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Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011

A Weekend of Valentine’s Dining Specials

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Valentine’s Day, one of the busiest nights of the year for many restaurants, this time around falls on a Monday, traditionally the slowest night of the week for dining out. That creates some interesting opportunities for diners. Since many couples will celebrate the holiday early, a number of restaurants will be offering Valentine’s specials throughout the weekend—and with the Valentine’s Day rush spread out over several days, there may be reservations available at romantic hot spots that normally would be booked well in advance.

From Feb. 12-14, the Milwaukee ChopHouse (633 N. Fifth St.) will offer a special menu spotlighting ingredients considered aphrodisiacs. Lobster, plated with vanilla saffron cream and basil and coconut basmati, will be $47, and the dry-aged filet, served with fried Penn Cove oysters, will be $44. Also available will be seared scallops, veal short rib Wellington and asparagus cream for appetizers, and coconut sorbet and banana cinnamon beignets for dessert.

Also from Feb. 11-14, for $79 per couple, the three-course dinner at Mason Street Grill (425 E. Mason St.) lets couples pick from menu items including filet mignon, veal scallopine, grilled New York strip steak and pan-seared Hawaiian moonfish. Starters include lobster bisque and chopped salad, and dinners end with a dessert tasting plate.

Starting at $65, the five-course tasting menu at Kil@wat (139 E. Kilbourn Ave.) includes champagne pairings and the choice of coffee and cocoa nib rib-eye or miso-seared sea bass as an entrée. Other courses include a wild mushroom, watercress and goat cheese salad, oysters Rockefeller and a chicken mousse. The menu is offered from Feb. 11-14.

For sushi fanatics, Wasabi Sushi Lounge (15455 W. Bluemound Road, Brookfield) is offering couples an $80 “Love Boat for Two” on Feb. 14. The feast includes soup, salad, appetizers and a huge helping of sushi and sashimi, with three special rolls.

The French restaurant Chez Jacques (1022 S. First St.) normally takes Mondays off, but on Valentine’s Day it will be open and serving a bevy of specialty dishes, including salmon en croute, rib-eye au poivre, veal stew with porcini mushrooms, coq au vin, and scallop and shrimp amoureuse.

On Feb. 11-12 and Feb. 14, Dream Dance Steak at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino (1721 W. Canal St.) will be offering three-course meals for between $50 and $75, with entrées including Maine lobster couscous, Alaskan king crab and Wisconsin lamb chops, and starters including crab bisque and chicken-liver pate. For a more casual meal, the casino’s buffet is hosting a $20 dinner and dance, which includes a glass of champagne and a chocolate-dessert bar.

Among the other restaurants promising Valentine’s Day specials are Crazy Water (839 S. SecondSt.) and Swig (217 N. Broadway). Café Centraal (2306 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) will have specials from Feb. 11 through Feb. 13, and will offer a $59.95 three-course couple’s dinner on Feb. 14, which will include chocolate-covered strawberries and two glasses of Stella Artois. Mo’s…A Place for Steaks (720 N. Plankinton Ave.) will offer a prix fixe menu on Feb. 11-12 and Feb. 14 for $65 a person, with early-diner specials for $40.

And for fashionably late diners with a taste for delicacies, Roots Restaurant and Cellar (1818 N. Hubbard St.) is offering a five-course sparkling wine dinner on Tuesday, Feb. 15. The meal is $70 per person and includes sturgeon caviar, oyster potpie, lobster and speck and blood-sausage-stuffed squid.n
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