valentines day toronto

Valentine's Day ideas in Toronto 2014

Valentine's Day in Toronto is fast approaching and restaurant reservation books are filling up fast. Still looking to book a table? Find the perfect gift? Ignore the whole love-fest altogether and get drunk at a bar? Restaurants, bars, florists and sweet shops are ready to spread the love.

Here is a roundup of Valentine's Day ideas in Toronto for 2014.

FOR COUPLES

Restaurants citywide will be offering special menus or are sweetening the deal with complimentary desserts or bubbly. Some restaurants have been booked up for months and even with over a week to go limited seatings are filling up fast. As of "press" time, the restaurants listed below had some availability remaining on the big day.

Drake One Fifty (150 York Street)
Chef Ted Corrado is offering a luscious $75 prix fixe menu that starts with oysters on the half shell and then offers choices like testina with cherries, seared duck breast, lamb loin and belly.

The Shore Club (155 Wellington Street West)
The steakhouse is offering a special a la carte menu featuring tuna carpaccio, scallops in the shell 3-ways and boneless braised short ribs.

Ki (181 Bay Street)
The modern Japanese restaurant is doing a special 6-course Otoshi menu for $65 per person.

Quinta (1282 Dundas Street West)
The elegant restaurant is doing a three course prix fixe menu including bubbly libations for $65 per person.

La Societe (131 Bloor Street West)
The Yorkville restaurant celebrated L'amour Paris Style with a three course menu priced at $75 per person.

Momofuku Shoto (190 University Avenue)
A 12-course tasting menu from chef Mitchell Bates served with a glass of sparkling wine is being offered for $200 per person.

Le Select Bistro (432 Wellington Street West)
The intimate French bistro is doing a $55 prix fixe that offers a choice of three courses, oysters and champagne.

Osteria dei Ganzi (504 Jarvis Street)
Cozy up in a historic mansion with a 3-course menu for $40 including a glass of Prosecco. The Italian restaurant celebrated love all weekend until the 16th.

Cafe Belong (550 Bayview Avenue)
Set park-side in the Evergreen Brick Works, the scenic spot is doing a 3-course Vegan Valentine's Menu for $40 and a special 5-course Valentine's Day Dinner for Two for $55 (beverage pairings additional).

Home of the Brave (589 King Street West)
The HOTB is doing an Italian American Valentines Day complete with red and white checkered tablecloths and a $50 three course prix fixe menu featuring Chicago deep dish pizza, meatballs and creamy polenta, cheeseburger fazzoletti, plus Negroni slushies on special from the bar.

Rock Lobster (538 Queen Street West)
The seafood-centric restaurant is taking reservations before 7:30pm for this one night only. No menu specials, but free roses and sweets will be on offer.

Brassaii (461 King Street West)
Celebrate with complimentary bubbly, a five-course menu specialty cocktails, candy bar, dancing and photo booth with romantic props.

The Bristol Yard (146 Christie Street)
Celebrate Valentine's Day the Welsh Way with a set menu offer for $60 per couple.

El Catrin (18 Tank House Lane)
Dia Del Amor at this Distillery District restaurant is celebrated with a $60 prix fixe including courses of ceviche, tacos, main plates and desserts. A glass of Cava comes included.

Momofuku (190 University Avenue)
The noodle bar is offering 4 and 5 course prix fixe menus plus a la carte or large formats options.

The Drake Hotel (1150 Queen Street West)
The Drake kicks off a week of 10-year birthday celebrations in addition to V-Day on the 14th. Dining couples can ask their server for a "naughty" or "original colouring sheet" created by artist Mallory Diaczun.

The Steady (1051 Bloor St W)
The Steady knows you might not fit the Hallmark paradigm, and encourages bringing "friends, hookups, your mom, your boyfriend and his boyfriend or his girlfriend and your girlfriend and her girlfriend..." The prix fixe menu is $50 per person plus $15 for cold tea-infused cocktails for two.

NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

Procrastinators take note, it will business as usual (okay maybe busier) at these fine establishments with strict first-come, first-served policies.

FOR SINGLES

Don't worry singles, you won't be left out in the cold -- if anything falling on a Friday night might prove an advantage. Here's a roundup of anti-Valentine's Day events that celebrate group love, mixing and mingling, and drinking... lots of drinking.

Luma (330 King Street West)
The O&B restaurant isn't booking tables for two. Group Love is the theme of the evening and available for tables of 3+. The $50 menu will feature sharing plates and a gift from O&B Artisan. Singles can dine at the harvest table for $25 each and share in large format help-yourself platters.

La Carnita (501 College Street)
The College Street taqueria hosts singles night featuring $2 pilsners cans plus menu specials TBD.

The Beaver (1192 Queen Street West)
The West Queen West bar hosts an anti-valentine, single ladies valentine dinner featuring nachos and red wine on special and DJ's spinning all female artists. No PDA allowed.

Harlem Restaurant (67 Richmond Street East)
Stuff your face with soul foods then stay for the Valentine's Day Soirée. Tickets are $21.50 in advance or $16.50 with a dinner reservation.

Pour Girl (191 College Street)
The pub hosts singles mixers by age group (19-34 and 35+) on each floor. The evening will feature candy, ice breakers, Twister, and Cards Against Humanity.

Tranzac (292 Brunswick Avenue)
Puppy Love at this Annex club will be a sugary sweet avec spin the bottle, arts & crafts table, and sex positive speed dating.

Royal Ontario Museum (100 Bloor Street)
Meet You Match, a singles-only murder mystery hosted by Urban Capers Scavenger Hunt will lead sleuths through the museum to solve a murder via series of clues and trivia questions. Tickets are $36.

Parts & Labour (1566 Queen Street West)
The Parkdale spot calls bullshit on the whole day and hosts a Damaged Goods dance party. Doors open at 10pm, cover is $5.

Boots & Bourbon (725 Queen Street East)
The country saloon presents free line-dancing from 7pm to 10pm for singles or couples.

GIFTS

Glory Hole Doughnuts (1596 Queen Street West)
Order a doughnut-o-gram from this Parkdale bakeshop up until Wednesday, February 12th for pick-up only on the 14th. Heart-shaped doughnut specials include the My Bloody Valentine with rhubarb raspberry cranberry jam (from Stasis), dark chocolate glaze and fake blood splatters.

Coriander Girl (1604 Queen Street West)
Order a large $75 mason jar bouquet and get a free doughnut from Glory Hole included with delivery. Delivery is available throughout the GTA.

Nadege (780 Queen Street West)
The French patisserie is well stocked with a Valentine's Day collection featuring bon bons and chocolate tablets that spell out love.

Scotty Naughty
Rob Ford-themed Valentine's cards that read endearments like, You're like a subway, I can't afford you but I want you anyway.

Carnivore Club
If your SO isn't into sweets, consider saying I love you with deliveries of cured meats. Valentine's orders are due in by February 9th.

Drake General Store
Super cute, cookie cards from Lindsey Bakes are selling for $5 in stores and online.

See also:
The Best Florists in Toronto
The Best Chocolate in Toronto
The Best Macarons in Toronto

Photo by Kim Yokota in the blogTO Flickr pool


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