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Is Valentine’s Day the Worst Dining Day of the Year for Restaurants?

Written By Scott Joseph On February 7, 2014

Venetian Room dininig roomThe romantic Venetian Room probably won’t have big parties on Valentine’s Day.Ah, Valentine’s Day. Who doesn’t love Valentine’s Day? Well, single people without a date, I suppose. Busy spouses who feel the pressure to come up with a romantic dinner date, too. And I have to think that restaurants don’t like Valentine’s Day all that much, either.

Why would that be, you ask? After all, it’s a busy night for most restaurants, especially those with a romantic mien. And for the top restaurants, if you don’t have a reservation don’t even bother showing up.

But think about it. Just about every table will be occupied by just two people, even tables that hold four or six. This may be different in certain parts of Utah, but for the most part, for restaurants, two is the loneliest number. And a romantic dinner is usually a drawn out affair, you should pardon the term. So it’s not like the restaurant can count on turning the tables more than once.

But what constitutes a romantic restaurant? I posed the question to you recently in a poll. You can see the results of the Most Romantic Restaurant in Orlando here.

Write in candidates Lolailo, which I reviewed earlier this week, and Bistro on Park were big vote getters. Venetian Room, the elegant and quiet restaurant at the Caribe Royale, was also a big favorite. So was K Restaurant in College Park. Oddly enough, 11 people voted for Scott Joseph’s Restaurant as their favorite romantic restaurant. And I don’t even have a restaurant.

Of course, romantic is a subjective thing. If you and your significant other met in a Hard Rock Cafe, you might see that as the place to go for the special date night. (I see it as a better place to break up — no one will notice any screaming.)

I prefer the quiet places where you can have a conversation, and good food. And it’s all the better if the restaurant is offering a special dinner deal. And as luck would have, several are. Here are some highlights:

Carmel Cafe is offering a Perfect Pairings special, but they’re not referring to you and your lovey — it’s about the food and wine. (Click the name of any of the restaurants mentioned here to go the the website for more information.)

Emeril’s Orlando has a chef’s tasting menu from Bernard Carmouche; $60 per person or $105 with wine pairings. Either one a good deal.

La Femme du Fromage at East End Market has an intimate experience of cheese and other goodies. Very exclusive: only six seats available at the two seatings at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.

Napa at the Peabod…oops, the Hyatt Regency Orlando is offering a three course dinner at $130 per person.

Taverna Opa, the fun Greek restaurant Pointe Orlando, has dinner for two for $65 that includes cocktails and entertainment. But the entertainment usually includes a belly dancer, so keep your eyes on your date, guys.

And, you know, it doesn’t have to be a big expensive dinner. Both Longhorn Steakhouse and Red Lobster have special dinners for two. So there’s something for everybody out there. 

By the way, Valentine’s Day falls on February 14 this year.

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