Cuisine de l’Amour

Feb 10, 2014

Vertical Wine Bistro

If Valentine’s Day means—to you—an ambrosial dining experience, then here are several options from which to choose:

Vertical Wine Bistro is offering a cozy cheese plate for two with a pairing of Prosecco for $30. Their Valentine’s Day dinner menu includes a first course of shrimp bisque, fresh crab cakes, pappardelle pasta with scallops or crab, or arugula and burrata salad with persimmons and citrus honey dressing. Entrées include wild salmon with grilled asparagus and lobster coulis; filet mignon with gorgonzola au gratin potatoes, asparagus, and bordelaise sauce; and lamb loin with potato gnocchi, roasted pasilla chilies, and turmeric-coriander-laced jus. Petit fours and macaroons are the dessert options. $59 per person; $27 per person with wine pairing.

Vertical Wine Bistro, 70 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena 91103. 626.795.3999.


Bistro 45 is celebrating it’s 25th Valentine’s Day menu with sashimi-grade albacore tartare with American black caviar, porcini mushroom soup with winter mushroom ravioli, Atlantic striped bass with meyer lemon, and all-natural beef tenderloin with roasted tomato-truffle compote. And don’t forget their famous chocolate soup. Two seatings: 5:45 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Cost:  $75 per person; $85 includes champagne.

Come a day early, on the 13th, and get the same menu, including a glass of Segura Viudas Cava Reserva, for $65. One seating only, at 6:30 p.m.

Bistro 45, 45 S. Mentor Ave., Pasadena 91106. 626.795.2478.

Bistro 45's chocolate soup; photo by Sherri Z.

Bistro 45’s chocolate soup; photo by Sherri Z.


The Royce Wood-Fired Steak House at the Langham is offering a first course that includes a lobster salad with avocado, vanilla, and blood orange; Waygu beef tartare, caviar crème, frisee; and grilled artichoke veloute with black truffle. The entrees consist of wild salmon Wellington with truffle butter and English peas; Moyer Farm filet with pommes aligot (cheesey, garlic-infused, fondue-like mash potatoes originating in the south of France), bone marrow, and winter greens; and Valentine’s Parpadelle. The choice for dessert is dark chocolate decadence with gianduja (a sweet chocolate paste with 30% hazelnut, invented in Turin during Napoléon’s regency) with rose anglaise or a strawberry crème brulee. Cost:  $95 per person; $135 with wine pairing.

Another option is the four-course tasting menu available at The Terrace. Cost:  $65 per person or $95 with wine pairing.

The Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse, Langham Hotel, 1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena 91106. 626.585.6410.



La Grande Orange will not have a prix fixe dinner but for Valentine’s Day, they are offering jumbo lump crab cakes, Alaskan crab legs, a surf and turf, and grass fed New York strip steak followed by tres leches cake. Available for your drinking pleasure are Gloria Ferrer Brut, Argyle from Williamette Valley, Lucien Albrecht Crèmont Rosè, Perrier-Jouet, and Veuve Clicquot.

La Grande Orange, 260 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena 91105. 626.356.4444.



Brut Roederer Estate from Anderson Valley will accompany Firefly Bistro‘s Valentine’s Day prix fixe dinner. With first courses of kale and potato chowder or baby Tuscan kale salad, this is not your classic—perhaps stereotypically—romantic meal. The second course is a choice of grilled and braised short rib with cauliflower puree and bacon-wrapped asparagus, herb-crusted Virginia wild striped bass with wilted wild greens and caramelized corn sauce, or wild mushroom orecchiette with broccolini, braised leeks, and shaved parmesan. The evening may be topped off with caramelized apple tart or chocolate flourless cake. Cost:  $100 per couple.

Firefly Bistro, 1009 El Centro St., South Pasadena 91030. 626.441.2443.

Firefly Bistro Flourless chocolate cake



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