By Sarah Reese & Amy Strauss
Want to surprise your beloved this Valentine’s Day? Whisk him or her away and paint the town red at one of these darling Chester County eateries, all of which have whipped up some marvelous specials for the two of you to enjoy.
AMANI’S BYOB’s (105 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown) Chef Jon Amann, the “Best Chef of Chester County,” has prepped a one-of-a-kind menu for Feb. 14’s romancing diners. His four-course prix fixe menu touts darling farm-fresh, locally-sourced dishes like steamed pork belly sliders, duck confit cassoulet, pumpkin risotto croquettes, warm water lobster tail with black truffle butter, and much more. Plus, each guest will be served a complimentary glass of champagne and house-made limoncello.
Cost: $75 per person (tax & gratuity not included), more info at amanisbyob.com.
AMERICA’S PIE (323 E Gay St., West Chester) knows that some couples want to cozy up at home for Valentine’s Day and avoid the dining out masses. In honor of the lover’s holiday, they’re serving up heart-shaped pizza pies. Whether you prefer New York-style, deep dish, Sicilian or one of their unique combinations of toppings – there is a choice for all tastes. Plus, their enormous menu has even more options for all palates, including salads, wraps and clubs, hoagies, hot sandwiches, strombolis, cheesesteaks, and a Little Americans menu – all with clever, fun names inspired by different regions of the US. So, order up a smorgasbord with your signature other and dive into some of West Chester’s finest.
Cost: Prices vary, more info at pizzaforthepeople.com.
AVALON PASTA BISTRO (78 West Lancaster Ave., Downingtown) has your “someone special” in mind with their Sweetheart’s Pasta Tasting Menu, which features four smaller-sized portions including an antipasti, his and hers gnocchi, a choice of entree and a dessert to share. Plus, here’s an even better perk: complimentary sangria will be pouring for patrons (menu available from Saturday, February 11 – Tuesday, February 14).
Cost: $110 per couple (tax & gratuity not included), more info at pastabistro.com.
BRANDYWINE PRIME (1617 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford) invites you to brunch it up Sunday, February 12th for a special pre-V-day celebration. Enjoy their “Best Of Chester County” Brunch, which includes two Bloody Marys and a half bottle of bubbling Prosecco.
Cost: $50 for 2 (tax & gratuity not included), more info at brandywineprime.com.
CATHERINE’S RESTAURANT (Route 82 & 162, Unionville) is also inviting you to Sunday brunch on Feb. 12. Taste your way through their “Lovers’ Lane” late morning menu (offered 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) featuring lobster and fennel crepes, pistachio-crusted goat cheese salad, filet mignon eggs benedict, plus much more. Complimentary cranberry pomegranate champagne served per guest.
Cost: $49.95 per couple (tax & gratuity not included), more info at catherinesrestaurant.com.
ELLA’S AMERICAN BISTRO’s (214 Sugartown Road, Wayne) Chef Matt Schuler will offer a celebratory five-course Valentine’s Tasting Menu on Tuesday, February 14. Menu highlights include cream of sunchoke and pear soup, blood orange and grapefruit sorbet, a petite filet with roasted beet risotto, and more. Special holiday touches include a complimentary glass of champagne, a rose, and a dining room serenade by violinist Palmer Loux and guitarist Greg Loux.
Cost: $65 per person (tax & gratuity not included), more info at ellasamericanbistro.com.
FARMHOUSE BISTRO at PEOPLE’S LIGHT (39 Conestoga Road, Malvern) wants you to treat your Valentine to a one-of-a-kind dining experience at their historic Malvern property. Dive into their signature three course prix fixe that features mouthwatering bites like truffled chicken liver pate, cornish game hen, Braeburn apple tart tatin, and more. Can’t make it on Feb. 14? Consider dinner and a show with People’s Light and the Farmhouse Bistro later in the week – Of Mice and Men debuts on Feb. 15, running through March 25.
Cost: $45 per person (tax & gratuity not included), more info at thefarmhousebistro.com.
FIRECREEK Restaurant & Bar (20 East Lancaster Avenue, Downingtown) is offering up a prix fixe, 4-course menu, complete with live music, a glass of bubbly, and a rose for your special someone. For your first course, choose between Shrimp Lejon, Crusted Brie, or Artisan Charcuterie & Cheese for Two. Follow it with a second course of salads (grilled romaine & anchovy, baby spinach with smoked duck, or Antoinette with vanilla bean vinaigrette), and enjoy an entrée of Crab Stuffed Maine Lobster Tail, Popcorn Dusted Scallops, Chateaubriand for Two, or Rack of Veal. Finish up with Crème Brulee or Chocolate Cheese Cake.
Cost: $75/person or $100/person with wine pairing (tax & gratuity not included), more info at firecreek-restaurant.com.
GILMORE’S RESTAURANT (133 East Gay Street, West Chester) is keeping mum on their “Aphrodisiac” menu for now, but they did let us know they will be accepting reservations for their red-hot dinners on Sunday, February 12, Monday, February 13 and Tuesday, February 14.
Cost: $65 per person, more info at gilmoresrestaurant.com
ISABELLA’s (382 East Elm Street, Conshohocken) Chef Michael Cappon has created an inspiring ten-course tasting menu of sensual foods that are guaranteed to create the mood for romance. With the entire menu featuring the top aphrodisiac foods (avocado, oysters, figs, chocolate, etc.), diving into his signature tasting promises an evening you will not forget. For those who want to spice up Valentine’s Day even more, enjoy complimentary Tango lessons in “The Loft” at Isabella.
Cost: $40 per person (tax & gratuity not included), more info at barisabella.com.
J-MARIE’S SPEAKEASY & SUPPERCLUB (1411 Wilmington Pike, West Chester) invites locals to tackle their special Valentine’s menu on Tues., 14th – a mouthwatering dinner that will be fully equipped with a live piano performance by Steve Herrick. The classic, attractive setting of this supper club is ideal for romancing diners who are looking not only for a top-notch feast but also, for a night of dancing! More info at jmariesspeakeasy.com.
KILDARE’S IRISH PUB (18 West Gay Street, West Chester) will feature a special “Sweetheart Menu” from Thurs., Feb. 9 – Tues., Feb. 14. Holiday diners will have the option of weaving their way through a shrimp cocktail appetizer, followed by a calamari salad tossed with Guinness glazed onions and roasted red peppers. Soon, entree options will unfold, like their signature “sweetheart” ravioli (veggie-stuffed and sauteed with shrimp and sweet peas in a vodka marinara sauce) and the “surf and turf” – a 10 ounce grilled sirloin with two pan-seared crab cakes. Be sure to save room, you can’t skip the featured dessert: an all berry parfait layered with vanilla ice cream, “allberry” compote and whipped cream topped with a raspberry reduction. More info at kildaresirishpub.com.
Single this Valentine’s Day? Kildare’s has your back! On Sat., Feb. 11, they’ve partnered with Brandywine Singles to host speed dating event. More details and the option to sign up at brandywinesingles.com.
OLIVE BRANCH TAPAS RESTAURANT (42 W Gay St., West Chester) will offer a Couple Tapas Dinner for Two for Valentine’s, available through the weekend of Feb. 10-Feb. 12, and on Tues., Feb. 14. The five-course tasting is completed with wine and champagne is included. Also, take note: the dining room’s scene will be attractively set with an all-night performance from James DeFrances, who will be singing songs of the golden era of Sinatra, Dean Martin, and so many more. More info at olivebranchwc.net.
PARAMOUR (139 East Lancaster Avenue, Wayne) is offering special additions to their menu just in time for Valentine’s Day, including: Chilled Atlantic Seafood Plate for two, with oysters, blue crab, lobster arms, diver scallops and prawns; Grilled Maine Lobster with Yukon whipped potatoes, grilled asparagus and lobster nage; Surf & Turf, pan-roasted beef tenderloin and ½ Maine lobster with potato gratin; and a Contemporary Dessert Sampler for two.
Cost: A la carte, more info at paramourwayne.com.
SIDE BAR & RESTAURANT (10 E. Gay Street, West Chester) is your go-to destination for Valentine’s Day dinner without restrictions. Head over to the upscale, casual and cozy (yes, there are fireplaces!) hot spot and tackle the unique holiday specials from Side Bar’s talented kitchen tag-team, Chef Dave Young and Chef Blaise Labik. The Valentine’s Day specials, available Fri., Feb. 10 – Tues., Feb. 14, include crave-worthy options like shrimp over a strawberry champagne risotto, seared snapper with an orchard salad and crab almond mimosa cream sauce, and bacon-wrapped filet with smoked mozzarella and mushroom demi glaze, and chocolate-covered strawberries for two. Is your main squeeze a beer fanatic, too? A cask of Rogue Chocolate Stout will also be featured for Valentine’s Day.
Cost: Prices vary, more info at sidebarandrestaurant.com.
SILVERSPOON (Eagle Village Shops, Wayne) welcomes locals to enjoy their five-course Valentine’s Day tasting on Feb. 14, available during two seatings of 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Delectable main course options include lamb crepinettes, pan-Roasted trout fillet, and semi-boneless poussin. Complimentary champagne is part of the tasting.
Cost: $65 per person (tax & gratuity not included), more info at silverspoonwayne.com.
TECA (38 E Gay St., West Chester) is offering an exceptional customer loyalty program – spend $100 in food or drinks and be entered for a chance to win a five-night stay for two at a luxury Tuscan vineyard villa! Reserve a spot at Teca for a top-notch, wine-infused feast for Valentine’s Day and test your luck at a chance of being the one lucky couple that gets to be whisked away to beautiful Casali di Bibbiano, featuring premium wines produced by Alberto Guadagnini, well-known chef, winemaker and owner of Teca (along with son Roberto). The winners will enjoy free breakfast, dinner and all the wine they can drink at this scenic vineyard villa.
Cost: A la carte menu available, more info at tecawc.com.
TERRAIN at STYERS CAFE (914 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills) has a five course tasting menu planned for their luscious, Secret Garden-style greenhouse. Start off with an Arborio Crusted Fried Oyster and move into a second tasting of either Lobster & Salsify Soup or Fried Quail Egg Salad. Devour the Wild Striped Bass or the Duck Fat Poached Salmon next, and finish off with your final savory choices or Lancaster Duck Breast or Coffee Braised Short Ribs. Wind down with a Chocolate Cake to share, and feel free to ask about their veggie options.
Cost: $78 per person, reservations recommended. BYO. Seatings start at 5 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. More info at shopterrain.com.
VICTORY BREWING COMPANY (420 Acorn Lane, Downingtown) wants to spread the love with you – the love for local beer, that is. Grab your beer-loving main squeeze and delay your Valentine’s Day plans until Wednesday, Feb. 15., and join Victory in celebrating their sixteenth anniversary with a five-course “Sweet and Savory 16” Dinner. Eclat Chocolate (24 South High St., West Chester) has teamed up with Victory to brew a cocoa lager – which will debut at this local celebration.
Cost: $55 per person, more info at victorybeer.com.
Whether you pop their bubbly or bring your own, grab your favorite person and celebrate your love in Chester County style!
Photographs courtesy of Allison Benford (Bonsai Doll Fern Photography), Laura Taylor and represented restaurants.