It’s difficult to deny the appeal of a romantic dinner date, which is always a crowd-pleaser. On the other hand, an unconventional day outing might be just what you need to spice things up. Whatever your plans for Valentine's Day, the important thing is that you make plans. (Trust us.) To help you out, here are a few local ideas:
Montage Laguna Beach
Studio welcomes couples for Chef Craig Strong's Couples Tasting Menu, which highlights modern French cuisine with California influences and artisanal ingredients, all inspired by the synergy between "his" and "hers." The five courses are available at $175 per person or $250 with wine pairings. For reservations, call 949.715.6420. The Loft invites guests for a whimsical, imaginative menu. This exclusive, four-course, prix-fixe menu is available on Valentine’s Day from 5 to 10 p.m. For reservations, call 949.715.6420. Montage Laguna Beach has also partnered with Lugano Diamonds to make your Valentine’s Day a little more glamorous. The Lugano Diamonds Privé experience includes help from in-house stylists to create a personalized gift to be delivered anywhere in the resort that you choose. Call 949.715.6233 or visit montagelagunabeach.com/lugano-prive.php for more information.
The Resort at Pelican Hill
Dinner of the Senses features a seven-course menu for two designed to stimulate each of the senses. Cost is $170 per person or $220 with wine pairings. Custom music, flowers and décor available. Il Menu dell’ Amore in the infamous Andrea Ristorante offers a four-course Italian lover’s menu in the award-winning casually elegant ambiance of Andrea. The price is $120 per person or $180 with wine pairings. Pelican Grill is perfect for any California couple, offering a special three-course menu featuring quintessential California cuisine and wine. The charge is $110 per person or $150 with wine pairings. The Coliseum Pool & Grill provides an instant escape for couples as they indulge in the three-course Mediterranean dinner amidst architectural splendor reminiscent of Italy’s Coliseum. The cost is $100 per person or $130 with wine pairings. For more information, visit pelicanhill.com or call 888.507.6427.
The Queen Mary
The Queen Mary’s well-known timeless elegance and sophistication makes it an ideal Valentine’s Day destination. The Romance Package includes a one-night stay, complimentary bottle of Champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, and breakfast at the Promenade Café. Queen Mary will also be hosting the annual ScotsFestival and International Highland Games XXI February 15 and 16 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Guests will catch a glimpse of Scotland’s rich culture by watching world champions compete for reigning titles, or testing their own might and skill during novice demonstrations and contests. Events include piping, drumming, massed bands, darts, Highland dancing, and athletics. Tickets start at $8 online ($12 at the door) for guests ages 4-11 and $18 online ($22 at the door) for guests age 12 and over. For more information, visit queenmary.com or call 800.473.2934.
Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa
Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa will be hosting a Valentine’s Day dinner — A Night in Paris. This four-course dinner will be held on the Vue Lawn on the Pavilion from 6 to 11 p.m. and includes a Champagne toast and red rose when seated and a gifted dessert on departure. Keeping with the French theme, there will be a mime, caricature artist, accordion player, and dancing throughout the evening. Price is $99 per person. For more information or to make your reservation, call 949.487.7516 or the Concierge at 949.487.7577.
Paws Fur Pink
For a non-traditional Valentine’s weekend, Paws Fur Pink is sure to offer some unorthodox fun for the whole family. The second-annual Paws Fur Pink is a 5K and 1 mile run/walk held on Saturday, February 15 at one of Orange County’s most scenic parks, Irvine Regional Park in Orange. Unique to this event: You can bring your dog with you. The event benefits the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which provides support for breast cancer awareness, research and treatment. The event celebrates the unconditional love that we share with our four-legged family members and the positive effects to our health that love brings. Registration begins at 7 a.m. and more information can be found at bookthatevent.com/pawsfurpink.
Valentine’s Day with Matthew Morrison
Orange County’s Pacific Symphony is hosting “Glee” star Matthew Morrison as he serenades guests with his romantic, award-winning Broadway style. A graduate of the Orange County School of the Arts, Morrison returns to Southern California with a Valentine’s Day spectacular of show tunes and jazz, perfect for you and your special someone. The Valentine’s Day spectacular will be led by Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman on February 13-15 at 8 p.m. in the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets are $35-$150. For more information, call 714.755.5799 or visit pacificsymphony.org.