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Where to Eat on Valentine's Day

FYI, it's on a Friday.

Backstreet Cafe

1103 South Shepherd, 713-521-2239

Make it a romantic evening in the backyard at Backstreet Cafe with a four-course meal for $75 per person. Begin with beef carpaccio or pan-seared scallops with a fennel and orange salad, followed by a butter lettuce salad with bacon, hard-boiled egg and a creamy basil dressing, or warm up with a roasted poblano pepper soup with cornbread croutons. Enjoy Texas Gulf shrimp with stone-ground cheese grits for the main entrée, or pan-roasted snapper with a warm couscous salad with orange and grapefruit. Delight yourselves with a sweet vanilla crème brûlée topped with orange whipped crème fraîche, or a deep dark chocolate cake topped with raspberry sauce and chocolate ice cream for dessert.

Rustic romance at Rainbow Lodge
Rustic romance at Rainbow Lodge
Mr. Peeples has caviar.
Troy Fields
Mr. Peeples has caviar.

Backstreet Cafe will also offer a special Valentine's weekend couples' menu on February 15 and 16. Share burrata topped with warm tomato, olives, basil and garlic, then order dirty-rice beignets with andouille sausage and crawfish for an appetizer. Fill up on short ribs risotto or coq au vin blanc served with fingerling potatoes for your entrée. Share Ruben's Dessert Platter, complete with Nutella doughnut holes, chocolate-orange cookies, and miniature versions of crème brûlée and lemon tart. This special weekend dinner menu costs $95 per person.

Hugo's

1600 Westheimer, 713-524-7744

Kick off this special Valentine's Day meal with a light ceviche verde, followed by crispy potato tacos with napa cabbage, pickled onions and an avocado tomatillo salsa for the second course. Move on to a grilled rack of lamb with red mole sauce and butternut squash puree or a petite strip steak for the main entrée. Top it all off with caramel-filled crepes with dulce de leche ice cream and candied pecans, or milk chocolate and coconut mousse with passion fruit and raspberries. This meal is $75 per person.

Hugo's will offer a special Valentine's Day Weekend menu for $95 per couple. Head over to the Houston favorite on Saturday or Sunday for a scrumptious meal complete with grilled tuna tacos and guacamole, roasted quail with rose petal sauce and Ruben's Dessert Platter to share.

Prego

2520 Amherst, 713-529-2420

This Valentine's Day, Prego will begin seating at 5 p.m. for its special three-course dinner for $46 per person. First-course selections include items such as a blue-crab salad with heirloom tomatoes, avocado, local mushrooms and lemon salsa, and beef carpaccio with arugula, tomato and truffle. Entrée options include pan-seared Chilean sea bass with jumbo lump crab meat, tomatoes, spinach and Yukon gold mashed potatoes, and gnocchi with Texas Kobe short ribs topped with a fried egg. Top it all off with devil's food cake and chocolate crémeux with strawberry gelato, an update on the classic chocolate-covered strawberries.

Mockingbird Bistro

1985 Welch, 713-533-0200

Mockingbird's Valentine's Day menu will be offered on Thursday, February 13, and Friday, February 14. The three-course dinner for $65 per person features duck confit and saffron risotto with Gulf shrimp for appetizers, and beef filet with cipollini onion risotto, pan-seared scallops with brussels sprouts and a bouillabaisse with a bountiful variety of crustaceans and fish for the main entrée. Choose from a puff pastry with vanilla cream and strawberries, flourless chocolate cake served with peanut brittle and banana brûlée, chocolate mousse or apple bread pudding for dessert. Enhance the meal with sommelier wine pairings for an additional $30 per person.

Osteria Mazzantini

2200 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 140, 713-993-9898

On both Friday, February 14, and Saturday, February 15, Osteria Mazzantini will offer a three-course romantic Italian dinner for $65 per person (or $95 per person with wine pairings). Begin with a black winter truffle risotto cooked with braised rabbit and pecorino, or enjoy a light arugula salad with sunchokes and ricotta salata, tossed in a walnut vinaigrette. Then enjoy Texas quail with roasted figs, turnips and polenta, or scallops coated in fennel, served with cauliflower, capers and pancetta, for the entrée. Finally, share (or have one all to yourself) a light champagne panna cotta or pistachio torta with rose cream and candied rose petals for dessert.

Line & Lariat

220 Main, 832-667-4470

This $65 per person three-course meal begins with "Hot & Spicy" first-course plate selections such as bacon-wrapped quail prepared like wings served with a cucumber, celery and blue cheese salad, and a mustard-spiced crab cake with scallion rémoulade. The second course, "It's on Fire," includes sage-braised rabbit with serrano peppers and carrot puree, as well as a chile-marinated grilled pork tenderloin. The dessert course, "Cool Down or Heat Up," features roasted cranberry pear tart and pumpkin panna cotta.

The Bistro at Hotel Sorella

800 Sorella Court, 713-827-3545

The Bistro will offer a $79 per person five-course Valentine's dinner featuring pan-seared duck breast, oysters with leeks and bacon on the half-shell, and fired gala apple pie served with salted caramel ice cream and pecan brittle.

ARA Restaurant — Royal Sonesta Hotel

2222 West Loop South, 713-627-7600

For $88 per couple, you and your special someone can enjoy a four-course Valentine's dinner beginning with a soup and salad, followed by an entrée showcasing 44 Farms products. Don't forget to enjoy a special dessert and a glass of sparkling wine.

Eleven XI Restaurant & Bar

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