Valentine’s Day Dinners on Balboa Peninsula and Balboa Island

A quiet, corner table, a candlelit dinner for two, a soft voice answering the phone with melodic exuberance, “Thanks for calling but we’re all booked up for tonight!”

As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s wise to plan ahead. Nobody wants to be the one stuck at home with two cans of tuna fish and a 12-pack of Bud Light when restaurants all across town are preparing romantic, gourmet meals.

Luckily, you can keep those Buds in the fridge for a rainy day; we’ve got the advanced info on Balboa Peninsula and Balboa Island spots featuring special dinners Feb. 14:

21 Oceanfront Newport Beach

21 Oceanfront

2100 W Oceanfront, Newport Beach, CA 92663 // (949) 673-2100

Price: $110 per person (tax and gratuity included)

Details: 21 Oceanfront is taking reservations from 4 to 10 p.m, with a two-hour maximum per reservation.

Highlights: Not to be petty but this deal had us at “raspberry sorbet interlude” because those sorbet between-course bites are just so chic. Yes, this dinner is on the more expensive side but can you really put a price on love?

Valentine’s Day Menu …

Bayside Restaurant Newport Beach
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Bayside Restaurant

900 Bayside Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660 // (949) 721-1222

Price: $40 per person for lunch; $75 per person for dinner (tax and gratuity not included)

Details: The three-course lunch comes with unlimited champagne; the dinner features live music from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Highlights: The lunch menu looks lush (hello, white asparagus soup and shrimp risotto) and for dinner, the tartare of tuna ahi is always a crowd-pleaser, as is a bowl of tagliatelle pasta shared for two. Music at Bayside is always a cut above, so expect some lovely background tunes.

Valentine’s Day Menus

Lido Bottle Works

3408 Via Oporto Suite 103, Newport Beach, CA 92663 // (949) 529-2784

Price: $60 for dinner; $85 dinner + wine pairing

Details: A two-course dinner with a choice of cake and ice cream or chocolate mousse for dessert.

Highlights: Don’t let the simplicity of the menu fool you. Lido Bottle Works does farm-to-table right so the veggies you order will be locally sourced and every plate prepared with care. Plus, a new chef just took the helm at this place, so why not test out her chops?

Valentine’s Day Menu …

Lighthouse Bayview Cafe Newport Beach

Lighthouse Bayview Café

1600 W. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach, CA 92663 // (949) 933-1001

Price: $65 per person

Details: A three-course mean curated and prepared by Chef Ryan Sumner and his team to give you all the romantic feels.

Highlights: Starters include a creamy lobster bisque with tarragon crème fraiche and entrees offer romance-inducing plates like crispy-skin King Salmon and butter-poached California lobster tail. The brand-new full bar is serving up tasty, signature concoctions like the Cosmo, (vodka, Cobier Orange Liqueur, fresh lime juice and cranberry juice) and the Thoroughbred, (Bulleit Rye Whiskey, lemon juice and Clover Honey Syrup).

Valentine’s Day Menu …

Starters (Choice of one)
Jumbo Lump Crab Cake
Old bay mayonnaise, sweet pepper vinaigrette, crispy leeks

Lobster Bisque
Tarragon crème fraiche

Grilled Artichoke
Garlic parmesan herb butter, caper aioli, pickled peppers

Entrée (Choice of one)
Crispy Skin King Salmon
Caramelized fennel puree, blood orange fennel slaw, red wine braised Belgium endive

Slow Tender Braised Pork
Sweet potato farro risotto, butter braised wild mushrooms, puffed barley, apple cider gastrique (*can be made vegetarian without pork)

Butter Poached California Lobster Tail
Sweet pea orzo pasta, corn fritters, celery salad

Beef Wellington
Truffle potato puree, garlic spinach, sauce béarnaise

Dessert (Choice of one)
Lavender Scented Port Poached Pear
Crème anglaise, raspberry coulis

Rich Chocolate Mousse
Strawberries, gingersnap streusel, micro mint

Mr. G's Balboa Island

Mr. G’s Bistro

305 Marine Ave, Newport Beach, CA 92662 // (949) 675-6193

Price: $85 per person

Details: The 4-course prix fixe menu comes with a complimentary glass of Setteanime Prosecco.

Highlights: Just give us a plate of oysters and a whole lot of black truffle gnocchi then let’s call it a day.

Valentine’s Day Menu …

watermelon gazpacho.
cucumber. celery foam.

• choice of •
Black Truffle Gnocchi
pecorino romano. black pepper.
Short Rib Ravioli
wild mushrooms. cheese fondue.

• choice of •
Pan Seared Branzino
candy cane beets. tuscan kale.
blistered grape balsamic.
Petite Filet
glazed root vegetables. black garlic.
butternut squash puree.

• petit four duo•
Red Velvet
dark chocolate
Vanilla Sponge
swiss buttercream. apricot filling.