Where to Eat Out with Your Sweetheart This Valentine’s Day 2015
Make your reservations now before they fill up.
Shrimp and snow crab claws from Top of Waikīkī’s “Love Affair” menu.
Photo: Courtesy of Top of Waikīkī
Married, engaged, dating, flirting or single, Feb. 14 is a day to show some love. But you’re kidding yourself if you think the “thought” of a reservation is going to count. Make dinner plans now before they all fill up (which is definitely a possibility), and then focus on the really hard part: finding the perfect gift. Subscribe to Lei Chic for some cute ideas.
If your date loves seafood, you can’t go wrong with the five indulgent courses offered at Alan Wong’s on Feb. 14 and 15. Start with a trio of smoked salmon, Hawaiian kampachi kombujime and a Kualoa oyster with finger lime caviar, followed by an Alaskan king crab roll wrapped in nori. For the third course, North Shore-farmed tilapia comes seared with clams and lup cheong in a black bean port wine sauce. Next is herb-mustard-crusted steak from Maui Cattle Co., and, finally, lime comes back for dessert with the chocolate dobash cake and lime sherbet.
$95 (plus $50 for wine pairing), 949-2526, alanwongs.com
Located in the Royal Hawaiian, Azure offers cozy beachfront dining in an upscale setting. For Valentine’s Day, the prix fixe menu includes kampachi sashimi, oyster gratin and a choice of filet of beef, lamb chops or Kona lobster. For dessert, it’s a raspberry mousse and sabayon in joconde sponge cake with a champagne gelee accent and citrus gelato. $125 (plus $45 for wine pairing), 921-4600, azurewaikiki.com
Beachhouse at the Moana
There are two seatings on Valentine’s Day, with the second one offering an additional “surprise” (chilled Kusshi oyster) and Alaskan king crab with tarragon, corn and blood orange. The other dishes on both menus include duck breast, braised tenderloin and red velvet cake with liliko‘i, alaea caramel and spiced red wine berries. First seating, 5:30–6:45 p.m., $79; second seating, 7–9:30 p.m., $99; 921-4600, beachhousewaikiki.com
BLT Steak Waikīkī
The Valentine’s Day menu at BLT will be available a la carte or as a prix fixe, in which case you can choose one appetizer, a main course, a side dish and dessert. One combination includes seared scallops and foie gras, roasted Hawaiian sea bass, beer-battered Portobello mushrooms with bacon stuffing and a red velvet cheesecake brownie, but there are more than 50 different ways you can go for the set price. $80 for prix fixe menu, 683-7440, e2hospitality.com/blt-steak-waikiki
Brasserie Du Vin
Update, Jan. 28: Brasserie Du Vin will be closing its doors for good on Saturday, Jan. 31.
With a place that’s as romantic as it is casual, you’ll love being able to take advantage of Du Vin’s Valentine’s offerings from Feb. 12 through 14. There will be both an a la carte and a prix fixe menu, the latter including an amuse bouche of a soy-and-mirin oyster shooter and Stilton-stuffed endive, followed by an appetizer, entrée and dessert of your choice. Since it’s a toss-up between the Petite Coeur (red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and a pomegranate-Merlot drizzle) and the Belle Dame (angel food cake with macerated strawberries and Chantilly crème), you should probably just eat your date’s choice, too. $70 (plus $30 for wine pairing), 545-1115, brasserieduvin.com
Dessert at Chef Mavro.
Photo: Courtesy of Chef Mavro
Valentine’s dinner is already sold out, but we’ve got you covered with Chef Mavro’s Week of Romance. Feb. 11, 12 and 15 will feature the restaurant’s regular winter menus (available online here), with a special Valentine’s dessert: Waialua chocolate cremeux, raspberry coulis and sand, lemongrass bavarois, pistachio brittle and rose water kisses. On Feb. 13, a six-course Romance Menu will include a caviar amuse bouche and Provence roasted lamb, or you can substitute Wagyu beef. Week of Romance: $95 for four courses ($60 for wine pairings), $128 for six courses (plus $98 for wine pairings). Valentine’s Eve Romance Menu: $135 for six courses (plus $98 for wine pairings). 944-4714, chefmavro.com
Greens and Vines
For an all-vegan meal, check out the prix fixe offering at Greens and Vines: apples with cheese; bagels with cashew cream, capers and vegetables; a Caesar salad of baby romaine lettuce, sunflower-seed croutons and a balsamic reduction; lasagna; and a chocolate tart for dessert. Because there’s no meat, you shouldn’t feel heavy or bloated after dinner, leaving plenty of energy for the rest of your evening. $60 (includes tax and tip), 536-9680, greensandvines.com
For a romantic evening at the Hyatt, go for the prix fixe menu of oyster and caviar, chirashi, a choice of filet mignon and foie gras or Dungeness crab and lobster tail orzotto (like risotto, but made with orzo), plus a “dessert buffet extravaganza.”
$96, 237-6180, waikiki.hyatt.com
The Kāhala Hotel and Resort
Friday through Sunday, Hoku’s (739-8760) will offer a prix fixe dinner menu for $90. If you’re more into buffets, head to the Plumeria Beach House (Friday and Saturday only) for $75. Also at The Kāhala, Arancino will offer a four-course prix fixe menu with a choice of pasta or risotto. Make reservations at 380-4400.
When you treat your date to an exotic meal this Feb. 14, you’ll be entered to win a $75 gift certificate to the restaurant. The regular menu of authentic Moroccan and Lebanese cuisine will be offered at Kan Zaman on Valentine’s Day, along with specials including a stuffed eggplant, sweet-and-salty braised oxtail, fresh fish with roasted pumpkin puree and an array of desserts, such as baklava and orange blossom cheesecake. Feel free to BYOB. All entrees are $30 and under, 554-3847, kanzamanhawaii.com
Koko Head Café
On top of chef Lee Anne Wong’s yet-to-be-determined blackboard specials, there will also be drink specials all week: his and hers Negroni cocktails (his: Campari, amaro and gin; hers: Lillet, Campari, Cava and grapefruit juice) and a French Kiss, made with chocolate liqueur, dark rum, Chambord and steamed milk. For dessert, try the Hawaiian dark chocolate pudding cake with liliko‘i and ginger whipped cream. Since this restaurant doesn’t take reservations, you might fare better during the week, when it’s less crowded. 732-8920, kokoheadcafe.com
This restaurant goes all out with its Valentine’s Day dinner theme, 50 Shades of Red (Velvet Pancakes…). The first course, First Kiss, is a kiawe-smoked Big Island kampachi with truffle Mongolian glaze and popcorn-wasabi shoyu, followed by a Second Date of filet mignon crab oscar medallions and lobster hollandaise and Kaua‘i salt-and-pepper prawns. Then head for Home Base with heart-shaped angel food cake, sliced strawberry, chocolate fondue ganache and whipped cream. But it wouldn’t be Mac 24/7 without pancakes: For $8, get a heart-shaped red velvet pancake with maple-bourbon glaze and Chantilly whipped cream.
$45 (plus $30 for wine pairing), 921-5564, mac247waikiki.com
One of the most extensive Valentine’s Day menus can be found at Nobu, where a seven-course, family-style omakase (which means there can be no substitutions) feeds two people. Expect lots of sushi and seafood, plus some Wagyu shabu shabu and a yuzu-vanilla-chocolate ice cream sandwich, which comes with financier croutons, pineapple confit and honey-filled raspberries. This menu will be offered Feb. 13–15. $160 per person, 237-6999, noburestaurants.com
Off the Wall Craft Desserts and Kitchen
The grand opening of OTW Craft, the new collaboration between Andrew Mitani, Ed Morita and Kyle Matsumoto, takes place this Valentine’s Day with a Chocolate Lover’s Spat Party. Choose between Morita’s #DessertFirst creations, including Nutella-roasted banana sandwich rolls, chocolate peanut butter crunches, s’more tarts and fried, house-made chocolate-filled twinkies, and Mitani’s #FoodFirst dishes: mocha brisket sliders with Asian slaw, mole-style barbecue ribs with daikon gratin and “rafute” style sushi with braised Kurobuta pork belly and a chocolate-peanut-butter-miso glaze, prepared at stations around the restaurant. There will also be a sautéed clams station, raw bar and more. Reservations are required. $50, (807) 591-9255, offthewallhawaii.com
Roy’s Hawai‘i Kai
Start with Love at FIRST Sight (kampachi usuzukuri), TWO to Tango (cauliflower bisque) and Those THREE Words (seared dayboat scallops) before diving into FOURever Mine, a choice of 14 entrees from the land and sea. If you’ve still got room (and even if you don’t), there’s a special Kiss Me Good Night… dessert. 396-7697, royshawaii.com
Tiki’s Grill and Bar
The full dinner menu at Tiki’s will be available on Valentine’s Day, but chef Ronnie Nasuti’s four-course menu will feature the best of the best: heart-shaped watermelon salad (aww!), “Kona cold” white clam angel hair pasta, petite filet mignon and lobster tail, and a chocolate trio of chocolate orange tulip, chocolate peanut butter spring roll and a striped strawberry. There will also be live music from Johnny Helm, Harold Kama Jr. and Ellsworth and Piko to set the mood throughout the night. $49 (plus $30 for wine pairing), 923-8454, tikisgrill.com
Top of Waikīkī
This one-night-only meal features dishes not normally offered at the restaurant: a slow-cooked egg with smoked pork and mushroom ragout, topped with sweet onion foam; shrimp and snow crab claws; a choice of miso- and yuzu-glazed, smoked butterfish or roasted beef striploin; and a Baked Alaska for dessert, complete with raspberry ice cream and dark chocolate sorbet. $75 (plus $20 for wine and cocktail pairing). $55 for the Early Lover’s Special from 4:30–5:30 p.m. 923-3877, topofwaikiki.com
12th Ave Grill
A few reservations are still available, but act fast if you want the tomahawk rib-eye for two from Makaweli Ranch. It comes with Parmesan mushroom risotto, a Hau‘ula tomato gratin and white truffle butter ($100). The restaurant will also offer a tarragon-seared Hawaiian big-eye ‘ahi and Maui Cattle Co. beef carpaccio, plus wines by the glass. 732-9469, 12thavegrill.com
Vino Italian Tapas and Wine Bar
The five-course menu at Vino entices with seared kampachi crudo, butternut squash ravioli with lobster, a beet salad, port-wine-braised short ribs with jumbo pesto prawns and a chocolate panna cotta with Oreo crumbles, strawberry gelato and marinated fresh fruit. $49, 524-8466, vinohawaii.com