First off, especially in San Francisco, you have to go out the day before or the day after Valentine’s Day.
Getting a reservation on Valentine’s Day is ridiculously difficult: you have to find yourself wading through seas of guys trying to impress someone they will likely never see again, and you have to deal with the endless line of people trying to sell you roses tableside at ridiculous prices. If you’re like me, you’ve already lived through that countless times, and yup, you are married.
I must say I’m still a romantic, so here are some of my favorite spots to take the lovely date:
Go old school for Martinis!
Get a table near the window and check out the new Bay Bridge light show shimmer off the water. Don’t forget to order some oysters…
3. Take the Ferry from Pier 41 over to Marin just before sunset.
You can head to Sausalito to hit up Copita for great Mexican and an endless Tequila list (Tres Generaciones!). Alternatively you can head to Tiburon and go to Caprice for a more traditional romantic meal right on the water with beautiful views all the way to the shimmering lights of the city.
This is dining in the dark. Smell the food, Taste it, Touch it, try to figure out what it is… PDA friendly as nobody can see you… The food is actually good, the experience is amazing. You may not need to go twice, but it is a must-try.
If it is warm enough, these are two other great options:
5. Little Vine
Grab some provisions like charcuterie (Olympic Provisions Nola), cheeses (Cowgirl of course!), olives, and especially a nice bottle of wine from this little spot in North Beach and head to the top of Telegraph Hill for a picnic with a view.
6. Bring your date to the Ferry building
Walk around, provision up from Cowgirl (cheeses like Mt. Tam triple cream), Boccolone (Porchetta di Testa), Acme (Olive Bread), and Recchuiti (their version of s’mores is not to be missed) and finally a bottle of wine from Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants. Then, very discreetly, head across the street into the Hotel Vitale, take the elevator up to the roof top deck, and have a picnic with a beautiful view. So what if you aren’t staying there… Then again, why not go all out and get a reservation for that night to make it even more romantic!