Valentine’s Day is a time when love and romance fill the air. With the city at your fingertips and honey by your side the only question is where to go on this special day.
Hopefully the Louis J. Esposito dining complex under Johnson and Hardwick halls will not be an option, but rather somewhere with a little more taste.
A room with a view
If you love the always-changing Philadelphia skyline, XIX Nineteen at the Park Hyatt Bellevue is where you’ll find sweeping views of the city. Traditional architecture and modern design make this restaurant distinctive. Elegance is achieved through the luxurious pearl chandelier draping over the dining room and immaculate place settings. Nineteen offers an exceptional wine list, oyster bar and an affordable organic menu. “Having only been open a year it has quickly become a popular place for wedding proposals,” said manager John Marc Thorte.
XIX Nineteen at the Park Hyatt Bellevue
200 S. Broad St.
Fresh fish, fresh love
The Oceanaire Seafood Room is another elegant restaurant with a hospitable staff. The menu is el carte and has plenty of choices for appetizers and sides.
“Fresh fish arrives daily to the restaurant and assures the moistest, melt-in-your-mouth seafood,” said chef Steve Forte. The Oceanaire is appealing to couples looking for both a romantic atmosphere and delectable meal from the sea. Don’t forget to share the restaurant’s version of a baked Alaska, a delicious desert of brownies, vanilla ice cream and orange sherbert-coated with meringue and topped with rum and triple sec.
The Oceanaire Seafood Room
700 Walnut St.
Sing a song of love
If Italian cuisine complimented by live music satisfies your romance needs, South Philly’s Victor Café is your place. Established in 1918, this row home converted restaurant is a traditional place for couples. A staff of trained opera singers performs every 20 minutes.
“I have customers telling me this is where they first got engaged, or repeatedly come back for their anniversary because it’s been such a memorable experience for them here,” said Victor’s waiter Amanda Taddeo. Victor’s is adding some special delicacies to their el carte menu this Valentine’s Day. Dimmed lighting and tables covered in red will also add to this restaurant’s romantic appeal.
1303 Dickinson St.
Philly is for lovers
After dinner, experience some of that love and romance floating in the air, as you take a horse and carriage ride through Old City. The Philadelphia Carriage Company strives to give its customers a memorable experience. Drivers dress in proper attire, while the French-style carriages are decorated with flowers and lace.
The Philadelphia Carriage Company
Independence Mall at Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th streets
Weekdays 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and weekends 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
After the enchanting horse and carriage ride, warm up with some hot chocolate at Naked Chocolate Café. Chocolate lovers unite here to indulge in assorted chocolates and beverages. Delectable desserts range from butterscotch pudding, “junk in the trunk” bars and double layered cupcakes. Naked Chocolate Cafe opened in August and has received plenty of press from local media including “The Philadelphia Inquirer” and “Philadelphia Magazine.” The cafe bakes all chocolate and desserts fresh on site. At this cafe, the chocolate isn’t really naked but it is delicious.
“We wanted a name that was fun and edgy to create a buzz of its own,” said owner Tom Block. “We have nothing to hide. We make our sweets with all natural ingredients.”
This European-style cafe is just what you need to suppress that sweet tooth. It’s the perfect ending to a perfect evening.
Naked Chocolate Café
1317 Walnut St.
Kayleen Leshock can be reached at Kayleen.Leshock@temple.edu