For all of you hopeless romantics and romantic hopefuls who enjoy memorable meals in darkened restaurants – with, perhaps, a side of flirtation – Friday is your night.
It’s not only Valentine’s Day, it’s the start of the weekend.
Whether it’s your first Feb. 14 together or one of many dinner dates you and your special someone have shared, the two of you can stay out as late as you want, lingering over menus and Champagne cocktails and, in the end, maybe a decadent chocolate dessert.
Valentine’s Day is historically busy for restaurants. With the romantic holiday falling on a Friday this year, they’re likely to be even more bustling. So, if you don’t already have reservations, be sure to call ahead. And if you’re wondering where to dine, here – in no particular order and by no means comprehensive – are just a few of greater Spokane’s romantic restaurants.
• Reminiscent of a French bistro with its high ceilings and windowed storefront, the dining room and Butcher Bar at Santé – French for health – feel sophisticated yet approachable, much like the menu. Sit tête-à-tête at a candlelit table, sip a hand-crafted cocktail and sample house-made charcuterie. A member of the Butcher’s Guild, Santé specializes in Pacific Northwest ingredients prepared with Old World techniques. Its Valentine’s menu features five courses, including blood orange salad, escargot and chicken liver pâté. The bar will accept walk-ins on a first-come, first-served basis. Santé is located at 404 W. Main Ave. Visit santespokane.com or call (509) 315-4613.
• Located in a charmingly renovated 1909 bungalow, Clover – recently named one of the best new bars in America by Food & Wine magazine – feels comfortable and unpretentious yet refined. Known for its locally sourced ingredients and house-made breads and dressings, the intimate eatery features menu items like Dungeness crab and mascarpone ravioli, roasted duck breast with creamy goat cheese polenta, and Orangesicle Cake, an orange chiffon cake with cream cheese icing and orange anglaise sauce. Clover is located at 913 E. Sharpe Ave. near Gonzaga University. Make a reservation online at cloverspokane.com or by calling (509) 487-2937.
• Upscale and stately – with white tablecloths and a AAA Four Diamond rating – Masselow’s epitomizes fine dining in the Inland Northwest. It features exquisitely plated, regionally inspired contemporary cuisine, like bison rib-eye steak, seared stuffed quail, Pacific swordfish and wild salmon. Save room for chocolate mousse or seasonal fruit cobbler with house-made ice cream and a fireside after-dinner cocktail in the adjacent lounge. Masselow’s is located at Northern Quest Resort & Casino, 100 N. Hayford Road in Airway Heights. Make a reservation online at northernquest.com or call (509) 481-6020.
• Tucked into the heart of historic and charming Browne’s Addition, cozy Italia Trattoria brings the warmth of Italy to the Inland Northwest. By day, the neighborhood eatery is light and airy; a wall of roll-up windows resembling garage doors lets in the sun. By night, it’s dimly lighted and intimate; music with lyrics in foreign languages plays just loudly enough to mask the sweet nothings being said at the next table. The Valentine’s menu – served all weekend – features his and hers cocktails, braised short ribs with creamy, parmesan mashed potatoes, smoked tomatoes, red wine glaze and baby carrots, and sole stuffed with salmon mousse with buttery creamed potatoes, greens and a dill butter sauce. Italia Trattoria is located at 144 S. Cannon St. Make a reservation online at italiatrattoriaspokane.com or call (509) 459-6000.
• With exposed brick walls and cornbread that comes in a skillet, Casper Fry offers trendy and sophisticated takes on cooking from the American South, or soul food. Sit side by side at the big table or across from each other at a table for two in the darkened dining room, located in the core of Spokane’s revitalized South Perry neighborhood. Reclaimed wood and salvaged machine parts give the décor a vintage-meets-industrial Americana feel. Generous portions could leave lovers with leftovers for a late-morning Valentine weekend brunch. Casper Fry is located at 928 S. Perry St. Make a reservation online at casperfry.com or call (509) 535-0536.
• Done in warm, earthen tones and anchored by a wooden, wave-like bar, Satay Bistro blends American entrées with Mediterranean and Asian influences. It’s a place of wrought iron, wine bottles and interesting layers of texture in both its cuisine and décor. A spiral staircase descends to a wine cellar, which customers can see through a Plexi-glass window in the floor. Appetizers, or “spoons,” as well as main dishes and desserts are innovatively presented on square and rectangular plates, with smears and dots and streaks of sauces and dressings. The Valentine’s menu features stuffed lobster tail, grilled swordfish, Chilean sea bass, mocha panna cotta and a chocolate mousse trio. Satay is located at 2501 N. Fourth St. in Coeur d’Alene. Call (208) 765-2555.