- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, falls midweek this year, and there’s a wide choice of special prix fixe dinners for romantics. Here are some options. Prices are per person and do not include drinks, tax and gratuity.

Oval Room (800 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202/463-8700) is offering three courses with an amuse-bouche ($75). Chef Tony Conte’s menu includes scallops with rose petals, and a glass of champagne with dessert.

Cafe Atlantico (405 Eighth St. NW; 202/393-0812) will have two seatings for its “night of passionate food, wine and cocktails” tribute to love ($80). Chef Katsuya Fukushima will prepare a sensual beet soup; oyster with violet, pink peppercorn and celeriac; lamb with cinnamon; red mullet with white chocolate; and a “sweet sexy end.”

At Juniper in the Fairmont Hotel (2401 M St. NW; 202/457-5020), the five-course Valentine’s Dinner ($50) features surf and turf of filet mignon and lobster tail, a rack of lamb and a duo of chocolate passion.

Chef Rob Klink of Oceanaire Seafood Room (1201 F St. NW; 202/347-2277) has created two special menus to inspire romance during the entire Valentine’s month. American caviar will be featured on the four-course menu ($75) and three-course menu ($65). To highlight the caviar, Mr. Klink’s menu includes seared giant Japanese sea scallops and miso-glazed swordfish.

At Ardeo (3311 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202/244-6750), a three-course menu ($65) will include tuna with Provencale garnish; champagne-braised lobster; grilled sirloin; and tiramisu bombe.

Jack’s Restaurant & Bar (1527 17th St. NW; 202/332-6767), the new restaurant of chef Herbert Kerschbaumer, who previously owned Bistro Bernoise on MacArthur Boulevard, will feature a red-inspired four-course menu ($33), starting with a tomato bisque and ending with cassis sorbet.

A three-course Italian feast for $75 is the evening’s delight at Notti Bianche (824 New Hampshire Ave. NW; 202/298-8085). Menu items include grilled quail with creamy polenta, lobster tortelloni and pine-nut-crusted rack of lamb ($75).

At the Dupont Grille (1500 New Hampshire Ave. NW; 202/483-6000), Valentine’s Day dinner will include bacon-wrapped filet mignon, pesto-and-potato-crusted snapper and a molten chocolate cake.

Zaytinya (701 Ninth St. NW; 202/638-0800) will entertain diners with a dinner of mezze and live entertainment by belly dancers of the Sahara Dance Studio. The $55 dinner begins with an orange-blossom pilav with apricots and pistachios. Other mezze are lobster medallions in a Greek tomato stew, and veal chops with pomegranate sauce and rose petals.

If a la carte is preferred, Jaleo (480 Seventh St. NW, 202/628-7949; 7271 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, 301/913-0003; and 2250 A Crystal Drive, Arlington, 703/413-8181) is preparing a Valentine’s Day menu of Spanish tapas from $6.50 to $13.95, including dishes such as lobster salad with blood oranges; lobster with lemon oil and pomegranates; Basque crab stew, and creamy rice with black truffles and goat cheese.

For something different, Mie N Yu (3125 M St. NW; 202/333-6122) will celebrate lovers with a six-course Chinese menu ($85) incorporating such Silk Road dishes as prawn toast and tangerine beef.

For the gentlemen who wish a little quick training on how to prepare the feast themselves, DC Coast (1401 K St. NW; 202/216-5988) chef de cuisine Travis Timberlake and executive pastry chef David Guas will present a cooking demonstration for men only Feb. 3.

Morton’s the Steakhouse (8075 Leesburg Pike, Tysons Corner; contact Maura Delaney at 703/883-0800) has a plan for the ultimate proposal: a “$10,000 chocolate carat cake” dessert. Morton’s hot chocolate cake will be topped with a diamond ring from Tiffany & Co. for the gentleman who would like to surprise his lady love in a pubic setting.

From Monday through Saturday until Feb. 13, Restaurant Kolumbia (1801 K St. NW; 202/331-5551) is re-creating the Wine Lovers Dinner chef Jamie Stachowski prepared Jan. 16 at the James Beard House in New York City for $65 and $75 ($90 with wine pairing).

Urbana Restaurant and Wine Bar (2121 P St. NW; 202/956-6650) is extending its Restaurant Week special $30.07 three-course dinner menu through March 31. The selection of offerings will change to keep the menu fresh.

After a major renovation of its kitchen, the Occidental Restaurant (1475 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202/783-1475) has reopened in time to celebrate its 100th anniversary. Chef Rodney Scruggs and pastry chef Casper Gibson are preparing special dishes and promotions throughout the year. All those wonderful photographs are still in place.

The year of the pig is coming on the Chinese lunar calendar. From Feb. 19 through March 3, chef de cuisine Cliff Wharton of TenPenh (1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202/393-4500), who is of Filipino heritage, will present a complete pork-laden meal. It will start with Philippine pork cracklings, which will be followed by either pork adobo raviolis and roasted suckling pig or pulled pork shumai and Thai braised pork belly. Dessert for both menus will be bacon brittle with maple panna cotta. The special three-course prix fixe menu celebrating Chinese year 4705 will be available for $47.05.

Feb. 15 is the date for the Caymus Vineyards wine dinner at the Kennedy Center’s Roof Terrace Restaurant (2700 F St. NW; 202/416-8555). During each course of the four-course dinner, complemented by Caymus varietals, chef Jose Urrutia and a representative from the winery will explain how the wines pair with the flavors of the dishes being served. Dinner begins at 8 p.m. and is priced at $100 per person.

For the official opening of Oyamel (401 Seventh St. NW; 202/628-1005), the restaurant will hold a three-night fundraising campaign Feb. 12, 13 and 14 to support three nonprofit organizations. To participate, guests are invited to order unlimited fare from Oyamel’s a la carte menu for $75 per person. All proceeds will be distributed equally among Aid to Artisans, Children’s Research Institute at Children’s Hospital and Many Hats.

The new National Museum of the Marine Corps (18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle, Va.; 800/635-1775) has opened two dining facilities under the auspices of Guest Services Inc. The Tun Tavern is a full-service restaurant created as a replica of an 18th-century tavern in Philadelphia; it’s open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Mess Hall is a 160-seat quick-service cafeteria-style restaurant open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Topaz Bar (1733 N St. NW; 202/393-3000) and Bar Rouge (1315 16th St. NW; 202/232-8000) are throwing Super Bowl parties Sunday from 3 p.m. to midnight. At Topaz Bar, fans can enjoy special drinks and Super Bowl fare at happy-hour prices. Bar Rouge will serve football widows; from 6 to 9 p.m., the bar will offer minimanicures and hand massages for $10. In lieu of football coverage, the bar will play reruns of “Desperate Housewives” and serve specialty martinis.

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