- - Monday, February 9, 2015

Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, falls this year on the Saturday of a three-day weekend. There’s romance in the air in Washington restaurants, and there are unusual specials offered on the day.

At Mio (1110 Vermont Ave. NW, 202/955-0075), Chef Roberto Hernandez will cook a four-course Puerto Rican feast at the two-seat counter every evening from Feb. 11 through Feb. 14, with seatings at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The menu, priced at $150 per couple, includes a bottle of sparkling rose. A three-course prix fixe dinner of Puerto Rican specialties will be offered in the dining room, priced at $65 per person. Mio is introducing a $25 prix fixe, three-course menu for college students with a valid student ID from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily. The menu will change every other week.

A Valentine’s Day menu will be available at 701 Restaurant (701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202/393-0701) from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., accompanied by a live piano-and-bass contemporary jazz duet from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Executive chef Benjamin Lambert will prepare a three-course prix fixe menu for $85.

A Japanese Valentine’s “omakase” at Sushiko Chevy Chase (5455 Wisconsin Ave. Bethesda, Md., 301/961-1644) is planned by brothers and executive chefs Piter and Handry Tjan. The “omakase” is a seven-course menu featuring a variety of traditional and creative Japanese dishes that includes a champagne toast, five original small dishes, a sushi course and dessert. Priced at $140 per couple, the menu will be served from noon to 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 14.

Balkan restaurant Ambar (523 8th Street SE, 202/813-3039) will be serving a four-course tasting menu of traditional Balkan dishes, priced at $55 for the four courses or $75 with wine pairings.

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar (801A 9th Street NW, 202/408-1600) will offer a special Valentine’s Day a la carte menu with a Cuban twist from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 13 and 14. On Sunday Feb. 15, an “unlimited tapas” menu will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The unlimited brunch must be ordered for the whole table. An a la carte brunch is served until 3 p.m.

El Centro D.F. (1819 14th Street NW and 1218 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202/333-4100) will be serving a four-course prix fixe menu from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., priced at $45 and featuring El Centro’s authentic Mexican fare. Couples will receive a complimentary rose upon arrival.

An authentic Thai prix fixe menu designed for sharing will be served by newly opened Mango Tree (929 H Street NW, 202/408-8100). The special, at $150 per couple, is available from 5 p.m. to midnight on Feb. 14.

For the ultimate decadent experience, there’s “50 Shades of Chocolate” at Co Co Sala (929 F St. NW, 202/347-4265), consisting of five courses featuring five types of chocolate. The $90 prix fixe dinner, which includes a glass of bubbly, is the only menu served on Valentine’s Day evening.

For dissenters to the theme, City Tap House (901 9th Street NW, 202/733-5333) will offer a sour anti-Valentine’s four-course dinner paired with Allagash Brewing Company sour beers. Dinner is priced at $75 with beer pairings and $54 without. The prix fixe menu must be ordered for the entire table and will be available from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Slate Wine Bar & Bistro (2404 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202/333-4304) offers a special flight of sparkling rose on Feb. 11 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. priced at $18.

Mardi Gras falls on Feb. 17 and will be celebrated at Acadiana (901 New York Ave. NW, 202/408-8848) with a party from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $100 and entitle guests to all-you-can-eat-and-drink offerings accompanied by a live New Orleans-style jazz band. Mini muffalettas, charbroiled oysters, shrimp and grits and chicken gumbo are among the dishes. The main dining room will offer the full menu a la carte with drink specials available at the bar.

Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery (1515 N. Courthouse Rd. Arlington, Va., 703/243-2410) will hold its annual Mardi Gras block party tent on Feb. 17 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., featuring fare from muffalettas to andouille and shrimp gumbo. Tickets are required: $30 for three dishes; $25 for three cocktails; and $15 for three Abita draft beers. On Friday Feb. 13, live music, special foods and drinks will be available from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Newly opened in town are Thip Khao (3462 14h St. NW, 202/387-5426) and Plan B (801 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202/808-8720). The former is a Laotian restaurant and the latter a burger bar. Thip Khao means “sticky rice basket,” while Plan B stands for burgers, beer and bourbon.


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