St Valentine’s Day: The words jump out with anticipation for some and evoke downright fear in others who may be the check payer and the evening’s event planner. No matter what side of the check you may be on, it’s a day to spend time with someone you love and show them how special they are. What’s a better way to show you care than a nice dinner for two? Las Vegas, being the culinary center that is, offers a very diverse choice for a romantic evening.
The Palms Resort would be a great choice. Dine at the newly remodeled Nove Italiano for some Italian fare. Chef de cuisine Kieran Toivonen has prepared a Valentine’s Day tasting menu for two for $69 per person. Enjoy an amuse with a nice choice of shrimp Francaise , panzanella, or lobster risotto. After the tasty beginning, it’s your choice of a 6 oz. petite filet, Florida grouper with tomato fennel compote, or a lovely chicken Parmesan. For the big finish, share the red velvet cheesecake with macerated strawberries and fresh whipped cream with your guest.
If not in the mood for Italian, how about an Iron Chef? Celebrated chef Kerry Simon of Simon Restaurant and Lounge has an inventive menu featuring a concentration on the freshest seasonal items and quality organic ingredients. Simon will offer a special Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu at $149 per person. Start off your experience with rich lobster bisque served with a grilled baguette and then grilled radicchio salad with mizuna, goat cheese, pecans, and orange vinaigrette. After a refreshing Champagne flute and raspberry sorbet, it’s time for a palate pleasing next course. A perfectly prepared spice-rubbed flat iron steak with pancetta, fingerling potatoes and garlic herb oil and seared diver scallops with citrus quinoa are sure to set the mood for the evening. Finish this experience with a sweetheart sweets platter that is sure to sweeten the deal.
Still at the Palms, The iconic N9NE Steakhouse has recently enhanced its menu and has reopened following a remodel to reveal a contemporary look. You can’t go wrong with Caprese salad featuring house-cured tomatoes, buffalo milk mozzarella, toasted pine nuts, red onion and sweet basil vinaigrette. A very nice gift from the sea is also offered as well. Why not enjoy seared yellow fin ahi tuna with sesame-crusted field watercress, crispy noodles, seaweed salad, and yuzu vinaigrette? For the carnivores, a grilled 16 ounce veal chop Marsala with seasonal mushrooms, roasted peppers, cipollini onions, and Marsala sauce will make your mouths salivate. To cap off the evening with a view, couples can enjoy a spectacular view of the Strip from the sophisticated Ghostbar Lounge, which will feature an open champagne bar from 8 – 10 p.m.
On the famed Las Vegas strip, stop at Caesars Palace and visit the legendary Rao’s. Chef Fatimah Madyun has created a nice a la carte Valentine's Day menu that your loved one will enjoy. Don’t miss the veal short rib arancini (shredded short rib mixed with Parmesan risotto, dusted with breadcrumbs and fried until golden brown). The herb gnocchi with fresh basil and oregano tossed in a creamy rosa sauce will make you say, “Now that’s Italian!
The newly-opened Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar at Town Square has a two-course prix fixe menu to impress your special guest. The experience starts with a pan-seared scallop served over a light goat cheese polenta with fresh chives and seared grape tomatoes followed by a choice of a Fleming’s salad or modern Caesar. For the next course, continue with a petite filet mignon served with a blue crab cake and béarnaise sauce and Fleming’s potatoes paired with a choice of pecan crusted salmon with fennel mustard sauce for $59.95, or an 8-ounce lobster tail with drawn butter for $69.95. You even have the option to pair the meal with Fleming’s featured cocktail, the French Kiss 75, for $10 and end the night with the housemade cinnamon sugar doughnuts with homemade lemon custard and blueberry dipping sauce for $9.95.
Right in the middle of the strip, the Palazzo Resort has a few delightful choices to choose from.
LAVO Italian Restaurant will feature a $58 prix-fixe menu in honor of the day of love. A surprise amuse bouche crafted by the chef starts you off on your culinary journey. The next course offers you a choice of rock shrimp and zucchini in phyllo dough or heart-shaped lobster ravioli, made with king crab sauce, tarragon, and Calabrian chile. You can’t go wrong with either. The meal is centered by roasted arctic char with winter vegetables, truffle emulsion and baked Alaska topped with amarena cherries that will send you home with a smile.
TAO Asian Bistro at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino will offer a $58 prix-fixe menu. This Asian inspired four-course experience starts with oysters with a miso and onion mignonette and tomato and ponzu salsa. Then choose from pan-seared pork belly with spicy picked shimiji mushrooms and crispy lotus root or a sashimi bouquet with yuzu and rose water vinaigrette. After that gastronomic beginning, dive into a succulent salt and pepper lobster tail and kobe hanger steak before ending your evening with a dark chocolate pot de crème with white chocolate yuzu strawberry.
Spend Valentine’s Day with a ‘BAM!’ from chef Emeril Lagasse. His renowned Delmonico at The Venetian is a perfect choice for the day. Begin with escargot over wild mushroom toast with herb butter and persillade. Enjoy a delightful ahi tuna carpaccio with hearts of palm, fennel, citrus, extra virgin olive oil and petite greens. For the entrée order the osso bucco in rich brown butter, cauliflower puree and olive oil poached vine ripened tomatoes. There is no better choice than the chocolate truffle torte, a decadent chocolate ganache and raspberry coulis, for dessert.
Another great choice for fans of Emeril is Table 10 at The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian and The Palazzo. Start your meal off with a choice of house chocolate or glass of sparkling wine for the ladies, then experience fresh west coast oysters and cold cucumber ginger jus. Now that your palate is awake, Emeril’s Kobe beef flat iron steak with bok choy and pearl onions, sweet soy sauce, and duchess potato is a nice follow-up.
If you can’t take your special loved one to France then bring them to Morels French Steakhouse and Bistro at The Palazzo. Sit on the veranda overlooking the bright lights of the strip and start with crab salad on a potato crisp and American sturgeon caviar. A crisp, fresh Boggiato Farms baby Iceberg salad with house-dried cherry tomatoes, spring red onion, applewood-smoked bacon and blue d’Auvergne dressing will get you ready for your next culinary treat. Cut into a perfectly prepared grilled filet mignon with Maine lobster tail, potato puree, sautéed green beens in foie gras butter, and bordelaise sauce. Finish this meal off in 18 karat gold with a rich hazelnut and gianduja chocolate dome with 18 karat gold leaf, white chocolate shavings, and winter berries.
Everyone loves The Cake Boss, so why not take your loved one to enjoy his family’s Italian-inspired cuisine. The recently opened Buddy V’s Ristorante is a personal favorite because of owner Buddy Valastro’s heirloom family recipes, famous desserts and a spectacular view of the center of the strip. Enjoy a cool glass of Ruffino prosecco, sit back, and enjoy. Get things started with agnolotti tableside. A homey tasty miniature ravioli, Sunday gravy style veal shank, sausage, pork and sage brown butter to prepare you for the coming culinary artistry. Then it’s your choice of Caprese and prosciutto. A Jersey beefsteak tomato, burrata cheese, charred green beans with balsamic or arancini with peas, parmesan and truffle fondue. It’s all up to you again with a choice of branzino, cured lemon, arugula salad, and pine nuts, or beef tenderloin and shrimp scampi with sautéed spinach, mashed potatoes and Chianti sauce. Being it’s the Cake Boss, you must try Buddy’s XL Lobster Tail, a one of a kind flaky pastry with custard cream, seasonal fresh fruit, and biscotti.
If you want to get away from it all, head for Summerlin and spend your special day with another personal favorite. Honey Salt owners, the husband and wife team of chef Kim Canteenwalla and Elizabeth Blau, have created a special holiday menu that you and your loved one will enjoy. Start with a kiss and you can’t have a bad day. In this case, it’s a French Kiss: oysters with a pink peppercorn mignonette and a Champagne toast. Next up, a tasty fresh shrimp cocktail with horseradish-tomato jam or perigord black truffle pappardelle with roasted mushroom ragout. A gift from the sea and land is next with your pick of baked stuffed lobster with blood-orange braised fennel, fingerling potatoes, and lobster sauce, or Wagyu NY strip with truffle potato rosti, braised greens, and bone marrow vinaigrette. For a romantic finish share a red velvet bundt cake with raspberry sauce and McConnell’s chocolate ice cream, and Linzer cookies filled with raspberry jam, with the one you love.
On the strip or off, there are a plethora of choices for your special day in this culinary epicenter for your special time out with your loved one. Enjoy and have a wonderful experience no matter where your path or heart may lead.