If you haven’t already booked a date for you and your beau, newsflash: Valentine’s Day is next Saturday.
It’s safe to say that reservations are filling up fast, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late. So, I’ll keep this post short and sweet.
The following is a list of excellent spots to dine in (or take out) to make that special evening count. The centered links below will take you right to each home page.
Just because it’s a “holiday” doesn’t mean you need to spend a ton on a meal. I love the idea of ordering takeout, curling up into a blanket, and turning on a movie. Or, pack a lunch and meet somewhere for a picnic.
If you’re looking for the perfect treat, these items are musthaves.
a) Fiasco Gelato – Pick up the same day, or order online and have it delivered to your hunny at home (or work!). They have an exceptional line of Valentines-themed gelatos with flavours like Chocolate Strawberries and Angel Food. The pints are a decent size and enough for 2 people. BUT, I have a feeling neither of you will want to share.
b) Ollia Macarons – these little gems are delicious. The ganache is silky and cool, while the meringue pieces are light and fluffy. There are tons of flavours, which make them the perfect pair to any meal (or wine). There are savory ones such as chevre, fig, and maple bacon – and of course a wide array of sweet ones such as rose, lemon cheesecake, rocher, and earl grey. My favourites? Rocher, mint chocolate, and salted caramel.
c) Spiros Pizza – yes, pizza may not be the most romantic. But sometimes it’s the perfect meal. This spot is one of the best pizzas I have had in Calgary – so meaty, so cheesy, so yummy.
d) Bliss cupcakes – if she’s into sweets, this is the spot for the perfect cupcake. Each moist cake is covered in rich icing, and there are a ton of flavours to choose from. My favourite? After Eight.
e) Choklat – One word: truffles. Select from a variety of fillings and coatings.
f) Cibo – into sharing plates? Cibo has wicked Italian-inspired appetizers and sharing plates at a pretty reasonable price. The inside has an industry feel with brick walls and filament lights. Plus, they also have wicked pizzas. It’s a little loud, but if you can snag a spot upstairs, you’re set.
a) Brava Bistro – I will admit I haven’t tried the new menu yet. But, this spot is a 17th Ave staple. The interior is ever-so intimate and perfect for a date night. Plus, the meals are hearty portions and the French-inspired food is always cooked to perfection.
b) Avec Bistro – Another spot I haven’t been to, but have heard rave reviews. Plus, if you keep your eyes peeled, you might just see me there.
c) Cilantro – This is my go-to spot for an intimate evening dinner. The tables are spread apart enough that you can have your own conversation, and the dim lighting gives it an air of romance. Everything on the menu is divine, my favourites being the chicken and salmon. Plus, the white chocolate brownie? To die for.
d) Il Sogno – This is one of my absolute favourite restaurants in Calgary, and there are always reservations available. It’s a small Italian spot with excellent prices and decent sized portions. The pasta – incredible, the chicken – incredible, the steak – incredible. You really can’t go wrong. And if you’re a carrot cake fan, it’s the best spot in the city. Fewer seats mean it’s a quiet little spot for you and your loved one to get the conversation flowing.
e) Laurier Lounge – Fondue fan? No problem. They’ve got you covered in this heritage home. (Just watch the stairs on your way down – they’re pretty narrow!)
a) The Lakehouse – Last year Cole & I attended opening night of The Lakehouse for our Valentines Dinner. Since then, we’ve been 3 more times. With local ingredients and a few game meat options, it’s the perfect spot if you want to try something new. Out of town guests? Even better. The interior is rustic, with wooden tables and big comfortable chairs. You won’t leave hungry.
b) Alloy – I’ve ate here a few times and it is delicious. Meals are a little smaller, which is where the $$$ comes in. You’ll want to order an appy and dessert for sure. My favourite meal? The steak (duh). The atmosphere is groovy. Set in an industrial looking building, you walk into a room filled with mirrored walls, pink accents, and luxurious white leather booths.
c) The Nash – I have yet to try this spot out, but if it’s anything like Notable, then I bet it’s delicious. (PS – For the more price conscious, check out Notable! The rotisserie meat is so juicy.) There has been quite a bit of hype surrounding its opening, and it’s really rejuvenating the Inglewood community.
d) Vintage Chophouse – Does your beau love a good steak? Well look no further. Juicy, massive cuts of meat are covered in a peppercorn sauce and paired with the side of your choosing. The meal is cooked extremely well and you will leave feeling absolutely stuffed. The interior is just as you would expect – vintage inspired. The rooms are dimly lit, and the serving staff knows when to interrupt or leave you alone. If you do go here – leave room for dessert because the Baked Alaska is a must.
If it’s full, try out one of our newest steakhouses (and a Calgary institution) – Hy’s. The cheese bread? Unbeatable.
Where will you be spending your Valentines?