From inventive dinners to weekend getaways, romantic movies to wine tastings, there are plenty of events for Foodies to choose from to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Orlando
Food, Wine and Chocolate are essential components of a Valentine’s Day celebration. After all, the way to a man’s (and woman’s) heart is through his (her) stomach, as they say. There is nothing more romantic than sharing a delicious meal with your sweetheart and there is no shortage of events and special packages for foodies to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Orlando.
1. GO Travel through Food!
You may not be able to getaway for Valentine’s Day but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge your wanderlust with destination cuisine and travel through food at one of these fantastic local restaurants:
- ^ Escape to India with exotic modern Indian cuisine at American Gymkhana. Chef Aarthi Sampath is preparing a six-course tasting menu of exotic bites ending with Kama’s Bounty dessert with Saffron Kalakand, Granny Smith Jalebi and Callebaut-Chili Bon Bons and a glass of champagne. The craft cocktails here are some of the best in town so kick off your romantic getaway with drinks at the bar. $65/pp plus optional $35/pp wine pairing. 7559 W Sand Lake Road, Orlando FL. 407-985-2900
^ It’s always a celebration at Taverna Opa Orlando and Valentine’s is no exception. If you’re looking for a fun atmosphere that will transport you to Greece, look no further. A prix fixe tasting menu of authentic Greek cuisine ending with Sokolatina, a chocolate cheesecake with hints of espresso topped with chocolate ganache, will provide all the indulgence you need. This is also a fun spot to GO dance on the tables and celebrate with friends, after all Valentine’s is also a day of friendship. $85 per couple. Read about my journey to Greece at Taverna Opa. 9101 International Drive, Orlando FL. 407-351-8660
^ Spice things up with sexy sleek Japanese flair at RA Sushi. Share a Passion Punch Bowl cocktail, big enough for two, and pair it with the Red Heart Sushi Roll. The sushi rolls here are works of art. 9101 International Drive, Orlando FL. 407-454-5600
^ For Latin lovers everywhere, Cuba Libre brings Havana’s food and music to heat up your Valentine’s Day in Orlando. The Lover’s Favorites menu includes a large selection of a la carte dishes, romantic cocktails and desserts. Aphrodite’s Cheesecake and the Chocolate Torte made of chocolate soufflé layered with dulce de leche topped with dulce de leche ice cream and chocolate orange sauce simply says “delicioso!” 9101 International Drive, Orlando FL. 407-226-1600
^ Travel to Paris, the city of love, at Paris Bistro in Winter Park. Serving a special four-course menu of deliciously decadent foods like foie gras, oysters, lobster bisque and crème brûlée, with berries flambéed tableside, sure to win your Valentine’s heart. $69.95/pp. 216 N Park Avenue, Winter Park FL. 407-671-4424
^ Cocina 214 in Winter Park is offering a special four-course dinner menu including drink pairings that will have you dreaming of a Mexican getaway. 151 Welbourne Avenue East, Winter Park FL. 407-790-7997
^ If you feel like celebrating in the good ole’ USA, no one does Americana better than American Q with their killer flatbed Buffet and a parade of smoked meats featuring some of the best BBQ in town plus Chateaubriand and Oak Grilled Lobster just for Valentine’s Day in Orlando. Satisfy your sweet tooth with the Chambord Chocolate Lava Cake and don’t miss their powerful craft cocktails like the Love Haze Cocktail made with Prairie Organic Vodka, rose-water, lavender simple syrup, fresh lime juice and berry olives topped with vanilla foam and raspberry caviar. 1905 Hotel Plaza Blvd, Lake Buena Vista FL. 407-827-3080
2. GO For a Unique Dining Experience!
If you’re looking to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Orlando with a truly unique experience, check out these one of a kind events:
- ^ The Love Feast hosted by The Dinner Party Project is an invitation-only dinner party created to connect locals over great food and conversation. On February 13th, 60 guests are invited to commune at 1300 Brookhaven Drive in Orlando beginning at 7 p.m. For a suggested donation of $50-$75, guests will experience a locally-sourced four-course dinner prepared and executed by Farm-Haus, with desserts from Project Pop, Baked Goodies & A Fine Adventure. Filled to the brim, Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen will serve up coffee, along with craft cocktails from Old Forester Bourbon and lots of wine. Adding to the mix is live music by Kaley Rutledge & Keith Kolakowski, in addition to an interactive photo booth by Cody Jordan. Request your invite via email [email protected] If they sell out, be sure to reserve for the next date. This is a unique experience not to be missed.
^ Experience a couples cooking workshop at An Aphrodisiac Affair with Chef Francis Biondi, from FOX’s MasterChef Season 5 on Friday February 13, 6:30pm-8pm, as he teaches you how to create a three course meal filled with aphrodisiac ingredients. $35/pp. Aggressive Appliances, 617 Mercy Drive, Orlando FL.
3. GO For Romance at the Park!
Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Orlando with a romantic evening stroll as luminaries light your way around the idyllic Leu Gardens. Pack a picnic and your favorite bottle of wine and enjoy performances under the moonlight by Ricky and the Buzzcatz, Daniel Heitz Band and The Shed Hounds. My favorite bakery, Se7en Bites and Jazzy Java will be selling delicious desserts and coffee. Don’t forget chairs or blanket. Saturday February 14, 7pm-10pm. Advance tickets $17pp / $22 at the door.
4. GO For the Love of Wine!
Wine and Valentine’s Day in Orlando never tasted so good at these fun events sure to please the wine-lover in your life!
- ^ Wine Down at Quantum Leap, Florida’s only sustainable winery, and enjoy live music, local food trucks, and great wine on Friday February 13, 7p-10pm. Free admission, food and wine available for purchase. 1312 Wilfred Drive Orlando, FL. 407-730-3082
^ Celebrate la dolce vita – the sweet life – at Harbor Nights Romantico, a wine, food and live music event designed to capture the romantic ambiance of the Mediterranean under the twinkling lights of the Harbor Piazza at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel Universal Orlando. Friday February 13, 6:30pm-9pm. $45 pp / $75 VIP. 5601 Universal Blvd, Orlando FL. 407-503-1200
5. GO For the Love of Movies!
Sharing popcorn and watching a movie is a classic date-night. Why not make it even more special at one of these events?
- ^ Pack a picnic and head to Winter Park’s picturesque Central Park for Popcorn Flicks on Thursday February 12 for a showing of the romantic movie classic The Philadelphia Story. Free admission. 251 Park Avenue South, Winter Park FL.
^ Catch up on all the Academy Award Best Picture nominees at AMC Oscar Best Picture Showcase, Saturday February 14 and February 21, 10am-7pm at AMC Altamonte and AMC Downtown Disney. $30pp for all four movies, played back to back. Feb 14: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Whiplash, Birdman, Selma. Feb 21: Boyhood, The Theory of Everything, The Imitation Game, American Sniper.
^ “The Only Someone For Me” Valentine’s Brunch at Enzian Theater on Saturday February 14, 10am, is a tradition each year. Enjoy a live band and delicious brunch buffet with unlimited mimosas before a special showing of the 90’s romantic classic Sleepless in Seattle. $100 per couple, or upgrade to VIP admission for $150 per couple and get a reserved VIP table, one bottle of champagne, and commemorative gift bag. 1300 South Orlando Avenue, Maitland FL. 407-629-0054
6. GO For Classic Fine Dining!
These Orlando Restaurants have been providing the best fine dining experiences for decades and have all won multiple awards including most romantic restaurants in Orlando. Reservations may be tough to get on Valentine’s Day but they are definitely worth it. Better yet, why not surprise your sweetheart with a romantic dinner “just because” on any other day? Definitely bound to win you some brownie points.
- ^ Chatham’s Place, a hidden gem well-known by locals, offers charming ambience and impeccable fine dining service led by Maitre D’ Maurice Colindres in addition to Chef Tony Lopez delicious dishes, many of which feature ingredients grown in his farm. 7575 Dr. Phillips Blvd, Orlando FL. 407-345-2992.
^ At Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster, David and Alice Christner offer the best steak and lobster in town, in a traditional steakhouse setting. For Valentine’s Day they are bringing back a classic – house made Red Velvet Cake. If available, reserve one of their private dining rooms for two. Read more about my celebration dinner at Christner’s. 729 Lee Road, Orlando FL. 407-645-4443
^ The Venetian Room, the elegant AAA-Four Diamond restaurant located in the Caribe Royale Hotel has been booked for months on Valentine’s Day but on Friday February 13th they are offering their a la carte menu with a complimentary glass of wine or champagne plus you can spend the night for only $129 including breakfast for two, which is a fantastic deal. 8101 World Center Drive, Orlando FL. 407-238-8060
7. GO for the Ultimate Foodie Experience!
Orlando has a thriving culinary scene with restaurants getting national attention as a result of their inventive menus using local ingredients and dedication to a high quality hospitality experience. Dining here on Valentine’s day (or any other day) will be a gastronomic experience!
- ^ Local foodies’ little secret is that Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen is not just a perfect spot for coffee lovers but also offers a creative seasonal dinner menu prepared by expert Chef Camilo Velasco. On February 13 & 14, starting at 6pm, enjoy a four-course menu starting with Framboise champagne cocktails and ending with sweetheart lattes in a small intimate coffee-house environment. $90 per couple. You can read more about my experience at Barnie’s. 118 S. Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 407-629-0042
^ To celebrate the amorous occurrence of Valentine’s Day falling on a weekend – the restaurant on every Foodie Must-Eat List, including Food Network’s Alton Brown who just dined there this week – The Ravenous Pig will offer a menu of their most popular signature dishes on Saturday, February 14 as well as a special Valentine’s Tasting Dinner on Sunday, February 15. Their chefs have dreamt up a “Perfect Match” menu for the evening featuring four love-laced courses for $70/pp with wine pairings available for $35/pp. First seating reception at 5 pm, second seating reception at 7:30 pm. 1234 N. Orange Ave, Winter Park, FL. 407-628-2333
^ The newest Foodie sensation is Chef Greg Richie’s Soco in Downtown Orlando’s Thornton Park. This Southern Contemporary eatery is bringing out the sensual side of the holiday with a Southern Aphrodisiac menu, featuring items like Potato Chip Crusted Chocolate Cake with peanut butter brittle and salted caramel. Pair it with a Valentine’s Day-exclusive Frisky Whiskey cocktail crafted with Four Roses Whiskey, chocolate bitters and a cherry heart that will send you to Epicurista heaven. 629 East Central Boulevard, Orlando, FL. 407-849-1800.
8. GO Get a Room!
Why not make a weekend getaway out of Valentine’s Day in Orlando? These beautiful hotels are offering packages that will certainly set the mood for romance.
- ^ The Alfond Inn From the Heart package includes two-nights in a classic room, bottle of champagne in your room, Chef’s four-course tasting menu with wine pairings at the popular Hamilton’s Kitchen restaurant, romantic amenity and turn-down service, and complimentary valet parking. 300 East New England Avenue, Winter Park FL.
^ The Grande Lakes Resort is offering a variety of options to sweeten your Valentine’s Day in Orlando. Enjoy a four course dinner at award-winning Chef Norman Van Aken’s flagship restaurant Norman’s with mouth-watering four-course menu Featuring mango barbecued grilled cobia, sweet mustard marinated Palmetto Creek Farms Pork Chop and pan seared Filet mignon, $150/pp. Check out the Southern-inspired sweetheart menu at Highball & Harvest including crafted Love Potion cocktails. Cap of the evening with jazz entertainment and a Dessert Buffet in the Lobby Lounge from 8pm-midnight, $25/pp. For Norman’s call 407-393-4333. For Highball & Harvest call 407-393-4648. Don’t forget to book your room.
^ Rosen Centre’s Valentines Package includes one night stay, four-course dinner in their fine dining restaurant Everglades or poolside dinner at Harry’s, a sumptuous buffet breakfast in Café Gauguin, and complimentary valet parking. Spa packages also available. 9840 International Drive, Orlando FL. 407-996-9840
^ At the beautiful Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, the Valentine’s Day package includes stay in a spacious guestrooms with premium linens and bath amenities, champagne and fresh chocolate strawberries upon arrival, breakfast in bed, private poolside cabana and a special discount at their various dining outlets, luxury spa treatments and golf. A romantic dinner at A Land Remembered is a must.
9. GO Home!
If dining out on Valentine’s Day is not your idea of romantic night out, why not stay home and cook a delicious gourmet meal of your own with these tasty Valentine’s treats?
- ^ Ravenous Pig & Cask & Larder’s James & Julie Petrakis newest venture, Swine & Sons Provisions is due to open later this Spring but that doesn’t stop them from offering a Valentine’s Day Box for Two including a bottle of Cask & Larder Public House Red Wine, Truffled Duck Rilettes, Chicken Liver Mousse, cured pork loin, Brillat Savarin tart, pickled root vegetables, champagne-macerated strawberries, chocolate Cremeux with Chantilly, pistachio macarons, and mini madeleines for $60. Available for pick up at Cask & Larder on Friday February 13th. Call to order 321-280-4200. Click here for more information.
^ The Fresh Market’s Sweet Meals package offers a filet mignon and lobster dinner including two sides, a dozen chocolate dipped strawberries and a dozen roses for only $49.99.
Valentine’s is not complete without sweets. If your sweetheart has a sweet tooth, pick up some deliciousness at my favorite sweet spots in town and win his or her heart forever!
- ^ Amazing chocolate creations from Peterbrooke Chocolatier in Winter Park are a must when celebrating Valentine’s Day in Orlando. Read all about the reasons I love Peterbrooke including the most gorgeous chocolate dipped strawberries and addictive chocolate-covered popcorn. 300 S Park Avenue, Winter Park FL. 407-644-3200
^ Se7en Bites Bakery makes the best dark chocolate, sea salt caramel pecan pie and baked treats just like grandma used to make (but better!) Makes Valentine’s DAy in Orlando sweeter with Strawberry Passion Fruit pop tarts, red velvet waffles and more. It’s the perfect spot for a casual brunch too. 207 N Primrose Drive, Orlando FL. 407-203-0727
^ Gigi’s Cupcakes Smooch Box of 12 mini Valentine’s cupcakes is perfect, better than a dozen roses! Their gluten-free cupcakes are so light, moist and full of flavor, they blew me away! 2562 E Colonial Drive, Orlando FL. 407-893-9846
^ Food Network Cupcakes Wars champ, Jillian Hopke’s JillyCakes inventive cupcake flavors, including savory ones, change daily but one thing is certain, they are all amazing! 125 N Orlando Ave, Orlando FL. 863-797-4233. Read all about The Jillycakes Cupcake Craze.
There you have it. Plenty of options for fun, romantic, delicious events to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Orlando. Where will you choose to celebrate the holiday? Oh, and if you feel like giving Valentine’s Day a makeover, read this post and choose to celebrate Valentines’s Day in Orlando with friends instead.
Wishing you a delicious Valentine’s Day!