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Valentine's Day dining and getaways on the Eastside and beyond
Valentine’s Day is two weeks away, and many Eastside restaurants are feeling the love.
Here’s a guide to some eateries that offer a romantic evening out, from the falls, to the waterfront, to weekend getaways.
Make sure to get a reservation early, as several of the Eastside’s more intimate and romantic spots are already almost booked for Valentine’s Day, including Issaquah’s Montalcino (www.montalcinoristoranteitaliano.com), Kirkland’s Cafe Juanita (www.cafejuanita.com) and Bellevue’s John Howie Steak (www.johnhowiesteak.com). Contact the restaurants directly to check availability.
Others celebrate Valentine’s Day all weekend long, including Bellevue’s Palomino Rustico (www.palomino.com/menu.php?c=bellevue) and Redmond’s Matts’ Rotisserie and Oyster Lounge (www.mattsrotisserie.com).
Several Eastside restaurants have prix fixe menus, including Kirkland’s Volterra ($75 for five courses - www.volterrakirkland.com), Bothell’s Amaro Bistro ($65 - www.amarorestaurant.com) and Preservation Kitchen ($75 with champagne toast - www.preservationkitchen.com), Issaquah’s Sip (four courses with optional OVERSET FOLLOWS:wine pairings - www.siprestaurant.com) and Bellevue’s Melting Pot (five courses with a champagne toast - www.meltingpot.com/bellevue-wa). Snoqualmie Casino will have a Valentine’s Day buffet ($39.95 - www.snocasino.com).
Other dining rooms may be fully booked, but may have space in their bars on a first-come, first-served basis. For great views, try Daniel’s Broiler’s “speakeasy,” Prime 21 Lounge (www.schwartzbros.com/daniels-broiler/daniels-bellevue), the Golf Club at Newcastle’s Calcutta Grill’s “Pub,” which serves a full menu (www.newcastlegolf.com/Courses/NewCastle/Pages/Calcuttagrill.aspx), or The Attic at Salish Lodge and Spa, overlooking Snoqualmie Falls (www.salishlodge.com/attic).
Le Grand Bistro Americain (www.bistrolegrand.com) and Bin On The Lake (three courses for $65 - www.thewoodmark.com/bin-on-the-lake), both in Carillon Point, have romantic and relaxing views of Lake Washington, and extensive wine lists.
For a less expensive date, try the food court at Crossroads Mall (www.crossroadsbellevue.com), split a sundae at Bellevue’s Vivo 53 (www.vivo53.com) or sample wine and champagne at Mercer Island’s recently opened New Seasons Market, and pair your favorites with a home-cooked meal and a movie. New Seasons (www.newseasonsmarket.com/our-stores/mercerisland) will have a red wine tasting from 3-6 p.m. on Feb. 10 and a “bubbles and sweets” tasting from 3-6 p.m. on Feb. 11.
Want to get away? Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year, but that shouldn’t stop you from going on a romantic weekend retreat.
1. Lake Chelan Valley (www.lakechelanwinevalley.com)
Celebrate the month of love with artisan wine and chocolate pairings at Lake Chelan’s Red Wine and Chocolate Weekends on Feb. 11-12 and Feb. 18-19. Romantic restaurants in the area include Sorrento’s Ristorante at Tsillan Cellars, Adante in downtown Chelan or the Campbell’s Resort Bistro, which will have “live music and upscale dinner menu.” Stay at the resort and arrange to have a dozen long stemmed roses, chilled champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries waiting for your arrival.
2. Crystal Mountain (www.crystalmountain.com)
The snow has been great this season, and there’s no better view of Mt. Rainier than from the top of Crystal Mountain. Valentine’s Day at Crystal “means specials and deals around the mountain for love birds and singles alike,” including a two-for-one day lift tickets and equipment rentals if you play hooky on Feb. 14. There’s also a special menu at Crystal’s Thistle Pub and Grille, and two-for-one deals on spa treatments, ice skating and snowmobile tours.
3. Victoria, BC (www.tourismvictoria.com)
Named “Canada’s most romantic city,” Victoria is a short boat ride away from Seattle, meaning that getting there is half the fun. The capital city of British Columbia offers many activities for families and couples, including hikes, museum visits and brewery tours. Enjoy afternoon tea and a romantic stroll on a Harbour walk, followed by dinner at one of any number of restaurants on or near the water.