Looking for a romantic feast fit for a king and queen? Stacie Overton Johnson picks the perfect restaurants to celebrate your love on Valentine’s Day.
Indulge in a sharing-style menu at BOA Steakhouse at the Eastern Mangroves Hotel in Abu Dhabi while taking in serene views of the mangroves from the terrace. The chic steakhouse's Valentine's Day set menu includes marinated ahi tuna; burrata cheese salad; stone bass casserole with asparagus and black truffle risotto; US black Angus tenderloin skewers; marinated skirt steak and more.
• Sunday from 6pm to 11.30pm. Dh550 a couple. For reservations, call 02 641 1500
Book an exclusive table at Emirates Palace, where chefs will serve up a five-course meal that includes strawberry-smoked seared foie gras; oven-roasted Kobe tenderloin; and an oozing lava cake made with La Perle Noir chocolate, which is exclusive to the venue. Available on Valentine's Day from sunset, there are three seating options: a private dome for Dh4,000 a couple; West Wing terrace seating for Dh2,000 a couple; or a beachside gazebo in BBQ Al Qasr for Dh1,100 a couple.
• For reservations, call 02 690 7999
Head Chef Stefano Viola at Villa Toscana in the St Regis Abu Dhabi has created a special five-course sharing menu with refined bites such as asparagus velouté with sea bass ravioli and shaved truffle; duck tortelli with foie gras; baked turbot fillet with polenta mousse and cheese beetroot pie and more. Finish with Viola's dark chocolate delight, served with strawberry and nougat mousse.
• The set menu is available from Thursday to Sunday from 7pm to 11pm. Dh425 a person. For reservations, call 02 694 4553
Book a table at Ciro at the InterContinental Abu Dhabi for a five-course set menu designed by head chef Matteo Fontana. The menu – filled with splashes of red and purple – includes Circo's tartare duo of salmon and beetroot and 1824 beef with truffle rucola pesto, served with purple crisps; raspberry and scallop risotto with lemon skin and walnut crumble; lobster and prawn with provolone and roasted red pepper cream; and a strawberry tiramisu sphere.
• Sunday from 7pm to 11.30pm. Dh520 a couple. For reservations, call 02 666 6888
Cipriani Yas Island will be illuminated by candlelight and world-renowned harpist Lidia Stankulova will perform to set the mood for the perfect romantic dinner. Chefs will serve up a four-course set menu with signature dishes such as risotto with porcini mushrooms; pan-seared monkfish with baby artichokes and roasted fillet mignon. For dessert, it's chocolate hearts with strawberry sauce, of course.
• Sunday from 6pm. Dh370 a person. For reservations, call 02 657 5400
The Ivy at Jumeirah Emirates Towers is serving up two degustation menus filled with dishes to inspire love. The Taste of the Ivy is a seven-course menu that includes fine de Claire oysters; seared foie grass; Thai-baked sea bass; salt bush lamb rack and more. The smaller tasting menu includes duck salad; steak tartare; roast monkfish; chicken ballotine with pumpkin fondant and more. Desserts include chocolate fondue; banana sticky toffee pudding and Scandinavian iced berries with white chocolate sauce.
•Thursday to Sunday. Starting at Dh499. For reservations, call 04 432 3232
For exquisite views of the Burj Khalifa – and a private evening for two – book the Skytable at the Sofitel Dubai Downtown. The exclusive table comes with a private chef who will dish up a four-course set menu, a private butler and a bouquet of red roses. The romantic evening is available for Dh1,800 per person and includes select beverages.
• Friday to February 19 from 8.30pm to midnight. For reservations, call 04 503 6666
Bring your love to Level 43 Sky Lounge in the Four Points by Sheraton on Sheikh Zayed Road. Executive chef Lesti Hastuti has designed a romantic three-course menu that starts with a trio of fine de Claire oysters, green mussels and poached prawns; followed by a choice of Angus beef tenderloin or seared salmon for the main; then a raspberry chocolate cake with cranberry sauce for dessert. Dinner is just one part of the romantic evening, though. After you've had your fill, dance instructors will lead couples through an exclusive salsa-dancing class.
•Sunday, Dh600 a couple. For reservations, call 04 316 9726
Dine over the water with close-up views of the Burj Al Arab at Pierchic in Jumeirah Al Qasr hotel. It's been voted "most romantic restaurant" for three years running and has been the setting for multiple marriage proposals. Head chef Rosalind Parsk will set the mood with a five-course set menu that includes a foie gras pyramid, served with a cured duck salad with figs; grilled sea scallops; and wild mushroom soup with chicken and truffle tortellini.
• Sunday from 6.30pm to 11.30pm. Dh1,800 a couple with soft drinks. For reservations, call 04 432 3232
Okku Japanese restaurant at The H hotel has designed a Valentine's Day set menu with delicacies including foie gras sushi; yuzu-saikyo miso black cod; hamachi carpaccio and chocolate fondant. You can also book one of the traditional tatami rooms (a private Japanese dining room) for the evening to make it extra special.
• Friday to Sunday from 7pm. For reservations, call 04 501 8777
Cook up some romance with these Valentine’s Day-themed cookery classes
• Chez Sushi will host a sushi-making masterclass at its Al Wasl Square branch in Dubai. A master sushi chef will teach couples how to make their own sushi rolls with meat, fish, vegetables and dressings. Saturday at 11am. Dh200 per couple. Call 800 78 744
• Jones the Grocer is offering couples’ masterclasses at select locations. Learn how to make pan-seared scallops with homemade squid ink fettuccine and sautéed Swiss chard. Dh695 per couple, at the Al Manara branch in Dubai from Friday to Sunday (04 346 6886); the Al Raha branch in Abu Dhabi on Saturday (02 557 4882); and the Khalidiya branch on Sunday (02 639 5883). Classes start at 7pm
• Top Chef Cooking Studio on Jumeirah Beach Road in Dubai will host a Valentine’s Day class on Sunday where guests will whip up a three-course meal. Dh900 per couple. Sunday, 7pm to 9pm. Call 04 385 5781