Whether You’re Broke or Rollin’ in Dough, These Spots Will Make Your Boo Swoon
Written By: Symphony Barnes and Chelsea Raineri
That special day to celebrate your loved one is right around the corner and Orange County is a great place to spend it. From the coast to the city and even some of the “higher points” of the region, we’ve got you covered with great suggestions for what to do on Valentine’s Day. So whether you prefer fine dining or an outdoor adventure, here are some ideas you’re sure to enjoy.
Valentine’s Day OC
Fifty Shades of Champagne
Instead of heading to your usual theater, why not try Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas? With locations in Laguna Niguel and Rancho Santa Margarita, the cinemas promise “an intimate, comfortable, and friendly atmosphere.” That doesn’t just mean reserved seating, but luxuries like reclining premium seats, a full bar offering prime selections and in-theater waiter service. That’s right, with just the push of a button on your armrest, movie-goers can experience ‘at-your-seat’ waiter service, including gourmet appetizers and entrees.
Native Knowledge: Sign up for their rewards program and you get a 85 oz butter popcorn for you and your date!
32401 Golden Lantern
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
30632 Santa Margarita Pkwy
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
I “Sea” You
Along with their a la carte menu, The Cannery will have a four-course, chef’s tasting menu for couples. It includes a seafood platter, land and sea offerings for the main, an intermezzo and dessert. If you’re looking for the prime seating to spend your date night, check out the patio. “The patio is always popular especially around dusk, and with this dreamy weather we’ve been having, it’s sure to be highly sought after,” General Manager Alyssa McDiarmid said.
Native Knowledge: Head down to The Snug Bar after dinner for their 50 percent off 50 wines deal!
3010 Lafayette Rd
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Get Island Fever With Your Honey
If you’re looking for a quick getaway, check out Catalina Island. The island offers two romance-themed packages. Its Island Romance Package is always available, but the Love and Luxury Package is only available throughout the month of February. It includes helicopter transportation to and from Catalina, two nights at either Pavilion Hotel or Mt. Ada, a picnic experience, a couples massage, Catalina Aerial Adventure and dinner at Avalon Grille. This trip will be one for the books!
Native Knowledge: If you head there, get in the spirit while you’re en route, listening to “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)” by The Four Preps, which was written about the island.
Native Knowledge: If you choose to stay at Mt. Ada, you’ll get a complimentary golf cart to use for the duration of your stay!
Catalina Island Company
Habana, Ooh Na-Na
Habana offers Cuban and Latin-inspired cuisine in Costa Mesa’s eclectic Lab Anti-Mall and in Irvine’s buzzing Irvine Spectrum. The restaurant offers a delicious menu including appetizers like Empanada de Platano, a black bean sofrito, roasted corn and sweet pepper slaw, and mains like Vegetals Encobijado, a seasonal vegetable ragout and desserts such as Bunuelos and Pineapple Crudo.
Native Knowledge: Head to Habana for their drool-worthy breakfast with items like French Toast al a Habana made with cornflake crusted brioche soaked in rum custard and topped with guava jam and coconut syrup.
2930 Bristol St
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
708 Spectrum Center Dr
Irvine, CA 92618
Spend the Night “Inn”
If you really want to treat your special someone this V-Day, stop in at Five Crowns. The restaurant is modeled after one of old England’s country inns, and is complete with period pieces and welcoming fireplaces. And for Valentine’s Day, they will be offering a Valentine’s dinner for two. Each couple will start with gougeres and then choose between three delicious appetizers. From there, pairs will then choose one first course, one entrée and then end the night with a sweetheart dessert for two—we have our eye on the Profiteroles Nutella.
Native Knowledge: Loved your dinner? Come back for OC Restaurant Week in March for discounted menu items!
3801 East Coast Hwy
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
Staycation’s All I Ever Wanted
Love is in the air at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel! Reserve the Sunset Romance Package for a romantic escape and enjoy Champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, daily breakfast for two and complimentary resort fee. While you’re there, head to the spa for the Salt Creek Couple’s Massage or dine at enoSTEAK.
Native Knowledge: Surprise your partner with a rose petal turndown in your room!
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
1 Ritz Carlton Dr
Dana Point, CA 92629
Love at First Bite
If your significant other’s favorite meal includes a top-notch steak, Grasslands Meat Market BBQ & Churrasco is the place to dine for Valentine’s Day! For $99 per couple, plus tax and gratuity, you can enjoy a four-course meal with your loved one. Enjoy a delicious butter lettuce salad for your first course, and choose from smoked duck breast with currant jam or house smoked salmon with capers and dill for your second course. With an entree of tenderloin and lobster tail with a white chocolate cheesecake, chocolate-dipped strawberries and a glass of Champagne for dessert, this will be one Valentine’s Day you won’t soon forget!
Native Knowledge: Add a bottle of Champagne to your meal for only $15!
Grasslands Meat Market BBQ & Churrasco
400 West Disney Parkway, Ste 199
Anaheim, CA 92802
So Good, I Mexi-can’t Even
Located at lovely Fashion Island, Red O Taste of Mexico is perfect for Valentine’s Day. For the holiday, the restaurant will be featuring an a la carte menu with chef’s special features. All are invited to “dine under the stars, in the pavilion…and dance to Latin music,” General Manager TJ Williams said. The celebration will take place from 4 p.m. to midnight on February 14, so be sure you make your reservations in advance!
Native Knowledge: Looking to spend the night in? Order Red O Taste of Mexico online and pick it up for you and your loved one to share at home.
Red O Taste of Mexico
143 Newport Center Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
If you prefer exploring the outdoors or you’re looking for a more laid-back experience, Top of the World in Laguna Beach is a great spot to go with your loved one. The lookout features unbeatable views of the surrounding areas and coast. Once there, you can take one of the many trails branching out from the vista, or just walk a short distance to the actual apex.
Native Knowledge: There’s picnic tables available, so bring a basket and dine with a view!
Top of the World
3300 Alta Laguna Blvd
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Stop “Playin,’” Take Your Date Here
Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a romantic meal at the all-new Leatherby’s Café Rouge steakhouse. They will be serving a special menu with several starters, grain-based dishes, land and sea offerings and vegetable options. Plus, they will also have a Valentine’s Day Special that includes a dozen oysters paired with a bottle of Patina Cuvee. Plus, according to General Manager Cherie Yuen, petit fours and special treats are in store for the special evening.
Native Knowledge: Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge is located at Segerstrom Center for the Arts! Come back with your date and enjoy a show on the weekend.
Leatherby’s Café Rouge
615 Town Center Dr
Costa Mesa, CA 92626