Valentine’s Day is Friday! Here are 14 of the kewl-est things to do in Las Vegas, from the ridiculous to the romantic (since 14 is the romantic number!)
If you prefer a cozy neighborhood restaurant
Nothing beats a romantic little hideaway close to home. My three favorites are:
- Ohlala French Bistro (Summerlin). This authentic French restaurant seasons all its food with charm. It’s the closest thing to France in all Las Vegas and that includes that Eiffel Tower on the Strip. The meals are reasonably priced. The restaurant is having a three-course prix fixe Valentine’s Day menu for $60 a person. Entrees include a choice of filet mignon, seafood gratin curry or quinoa with ratatouille. (You have to be French to be able to spell that!)
- Pasta Shop Ristorante & Art Gallery (Henderson). This charmer is run by the family of Frank Sinatra’s personal chef. First timers get a FREE package of homemade pasta noodles, although I don’t know if this will happen on Valentine’s Day. I severely overcooked ’em since I had never cooked fresh pasta before, but I digress. The restaurant invites local artists to exhibit their wares on the wall, so you will have plenty to talk about. And yes, the food is de-lish. The restaurant has two prix fixe menus, one at $42 per person and the other at $55. There is also a $42 vegan menu if you were inspired by Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscar speech. These prices INCLUDE tax and gratuity. Gotta love that!
- Esther’s Kitchen (Downtown arts district.) The food, focusing on seasonal Italian, at this restaurant oozes with flavor. Portions are generous and the food is reasonably priced. You order at the cashier after you grab a table. I vote for the polenta.
If money is tight
- Carrabba’s Italian Grill (Summerlin and Henderson). The restaurant with the garden on top is offering a four-course meal for two for just $45. And if you have to work Friday night, Carrabba’s is offering its Valentine’s Day menu now through the week-end. Why should being romantic be limited to just one day?
- Ethel M’s (Henderson). Skip dinner and jump straight to dessert. The chocolate factory has premium chocolate tastings five times on Valentine’s Day, starting at 10 am and ending at 6 pm. The cost is just $15. You’ve got to get there 15 minutes before the tour to sign up. If you want to taste chocolate with wine, these tastings are $25 per person and start at 11 am with the last one at 7 pm. Or just buy the bon bons with booze: The Remy Martin XO cognac truffles the best. Or stroll through the lighted three-acre cactus garden holding hands, FREE!
- The Bellagio Conservatory’s Lunar New Year Exhibit. (Bellagio) All you will have to pay for is parking! I love the red hanging lanterns but seriously the gigantic gold rat is adorable. This year’s exhibit uses 32,000 flowers.
If money is no issue…because it’s Valentine’s Day
- L’Atelier du Joel Robuchon (MGM Grand). Of course the most romantic restaurants are the priciest ones and have to be on the Strip. The French call Joel Robuchon “the chef of the century.” I’d have to agree. His main eatery is sooo expensive most of us would have to dip into our 401 (k)s. But the restaurant next door is actually affordable. The best place to sit is not at the tables but at the counter. It’s like a French version of a sushi restaurant. You just order small plates and watch the master prepare it before your eyes. My favorite expensive restaurant in Las Vegas. My birthday treat to me!
- Eiffel Tower Restaurant (Paris Las Vegas.) This eatery is know for its romance. The press department insists more than 10,000 people have proposed in its 20-year history. Why? Because it has everything. Exquisite view. Outstanding food. Almost sycophantic service. You are whisked up to the restaurant at the top of the Eiffel Tower in a glass elevator, so take a great look at the bustling casino below. Once you get there, stare out the wall of windows. The dining room offers the best view of the Bellagio Fountains in town. And there are jetliner views of the entire Las Vegas Strip. It’s probably too late to book table 56, which offers THE best views of the entireStrip. Just call Saturday for next year!
- Mastro’s Ocean Club (The Shoppes at Crystals). Want to eat in a tree…in the desert? This really kewl dining room also comes with an inventive kitchen. Food is expensive but worth every penny. Do not miss their Ocean Club crab cakes. They are caked with fresh crab and come without a hint of grease. The Japanese A5 Wagyu New York steak comes in eight, ten and 12 ounce portions. OMB. You don’t need a knife…but you may need a bank loan. When it comes to desert, the restaurant is known for its warm butter cake. To me it’s so rich I worry about going into diabetic shock after two bites. But for Valentine’s Day, the chef is making a warm chocolate butter cake. The batter is devil’s food and the frosting is a chocolate/cream cheese glaze. If that’s not decadent enough, the plate has drizzles of raspberry sauce and white chocolate ganache. The cake costs $18 but to me that’s a ticket to heaven. The way to my heart is through chocolate!!!!!!
- Love Notes ( Fremont Street Experience.) Want to proclaim your love on the world’s biggest video screen? And have $500? Here’s how to tell him/her you love them using 12.4 million LED lights on Viva Vision. Simply fill out the online form at the Fremont Street Experience web site. You have to submit the name(s) of your loved ones and a photo of them. The folks at Viva Vision will call you to schedule your time slot and the Viva Vision zone where the photo will appear. Their visage and your message stays up for a full five minutes, long enough to take photos and videos “with additional time to make out,” according to the powers that be. (THANKS for sharing.) P.S. It’s $750 for a customized message. P.P.S. If you break up, do it before Wednesday. After that you can’t get you money back.
If you forgot to buy them a gift
- Fleming’s (Town Square). The restaurant’s wine, dine and sparkle Valentine’s Day event is back. It includes a three-course dinner, a two glasses of Veuve Clicquot champagne and a “luxury gift” from David Yurman. This $500 dinner includes sterling silver bracelets, earrings or cuff links, in case you were curious.The top tier will set you back $1,000 ( with better jewelry.) Or you can just spend $75-$90 per person and enjoy hand-cut filets, pistachio-crusted lamb chops or share a tomahawk steak. (I want the bone!!!!) I think this is one of the best steak houses in Las Vegas, even if the Outback people (aka Bloomin’ Brands) own it. (They own Carrabba’s and Bonefish Grill too.) This special will also be available through February 15 in case you want to avoid the crowds. P.S. Tax and gratuity are NOT included.
If you want to do lunch
- The Stove (Henderson). This is Chef Scott Cumming’s day time restaurant. The food is inventive, fun and all-out ah-ma-zing. I don’t eat cinnamon rolls because to me they are sickeningly sweet. Not here. The dough pulls apart with a spring in its step. The wait staff pours the icing over the bun so there’s drama too! A gift from heaven. And the egg combos are crazy. The restaurant closes at 3.
If you want to work out together
- Partners’ stretch at TruFusion (Eastern). Greg and Susan Holmes are hosting a Valentine’s Day “UnWorkshop.” The goal is to “unwork” tightness through partner stretching techniques to set your muscles FREE! At the end of the workshop, enjoy exotic chocolates and a champagne toast to aid the relationship AND get that lactic acid out of your tired muscles. $30 per person if you are not a TruFusion member. FREE if you are. From 2-4.
If You Want to See a Show
- Jonathan Karrant. (Italian American Club.) A younger crooner with an old soul, Karrant has made a name in jazz circles. The name of his Valentine’s Day show is “Songs from the Heart: A Valentine’s Day Celebration. This man knows how to make a song come alive. I’m sure his Valentine’s Day show will ooze charm and romance. He’s playing in the cozy Sinatra Room at the Italian American Club. If you’ve never been there, it’s a treat. It dates back to the Rat Pack days and has this 1940s vibe. And the restaurant serves authentic though pricey Italian food. So you can eat before the show. Karrant’s show starts at 7:30 and costs $26.
- Golden Knights. Our beloved hockey team plays the New York Islanders at 7:30 Saturday night. Not Valentine’s Day but a date night worth waiting for.
Have a GREAT Valentine’s Day, Las Vegas!
((hugs)) BETH Ellyn
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