It’s everyone’s favorite holiday!
No? OK, that’s fine.
Valentine’s Day is a terrific motivator, though, to get out of the house and into this Hell-but-cold tundra to live life one course and paired glass of wine at a time. However you celebrate (or don’t), we have a few ideas about where to go and enjoy some food alone, paired, in a group—whatever!
Dives are not so secretly an excellent place to spend a holiday that mandates expressions of romance and subsequent overblown gestures dripping with sentimentality. They remind us of the most important things in love: consistency and reliability. A dive bar is always there for you, serving up your favorites, letting you hang out for as long as you want to chat with other regulars or keep to yourself. So, it’s fitting that Bull’s Horn—which calls itself “your classic bar”—would have you covered for Valentine’s Day, whether you're single, coupled, or throupled. Along with their regular menu, Bull’s Horn will offer a $12 prix fixe menu of three courses: three wings or cheese curds, burger with chips, and pudding. Want some bubbles to go with that? Add some Ruffino Prosecco or Miller High Life 40 for $8. 4563 S. 34th Ave., Minneapolis; 612-208-1378
Make reservations at this romantic spot to enjoy a special five-course menu. It runs $59 a person, and you’ll indulge in a variety of plates that exemplify Copper Hen’s farm-to-table ethos: beet bisque, a fresh pear and arugula salad, decadent lobster cakes, finger-licking blackberry short ribs, and rich chocolate flourless cake. Paired wines or bubbly are an additional $20 a person. Copper Hen will not be serving their usual menu on February 14, which might be a bummer if you were hoping for their roast quail... but did you not see that they’re serving lobster cakes? 2515 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis; 612-872-2221
At the time of writing, the menu for Saint Dinette’s Valentine’s Day dinner was still under development, but we do know it will be “aphrodisiac-inspired.” That means oysters and lobsters and boudin, staff (and Instagram) confirm. The dinner will be three courses and $65 per person. Their usual menu will also be available, so you can tuck into your favorites if you’re just not feeling the special offerings; either way, a table by Saint Dinette’s big windows promise a lovely view and a memorable night. 261 E. 5th St., St. Paul; 651-800-1415
Kado no Mise
For a truly extravagant and delicious meal, visit Kado no Mise on February 14. Their Valentine’s Day menu is six courses, and based on the descriptions alone, they sound stunning. How often are you served heart-shaped vegetables? The menu is naturally heavy on sashimi and vegetables as perfect accents. At $125 a person, it’s a bit spendy, but with the reputation Kado no Mise has built, you have every reason to expect a meal that’s fresh, has subtle and beautifully combined flavors and textures, and leaves you completely satisfied. 33 N. 1st Ave., Minneapolis; 612-338-515
Do you like your restaurants cozy with soft lighting? A friendly buzz of conversation from your fellow diners that comes from letting the magic of a good meal work into your bones? Head to Bar Brigade on February 14. Their Valentine’s Day dinner is three courses and $42 each. For each course, you can choose from two or three options. How does foie gras with an orange and carrot gastrique and greens sound? Or some seared scallops with butternut squash puree? If your mouth is watering, just go ahead and reserve already. 470 Cleveland Ave. S., St. Paul
Did you know you can get tableside service at White Castle on Valentine’s Day? ‘Cuz you can get tableside service at White Castle on Valentine’s Day. This has been a tradition for the last 28 years, one that White Castle reports is super popular, with many locations maxing out their reservations from devoted Cravers (as White Castle has dubbed their fans). Locally, only Minneapolis White Castles are participating this year (what’s going on, St. Paul?) from 4 to 9 p.m., so call now if you want a table for chowing down on many tiny burgers. Go the traditional route or try the new veggie Slider made with Impossible™ meat. Multiple locations
Saint Paul Hotel
No, you needn’t lift your pinky as you sip from a delicate teacup at high tea, but you’re at the Chocolate Lovers’ Tea at the Saint Paul Hotel, so just go for it. That’s right: for Valentine’s Day, the iconic hotel will be serving a high tea all about chocolate. The tea runs from 1pm to 3pm (so, you know, take a mental health day) and includes tea sandwiches, a savory course, a scone, and two (count ‘em!) courses of sweets. Chocolate will be prominently featured in each course. Go back in time to tell your eight-year-old self about this tea, and their eyes will bug out and they’ll jump and down. So, treat yourself and make your younger self proud. 350 Market St., St. Paul; 651-228-3860
Head to Northeast for your Valentine’s Day dinner fix. Bardo is serving up five courses at $75 per person. No specific details at the time of writing on what those courses will look like, but if their regular menu is anything to go by, the food promises to be inventive and satisfying. Perhaps a jamón ibérico supplement will be available? If you’d like to add on wine pairings, it’s $40 a person—probably a good move since Bardo’s typical wine list has a deep bench. And anyway, it’s below zero; doesn’t curling up in a restaurant sound really good right now? 222 Hennepin Ave. E., Minneapolis; 612-886-8404