Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Noshing Around: Tucson, Valentines Day

This year Valentine’s Day in Tucson is a trifecta of sorts. First of all, it’s Valentine’s Day which is always a popular night to dine out. Secondly, V-Day is on a Saturday (Feb. 14) so this all encompassing date night does double duty. Lastly, it’s near the end of Tucson’s Gem Show so there will be thousands of vendors and tourists competing with you when making last minute reservations. Let’s hope that guys don’t really do steak dinners like that arrogant Carl’s Jr. commercial.

Plan early!

Bluefin Seafood Bistro
Valentine’s Day at Bluefin Seafood Bistro features a special a la carte menu with popular favorites from the dinner menu, such as the Seared #1 Yellowfin Sashimi and Cashew Crusted Mahi Mahi, along with specialties for the evening like the Grilled Ruby Trout Almondine and Steak Frites Filet Mignon. Enjoy live music from Reno del Mar. Serving dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Cost: Menu items vary in price. Bluefin Seafood Bistro, 7053 N. Oracle Road in Casas Adobes Plaza. Call 531-8500 for reservations.
 
Cactus Rose Steakhouse
The Cactus Rose Steakhouse is serving up a four-course dinner this Valentine’s Day to the setting of “oldies” music playing in the steakhouse lounge, with a chance for one lucky couple to win a trip to Peñasco del Sol Hotel in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. Sunday Valentine’s Day brunch will be served, featuring flambé, omelet and carving stations. For those wishing to stay the night at the hotel’s deluxe accommodations, ask for the Sweet Romance Getaway (from $169 per night), which includes sparkling wine, full breakfast in room and late checkout, upon request. Costs: $38 per person for dinner; $29.95 pp for brunch; room rates start at $169 with package. Cactus Rose Steakhouse at the Doubletree Hotel Tucson at Reid Park, 445 S. Alvernon Way. Call 881-4200 for reservations and more information.
 
The Grill at Hacienda del Sol
Voted the Best Special Occasion restaurant by Tucson Lifestyle Magazine, the Grill at Hacienda del Sol is an elegant choice to spend your Valentine’s Day. Indulge in a four-course dinner, then select a bottle of wine from the Grill’s first-class wine cellar, with over 2,000 labels and 25,000 bottles. Cost: $75 per person.  Hacienda del Sol, 5601 N. Hacienda del Sol Road. Call 529-3500 for reservations.
 
Javelina Cantina
For the party-goers, join the Javelina Cantina this Valentine’s Day for Southwestern specials starting at $18.95 and live karaoke in this midtown watering hole. Javelina Cantina opens for dinner at 5 p.m. Cost: Menu items vary, starting at $18.95. Javelina Cantina at the Doubletree Hotel Tucson at Reid Park, 445 S. Alvernon Way. Call 881-4200 for reservations and more information.
 
Kingfisher Bar & Grill
Set to the ambiance of live blues from the Brice-Winston Duo with Alejandro Canelos, Kingfisher Bar & Grill will be serving a special nenu on Valentine’s Day which will feature house favorites, such as smoked, roasted and grilled Prime Rib of Buffalo, the Kingfishers Bouillabaisse (1/2 lobster, shrimp, scallops, mussels, saffron, vegetable fish broth, garlic) and steamed one pound and two pound lobsters. Dessert will have dark chocolate bags, filled with berries and white chocolate mousse for two. Cost: Menu items vary in price. Kingfisher Bar & Grill, 2564 E. Grant Road. Call 323-7739 for reservations.
 
Miguel’s at La Posada
Romantic patio dining is a must at Miguel’s at La Posada, where you can enjoy a three-course meal of Latin American-infused flavors this Valentine’s Day. Entrées include Chilean sea bass served with guajillo salsa, Cajun-spiced Prime Rib, or grilled chicken with potato gnocchi and warm spinach. Dessert is a Crème Brule with grand Marnier-soaked berries. Cost: $40 per person. Miguel’s at La Posada, 5900 N. Oracle Road. Call 887-3777 for reservations.  

Acacia at St. Philip’s
4340 N. Campbell Ave.
(520) 232.0101
Acacia’s Chef Albert Hall has a few great ideas for the holiday.
• Throughout the month of February everyone is invited to celebrate the magic of true love and friendship with “Chocolate and Bubbles” at Acacia. Guests will receive a complimentary heart-shaped double chocolate cheesecake to share with the purchase of a glass of Moet and Chandon White Star Champagne.
• On the 14th, enjoy a fabulous three course prix-fixe menu at $55 per person (not including tax and gratuity).  Dinner service from 4 -10 p.m. and live music from 6 to 9 p.m. Reservations are recommended.

Barrio Food & Drink
135 S 6th Ave
(520) 629-0191
Barrio will be serving a six course prix fixe wine pairing menu for $125 (not including tax and gratuity). The regular menu will not be served. Special prices will be offered on bottles of wine featured with the prix fixe menu. Dinner service from 5 p.m. to midnight. Reservations are recommended.

Blue Willow Restaurant
2616 N. Campbell Ave.
(520) 327.7577
In addition to the regular menu Blue Willow will feature special Valentine’s Day entrees priced under $20, including fresh fish, seafood and prime rib; soups, salads and desserts also offered. Dinner service from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Chad’s Steakhouse & Saloon
3001 N. Swan Rd.
(520) 881.1802
In addition to the regular menu, Chad’s Steakhouse is celebrating the holiday with a 10 ounce NY strip with 3 jumbo fried shrimp for $19.95.  Service from 11 a.m. to 10 p,m. Reservations suggested.
Cup Café
311 E. Congress
(520) 622.8848   
The Cup Café at Hotel Congress will offer a “Five Course Love Fest” for $45/person (not including tax and gratuity). The Cup Café will be open on Valentine’s Day for breakfast from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., lunch from 1 to 3 p.m., and dinner from 5 to midnight. Reservations suggested.
Dakota Café and Catering
6541 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
(520) 298.7188
In addition to the regular dinner menu, Dakota Café will be offering several menu specials including: Beef Braciola with a marsala reduction and Lobster Pasta with vanilla champagne sauce. Dinner service from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Elle, A Wine Country Restaurant
3048 E. Broadway Blvd.
(520) 327.0500
Featuring two days of Valentine specials:
Friday the 13th –
“All Red Wine Dinner” from 6 to 9 p.m. for $95 per person (not including tax and gratuity). Regular dinner menu will also be served.

Saturday the 14th – Offering a two-course pairing menu for $49 per person (not including tax and gratuity), in addition to the regular dinner menu. Reservations are recommended.

Enoteca Pizzeria & Wine Bar
58 W. Congress
(520) 623-0744
Enjoy a special Valentine’s Day menu for $65 a couple. Meal includes one appetizer to share, a soup or salad for each, a choice of entrée for each and a dessert for each. The regular dinner menu will not be served. In addition to the Valentine’s menu a handful of pizzas and pastas will be offered along with wine and champagne specials. Dinner service from 5 to 10 p.m.

Feast
4122 E. Speedway Blvd.
(520) 326.9363
Feast’s ever evolving menu changes once more for an amorous Valentine’s dinner with a four course prix fixe menu with options for $65 per person without wine or $90 per person with wine pairings (not including tax and gratuity). Dinner service from 5 to 9 p.m.  Reservations will be accepted for the holiday.

Frankie’s South Philadelphia Cheesesteaks
2574 N. Campbell Ave.
(520) 795.2665
In addition to the regular menu Frankie’s will offer a romantic lunch for two. $14 for 2 main dishes, 2 sides of fries and 2 drinks. Service hours 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Janos and JBAR
3770 E. Sunrise Dr. (at The Westin La Paloma Resort)
(520) 615.6100
Janos: Enjoy three different prix fixe menus at $75 per person or $110 per person with wine pairings (not including tax or gratuity). Guests can select to dine from the Vegetarian menu, the Fish menu or the Omnivore menu. Reservations highly recommended.
J BAR will have its own prix fixe menus (vegetarian, fish, or omnivore) priced at $50/person or $75/person with wine pairings (not including tax and gratuity.)  Dinner service from 5 to 9 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended.

jaxKitchen
7286 N. Oracle Rd.
(520) 219.1235
jaxKitchen will feature the regular menu with some special entrees and desserts, including a Dark Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream Float.  Dinner service from 5 to 10 p.m. Reservations are required.

Jonathan’s Cork
6320 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
(520) 296.1631
In addition to the regular dinner menu, Chef Jonathan Landeen will feature some special dishes including Seabass stuffed with Crab meat and topped with fresh asparagus and hollandaise sauce (26.95). Jalapeno Bacon Wrapped 8 oz Filet stuffed with Maytag blue cheese (29.95). Surf and Turf, 6 oz filet and 5-6 oz cold water Australian lobster tail (42.95). Dinner service begins at 5 p.m.  Reservations are recommended.

Lodge on the Desert
306 N. Alvernon Wy.
(520) 325.3366
Enjoy a passionately paired menu for two for $150 (includes tax and gratuity) while enjoying the acoustic music of Jon Banuelos. Select your meal from a four course tasting menu with options. Each course offers a wine pairing. Add an overnight stay and breakfast for two in the morning for a total of $300 (including tax and gratuity). Dinner service from 5 to 10 p.m. Reservations are recommended.

Neo of Melaka
1765 E. River Rd.
(520) 299.7815
Neo of Malaka is offering three different affordable four-course Valentine’s  Day menu options priced at $35.95 per person, $29.95 per person and $17.95  per person (not including tax or gratuity). Live entertainment from DJ Aspen from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., $3 drink specials all night and gift bags filled with surprises for everyone. Service hours are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.  Reservations are suggested.

Pastiche Modern Eatery
3025 N. Campbell Ave.
(520) 325.3333
 Pastiche will offer their regular a la carte menu along with a few delightful specials, such as  A Sweet Heart Salad with candied pecans, strawberries, dried cranberries, cilantro lime vinaigrette ($12.75); bistro portion ($8), Rosemary Panko crusted Rack of Lamb with a mint demi-glace, grilled asparagus and potato dauphinois ($24), Proscuitto Wrapped Halibut with white wine glaze, fried spinach, polenta, and fennel slaw ($21).  Dinner service 4:30 p.m until midnight.  Reservations are recommended. 

Papagayo
4717 E. Sunrise Dr.
(520) 577.6055
In addition to their regular menu Papagayo will be offering a sweet deal for couples to share. For $65 per couple (including tax and gratuity) enjoy 2 dinner entrees, 2 small dinner salads, 1 dessert to share and either a bottle of wine, or two drinks. Service hours from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Ric’s Café
5605 E. River Rd. Suite 121
(520) 577.7272
Ric’s Café will be serving a special a la carte Valentine’s Day menu, featuring a selection of appetizers and salads along with 10 different entrée options. Dinner service from 4 to 9 p.m.

Rio Café
2526 E. Grant Rd
(520) 323-5003
Rio Café will be serving a limited version of their regular menu in addition to a few different prix fixe menus to choose from for $35/person. The full dinner menu will not be served. Dinner service from 4 to 10 p.m.

Roma Caffe
4140 W. Ina Rd.
(520) 744.2929
Roma will feature a special Grilled Veal Chop dinner with pasta, steamed vegetables and a soup or salad for only $19.95 in addition to the regular menu offerings. Dinner service from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Tavolino Italian Restaurant
7090 N. Oracle Rd.
(520) 531.1913
In addition to the regular menu, Chef Massimo Tenino we will offer some Italian style San Valentine’s specials. Guests have the option to enjoy the prix fixe menu for $65 per person (not including tax and gratuity) which includes a glass of champagne; or to order from the regular menu. Dinner service from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Reservations recommended.

Vila Thai Cuisine
972 E. University Blvd.
(520)393.3489
In addition to the regular menu Vila Thai will be offer a complimentary glass of champagne with dinner and a rose for the ladies. Dinner service is from 5 to 9 p.m.

VinTabla Restaurant & Wine Shop 
2890 E. Skyline Dr. Suite 100                             
(520)577.6210
VinTabla Restaurant will serve a special 3-course prix fixe menu created by Executive Chef Bruce Yim for Valentine’s Day priced at $40 per person or $60 per person including wine (not including tax and gratuity). Offerings from the regular dinner menu will also be available.  Dinner service from 5 to 10 p.m.

Here are more Tucson restaurants with Valentine’s Day options.

Karyn Zoldan
karyn

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