Valentine's Day is nearly here, and the time to start planning that special dinner is right now!
Bethesda is a great - though expensive - place to celebrate the most romantic holiday of 2013, and this guide is here to help you along the way.
As always, I've tried to bring you the best, rather than a laundry list.
What is more romantic than a wine bar - especially one as upscale as Vino Volo at Bethesda Row. Their Valentine's Day Wine Tasting Dinner offers 4 courses, and 6 wines. The price is expensive, but the vino and food pairings are decidedly upscale.
Course 1 features a sample of Le Grande Cortâge Cremant, paired with a cheese and charcuterie board.
For your storybook romance, the second course will pour a Storybook Viognier, paired with your choice of mixed greens and citrus or butter lettuce with chicken and avocado (I'll choose the latter).
Course 3 calls for... more choices! Now you get to pick from 3 choices of 3 3-wine flights (they're serious about that "3" theme). Speaking of serious, Serious Syrahs will pair off with NY Strip Steak and garlic roast potatoes. Tour of Burgundy pairs with grilled monkfish, sherry-lemon salsa and tarragon vinaigrette asparagus. Or, go with option 3, baked penne pasta with fontina and Parmesan cheeses, drizzled with truffle oil (I've had this, and this is what to order if you are seeking a decadent Valentine's Day).
For the sweet finish, try the Piper Heidsieck Demi-Sec Champagne paired with Cocoa Truffles.
All of this will run you $75 per person. Call 301-656-0916 for reservations.
Want to spend slightly less, but have more selection of entrees and desserts? Try Redwood's $68 Valentine's menu, with dishes like shortribs and lobster, and even an amuse bouche.
Call 301.656.5515 for reservations, and download a complete menu at RedwoodBethesda.com.
Chef Tony's menu will begin as always with fresh fish and other ingredients straight from local markets. For $59, choose from options like "Bethesda's Best Calamari," rockfish, and crab and brie-stuffed salmon. A bottle of house wine is included. ChefTonysBethesda.com has the full menu. Call (301) 654-3737.
BLACK'S BAR AND KITCHEN
Black's promises their Valentine's menu will "dazzle that special someone." Having dined there several times myself, I can say that's likely to happen. Enjoy selections like fresh Arctic Char, Duck Confit Salad and Pavlova. $85 with wine pairings. $65 without. Great raw bar and cocktails, as well. BlacksBarAndKitchen.com. Call 301.652.5525 for reservations.