A Vancouver Foodie’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

Local eateries rely on romance with their holiday offerings this month

Local eateries rely on romance with their holiday offerings this month

Cupid better come hungry! This Valentine’s Day, Vancouver-area restaurants are adding sweet treats and special touches to make your romantic night out a memorable one.

A Thai take for date night

Chef Angus An’s inventive Thai menu at Maenam has made the restaurant among the city’s most popular so it’s no surprise that reservations should be made early for the intimate Kitsilano eatery’s Valentine’s Day dinner. A set menu kicks off with a selection of small plates, including caramelized chicken and prawns with oranges and pineapple, and leads into a choice of soups and a variety of main dishes, from Beef Rib Stir Fry to Smoked Duck Salad. Additional wine pairings are available.
Maenam, 1938 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver; $80 per person plus taxes and gratuity

Celebratory sips

Seasonal cocktails are on order for the occasion at a variety of dining spots. At L’Abbatoir, bartender Katie Ingram will be relying on Bittered Sling Kensington Bitters as a critical component in her Adieu Mon Coeur; up at Squamish’s The Salted Vine Kitchen + Bar, Bar Manager Dave Warren mixes mescal, lemon juice, egg white, rose water and cranberry syrup for a spicy Rose Petal Sour; Kitsilano’s Au Comptoir showcases the elegant Paris Sour, with its apricot, apple brandy and Amaretto; and, at Cibo Trattoria, the In Between Cupid combines gin and Campari with lemon, pineapple and bitters.
Various locations and prices

J’adore dinner for two

Steering away from its regular French-meets-West-Coast menu for Valentine’s Day, Tableau features a three-course offering that starts with an amuse bouche before a choice of two starters and main dishes including the Duo be Beouf with red wine au jus or the Agnolotti with roasted beets, almond crumble, capers, brown butter and lemon ricotta. A special cheese course with truffle honey follows, before a dessert of either lemon tart or chocolate pate.
Tableau, 1181 Melville Street, Vancouver; $75 per person plus taxes and gratuity

Platters full of love

Love comes on a platter at Joe Fortes for Valentine’s Day. From February 10th to the 14th, diners have two sizable culinary options: the lover’s platter–priced at $165.95–serves up a pound and a half of lobster along with snow crab, jumbo scallops and prawns, wild sockeye salmon and steamed mussels while the decadent dessert platter boasts chocolate raspberry truffle tart, crème brûlée, biscotti, strawberries with whipped cream and more.
Joe Fortes, 777 Thurlow Street, Vancouver

Old and new on Homer

At Homer St. Cafe and Bar, a special holiday menu has been culled from the list of new and old favourites. Cured Beef Heart or Seared Tuna starts diners off. Elk Denver Leg or Steelhead with mussel and leek chowder lay out the main course while dessert offers either a rich chocolate pudding or a creamy potted lemon curd.
Homer St. Cafe and Bar, 898 Homer Street, Vancouver; $65 per person plus taxes and gratuity

Take home treats

Vancouver’s The Pie Hole has expanded both its physical footprint and its menu just in time for the year’s most romantic day. A new 4,000 square foot location in Burnaby provides ample kitchen space so that themed treats for the holiday can be showcased for dedicated local fans that live a tad further from the pie purveyor’s Vancouver location. This month, sweet toothed lovers can indulge in the Triple Chocolate Cream dusted with gold, the Red Velvet Pie topped with delicate cream cheese or the Sweetie Apple with customizable messaging. Those without a partner may want to dive into the Eat Your Feelings pie, an indulgent experience folding in layers of fudge brownie, cookie dough and Callebaut chocolate.
The Pie Hole, 3497 Fraser Street, Vancouver & 7832 6th Street, Burnaby; Various prices

Serving locally sourced

Gastown’s Wildebeest is focusing on local fare for the holiday, with a four-course menu that relies heavily on ingredients sourced in B.C. Game Lasagna, Duck Carpaccio and Porcini Risotto are options, as is an Earl Grey Panna Cotta for dessert.
Wildebeest, 120 West Hastings Street, Vancouver; $69 per person plus taxes and gratuity

Classic West Coast romance

Love is in the air at a variety of Vancouver classics on Valentine’s Day. The Sandbar‘s resident pianist will sing the romantic hits of Elton John, Billy Joel and more in their lounge from 7 p.m. on, Cardero’s provides live music at its bar, Jules in Gastown includes a chocolate terrine as a sweet option on its three-course menu ($33 per person), Fable Kitchen cooks up a tasting menu featuring two types of oysters and a dark chocolate zucchini cake for dessert while both Seasons in the Park and Teahouse in Stanley Park capitalize on recent honours as among the top 100 most romantic restaurants in the country with special decor to provide romantic ambience.
Various locations and prices