Arts

Where to eat and drink in Philadelphia this Valentine’s Day

Assembly Rooftop Lounge

Love is in the air! Valentine’s Day is weeks away. Philadelphia is a massive city, bursting with excitement and plenty of dining options. It can be a daunting task to find a special place to take your loved one on Valentine’s Day. Here’s a look at some of the special offers restaurants and lounges in the region have to offer for the coming love-themed holiday. 

(The Bourse)

a.kitchen: For the entirety of Valentine’s Day weekend, a.kitchen will be offering a prix fixe menu comprised of four courses, including dessert, for $75 per person with an optional $25 wine pairing. With hearty vegetable-heavy dishes, a.kitchen is a great place for vegetarians and vegetable lovers to celebrate the holiday. Click here, to book a reservation.

Assembly Rooftop Lounge: Assembly Rooftop Lounge offers Valentine’s Day sweethearts sweeping views from above Logan Circle. Here you can sip on Valentine’s cocktails including A Dozen Roses ($14) made with rose petal infused Casadores Reposado, Dry Curaçao, lemon, and prosecco; Cupid’s Revenge ($14) made with Four Roses Bourbon, Aperol, Amaro, lemon, torched rosemary, and black pepper; and a Frozen Hot Chocolate ($14) made with Vanilla Vodka, hot chocolate blend, and strawberry marshmallow whipped cream. Guests can also enjoy Two Hearted IPA ($7) and a Port and Cheese pairing for $16.

Bank and Bourbon: Market Street is heating up. This Valentine’s Day, enjoy an evening at Bank & Bourbon with a special three-course menu prepared exclusively by Chef Joe Thomas Jr. Whether you are celebrating a romantic evening for two, or a Galentine’s Day night out, there are plenty of options to choose from to satisfy your palates and cravings. Start with a warm with a Butternut Squash Soup topped with duck confit and caramelized apples, Pappardelle with beef cheek ragu and aged parmesan-reggianoor Sweet Oysters, a classic aphrodisiac option for the special night. For mains, Chef Thomas features a selection of seafood, steak, pork or chicken options including Bank & Bourbon’s signature Roasted Lancaster Chicken. No meal is complete without dessert, guests can finish the meal with a red-themed Red Velvet Cake or a Chocolate S’mores Tort, both made in house by Pastry Chef Amanda Kaewvichien.

(Bank and Bourbon)

Valentine’s Day at Bank & Bourbon is available for $70 per person exclusive of tax and fees. To make the night extra special, guests can say cheers with wine pairings for each course for an additional $35. Click here, to book a reservation.

• The Bourse: The Bourse, Philadelphia’s artisan food hall on Independence Mall, is offering an anti-Valentine’s Day alternative for singles — Shred-Her (Him) at The Bourse. From 11 am to close on Valentine’s Day, guests can get closure by shredding a photo of an ex. Yes, The Bar by Bluebird Distilling will have a shredder on-site. Guests who shred a photo, will receive a complimentary Clover Club cocktail, boasting Bluebird Distilling Juniperus Gin, lemon juice, egg white and raspberry syrup.

High Street on Market: For Valentine’s Day only, High Street on Market will transform itself into a romantic diner, serving innovative riffs on iconic diner classics — think fried chicken, meatloaf, monte cristo, spaghetti & meatballs, French onion soup, pancakes, root beer floats, lemon meringue pie and more. Guests are invited to enjoy this blast-from-the-past experience via a $75/per person prix fixe menu interpretation. Reservations can be made online or by calling 215-625-0988.

(High Street on Market)

• Fork: Chef Jeremy Hansen will be serving guests a luxurious four-course meal for Valentine’s Day in Fork’s iconic Old City dining room. The $80 prix fixe menu invites guests to choose three plates and one dessert, though they can choose to elevate the experience with the $45 wine pairing or luxe add-ons like wagyu or venison. Click here, to book a reservation.

• In the Valley (ITV) Bar: Chef Nick Elmi’s neighborhood bar concept, In the Valley, will be offering a $65 four-course Valentine’s Day special (running Thursday- Saturday; in the dining room only) featuring Maryland Blue Crab + Spaghetti, Choice of red wine braised short rib OR  half duck breast with fennel, celery root, blood orange, and Chocolate polenta cake with rosemary ice cream.

ITV will also be offering a lively lineup of craft cocktails geared toward lovebirds and the Anti-Valentine’s Day crowd, alike, including a Pro-Romance Cocktail, two Alternative-Romance Cocktails, one Anti-Romance Cocktail and a Tiki-style punch for two. DTMFA (Bourbon, Amaro Sfumato, Amaro Ramazotti, Cinnamon, Lemon, Aquafaba, Garnished with a vegetable ash blackened heart), The Open Relationship (Rye, Laird’s Bonded, Cynar, Luxardo Maraschino, Regan’s Orange bitters), Little Hugs (London Dry Gin, Laird’s Bonded, Noilly Prat, Lemon, Grenadine, egg white, Garnished with an Angostura pink heart), Romance Cocktail (Cognac, Cheery Heering, Lime Cordial), and It Takes Two (Punch Bowl for Two) (Rum, Coconut, Pineapple, Chocolate). Reservations can be made online or by calling (267) 858-0669.

• Jet Wine Bar: Philadelphia’s “global vineyard”, Jet Wine Bar, is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a featured rosé wine flight for $12 and $5 off cheese and charcuteries boards all night long. After guests enjoy their flights, they can head across South St. to Rex 1516 for a V-Day dinner.

Featured Wines:

  • Sparkling Prosecco Rosé, Ca’ Furlan, Italy,
  • Grenache Rosé, La Tour de Gatigne, France
  • Bobal Rosé, Pablo Claro Organic, Spain

• Laurel: Laurel will be featuring a delicious seven-course prix fixe menu ($150/pp) comprised of Chef Elmi’s renowned seasonal creations. For a sweet end to the meal, guests will be invited to make their own box of chocolates, home to two of each: white chocolate stuffed with caramelized chocolate, dark chocolate truffle and strawberry chocolate.  These chocolates will be made by guests tableside. Reservations can be made online or by calling 215-271-8299.

(Ocean Prime)

• Ocean Prime: One of Center City’s most gorgeous restaurants and bars, Ocean Prime, is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a Roasted Sea Bass over Alaskan King Crab Gnocchi with Champagne cream. Topped with baby carrot salad in a preserved lemon pepper vinaigrette, this decadent dish is available for $62 for those lucky enough to get a reservation.

• Philadelphia Brewing Company: Philadelphia’s oldest and largest breweries, Philadelphia Brewing Company, is throwing a non-traditional Valentine’s Day celebration for the Black Hearts Club, complete with the release of Schwarzinger, a german-style black lager brewed with premium pilsner and dark roasted malts coming in at 5% ABV. Guests will be serenaded with jazzy renditions of love songs performed by local singer Mary Ellen, including “This Can’t Be Love” — Nat King Cole; “My Foolish Heart” — Tony Bennett; “Until the Real Thing Comes Along” — Billie Holiday; “Full Moon and Empty Arms” — Frank Sinatra; and others, while sipping on black brews in the Peacock Room.

• Philadelphia Magic Gardens:  Head over to Philadelphia Magic Gardens on Valentine’s Day. Visitors will enjoy mezcal and Mexican fare from East Passyunk’s Tamalex while taking an intimate guided tour of the world-famous mosaics and art galleries. The tour will focus on the love story of Isaiah and Julia Zagar as well as their love of Mexican Folk Art. Visitors 21+ will be treated to light Mexican fare from East Passyunk’s own Tamalex and three different kinds of mezcal curated by Salvador Periban. Tickets are $40 for non-members and $30 for members.

Red Owl Tavern: Red Owl Tavern, the Old City restaurant and bar across from Independence Hall, is celebrating Valentine’s with two tantalizing options – a Murder Mystery Dinner and a four-course prix-fixe dinner. During dinner, guests can enjoy dishes such as Octopus Carpaccio, Border Springs Lamb Chops, and Dry Aged Ribeye Steak. The prix-fixe dinner is $65 per person.

At Til’ Death Do Us Part Murder Mystery Dinner, guests can enjoy the same 4-course dinner with the addition of two Grey Goose cocktails and two wine pairings. Guests are invited to dress the part while solving a horrible murder in this nuptial nightmare. The dinner is in the Copenhagen event space and is $95 per person. Tickets can be purchased here. 

(The Twisted Tail)

Rex 1516: Rex 1516, the Southern-inspired restaurant and bar on South Street, is offering guests featured Valentine’s Day dishes and cocktails as well as a “liquid” dessert options. The menu features Saffron Tomato Stew (crab, mussels, crispy leeks, and burnt orange), Stuffed Pork Chop (granny smith gastrique, Charleston gold rice, and haricot vert), Dark Chocolate Budino (salted caramel and raspberry whipped cream), a Honeymoon #2 cocktail (Chamomile-Infused Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy, Jim Beam Rye Whiskey, Gran Gala Orange Liqueur, lemon, and D.O.M. Benedictine), Spice & Smoke (Laphroaig 10-year Scotch, Dewar’sBlended Scotch, Luxardo Bitter Bianco, and lemon-cayenne shrub), and Flora & Fauna (Bombay Dry Gin, Amaro Montenegro, pickled strawberry cordial, lime juice, and egg white).

Top off your night with a tasty liquid dessert, the Pink Squirrel (Tempes Fugit Creme de Noyeaux, Jacquin’s White Creme de Cacao, and heavy cream).

Seaview: Those looking for a nearby escape should consider Seaview, the recently renovated, historic and totally beautiful hotel and golf resort located just this side of Atlantic City — overlooking the bay. Seaview’s Be My Valentine package, includes luxurious accommodations, a sumptuous four-course dinner for two in Seaview’s circular Main Dining Room, hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries and two Champagne splits waiting on ice. The cost of the package is $360 plus tax and is the perfect escape for those coming from near or far. Guests looking to book Seaview’s Be My Valentine package may do so via the link here: Be My Valentine at Seaview

(Seaview Hotel)

• The Twisted Tail: The Twisted Tail, Headhouse Square’s restaurant, bar and live music venue, invites loved ones to celebrate the holiday with a four-course prix-fixe menu. For $49 per person, guests can enjoy Southern-inspired such as Crispy Prawns, Blue Bay Mussels, Fried Chicken, Beignets, Chocolate Pot de Crème, and more. Imbibers can also enjoy brown spirits from one of the most extensive selections in the city as well as seasonal specialty cocktails from Owner, George Reilly.

Urban Farmer: Urban Farmer, Logan Square’s modern American “chic” steakhouse, is offering guests delicious à la carte features, including House-made Saffron Cavatelli ($19) with short rib ragout, Bordeaux, and baby onions, a 1855 Cowboy Chop for 2 ($148) carved tableside, Whole Roasted Bronzini ($39) with arugula, fennel, oil-cured tomatoes, and salmoriglio, and Ruby Chocolate Mousse ($12) with a brownie, strawberry gelee, vanilla Chantilly, chocolate macaron, strawberries, and cocoa nibs. Guests can also imbibe in the Shot Through the Heart ($14) made with Dark Rum, Chambord, Chocolate Meletti, and cream, the Swipe Right ($14) made with gin, Campari, Luxardo Maraschino, honey, and egg white, and several wine selections. To view the Valentine’s Day menu, click here.

Galentine’s Day

What began as a fictional holiday has quickly become a February staple: Galentine’s Day. This year for Galentine’s Day – the pre-Valentine’s day for “the gals,” celebrated on February 13 – the below restaurants and bars are inviting groups to go out on the town with their BFFs and enjoy bitesboozeburlesque, and more. 

(Jet Wine Bar)

• The Bourse: The Bourse celebrates Galentine’s Day early on Tuesday, February 11 from 6-9 pm with a Galentine’s Day Floral Workshop hosted by Alice’s Table. Interested parties are invited to learn tips and tricks on how to create the perfect Valentine’s Day-themed arrangements. Scoop DeVille will be offering discounted desserts and complimentary chocolate covered strawberries. Additional food and drink options are available PAYG.

Tickets can be found here.

• Devil’s Den: Devil’s Den, the woman-owned restaurant and bar in South Philly, is hosting a night of roaring fun with Galentine’s Giggles, February 13 from 7-10 pm. This celebration of women in brewing and comedy boasts the best Philadelphia has to offer in beer and laughs, featuring notable comedians such as Oprah Keys (Philly’s Phunniest Semifinalist), Betty Smithsonian (Punch Line Philly), Nicole Phoenix (Broadway Comedy Club), and host Alyssa Al-Dookhi (HBO’s Women in Comedy Festival).

(Royal Boucherie)

• Jet Wine Bar: Jet Wine Bar, is celebrating Galentine’s Day with a classic combination – wine and cheese! Guests are invited to sip on a $12 featured Rosé Wine Flight and enjoy $5 off cheese and charcuteries boards all night long.

Featured Wines:

  • Sparkling Prosecco Rosé, Ca’ Furlan, Italy,
  • Grenache Rosé, La Tour de Gatigne, France
  • Bobal Rosé, Pablo Claro Organic, Spain

• Royal Boucherie: Royal Boucherie, the American brasserie from Chef Nicholas Elmi, is inviting guests to glam up their pre-Valentine’s Day celebrations with Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder, a classic and séduisant burlesque show on February 13 from 9-11 pm (doors open 8:30 pm). Guests are invited to dive into French art nouveau and experience a Gatsby-style evening with fun burlesque performances, delicious Absinthe cocktails, and killer French-inspired bites including sweet potato dumplings, mushroom and raclette melt, duck meatballs, and more. Tickets are $75 and include admission, two hours of open bar, and hors d’oeuvres.


You can follow Candis McLean on Twitter (@CandisRMcLean) and e-mail her at candis.mclean@gmail.com.

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