We’re all about a bit of excess when dining out on February 14th (and every other day of the year, too, if we’re being honest). We’ve rounded up more than three dozen deliciously decadent Valentine’s Day desserts that await you and your date at restaurants this Tuesday.
Jema, Huntington, New York
At Jema, Long Island’s new-ish Michelin-caliber restaurant, chef Franco Sampogna, who has been behind the burners at the storied Guy Savoy and Alain Ducasses’s restaurant at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, is putting out a special $90 three-course (plus amuse bouche) menu with dishes including quinoa risotto and smoked Black Angus short ribs, but you’ll want to save room for the Valrhona chocolate creation. Because chocolate. This balanced and beautiful dessert that is served with smoked vanilla ice cream and a snap of salt will make you fall in love. If not with your date, at least with Jema and chef Sampogna. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Jema.
L’Etoile, Madison, Wisconsin
Have dinner for dessert, sort of, at James Beard Award winner Tory Miller’s L’Etoile. they spare no expense at dinner on most days, let alone on Valentine’s Day. Pastry chef Phil Rodriguez ideated a sweet and savory dessert that showcases that classic combination of apple and pork. He makes an ice cream with local apples and then crowns it with candied hickory nuts, spiced pork rind from Uplands Farm, and a delicate pork powder for an extra dose of salty, umami flavor. The end result is a rich and nutty dessert with pops of crunch and spice. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at L’Etoile.
The Bazaar by José Andrés, Beverly Hills, California
Seeking over-the-top awesomeness in a single bite? Right this way. Having studied the art of chocolate under some of the world’s top pastry chefs, pastry chef Kriss Harvey reveals years of precise dessert-making experience with this decadent, heart-shaped treat – filled from surface to core with layers of heavenly chocolate – and made with fleur de sel ganache and a chocolate biscuit get enrobed in silky chocolate mousse before coated in vibrant red cocoa. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at The Bazaar by José Andrés.
Kamuela Provision Co. at Hilton Waikoloa Village, Waikoloa, Hawaii
Spectacular views of the Kohala Coast — and local humpback whales — will make excellent dining companions while you celebrate your love with chef Eddie Enojardo’s Lover’s Heart. A flourless cake with white and dark creamy chocolate velvet and raspberry coulis, you’ll be swept away. Make a reservation at Kamuela Provision Co.
One Market Restaurant, San Francisco, California
Do you have a name – or can I just call you mine? You won’t need a pick-up line to stake your claim to this looker from pastry chef Patti Dellamonica-Bauler – just a table on Valentine’s Day. Part of the four-course menu, the Valrhona chocolate Napoleon is made with with Manjari chocolate cremeux, hazelnut-chocolate shortbread, and salted caramel ice cream. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at One Market Restaurant.
Spencer’s by the Sea at The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, Key West, Florida
Let a wave of chocolate crash over you this Valentine’s Day while you sup by the sea. Okay, it’s the ocean, but still. Executive chef Jose Gomez has created the Chocolate Trio, featuring chocolate terrine, crumbles, and sorbet, blackberry gel, and peanut powder, as part of his three-course menu for February 14th. It’s sure to be the PB to your J. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Spencer’s by the Sea.
Indian Accent, New York, New York
This is basically beauty on a plate – so even if your date doesn’t catch your eye, this dish will. Typically eaten in the colder months, the Northern Indian specialty makhan malai from chef Manish Mehrotra is made with saffron milk, rose petal jaggery brittle, and almonds. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Indian Accent.
The Dutch at the W South Beach, Miami, Florida
Go Dutch on Valentine’s Day. This is the 21st century, after all. But even if you’re not splitting the check, split the Gripper’s Grail for Two. A decadent offering from award-winning pastry chef Josh Gripper, it’s got homemade chocolate and caramel ice cream, passion-fruit sorbet, brownie, housemade marshmallow fluff, hazelnut cream, caramelized banana, chocolate mousse, crunchy meringue, crunchy fuielletine, passion-fruit syrup, and shards of tempered dark chocolate, and chocolate sauce drizzled tableside. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at The Dutch.
TRACE, Austin, Texas
Nestled in Austin’s tony W Hotel, TRACE is all about love this Valentine’s Day. Each course has a cute name – Crush, Flirt, Love Sick, and Be Mine. And, let’s face it, the 14th is all about the Be Mine, a classic pavlova featuring blackout cake, housemade raspberry jam, and raspberry mousse. Yah, we’re yours. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at TRACE.
E&O Kitchen and Bar, San Francisco, California
Chef Sharon Nahm isn’t monkeying around with this dessert that we’re kinda bananas for. The Bananamisu adds a tropical twist to an Italian favorite by combining espresso ladyfingers, banana mascarpone mousse, and a plantain chip. Chomp! Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at E&O Kitchen.
Boulton & Watt, New York, New York
Def Leppard’s 80’s metal ballad has nothing on the Love Bites from executive chef David Rotter. Rose gelato mini cones are filled with dark chocolate and orange zest and topped with pistachio brittle for a shareable, finger-foody dessert on this romantic day. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Boulton & Watt.
Fixe, Austin, Texas
Every day is Sunday at Fixe – even Valentine’s Day. Chef James Roberts evokes the spirit of Sunday supper seven days a week – and that supper should always end with a proper dessert. A can’t-miss on the progressive southern menu is the chocolate truffle cake featuring wheatberry, hazelnut, and salted pretzel ice cream. Did you read that? Salted. Pretzel. Ice. Cream. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Fixe.
Del Frisco’s Grille, Nashville, Tennessee (and national locations)
Whatever DFG you spend Valentine’s Day at, you’re guaranteed a happy ending (no, not that kind!) with chef Shawn Quinn’s raspberry chocolate ganache tart. Topped with fresh raspberries, sea salt, and whipped cream, it’s made to share. Just let bae have the last bite, ‘k? Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Del Frisco’s Grille.
Juniper, Austin, Texas
The fine folks at Juniper tell us that the idea behind their homey-yet-elegant Milk + Honey dessert was to create and serve simple flavors with good technique. In the end, the result is a honeycomb pattern on top of a white chocolate semifreddo, featuring little honey pockets in the comb. Served alongside some chamomile toasted oats and a small scoop of Milk Ice cream, it’s a great pick for your honey. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Juniper.
Mastro’s, New York, New York (and national locations)
Ending a meal with a meal with Frangelico is a tradition for many folks. And when that Frangelico comes on your dessert? Even better. Executive chef Dusmane Abdoulaye Tandia offers a chocolate five-layer cake with rich chocolate mousse that’s brushed with citron vodka and – you guessed it — Frangelico. The edges are encrusted with cake drums and it is served with chocolate and caramel sauces, fresh raspberries, and fresh mint. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Mastro’s.
Searsucker, Austin, Texas
We’re not puddin’ you on when we say you’re going to love the smoked banana pudding at celeb chef Brian Malarkey’s ATX restaurant. With housemade nillas, chantilly cream, and a banana doubloon, it’s creamy and uber dreamy. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Searsucker.
Harding’s, New York, New York
We can’t hardly wait (a great date-night 90’s movie you should totally watch after your dinner on the 14th, btw) for the chocolate lava cake from executive chef Joel Zaragoza. With a melty dark chocolate center, it comes a la mode and is christened with a generous topping of chocolate sauce. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Harding’s.
The Grill at The St. Regis, San Francisco, California
This heart-shaped box is nirvana. Chef Franck Desplechin is serving a red velvet chocolate box as part of The Grill’s seven-course Valentine’s Day menu. The dessert is as functional as it is stunning – each box will have a special surprise inside. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at The Grill at The St. Regis San Francisco.
Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café, Washington, D.C.
It’s been said that you get what you pay for, but let’s be honest – three dreamy courses for just $29 a person is a bit more, especially when dinner ends with the nom-y Death By Chocolate Cake from baker Ricardo Herrera. Rich and creamy chocolate cake dressed with raspberry puree and whipped cream. Bonus: You can take advantage of this special menu February 10-19. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café.
Le Petit Paris, Los Angeles, California
Dessert is twice as nice at the luxe brasserie Le Petit Paris this year. The Raspberry Sweetheart and Chocolate Sweetheart are great for when you and yours can’t make up your minds. Choose from raspberry mousse with vanilla cream or dark chocolate mousse with chocolate filling – both in the shape of a heart. No coin toss necessary. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Le Petit Paris.
STK-NYC Midtown, New York, New York
The flirts at STK know that their desserts complete us. Case in point: their red velvet love cake with chocolate-dipped long stem strawberries will have you at hello. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at STK-NYC Midtown.
CIRCA at Foggy Bottom, Washington, D.C.
Feeling adventurous this Valentine’s Day? End the night with a ménage a trois of a dessert with the triple chocolate cake from CIRCA. It features Nutella mousse, raspberry coulis, chocolate pearls, and Dolcezza vanilla bean gelato and will surely delight daring diners. Also served at CIRCA at Dupont and CIRCA at Clarendon. Make a reservation at CIRCA at Foggy Bottom.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, New York, New York
Oh. Em. Gee. As in, oh my Godiva! You’ll be saying the same after you order the Godiva Chocolate mousse cake at meat mecca Del Frisco’s. It comes with warm chocolate-caramel sauce and shaved chocolate, and it deserves every exclamation that can pass one’s lips. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House.
Finn Town Tavern, San Francisco, California
Grasshoppers are known for their courtship rituals, but if you don’t have any game, hop on over to the Castro for pastry chef Cheryl Storm’s cool creation (and one of her personal faves) to impress your date. The Grasshopper Sundae sports devils food, meringues, chocolate pudding, mint chocolate chip ice cream, toasted marshmallows, and warm ganache. It’s so good you may want to make it a ritual. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Finn Town Tavern.
Bodega Negra, New York, New York
Executive chef Michael Armstrong knows you don’t mess with perfection. So he’s keeping Bodega Negra’s signature, experiential Don Huevo dessert on the 2/14 menu. A decadent, dark chocolate molten cake is encased by a dome of white chocolate – and that dome is melted tableside with warm Negra Modelo caramel sauce for a bit of flair to impress your plus one. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Bodega Negra.
Sullivan’s Steakhouse, Raleigh, North Carolina (and national locations)
On Valentine’s Day, K.I.S.S. And we don’t mean locking lips (but, of course, feel free to do so). Rather, keep it sumptuously simple with chocolate cake. The black velvet chocolate cake at Sullivan’s Steakhouse (which boasts our fave logo ever because martini glass) is frosted with cream cheese icing and topped with fresh strawberries and housemade chocolate fudge sauce. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Sullivan’s Steakhouse.
Park Avenue Tavern, New York, New York
Prepare for cuteness overload: Executive chef Shane Le Blanc grew up eating the peanut butter truffles his mom made and later used the family recipe to win over his wife. Awww! Even tho’ you’re not his one and only, he spreads the love by giving them out for free to Park Avenue Tavern diners every February 14th. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Park Avenue Tavern.
Moxie’s Grill & Bar, Dallas, Texas
Warm, buttery, and bourbon-y. Meet our new crush. Moxie’s Grill & Bar in The Crescent is the newest outpost of the popular Canadian eatery. For Valentine’s Day, they’ve got a sticky toffee pudding that’s served warm with candied pecans, buttery caramel sauce, bourbon crème anglaise, and vanilla bean ice cream. This one will stick in your mind for a long time, trust us. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Moxie’s Grill & Bar.
Il Fornaio, Santa Clara, California
We heart this dessert – and you will, too. The heart-shaped fondente ai tre cuori is a flourless dark chocolate cake with white chocolate and mixed-berry gelee hearts. Part of the restaurant’s Festa Regionale program — a rotating menu, taking guests through the diverse regions of Italy– each month, one of Il Fornaio’s chefs is creating a menu celebrating the authentic food, wine and culture of that area. In February, we visit the romantical region of Umbria. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Il Fornaio.
Morimoto, New York, New York
Chef Masaharu Morimoto may be an Iron Chef – but even he has a sweet tooth. Renowned Morimoto in New York puts an exclamation point on its Valentine’s Day omakase menu with the unique and insanely Instagrammable black truffle créme brûlée served with pink cotton candy, cherry pop rocks, and calvados truffle chocolate. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Morimoto.
AKASHA, Culver City, California
Sometimes we can’t think chocolate without thinking strawberries (and Champagne – it’s five o’clock somewhere, right?). Executive chef Akasha Richmond has us covered with her bittersweet chocolate tart with strawberry sorbet. Wash it back with some bubbles. Please and thank you. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at AKASHA.
Zuma, Miami, Florida
It’s sweet, spicy, and surprising – kinda like the perf dining companion. Pastry chef Thomas McCarthy is serving up a long slice of rich flourless chocolate cake made with Valrhona Illanka, a single origin dark chocolate from Peru, that’s studded with candied cashews, mocha mochi bits, and a spicy sweet and sour passion fruit gel made with aji amarillo. Served with a quenelle of passion fruit ice cream, this is a one-night only offering. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Zuma.
Presidio Social Club, San Francisco, California
It’s like pastry chef Rene Cruz ‘red’ our minds to see what we wanted for Valentine’s Day. He brings us (and you, too, if you book a table) a red velvet vanilla bean cheesecakes that brings together all of our favorite flavors in the shape of a heart. #blushing Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Presidio Social Club.
Beatrix, Chicago, Illinois
On Tuesday, we’re all going to wish we were gazing at someone tall, dark, and handsome – oh, wait is that just us again? Either way, pastry chef Yasmin Gutierrez makes our dream date a reality with the Tall, Dark + Berry Handsome chocolate cake. Served raspberry coulis, it’s good enough to make you delete Tinder. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Beatrix.
Quality Italian, New York, New York
Now this is how we like to roll on Valentine’s Day. The cannoli cart comes to you to create these beloved Italian sweets on the spot. How’s that for special service for your special someone? Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Quality Italian.
charbar, Calgary, Alberta
This dish from Chopped Canada winner chef Jessica Pelland comes straight from the heart — and her travels. She says, “While spending time traveling and learning about the wood-fired grilling traditions of Argentina, I discovered that every household had an abundance of dulce de leche in their pantries. A signature must-have dessert at any great restaurant in Argentina would be be panqueque con dulce de leche. I fell in love with it and we had to have this at charbar when we open the doors last year.” Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at charbar.
Poggio Trattoria, Sausalito, California
Love means never having to say you’re sorry — for eating the last bite of cake. Or is that just something we tell ourselves? Just to be sure, order two for you and your boo. Chef Ben Balesteri has plenty of housemade warm chocolate budino cake on hand. He pairs it with Double 8 Dairy buffalo gelato because gelato makes everything better. That’s a fact; you can look it up. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Poggio Trattoria.
Succotash, National Harbor, Maryland
This dessert has the ‘write’ stuff. Chef Edward Lee’s dark chocolate pot de crème is served with raspberry gochujang preserve, orange bourbon marmalade, crushed spiced pecans, and vanilla whipped cream for topping. A dessert for two, it’s presented with a piping bag to encourage guests to decorate the dish and write sweet nothings to one another. Make a Valentine’s Day reservation at Succotash.
Need more Valentine’s Day dining inspiration? Check out restaurants on our 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America for 2017, or the 25 Most Romantic Cities in America for 2017 listicles. And, don’t miss your chance to turn your most delicious food and drink photos into a cool grand in our #ValentinesDishPics giveaway.
Photo credits: Ryan Forbes/SLS Beverly Hills (Bazaar); Melissa Horn (Harding’s); Cultivate PR (Searsucker + Fixe); In Good Company (Park Avenue Tavern); Ryan Gleason (Boulton & Watt); Christopher Villano (Indian Accent); Trace (Trace); Quality Italian (Quality Italian); John Uher (Jema); Noah Fecks (The Dutch); Claire Hogan (Fixe + Searsucker).