Food & Drink

Heart set on a special Valentine’s Day? Check out these restaurants’ specials

Cheese boards, beer list and some of the wines are featured at The Rind restaurant in midtown Sacramento.
Cheese boards, beer list and some of the wines are featured at The Rind restaurant in midtown Sacramento.

They say the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. So what better occasion than Valentine’s Day to lighten the wallet on an exquisite meal?

Americans spent about $19.7 billion on Valentine’s Day last year, according to USA Today, and Bankrate said the average dinner out cost a pair of lovebirds $96. That falls roughly in line with several prix-fixe menus being advertised around Sacramento, especially if diners opt for a glass or two of wine.

From high-end options to gooey cheeseburgers, a wide breadth of special menus offer lots of options for Valentine’s Day. Those who haven’t locked down reservations should do so quickly, as tables are usually competitive.

▪ Crawdads on the River

1375 Garden Hwy, 916-929-2268

Ideal for: Dinner with a view of the Sacramento River.

Menu: Soak in the scenery while noshing on a potato leek soup or winter citrus salad with beets and mixed greens, followed by a shared starter of honey balsamic-glazed pork belly pops or ahi poke with sesame soy marinade, macadamia nuts and fried wontons. The menu offers a filet with grilled shrimp, mashed potatoes and green beans or salmon on Spanish rice with a citrus reduction before closing out the evening with a shared strawberry shortcake.

Price: $75 for two people

▪ The Rind

1801 L St, No. 40, 916-441-7463

Ideal for: A cheesy Valentine’s Day dinner with a Spanish flair.

Menu: Start off with a cheese and charcuterie plate followed by a Spanish ratatouille with Caña de Oveja, a soft sheep cheese. More cheese – this time manchego – tops a seafood or vegetarian orzo paella before making way for a dark chocolate hazelnut cheesecake with candied orange.

Price: $45 per person with vegetarian paella, $50 for seafood

▪ Plan B Midtown/Arden Town Center

1226 20th St., 916-447-3300, 555 La Sierra Drive, 916-483-3000

Ideal for: Starting the night like you’re in the city that never sleeps.

Menu: Kumamoto oysters or a salmon-fennel-leek tartlette as an appetizer, then butter salad with walnuts and Roquefort or a soup du jour for the second course. Entrees are duck confit, poached salmon fillet or pork tenderloin with foie gras before rounding out the meal with a shared chocolate mousse or raspberry cheesecake.

Price: $70 per person, $30 corkage fee

▪ Serpentine Fox Prohibition Grille

2645 El Camino Ave., 916-913-1159

Ideal for: Skipping the frills and ending up with a stick-to-your ribs meal.

Menu: For those looking to avoid the formality (and cost) of a big Valentine’s Day to-do, Serpentine Fox is doing a “squeeze” burger named for the cheese that oozes out of the patty, a peanut butter milk stout brownie with sliced chocolate-dipped strawberries and a choice of draft beer, a well cocktail or prosecco.

Price: $20 per person

▪ Bonus: Summer concerts packages

1600 Exposition Blvd.,

Ideal for: When your partner comes down with the flu, can’t get the night off from work or just doesn’t want a sit-down dinner.

Cal Expo begins presale VIP tickets to four California State Fair concerts – Trace Adkins on July 15, Kool & The Gang on July 16, Sugar Ray on July 23 and UB40 on July 29 – until Feb. 17. Admission for each concert at Papa Murphy’s Park is free when you buy admission to the State Fair, but with the general crowd often a madhouse, there’s something to be said for having a reserved spot front-and-center.

Price: $25 for each concert but Sugar Ray, which is $20. Fair admission and VIP ticket bundles are available for $37 or $32 for Sugar Ray.

Buy flowers from a good florist, and cut stems at an angle under water if they evHow to make Valentine's Day roses last longer than ever go dry.

Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, @BenjyEgel

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