Is it your year to put on the romance? To spice it up? To keep it smokin’ hot?
Then it’s time to start making your Valentine’s Day plans. We aren’t and don’t claim to be relationship therapists, but we do think we can give you a hand with starting the night off right: follow the golden night-of-romance rule (the one the guy inevitably breaks), and make reservations.
Perhaps you and yours have a favorite spot, where you return year after year. If not (and maybe even if so–you never know when your little secret will be exploited), it’s time to get your name on the list. Here are some of our favorite places to get those love-dovey wheels a-spinnin’ and appetites a-brewin’, in no particular order:
1. Fresco, 1513 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City, (801) 486-1300. This little place, and by little we mean tiny, is the most cute and quaint spot in Salt Lake City. We love the quiet conversations and candlelight. And did we mention that the food is good? Call soon, we hear it fills up very quickly.
2. Lugano, 3364 E. 2300 South, Salt Lake City, (801) 412-9994. Big on ambiance and good service, this conveniently-located cottage serves authentic Italian. Share a plate of focaccia (with fresh basil-infused parmesan shreds) and polish it off with a tasty dessert.
3. Silver Fork Lodge, Big Cottonwood Canyon, (801) 533-9977. Resting in a scenic canyon valley, the dining room features a top-rate menu and a cozy fireplace. Order the Canyon Pepper Steak and start and/or finish off with homemade cinnamon rolls.
4. Snake Creek Grill, 650 W. 100 South, Heber, (435) 654-2133. Make a night of it and head to Wasatch County, where, behind an old-town facade sits Salt Lake Magazine’s “Best American Regional Cuisine 2006.” It’s Zagat-rated, too. Start off with Crisp Corn Cakes with Sweet Pepper Cream. The ribs are unbeatable, too.
5. Melting Pot, 340 S. Main St., Salt Lake City, (801) 521-6358. There’s nothing like an open flame to get the heat on. Pop in for a teamwork dinner or just a do-it-yourself dessert.
6. Cafe Terigo, 424 Main St., Park City, (435) 645-9555. Alpine location, delicious menu, quaint atmosphere. Do not leave without sharing the bread pudding.
7. Cafe Trio, 680 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, (801) 533-8746 and 6405 S. 3000 East, Cottonwood Heights, (801) 944-8756. Though it’s a little safe, it’s still a little special with a dessert menu that includes Toll House Pie. Yes, please.
8. Cinegrill, 344 S. 300 East, Salt Lake City, (801) 328-4900. This joint is special in a your-grandma’s-favorite-restaurant kind of way. Though we’re never quite sure what to order, we love how we feel like we’re in the 1940s upon entering the place, with its mirrored walls and checkered floor, and especially if someone’s tickling the ivory with a little jazz number.
9. Market Street Grill, 2985 E. 6985 South, Cottonwood Heights, (801) 947-0542. Eye-pleasing architecture and a coastal menu are the hallmarks of this Salt Lake City classic. An oldie but a goodie, it never gets old.
10. Epic, 707 Fort Union, Midvale, (801) 748-1300. Tasty appetizers and upscale entrees with reasonable prices. Though not as private, we love the warm atmosphere, especially a not-at-all annoying and actually-welcome guitar player who swoons patrons with covers of ’80s and ’90s love songs fit for FM 100. Try the lemon mascarpone cheesecake to finish off.
11. Michelangelo Ristorante, 2156 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, (801) 466-0961. With a uniquely un-American collection of dishes, this little Italian gem has been a treat to Sugar House residents for years. It’s small too, so it’s best to call early.
12. Tuscany, 2832 E. 6200 South, Holladay, (801) 277-9919. Despite it size and popularity, Tuscany is full of appeal and charm–and includes a full-service valet; ideal for a cold night.
13. Harry’s Steakhouse, 1355 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, (801) 467-4505. Chic and cool, the newest member to the Latitude group is perfect for the couple who doesn’t mind a menu that isn’t Italian.
Before you put it in ink, ask the reservation-taker what the Valentine’s Day menu will look like. You don’t want to be disappointed when your significant other’s treasured pork tenderloin (no, not you) isn’t on the three-item menu.
Or, if you want to try something nice, easy and stay-at-homey, you can drop by Papa Murphy’s on the way home from the office and pick up a heart-shaped pizza to cook in your very own oven. (He’ll never know!) Stop by the store to pick up some fresh veggies for toppings, and maybe a little bubbly, or just some bubble bath.