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Fourteen Restaurants for Valentine's Day Dining

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  • | 9:06 a.m. February 12, 2012
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  • Eat + Drink
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“Cooking is like love: it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”

-  Harriet Van Horne, Vogue 10/1956

How true for all the lovers of food and the people who love them! Choosing a special place to dine on Valentine's Day can create a dilemma for fervent foodies. Where to go? What special menu to taste? Depending upon the couple, many factors may be considered when making plans for Valentine’s Day. Here are 14 suggestions from the Dining Diva and Jack Littman-Quinn for your Feb. 14 dining consideration.

Jack’s Picks:

Two Chef's Casual Dining: European-styled dining, offering a homemade four-course prix-fixe menu for $35.00 with a glass of house wine or a beer; excludes tax and gratuity.

Derek's Culinary Casual: Exceptional cuisine with layers of flavor. Derek's will be offering Valentine’s Day specials in addition to their regular menu.

Libby's Cafe + Bar: Classic, casually elegant, offering a number of Valentine’s Specials from Feb. 10-14.

Mozaic: Romantic, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with a number of Valentine’s specials in addition to the regular menu.

Selva: Nuevo Latino cuisine. Romantic, upscale dining offering Valentine’s specials and a wide assorted regular menu.

Puccini's: Really romantic, rustic Italian dining offering a special menu weekly. BYOB!

Savory Street International Cafe: Cozy, casual, flavorful food, now offering nightly dining. Valentine’s specials include complimentary champagne, a pomegranate margarita or hibiscus sangria with your Valentine’s Day dinner.

The Dining Diva’s Picks:

Brasserie Belge: This Belgian restaurant is famous for their Moules Frites (mussels and fries) and romantic atmosphere. Long-stemmed roses for all ladies and romantic tunes by the piano player accompany a special Valentine’s menu.

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar: Fleming’s is offering three nights of luxe specials, a flirtatious cocktail (the Bella-tini), and a $25 dining card for a future Fleming’s rendezvous (we suggest the fabulous Happy Hour )...

Ophelia's on the Bay: The most romantic location in Sarasota offers breathtaking views, exquisite service and exceptional tastes. Come by land or by sea and bring your special someone. Ophelia’s puts on an incredible waterfront wedding ceremony---hint, hint ...

Beach Bistro: Drive to Anna Maria Island for an unforgettable dining experience at Beach Bistro which is consistently rated by Zagat as the top restaurant in Florida for food and service. After dinner, stroll hand-in-hand along the beach with your Valentine.

Indigenous: What could be more romantic than a cottage-style restaurant located in an artist’s colony that uses local resources to produce some of the most mouth-watering and innovative dishes in town?

Michael's on East: The best wine list and piano bar in Sarasota draws a big crowd for every special occasion, so make your Valentine’s reservation quickly or you’re likely to be eating either very early or very late.

Polo Grill: Polo Grill is offering an incredible prix-fixe menu on Valentine’s day for only $50 per person and is the only spot we’ve found providing a strolling violinist. Tommy Klauber’s food combined with violin music is a sure-fire recipe for romance ...

Since there are so many new restaurants opening in Sarasota, we decided to add two bonus picks from the crop of new eateries:

Jack’s Pick:

Darwin’s on 4th: Looking for something out of the ordinary? How about Peruvian fusion cuisine served in a casually elegant and romantic setting with speciality cocktails and micro-brewed craft beers? It is something special and certainly a must-try!

The Dining Diva’s Pick:

The Table: Global cuisine served in an elegant waterfront location. The wine list is reasonably priced and the nightly specials are as delicious as they are unique.

For the love of food ... Happy Valentine’s Day to all our foodie friends.