All right, lovebirds…it’s February. That means it’s time to start making plans for Valentines if you haven’t already… like, PRONTO! Go ahead and call the restaurant, make the reservation, and figure out what gift(s) you will give so that you’re not visiting a roadside vendor on the 14th to buy a giant gorilla holding a heart. In the mean time, here are a few ideas of places you can take your Valentine that will knock him/her off his/her feet!
5 Places to Take Your Valentine:
- Oklahoma Aquarium for “Hugs and Fishes.”
This night “under the sea” is sure to be the ultimate memorable Valentine’s experience! If you really want to wow your date, why not arrange to have a delicious three-course meal in the shark tunnel of the Oklahoma Aquarium? Or, if sharks are a little too scary for you and your sweetie, you can choose to dine in other parts of the Aquarium.
Oklahoma Aquarium at 300 Aquarium Drive in Jenks is offering this special dining experience both Feb. 13 and 14, and prices range from $175 to $250 per couple. The three-course meal will include a Strawberry Spinach Salad, Chicken Breast with White Wine Sauce and Garlic Rosemary Encrusted inside Round of Beef, and multiple desserts, including Chocolate Fondue and Mousse Shooters. Yum!
Of course, while you’re at the Aquarium, you can tour all of the exhibits, and the evening will also feature behind-the-scenes tours of the sea turtles and sharks. Sounds like an evening to remember! If you two aren’t hearing Sebastian the Lobster serenading you to “Kiss the Girl” by the end of the evening, then you get your money back! (my words, not the Aquarium’s):) For all of the details on Hugs and Fishes, visit http://www.okaquarium.org/hugs-and-fishes/
2. The Celebrity Restaurant
The Celebrity Restaurant is a classic mainstay in Tulsa fine dining, and the crushed red velvet seating, low lighting, and ornate paintings just seem to beckon Valentines guests. Many Tulsans remember the days when Celebrity Restaurant was a private club — when it was first opened in 1963, selling liquor-by-the-drink was illegal. Due to the stringent liquor laws, Celebrity Club was originally a private club where members could bring their own bottled spirits. The club remained private until 1984 when liquor-by-the-drink was legalized.
During our recent visit, my husband and I enjoyed a truly exquisite meal. It began with shrimp cocktail – plump shrimp served with a zesty cocktail sauce. When our server asked if we were interested in trying the Caesar salad, we didn’t hesitate to say yes. We learned from our server that The World Class Caesar Salad is Celebrity Restaurant’s specialty. Servers even assemble the superstar salad beside your table and explain each step of its creation. The end result is a flavorful, slightly spicy, delicious concoction. My husband, who is not much of a salad fan, remarked that it was the best salad he’s ever had. The salad is $6 per person when served with your meal.
For the main course, I enjoyed the 8-ounce filet mignon accompanied by Parmesan new potatoes, corn on the cob and a dinner roll. The potatoes were my favorite – buttery, cheesy and cooked to perfection! My husband selected the New Zealand white fish, sautéed in butter and also served with Parmesan new potatoes, corn on the cob and a dinner roll. The fish was light and flavorful.
Somehow, we managed to save room for dessert. Our server shared the dessert menu with us, but also told us about a dessert that isn’t listed on the menu: their house dessert. It’s made with vanilla ice cream blended with a bit of brandy and cocoa. It’s served in glasses with straws and was the perfect, refreshing cap to our meal. Other items on the menu that sounded tantalizing were the skillet fried chicken, beef kabob, lobster tail and grilled salmon.
If you’re looking for fine dining in a romantic, classic atmosphere this Valentine’s, try the Celebrity Restaurant at 3109 S. Yale Ave.
When many people think of a romantic restaurant, they picture an Italian restaurant with dim lighting, candles on the tables, and crisply-dressed waiters. This is exactly what you’ll find at Villa Ravenna, Tulsa’s most authentic Italian food destination. This elegant restaurant nestled in the back of the Farm Shopping Center at 51st and Sheridan is a recent newcomer to the Tulsa Italian food scene, but it’s arguably the most authentic Italian food option in northeast Oklahoma. The restaurant is owned by two brothers from the Ravenna area of Italy, known for its wonderful food, mosaics and beautiful panoramas.
My husband and I went there for a recent anniversary and were not disappointed. We started the evening with Limoncello drinks, a liqueur made from the zest of Italian lemons. For the appetizer, we tried the Zucchini Gorgonzolla. I’m not a huge fan of zucchini normally, but the cheese spread made it absolutely irresistible!
For the entree, I would recommend trying something unique — like veal, venison, or boar. Not every Italian restaurant offers these unique meats, and Villa Ravenna does them very well. I stuck with old-fashioned pasta, trying the Ravioli Bolognese. It was meaty, robust, and flavorful.
While you likely won’t have much room for a dessert, I highly suggest you save room for at least a couple bites of a Villa Ravenna cannoli — they are the best in town! Villa Ravenna is sure to make your Valentine’s Day special, if it wins out as your restaurant of choice!
4. Prhyme Downtown Steakhouse
Prhyme is relatively new to the Tulsa steakhouse scene. With an enviable location in the Brady Arts District at 111 N. Main St., Prhyme is a great choice if you and your Valentine plan on doing something downtown before or after dinner. Created by Justin Thompson, the same entrepreneur who brought Tulsa Juniper and Tavolo, Prhyme is a truly elegant dining experience. Steaks, ranging from prime tenderloin, NY strip, to Australian lamb chops, are the specialty at Prhyme. Their menu also features a wide array of seafood, including King Salmon, Coldwater Lobster Pasta, and Brown Butter Pasta.
Prhyme is also featuring a prix fixe Valentine’s menu Feb. 12-14. Call them at 918-794-7700 for details and to make reservations.
My husband and I visited Prhyme about a year ago and were truly impressed by the flavorful steaks. As a starter, we tried the Fire Roasted Corn and Crab Bisque, which is a must-try! Spicy and filling, this is no ordinary crab bisque! We were also impressed by their unique side dishes, like the Garlic Smashed Red Potatoes and the Bacon Butter Brussels Sprouts.
With a classy atmosphere, excellent service, and exquisite menu options, Prhyme is a great choice for your Valentine’s dinner.
Some may say it’s just not fair for me to feature two of Justin Thompson’s restaurants in one blog post, but the truth is, both Prhyme and Tavolo are great, local options, and they’re both sure to please for a romantic dinner. Tavolo is an Italian-inspired eatery in downtown Tulsa at 427 S. Boston is situated in the art deco-classic Atlas Life Building.
Tavolo is also featuring a prix fixe menu for Valentine’s Feb. 12-14. Call them at 918-949-4498 for details and to make reservations.
For my dinner, I chose the Chef’s Tasting, a menu selection that changes every few weeks. My tasting included a Strawberry Fields Salad with a delicious cream on the side, Risotto with Beef Tips, Gorgonzala, and Asaparagus, and Tiramisu for dessert. Let it be known that Risotto is undoubtedly the specialty at Tavolo. You can “create your own risotto,” choosing a sauce (pesto, gorgonzola, parmesan, or chianti), a vegetable (mushrooms, tomatoes, butternut squash, or spinach), and a protein (chicken, Italian sausage, tenderloin tips, or shrimp). The risotto is truly amazing, and you won’t find anything like it anywhere else in Tulsa.
For appetizers, my husband first chose the Butternut Squash Soup (crème fraÎche, toasted pumpkin seeds). This unique, creamy soup is naturally somewhat reminiscent of Thanksgiving time. He also opted for the Fried Risotto Cakes (fresh mozzarella filled, tomato jam, sage aioli). Once again, the chefs at Tavolo have gotten creative with risotto and fit it into a creative, superb appetizer.
We shared the Tiramisu from my Chef’s Tasting for dessert. It was light, fluffy, spicy — everything Tiramisu should be!
Dining in such an historic atmosphere as the Atlas Life Building makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the Oil Boom of the 1920’s, automatically adding an air of romance and intrigue to your Valentine’s date!
What are your favorite places to dine for Valentine’s dinner? What did we miss? Share your favorite romantic spots in the comments!