Call a date and plan for a lovely Valentine’s Day as area restaurants prepare creative menus for romantic couples and single friends who are looking to celebrate.
Local chefs will offer dinners from elegant cuisines to hearty surf ’n turf, but nothing says Valentine’s Day like champagne and chocolate. Enjoy a chocolate strawberry dessert at Caffe Amici or chocolate with raspberry coulis at the Wynn House. B Merrell’s will offer a chocolate-covered cherry shot as one of three special drinks for the evening. Sip free champagne at Buckhead Grill while you wait for a table or start early with a Kick in the Berries chocolate porter at the Cannon Brewpub.
For couples who love live jazz with their dessert, the Alex Peshounin Jazz Project performs for the Ray of Hope Reverse Raffle -- an Evening of Champagne and Chocolate with Chef Jamie Keating at the RiverView Room in the RiverMill Event Centre. A $100 donation ticket for two benefits The Family Center youth programs, and gives you a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize. The Family Center operates the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program, and Families and Schools Together, an after school program at local elementary schools.
For dancers a disc jockey spins tunes at Taj Mahal, where a prize will be given to the best dance couple. Carriage & Horses in Pine Mountain will feature a live band playing love songs.
Several restaurants offer Valentine’s Day dinners before the holiday but unless otherwise noted the listings below are for Feb. 14. Reservations are encouraged at most locations, but some welcome walk-ins, so don’t let last minute planning keep you home. Bon appetit!
B. Merrells: “Dine Your Valentine” with a three course meal. Share an appetizer of fried cheese, get two quarter rotisserie chicken dinners and share a strawberry shortcake for dessert for $23.99. The bar will offer three Valentine’s drinks and a Valentine’s shot -- the B. Merrell’s Heart, the Red Hot Lover, Cupid’s Kiss and the chocolate-covered cherry shot. No reservations required. 706-653-9464. 7600 Veterans Parkway.
Bavarian House: Dinner for two with a bottle of wine and dessert for $45. Serving from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m. Reservations accepted but not required. 706-257-1775. 2528 Weems Road.
Ben’s Chophouse Steak & Seafood: Specials for two. No reservation required. 706-256-0466. 5300 Sidney Simons Blvd.
Black Cow: Dinner specials. 706-321-2020. 115A 12th St.
Buckhead Grill: Seafood and steak specials from Chef David Mutchock and Chef Brandon Spates. Valentine’s Day cocktails. Champagne on the house while you wait for your table. No reservations. 5:30-10 p.m. 706-571-9995. 5010 Armour Road.
Caffe Amici: Valentine’s Day begins Friday and continues through Tuesday with fresh seafood specials, appetizers and a Valentine chocolate strawberry dessert. No reservations required. 706-653-6361. 2301 Airport Thruway in Harmony Place.
Cafe LeRue: Dinner for two from a Valentine’s Day menu includes choice of appetizer, two entrees, two drinks and a dessert to share. $59.99. Served all day from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. 706-507-5851. 2523 Airport Thruway in the Landings.
Cannon Brewpub: Head brewer Heather McReynolds designed a Valentine’s seasonal beer reminiscent of dark chocolate-covered berries called Kick in the Berries. This batch of dark porter was made with 50 pounds of fresh berries -- blackberries, raspberries, and cherries. 706-653-2337. 1041 Broadway.
City Falls Coffee: Date night special all month. Two specialty lattes and one dessert for $10. Friday night jam sessions. 706-992-6609. 11th and Broadway on the corner.
Downstairs@theloft: Dinner specials for two and flowers for the ladies. Reservations encouraged. 706-596-8141. 1032 Broadway.
Ezell’s: Shrimp trio plate dinner with fantail shrimp, calabash shrimp and steamed shrimp with dessert. $12.99 per person. 706-568-1149. 4001 Warm Springs Road.
Fife and Drum: Sunday dining with a special Valentine’s menu from Executive Chef Jeff Brammer. $29.95 per person. Reservations via Facebook or call 685-5801. Upstairs at the National Infantry Museum on South Lumpkin Road.
Historic Wynn House: Dinner begins with a reception at 7 p.m and dinner at 7:30 p.m. Menu includes tenderloin medallion and gateau au chocolat with raspberry coulis for dessert. $55 per person. Reservations required by February 9th. 706-323-1895. 1240 Wynnton Road.
The Market: Dinner specials. Reservations encouraged. 720-320-9733. 1039 First Ave.
Meritage: Four course dinner with dessert and wine pairings for each course. $50 per person excluding alcohol, tax and gratuity. $20 for the wine pairings. Dining times are 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. in The Room downstairs or the Tapatinis Room upstairs. Reservations required. 706-327-0707. 1350 13th Street in The Village.
Old Siam: Appetizers, two entrees from the the menu and dessert for $25. Some items excluded. 5-9 p.m. Reservations preferred but not required. 706-507-0993. 14 11th St.
Osaka Japanese Steakhouse: Valentine’s Day evening all you and your dining companion can eat, excluding sashimi, but including two drinks for $79. An “early bird” special now through Monday offers the same “all-two-can-eat” dining for $69. 706-507-1818. 5592 Whitesville Road.
RiverMill Event Centre’s RiverCrest Room: Special a la carte menu with full wine list. Valentine’s Day with Dessert! features a roving display cart with 25 sinful Valentine’s desserts. Present concert tickets for “My Jazzy Valentine” with Joe Gransden and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra at the RiverCenter and get 15 percent off dinner before the show. Dining from 5:30-9:30. Reservations required. Call 706-327-9300. 3715 First Avenue.
RiverMill Event Centre’s RiverView Room: Ray of Hope Reverse Raffle -- an Evening of Champagne and Chocolate with Chef Jamie Keating. 8-10:30 p.m. Call 706-327-3238 for tickets. 3715 First Avenue.
Taj Mahal Restaurant: Special Valentine’s dinner and dessert buffet $13.95. Live music with a gift for the best dance couple. Reservations accepted. 706-568-9992. 2009 Auburn Ave.
Uptown Fish House: Three course dinner from the menu with appetizer, entree and dessert for $25.99 per person. Special served all day from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Reservations encouraged. 324-7405. 1208 First Ave.
Wood Stone Restaurant: Special menu featuring tomato bisque with fresh basil, homemade crab cakes and a crab stuffed salmon entree. $37.95 per person. $4 Champagne splits and mimosas. A red carnation for the first 100 diners. 5-9:30 p.m. Reservations encouraged. 706-507-3993. 7500 Veterans Parkway in the Magnolia Plaza.
Callaway Gardens: Valentine’s Dinner Dance is Saturday at the Virginia Hand Callaway Discovery Center. Three course dinner and dance to the jazz and swing music of The Auburn Knights Orchestra. $99 per person. Call 1-800-CALLAWAY.
The Lodge and Spa at Callaway Gardens: Romantic four-course dinner of fresh fare with a southern flare at the Piedmont Grille. Wine pairings and a tasting menu. Reservations, 706-489-3300. 4500 Southern Pine Drive.
Carriage & Horses: Menu includes caviar, smoked salmon and shrimp cocktail followed by Maine lobster entree with salad, and asparagus. Cheesecake for dessert. $60 per person does not include alcohol. Live music. Also a special menu Monday. Reservations required. Dining begins at 6 p.m. 706-663-4777 at 607 Butts Mill Road in Pine Mountain.
Crickets: Filet Mignon and coconut shrimp dinner. $26.95 per person. Reservations encouraged. 706-663-8136. Located at 14661 Georgia Highway 18 West near Pine Mountain.
Hunter’s Pub: Chef’s creation for Valentine’s Day will feature fresh seafood and beef specials. 706-628-5992. Located at 11269 Ga Highway 219 near Hamilton.
Luke’s Pub & Restaurant: Surf ’n turf dinner for two features 16 oz. New York strip and lobster tail with dessert. Reservations encouraged. 706-582-2630. 6080 Ga. Highway 85 in Ellerslie.
Oscar’s Steak & Seafood: Dinner for two Friday-Sunday features shrimp prepared alfredo, bourbon glazed shrimp and golden fried shrimp with two glasses of champagne and dessert to share. $26.99 for two. For Valentine’s Day prime rib dinner. $21.99 per person. Reservations, 706-655-2563. 4776 Nebula Road in Warm Springs.