February is a time when love is in the air and dinner reservations are de rigueur. It’s Valentine’s month.
Choosing the right restaurant for the holiday can be daunting. But whether you and your date are traditionalists looking for classic, fine-dining fare or adventurous eaters in search of something more modern, local restaurants are ready to deliver. These are just a few to consider:
At this buzzy Turf Valley restaurant, Chef Fabio Mura’s menu features American classics with a Mediterranean twist — think grilled seafood with paired with hummus and steaks served with roasted cippolini onions. For Valentine’s Day, Mura and his team will offer a four-course prix-fixe menu, but if you don’t make it to the restaurant on the holiday itself, don’t despair: dishes from the Valentine’s Day menu will also be available as specials the following weekend.
Turf Valley Towne Square, 11099 Resort Road #304, Ellicott City. 410-203-0620. grille620.com
One of the newest and most celebrated additions to Howard County’s dining scene, Food Plenty is a solid Valentine’s Day choice for food-obsessed couples. The vibe is rustic and cool, with reclaimed wood accents and a regal stone fireplace; the modern farmhouse look reflects the kitchen’s emphasis on local ingredients, including those culled from the farm owned by the restaurant’s founders. On Valentine’s Day, the menu will include a handful of holiday specials in addition to the regular a la carte menu, which features dishes like decadent braised beef short rib with fig demi glace.
12250 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville. 410-531-0411. foodplenty.com
Tersiguel’s French Country Restaurant
Since its opening in 1975, Tersiguel’s has charmed local diners with its focus on hospitality and cuisine from the French countryside, from pork rillettes to duck confit. The pretty white building that houses the restaurant was damaged in Ellicott City’s two recent floods, but following a major renovation last year, it’s more beautiful than ever and will be a lovely setting to enjoy classic dishes, carefully prepared, from the four-course chef’s menu that will be available this Valentine’s Day.
8293 Main St., Ellicott City. 410-465-4004. tersiguels.com
In the nearly five years since its opening, Ananda has established itself as a go-to spot for high-end Indian food. While the menu is special occasion-worthy, the restaurant’s sophisticated space – including high ceilings and dramatic chandeliers, gorgeous views of Maple Lawn, and nine fireplaces – takes it up a notch on the romance scale. A bonus: Ananda’s menu includes numerous meat-free options, making it a good choice for vegetarian lovebirds.
7421 Maple Lawn Blvd., Fulton. 301-725-4800. anandarestaurant.net
Lupa Trattoria Romana
From its location on the shores of Lake Kittamaqundi to its dining room adorned with handsome architectural flourishes and artwork that would look equally at home gracing the walls of European museums, Lupa exudes romance. For the holiday, the restaurant will offer a prix-fixe menu showcasing the kitchen’s expertise with Rome-inspired dishes; the staff can help you pair dishes with a bottle from Lupa’s thoughtful and extensive wine list.
10215 Wincopin Circle, Columbia. 410-964-9999. lupacolumbia.com