openings. Give it a try. The four-course dinner incudes a choice of appetizer, soup or salad, the entrée (filet mignon, grilled aged cowboy ribeye, bacon-wrapped pork loin or a butter-poached lobster). Cost is $60. Carissa can be reached at 775-3713.

So after looking all of these over, if you’re still not able to decide here is another option: Stay home but instead of cooking give Jeff and Kathy Windt of Catering by Design a call (282-3005.) They have two four-course dinners available for you to take home, specially created for Valentine’s Day.

The first includes an appetizer, an arugula salad, beef Wellington with a Madeira demi glace, rosti potatoes and haricot vert green beans. Dessert is a French silk cake with a raspberry coulis.

This year they have added a fish option: Dover sole, Anna potatoes, julienne vegetables with lemon beurre blanc en papillote. The appetizer and dessert are the same as for the beef Wellington. Cost for a dinner for two is $80.

They come, all festively packaged, with easy heating instructions. Orders need to be placed by noon Monday, Feb. 11.

Victoria’s will be offering half-price bottles of wine in a large variety all day Valentine’s Day. There will be a Chef’s Page offering unique Italian specials and a “heartbreaker section” of menu favorites. And there will be a variety of desserts made from scratch, from tiramisu to raspberry creme brule.

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