Valentine’s Day Dining: Calgary

Valentine’s Day is one of a handful of days every year when the committed man must pull his chivalry A-game off the shelf. If you’re lucky, a simple gift of flowers and/or first-rate dinner reservations should suffice. For the latter, planning is key, so do your research and make the call well before the 14th, or consider the following extra-mile options.

It Sounds Like Love
Yours is a love that transcends words anyways, so let a few romantic notes fill the air during this year’s V Day dinner. At TYN Lounge, The Yellow Nectarine, resident saxophonist Oliver Miguel will play a special Valentine’s night set, and the restaurant is preparing a special three-course meal, complete with a wine pairing.

Lolita’s Lounge is renowned as the place for rare and raucous entertainment in Calgary — including the hilarious drag queen show Carly’s Angels, an institution in our city for more than a decade — but the 1940s style lounge’s Valentine’s event, billed Noche Romantica, promises to be a toned-down, intimate affair, featuring live Latin acoustic guitar music and a “beautiful meal.”

Set Your Course
Valentine’s dinner should be about more than grabbing a quick dish, so hit up a restaurant that plans on extending the experience with a multi-course meal. River Café is offering a special Canadian seasonal tasting menu that includes West Coast oysters, butter-poached Nova Scotia lobster, wood-grilled rib-eye bites, and several other mouth-watering couples courses.

At the Kensington Riverside Inn’s Chef’s Table, culinary artist Craig Boje has designed a fresh five-course meal that includes modern-French takes on duck breast, elk tenderloin, foie gras, and speculaas ice cream. The four-diamond rated restaurant is also giving couples the option of packaging their Valentine’s meal with a night’s stay at the Kensington — a 19-room boutique hotel sure to end the evening on a romantic high note.

Wine and Then Dine
While most of the restaurants listed here are offering special wine parings with their Valentine’s dinners, lovers who are also wine lovers will likely be best served by a vine-centric venue. Vin Room boasts Calgary’s largest selection of wines, and encourages guests to sample and learn about new and established vineyards. Special wine and tapas features will be available for Valentine’s.

UNA serves superb thin-crust Neapolitan-style pizza in a laid-back, 17th Ave. setting. Regardless, their obvious dedication to their massive wine menu makes it a great call for any dinner, particularly on this day. Consider eating late, too:  the restaurant is open until 1 a.m.

If you have a very special bottle you’d like to uncork, Valentine’s falls on a Tuesday night; at Piq Niq Bistro you can bring your own wine from the home cellar and pay no corkage fee.


Image courtesy of Chuckumentary

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