1111 Queen E, at Caroline, 416 792-4157, ascarienoteca.ca
Over in Leslieville, this F1-obsessed trat says "that's amore" with a $45 three-course multiple-choice prix fixe that races out of the gate with nibbles like olive-oil-poached albacore crostini and bufala mozzarella with white anchovies and designer greens. Continue with squid-ink pasta laced with lobster or classic lasagna Bolognese and a victory lap of cannoli in rich dulce de leche and your nosh will be strictly win-win.
Friday, February 14, from 5:30 to 11 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: barrier-free, three steps to washroom.
744 Gerrard E, at Howland, 416-462-9965, batifole.ca
New owner/chef Pascal Geffroy salutes the big day in sleepy South Riverdale with three very French courses - tiger shrimps sautéed in Pernod with tomato concasse, grilled veal chops stuffed with prosciutto and chèvre in marsala sauce, and almond panna cotta in chocolate sauce - for $48 per person.
Friday and Saturday, February 14 and 15, from 6 to 10:30 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement.
When it comes to eating high on the hog, nothing beats Scott Vivian and Rachelle Cadwell's snout-to-tail bistro, especially on the big day, when their three-course prix fixe of cauliflower soup, grilled hanger steak with creamed spinach and one of the missus's classic chocolate tarts goes for $45. Big spenders can break the bank with six courses, including one of roasted bone marrow, for all of $75.
Friday, February 14, from 5 to 11 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washroom on same floor.
777 Dundas W, at Markham, 647-352-0092, bentrestaurant.com, @BentRestaurant
Televisual toque Susur Lee's latest trat's $85 four-course pan-global extravaganza starts with spicy steak tartare dressed with both garlic croutons and potato chips, follows with his foie gras pâté with seared duck confit and barbecued char siu pork, and lobster 'n' shrimp thermidor with beef tataki, and finishes with two desserts - warm banana-chocolate cake and Italian-style English trifle.
Friday, February 14, from 6 to 11 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: barrier-free, washrooms in basement.
Former Fabarnak and Hawthorne chef Eric Wood resurfaces with a Valentines-themed three-course prix fixe. For $125 a couple, get a choice of starters like roasted squash with compressed apple and pickled woodland mushrooms, as well as mains such as spot prawns with crab claws, scallops and pommes purée or pan-seared bison with foie gras tortellini. Dessert calls for what chef describes as "the Lovebombe for two," hazelnut butter cake with chocolate fudge, passion fruit curds and sparkly bits.
Friday and Saturday, February 14 and 15, from 5:30 to 10 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: barrier-free.
Impressing your inamorata on the special day doesn't have to break the bank, not when this old-school Italian cantina's $39 per couple (!) three-course prix fixe includes a half-litre of chardonnay or a 60-ounce pitcher of Dip Primo lager. Throw in the likes of antipasto frito, eggplant parmigiana with salad and an assortment of mini-pastries served with coffee or tea and you're bound to get lucky. Better still, the promotion continues through the end of the month.
Friday, February 14, from 11 am to 1 am, with a set by ex-Stars guitarist Alan Snoddy at 7:30 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement.
885 Dundas W, at Claremont, 416-703-0668, cafe668.com
Paramours of all persuasions will appreciate this unusually sophisticated Southeast Asian vegetarian resto, from the dim romantic lighting to the all-organic local beer and wine lineup. We highly recommend the $37.95 prix fixe for two - chef's signature 668 salad and a choice of either pad thai or Singapore vermicelli, a second choice of spicy curried coconut or veggie "beef" in black bean sauce, and a shared dessert of deep-fried bananas with coconut cream.
Friday, February 14, from 5 to 10 pm and Saturday, February 15, from 3:30 to 10 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement.
Drake One Fifty
Who says Bay Street doesn't have a heart? Not the financial district's artiest watering hole, where executive chef Ted Corrado offers a five-course prix fixe for $75 that gets going with oysters on the half shell and either house-cured pork testina with cherries or smoked steelhead salmon. Go with an intermezzo of lightly charred mackerel with soft-poached egg or warm cauliflower mousse laced with chèvre, and a main of either seared duck magret with wilted dandelions or Cumbrae lamb of loin and belly sided with beet spaetzle. Finish big with cinnamon raspberry mousse and strawberry pâté dipped in chocolate.
Friday, February 14, from 5 pm to 2 am. Reservations accepted. Licensed.
17 Hayden, at Yonge, 416-323-0179, focacciarestaurant.com
This low-key boîte just off the main drag often gets lost in the stampede to the next big thing. Fall in love all over again come the day when any two starters, mains and desserts go for 64 bucks. We'd opt for Caesar and arugula salads paired with braised veal shank osso bucco, grilled 6-ounce New York strip loins and a double order of chocolate marble cake with warm Nutella sauce for maximum bang.
Friday, February 14, from 5 to 10 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: one step at door, 18 steps to washrooms on second floor.
Beyoncé isn't the only one drunk on love. Café chef Mario Paz is also getting in on the action with a romantically inclined three-course prix-fixe. Priced at $64.35 plus tax per person (gratuity included!), it begins with either a half-dozen raw oysters in Thai mignonette or a frisée-festooned potato salad thick with house-made lardons and continues with a choice of roasted halves of Cornish hen with Jerusalem artichokes or braised short ribs with cheese-curd-infused smashed potatoes and a chocolate fondue finale for two.
Thursday to Saturday ,February 13 to 15, from 5 to 11 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: barrier-free.
Stephen Gardner's rebranded Fressen joins in the love action with six all-vegetarian tapas-style courses. Who needs meat when there's three dips to start, two soup options - cream of cauliflower or barley beet - cheesy Le Baluchon pastry puffs, avocado or arugula salad, followed by grilled polenta with 'shrooms or faux chicken fettucini, and gooey chocolate cake to finish?
Friday, February 14, with seatings at 6 and 8:30 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement.
Now that Scandinavian furniture's back in style again for the third time, Nordic cuisine was bound to follow suit. Look no further than this charming Bloordale café where co-owner chef Leif Kravis's $60 four-course prix fixe for two gets both of you a glass of sparkling cider and an amuse of house-smoked salmon tartar. Next up, your choice of either duck liver pâté or cold-smoked diver scallops, followed by braised beef cheeks or beet-cured 'n' pan-seared gravlax, and a finish of blood-orange tarts or chocolate hazelnut crepes.
Friday and Saturday, February 14 and 15, from 5 to 10:30 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: barrier-free.
350 King W, at John, 647-288-4715, oliverbonacini.com
Who says Valentine's Day is all about a quiet little dinner à deux? Not this splashy resto in the TIFF Lightbox, which will only be seating threesomes - or more! - on the 14th. Incoming chef Michael Wilson promises a $50 "group love" family-style feast featuring fritto misto, potato and kale dauphinoise, warm chocolate cake and salted caramel chicharrón (aka pork rinds). Not got a ménage à trois? Show up on your ownsome and the feast's half-price!
Friday, February 14, from 5 to 11 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: barrier-free.
492 Queen W, at Portland, 416-929-4900, lapalette.ca
It's toujour l'amour every day of the year at Shamez Amlani's incomparable west-side bistro. Gaze longingly into each other's eyes over chef Brock Cavanaugh's $85 seven-course menu that includes so many options, we can't list them all. Here are a few highlights: escargots with seasonally foraged mushrooms, halves of butter-poached lobster, roasted chicken Supreme with sweet-potato bread pudding, and wild boar tenderloin in port demi-glace. You can even get pan-seared foie gras on brioche fried in foie gras for an additional 15 bucks!
Friday, February 14, with seatings at 6:30 or 7 and 9 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: barrier-free, washrooms in basement.
432 Wellington W, at Spadina, 416-596-6405, leselect.com
Jean-Jacques Quinsac and Frédéric Geisweiller's esteemed French bistro has been celebrating Valentine's Day in style for 37 years, first at their tiny storefront resto at Queen West and Spadina and now in much more luxe digs south of King. This year's no different. The $55 three-course prix fixe allows you to pick and choose through a veritable greatest hits of their carte. A ballotine of Cornish hen with foie gras stuffing paired with braised beef short ribs over blue cheese barley risotto, and a classic lemon tarte, peut-être?
Friday, February 14, from 5 to 10:30 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement.
Skin + Bones
This stylish and unusually spacious wine bar from some of the crew responsible for the original Pizzeria Libretto and Enoteca Sociale offers chef Kimberley Hernandez's $95 "feasting menu" for two, including smoked salmon lettuce wraps with traditional garnishes of hard-boiled egg, capers and crème fraîche chased by a roasted breast 'n' braised leg of some local chicken with black truffles and a dessert tray.
Friday and Saturday, February 14 and 15, from 5 pm to midnight. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms on same floor.