Valentine’s Day can be a stressful occasion. From reserving that hard-to-get table at the hottest new restaurant to finding the perfect outfit, the pressure is on. This year, Bostonians are giving themselves a break and letting the fine restaurants throughout the city do Cupid’s work.
Romance is available for the taking at Bambara in Cambridge (the taking home, that is). Pre-ordered meal kits ($100 for two people) will be available Friday, Saturday, or Sunday on Valentine’s Day weekend from 1-5 p.m. Start with the famous Choereg rolls with honey butter before moving on to the Maine crab salad with lemon aioli and tart blood orange. The pasta course features beet and goat cheese ravioli in a black truffle butter sauce with aged pecorino cheese. As if that isn’t decadent enough, the slow-braised beef short ribs come with meaty trumpet mushrooms over a celery root puree. Save room for dessert! There are chocolate truffles and orange panna cotta with Grand Marnier and kumquats. Those that order the meal kit can add on a bottle of Tattinger champagne for $50 ($80 without the meal kit) or choose a selection of a la carte house cocktails that serve two.
Mida (and one of Food & Wine’s best new chefs of 2020, Chef Douglass Williams) is offering a three-course tasting menu for two for $120 and wine pairings are available for an additional $60. The first course is intended to be shared and includes a beet salad with arugula, figs, and gorgonzola. There is also seared octopus with romesco, fennel, and a plate of bruschetta with whipped goat cheese, eggplant, mushroom, and fresh basil. There’s an optional midcourse of saffron seafood risotto ($30) or couples can move on to the main event: a choice of linguini primavera, lasagna with lamb ragu, or roasted cod with fregula (a couscous-like pasta), capers, lemon, and haricot vert. Sweet finishes include a choice of passionfruit cheesecake with pistachio crumble or dark chocolate espresso brownie with toasted coconut and a caramel drizzle. Mida’s prix fixe is available to dine-in or take out guests February 12-14 from 4-9 p.m.
Bostonians that still want to go out and change up their scenery for Valentine’s Day can reserve a heated, socially-distanced igloo at Woods Hill at Pier Four. Cuddle under the stars and enjoy an incredible four-course menu for two ($350 per couple) with vegetarian options available upon request. The swordfish belly pastrami on caraway chips with Russian dressing is a whimsical amuse-bouche playing on Jewish deli favorites. The first course includes a choice of mixed green salad, six east coast oysters, local fluke crudo, steak tartare, or sunflower risotto. The hardest choice is the main course. Do guests opt for the dry-aged duck breast with barberry jus, the skate wing with sunchokes and brown butter, or the squid ink casarecce with lobster and crab ragu? There are two steak options for the mains too: an NY Strip or a parsnip “steak” with black and white quinoa, honey-pickled mushrooms. Finish the meal off with a chocolate bomb complete with coffee cremeaux, a citrus tart, or a vanilla bean semifreddo for two. All of these luxurious meal combinations come with a romantic view of the Boston skyline.
Forage, in the Cambridge area, has two possible prix fixe menus for love birds available to pick up on February 13 or 14 ($150 per couple or $200 with wine). Choose between the omnivore menu or the vegetarian. Many of the dishes come with the same accouterments but vary the protein by diet. Start with either smoked trout or Heiwa tofu. Both come on raisin soda bread with magnolia bud butter and pickled red onions. The following course, a potato veloute, includes either poached oysters or marinated feta with tarragon and almond salsa verde. The third course is the same regardless of the menu and consists of roasted oyster mushrooms, greens, and black walnuts tossed in a maple vinaigrette. There are confit chicken leg and roasted breast with potatoes and winter spinach for the omnivores, carrot and pistachio sausage with lentils, and confit potatoes for the vegetarians. Couples finish the meal together with crystalized black pepper hazelnuts in white chocolate custard and raspberry jam. An additional cheese plate can be added ($15) for extra post-entree gluttony.
Beehive is one of Boston’s favorite Bohemian-style eateries and music venues. The warm, friendly service, combined with delicious and approachable menus has made it a mainstay even in COVID times. There are two choices for the four-course Valentine’s Day prix fixe at Beehive this year. Select either the truffled, bone-in short rib menu or the roasted halibut. Both come with highly addictive sesame white bean dip, lobster and citrus salad, and the red velvet-white chocolate-passion fruit bomb for dessert. Order by February 11 and pick up your meal kit (complete with detailed reheating instructions) on February 13 from 1-4 p.m. Beehive is also offering cocktails to-go that serve two, beer, and cider.
Ledger Restaurant and Bar
The Ledger’s four-course Valentine’s take-home prix fixe menu ($60 per person) is as decadent as they come. Begin with an amuse-bouche: caviar oyster with champagne creme fraiche. The first course offers two salad selections (beet or winter citrus and radicchio), soup (duck French onion), or savory meat (spicy pork belly with hot honey and fermented peppers). A red wine and marrow risotto can be selected for an additional charge. Next, dive into either a halibut bouillabaisse, steak frite au poivre, wild mushroom bolognese, or (for an additional fee) an 8-ounce filet mignon. The dessert offerings include either a chocolate strawberry mousse with chantilly creme or a mango sorbet with a pink peppercorn tuile. Sommelier selected wine pairings are available for $32 per person.