10 Tips for a Delicious Valentine’s Day

We’re celebrating #29ReasonstoLoveFebruary all month long — and there are so very many already, thanks to Valentine’s Day! We’ve named the 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America and the 25 Most Romantic Cities in America. Plus, we’re running a super-easy-to-enter #savorthelove Valentine’s Day giveaway in which you could win dinner for two. But we’re not stopping there. To make sure you have the best weekend  yet, we’ve gathered 10 tips for a delicious Valentine’s Day. Read on to set yourself up for success.

Tips for a Delicious Valentine's Day

1. It’s not too late to find the perfect table. If you’ve just remembered Valentine’s Day is less than a week away, don’t fret. OpenTable has got you covered. Did you know that almost half of all Valentine’s Day reservations are made in the week leading up to February 14? In other words, there’s still time to snag a terrific table at a top restaurant.

2. Use the notes/special requests field when booking – and be specific. Too often diners write, “I’d love a great table,” but they don’t go into detail about what “great” means to them. Is it a booth? A dimly lit table off to a corner? Name some particulars to score a table that suits your tastes.

3. Talk through extra-special special requests with a manager. If you have elaborate special requests that go above and beyond what most restaurants typically offer (say, asking that rose petals be scattered on the table or having a particular bottle of Champagne or type of flower awaiting your date), stop by the restaurant or call and speak with a manager to inquire if your request is feasible.

4. Celebrate all weekend long. Happily, Valentine’s Day falls smack in the middle of President’s Day weekend, giving diners opportunities to celebrate on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. In fact, in a recent OpenTable survey, more than 30% of respondents indicated that they were planning on dining out on Saturday, February 13. So pick the day that is best for your schedule.

5. Brunch with bubbles! If you don’t have off on President’s Day, and you’re worried about staying out late on the school night that is Sunday, consider brunch with bubbles on Saturday or Sunday, which gives you plenty of time to recover before Monday morning. Also, be on the lookout for special Valentine’s Day/President’s Day brunches at restaurants near you.

6. No date? No problem. There are Valentine’s Day specials for singles happening on the 13th and the 14th. For example, I|O at the Godfrey in Chicago will be hosting Valentine’s Nightcap on the 13th, a party for singles and those with “it’s complicated” relationship descriptions. Similarly, the J. Parker is hosting a Sadie Hawkins 90’s dance party on the same night.Continue Reading

No Date, No Problem: 11 Valentine’s Day Celebrations for Singles

Singles know it all too well. Come February, and everywhere you look you see hearts — even the clouds appear heart-shaped. But, bless your hearts, that doesn’t keep you from participating in Valentine’s Day fun. In fact, according to a recent survey by OpenTable, many singles (42%) across the country are looking forward to dining out in celebration of Valentine’s Day this year, and one in three  (35%) plan to dine with multiple platonic friends or family members. If you’re looking for something a little more tailored to your status, however, we’ve found 11 Valentine’s Day celebrations for singles that you’re sure to heart, many with fun, tongue-in-cheek menus and cocktails — and even anti-Valentine’s Day music and activities. And, since VD falls on a Sunday this year, expect lots of Galentine brunch deals, too.

Carmine’s, Las Vegas, Nevada
Eat your heart out. Carmine’s Italian Restaurant at The Forum Shops at Caesars is featuring a “Girl’s Gone Garlic” meal — a full-course fixe menu that includes items like Carmine’s Caesar Salad, Penne all Vodka, a gigantic Titanic Sundae, and a bottle of Prosecco for $125. Or, order the “My Heart Will Not Go On” meal that’s all about that humongous Titanic Sundae and a bottle of Prosecco for $65. Book a table at Carmine’s.

Valentine's Day Celebrations for Singles

Izzy’s Fish & Oyster, Miami Beach, Florida
This South Beach heartthrob invites singles and their friends to “Shuck Valentine’s Day” with an “interactive bar experience that allows singles to engage both the bartenders and oyster bar shuckers.” The way it works: Grab a single friend and you’ll get a bottle of Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut, ½ dozen Island Creek Oysters, choice of warm or cold lobster roll, and a slice of Grandma Celia’s Lemon Meringue Pie for $75 per duo. Awww, shucks! Book a table at Izzy’s Fish & Oyster.

Valentine's Day Celebrations for Singles

I|O Godfrey Lounge, Chicago, Illinois
Slip into I|O — atop the Godfrey Hotel — for a Valentine’s Nightcap singles party on February 13. You’ll get a glass of Champagne and, if all else fails, you can always surrender your love to the sweet dessert and candy bar. If you meet Mr. or Ms. Wonderful, you’ll want to book a booth — which comes with a bottle of bubbly to share. Or, cuddle up in the lounge’s insulated clear-dome igloo where you’ll admire city views and nibble on yum yums. Things getting interesting? Get a room. Book a table at the I|O Godfrey Lounge.

Valentine's Day Celebrations for Singles

Pistache French Bistro, West Palm Beach, Florida
Pucker up! This modern French bistro will feature a kissing booth — for French kissing, of course. There will also be aphrodisiac-inspired cocktails, such as the sexy signature Blood Orange Martini, and a three-course VD brunch option — think roasted duck and waffles (poached egg, spicy grain mustard, maple syrup) and Crepes Suzette (caramelized orange butter sauce flambé in liqueur Bauchant, vanilla ice cream). A three-course Galentine dinner menu will include Salmon Tartare (smoked and fresh salmon, cilantro-avocado mousse, grapefruit-ginger oil, pickled shitake, lemon aioli, and brioche croutons), Moules Frites Mariniere (Prince Edward Island mussels steamed in white wine-garlic-shallot broth and served with pommes frites), Filet au Poivre (pepper-crusted beef tenderloin with a black pepper brandy sauce), and a chocolate and raspberry gateau (dark chocolate ganache, raspberry coulis, and vanilla cream). Book a table at Pistache French Bistro.

Valentine's Day Celebrations for Singles

Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten, Asbury Park, New Jersey
It’s all about the communal tables at this authentic biergarten—so you won’t be subject to PDA from the couple in the table-for-two in the corner of the room. The VD theme here? “Is Love in the Cards for You?” The way it works: When you arrive, you’ll be given half a playing card and if you find the person with the other half of the card, you’ll bring it to the bar for a complimentary beer (Let’s hope your match isn’t wearing lederhosen!). The menu is classic Austro-Hungarian biergarten food — Organic Chicken Paprikash (paprika-braised chicken, lemon, egg noodles, parsley, and sour cream), Weisswurst (veal and pork belly sausage seasoned with parsley, garlic, and lemon), and Apfelstrudel with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. Book a table at Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten.

Valentine's Day Celebrations for Singles

South Water Kitchen, Chicago, Illinois
Drown your sorrows with head bartender Dan Rook’s #SingleforLife cocktail. It’s a riff on the regular cocktail menu’s Cocoa Flip with two ounces of Larressingle VSOP Armagnac, ½ ounce Tempus Fugit Crème de Cocoa, ½ ounce Cynar, ½ ounce, ½ ounce cinnamon syrup, and egg white, and it’s garnished with Peychaud’s Bitters in the shape of a heart. A real heartbreaker. Book a table at South Water Kitchen.

Valentine's Day Celebrations for Singles

Area Four Restaurant, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Grab some grumpy single friends — or go alone — and get silly with chef Jeff Pond “Hater’s Valentine’s Day” menu of spicy pizza with arrabbiata “angry” sauce, skewered chicken hearts, and gingerbread-people style cookies that you can decorate as voodoo dolls. Ready for your check? It’ll come with hate hearts — you know, those sweet, heart-shaped candies, except these are stamped with less-than-lovely messages. Bonus: Sad flicks will be shown on the bar’s TVs. Book a table at Area Four Restaurant.

Valentine's Day Celebrations for SinglesContinue Reading

Introducing the 25 Most Romantic Cities in America 2016 #savorthelove

As we begin to fete love and romance ahead of Valentine’s Day and on the heels of announcing the 2016 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America, we’re thrilled to release our rankings of the 25 Most Romantic Cities in America 2016. Virginia Beach tops the list — can you guess which other destinations are represented?

2016 Most Romantic Cities in America

Food trends may come and go, but our data indicates that Americans continue to have an appetite for romantic dining. In order to provide a ranking of cities where romantic dining is inherently part of the culture, the OpenTable Most Romantic Cities Index was calculated using three variables: the percentage of restaurants rated “romantic” according to OpenTable diner reviews; the percentage of tables seated for two; and the percentage of people who dined out for Valentine’s Day last year.

The following cities, listed in order, comprise the 25 Most Romantic Cities in America 2016. The complete list may also be viewed at http://www.opentable.com/m/25-most-romantic-cities-in-america-for-2016/.

The 2016 25 Most Romantic Cities in America are…Continue Reading

Enter the OpenTable Canada #savourthelove 2016 Valentine’s Day Giveaway

Dinner is on us this Valentine’s Day – if you win our OpenTable #savourthelove 2016 Valentine’s Day giveaway!

To enter, follow @OpenTableCanada on Twitter and share a photo, video, or tweet of your most loved food, foodie, or restaurant using the hashtag #savourthelove for a chance to win one of five $100 MasterCard Gift cards we’ll be giving away, starting Monday, February 1, 2016, through Friday, February 12, 2016. One entry per person each day allowed. Be sure to follow us on Twitter so we can contact you via direct message if you’ve won a prize.

CA Giveaway Blog

Entry examples: “My dream date is to #savourthelove while dining with my beau at @CafeBelong.” “.@OpenTableCanada I want to #savourthelove with my fiancee.” “.@OpenTableCanada I’d like to #savourthelove of amazing food with my bff @tavolavancouver.”

Be sure to check your direct messages on Twitter on February 19 so we can award your prize quickly. The full terms and conditions are after the jump.

And, don’t forget to reserve a table for you and your favourite foodie on Valentine’s DayContinue Reading