Valentine's Day falls on a Friday this year, which means you need to make your reservations early. Otherwise, a great many places are going to fill up quickly. Even casual places are taking reservations that evening, so call first. Don't just drop by expecting to get a seat without a wait. The suggestions below cover all kinds of tastes and budgets. Prices do not include tax, tip or alcoholic beverages, unless otherwise noted. 814 A Texas Bistro, 713 High St., Comfort, (830) 995-4990 — Valentine's Day seatings are at 6 and 8 p.m. The special dinner will include four courses for $60 a person. Antlers Lodge at Hyatt Hill Country, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, (210) 520-4001 — The Valentine's Day menu will be offered on Feb. 14 and 15. The special dinner begins with the chef's amuse-bouche, followed by a choice of lump crab and mango with cumin-scented apple chips or grilled wild boar chop with tomato jam. Local greens with strawberry and avocado and butternut squash soup with smoked duck breast will be served before a choice of Niman Ranch filet, roasted asparagus with citrus and fresh herbs, lobster mac and cheese, port wine and amber ale; grilled swordfish, lemon and thyme-scented salsa and creamy polenta; pan-seared elk tenderloin, spicy greens, roasted fingerling potato and cilantro pesto; or mustard crusted tofu, bitter greens, sweet potato purée. Finish with your choice from the chef's dessert selection. The price is $68 a person.
www.backyardbistrobandera.com for more Valentine's specials. Barriba Cantina, 111 W. Crockett St., (210) 228-9876 — Barriba Cantina offers free live music, a River Walk view and food, and because Valentine's Day falls on a Friday this year, it also has happy hour specials from 3 – 6 p.m. with $4 drafts, $4 well drinks and $2 off all Barriba Cantina signature cocktails. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. with Guitar Smokehouse Army performing 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. Christine Roberts will perform at 5 p.m. www.barribacantina.com. Becker Vineyards, 464 Becker Farms Road, Stonewall, (830) 644-2681, ext. 230 — Valentine's dinner in the Lavender Haus Reception Hall begins at 6:30 p.m. with the 2013 Provençal. The first course is Yellow Fin Tuna Wontons with the 2013 White Wing, followed by Cream of Tomato Soup and the 2012 Reserve Cabernet Franc. Bacon Wrapped Beef Tenderloin with a cherry demi glace and the 2012 Raven will be served before Flourless Chocolate Torte and the 2012 Vintage Port. The evening concludes with a cheese cart and the 2012 Viognier. Chef Ariel Dvorin of Chef's Catering in Austin will provide the meal. The price is $115 a person. Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary's, (210) 225-0722 — The special Valentine’s Day Menu features a multi-course dinner served from 5:30 - 11 p.m. It includes an amuse bouche of mini brioche salmon rillettes, cucumber, dill and a savory tart, followed by a first course choice of red pepper shrimp bisque; warm spinach, brie, trumpet royal mushrooms, spiced pecans, gaufrettes, tart apples and sherry garlic vinaigrette; orange salad with greens, lardons, blue cheese, avocado, walnuts and walnut vinaigrette; or lobster thermidor ravioli spinach with sherry butter. The second course is a choice of grilled beef tenderloin with baked potato gnocchi, asparagus and port veal reduction; seared Gulf snapper with white bean and crab cassoulet; pappardelle roasted chicken pasta with arugula, goat cheese, lemon capers and Parmesan; or the vegetarian dish of the evening. The final course is Gewurztraminer Apple Pie with Biga crunch ice cream; Meyer Lemon Posset with candied hazelnuts, basil cream and lemon chips; or Milk Chocolate Cheesecake with passion fruit anglaise, strawberries and dentelle tuile. The price is $69 per person, or $89 with paired wines. Bliss, 926 S. Presa St., (210) 225-2547 — On Valentine's Day, Bliss will be open from 5 to 11 p.m. featuring a four-course prix fixe for $75 a person. Boardwalk Bistro, 4011 Broadway, (210) 824-0100 — There will be two Valentine's Day seatings. The first is from 5 - 8 p.m., the second from 8:30 - 11 p.m. A five-course menu will be offered with prices that range from $72 to $82 a person. The menu includes your choice of appetizers, soups and salads. Main course is a choice of Prawns with Creamy Polenta ($78); Pistachio-encrusted Crab Cake ($78); Chateaubriand for One or Two (One:$82, Two: $160); Braised Center Cut Pork Chop ($76); Lobster Trilogy of lobster tail, lobster risotto and a chilled lobster salad ($82); or Exotic Mushroom Canneloni ($72). Dessert choices included. The Jim Cullum Jazz Band will play for both seatings. Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, 219 E. Houston St., (210) 472-2600 Valentine’s Day at Bohanan's can include your choice of champagne, the menu of prime steaks and seafood, as well as table-side desserts flambé that will set your night on fire. Live jazz and intimate surroundings are featured at Bohanan’s Bar, where you can order your favorite cocktails and late-night bites from the bar menu. Boiler House, 312 Pearl Parkway, (210) 354-4645 — The Boiler House will be running a special prix-fixe Amore dinner menu Feb. 13-15. The regular menu will be available as well. The special menu begins with Duck Meatballs á la Matriciana, meatballs with tomato-based sauce with pork belly and pork cheek with house ricotta. The second course will feature baby iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, shaved fennel, apple cider lardons, blue cheese, pine nuts and a green apple vinaigrette. The third course is a choice of branzino seared with buratta ravioli, tomato brown butter and shaved Parmesan or veal breast, braised with Parmesan rind, natural jus, house mustard Brodo and brown butter Gnudi. Satisfy your sweets craving with the Sfoliatelle, a puff pastry filled with Nutella chocolate and topped with macerated strawberries and Moscato Zabaione. The cost of the Prix Fixe dinner is $55 per person, plus $35 for wine pairing, if desired. It is available from 5 p.m. to close. Cantina del Rio, 1299 Gruene Road, Gruene Historic District at New Braunfels, (830) 515-1950 — The Sizzlin’ Valentine’s Special is available Feb. 14-16 with happy hour prices and a dollar off tender chicken or beef fajitas marinated in a fresh squeezed lime marinade, served with beans, rice, guacamole, pico de gallo and your choice of fresh flour or homemade corn tortillas. Prices are $8.95 for one or $17.95 for you and your sweetheart. Enjoy a frozen margarita or sangria (for $3) or an ice cold beer ($2.50-$2.75) on the deck tucked into the trees of Gruene Historic District. The County Line, 10101 I-10 W., (210) 641-1998 — The County Line is taking reservations, even for two, for Valentine's Day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The full menu will be served including its latest menu item, the Slow-Smoked & Flame-Kissed Pork Chop, a half-pound center cut pork loin chop seasoned with lemon pepper before smoking and grilling. It's served with the restaurant’s famous garlic mashed potatoes and grilled veggie kabob for $15.99. Happy hour specials in the bar area (only) between 3-7 p.m. include $2.50 domestics, $3.50 imports, $2.50 well drinks and $4 frozen or on-the-rocks margaritas, plus discounts on select appetizers. (These specials and reservations are not available at the County Line River Walk location.) Crumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road, (210) 821-5600 — The Valentine's special menu will be available Feb. 14-15. It comes with choice of appetizer and choice of soup or salad, vegetables and dessert. Entree choices include: Breast of Chicken with Montrachet Sauce ($40.50); Fresh Salmon Filet with Lemon-Butter and Capers ($52.50); Shrimp Lyonnaise with Wild Rice Blend ($40.50); Tenderloin of Beef Savoy ($52.50); Veal Scaloppini with Mushroom and Cognac Sauce ($52.50); or Trilogy of Lobster Tail with Lemon Butter, Rack of Lamb Provençal and Tenderloin of Beef with Rossini Sauce ($65). Cured, 306 Pearl Parkway, (210) 314-3929 — Cured is hosting a three-course Valentine's Day dinner for couples. For the first course, guests will enjoy Crab Cappuccino, followed by a second course of Lamb Chops with Lemon Verbena plus Cauliflower Purée and early Spring Vegetables. Ending on a sweet note, guests will indulge in Malted Chocolate with Truffle Mousse and Cashew Crunch. This special prix-fixe menu will include a glass of wine for each guest of their choosing, white, red or sparkling. The dinner is $100 per couple (additional beverages not included). It is available from 5 to 11 p.m. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 255 E. Basse Road, (210) 824-9463 — Valentine's will be celebrated Feb. 13-15 with a multi-course prix-fixe menu. Dinner begins with a pan-seared scallop served over goat cheese polenta followed by a choice of a Fleming’s Salad or Modern Caesar.The entree includes a filet mignon paired with your choice of an 8-ounce lobster tail ($69.95) or pecan-crusted salmon ($59.95). Guests can choose to pair their meal with Fleming’s featured cocktail, French Kiss 75, for $10 extra and end the night with house-made cinnamon sugar doughnuts with homemade lemon custard and blueberry dipping sauce for $9.95. Francesca's at Sunset at La Cantera Resort, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 558-2442 — A three-course special will be served on Valentine's Day. It begins with a choice of Salad of Hydroponic Watercress and Celery with Texas ruby red grapefruit or Roasted Winter Squash Soup. It is followed by a choice of Pan-roasted Black Cod or Grilled Rib-eye. Dessert is a choice of Gianduja Cherry Tart or Vanilla Butter Cake. The price is $65 a person, or $85 with wine pairings. Frederick's Restaurant, 7701 Broadway, Ste. 20, (210) 828-9050; Frederick's Bistro, 14439 N.W. Military Hwy., Ste. 100, (210) 888-1500 — There are two special menus.Arcade Midtown Kitchen, 303 Pearl Parkway, (210) 369-9664 — Arcade will host a special Valentine’s Day prix-fixe dinner menu that will have specialty cocktails offered along with their champagne and sparking wine list. On Feb. 15, the restaurant will continue to serve the special menu, along with a limited version of the regular menu. Join Arcade Midtown Kitchen for their “Lovers Brunch” on Feb. 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. At the Lovers Brunch, the restaurant will offer a limited regular brunch menu, with special dishes for sharing with that special someone. More details and the menus will be posted during the week of Valentine’s at www.facebook.com/arcadekitchen. Azuca Nuevo Latino, 713 S. Alamo St., (210) 225-5550 — The restaurant will be offering its 11th Aphrodisiacs Dinner, which includes appetizer, soup or salad, choice of Pan-seared Jumbo Prawns and Pan-seared Nut-encrusted Ahi Tuna or Beef Tenderloin Medallion and Australian Lamb Lollipops, plus dessert. The Tropicante Orchestra will perform. Call for prices. Backyard Bistro, 167 Panther Ridge, Pipe Creek, (830) 535-4094 — The special Valentine's menu is available 5-9 p.m. Feb. 13-15. The dinner for two special includes a 22-ounce heart-shaped rib-eye with potatoes gratin, asparagus and demi-glace. The price is $45 per couple. Visit
- The first is offered on Feb. 13 and 15 at a cost of $55 a person. First course is a choice of Shrimp Cocktail and Jumbo Lump Crab Meat with Spicy Asian Cocktail Sauce; Sea Scallops with Leek Ragout and Caviar; Mousse of Duck Foie Gras with Spring Mix Salad; or Baked Brie Puff Pastry Stuffed with Spinach and Goat Cheese. Second course is a choice of Veal Strip Loin with Port Wine and Shiitake Mushroom Sauce; Sea Bass and Jumbo Crab Meat Napoleon with Caviar and Champagne Veloute; or Beef Tournedos Rossini Perigourdine Sauce. Third course is a choice of Le Trio: Crème Brulee, Chocolate Terrine, Rum Euphoria; Black Forrest Cake, Black Cherries, Kirchwasser; Coupe Valentin: Amaretto Fruit Salad with Sorbet; or Frozen Grand Marnier Souffle with Strawberry Coulis.
- Second is available on Feb. 14. It begins with your choice of Jumbo Crab & Salmon Cake with Avocado Vinaigrette; Spring Rolls with Mint Cilantro and Lettuce Wrap; Seared Beef Sirloin Carpaccio with Herb Cheese & Roasted Pepper Vinaigrette; Smoked Salmon Roll with Cream Cheese Caviar & Shrimp Cocktail Platter; or Gratinated Lobster Canneloni. Second course is Frederick’s Salad with a Champagne & Hazelnut Oil Vinaigrette. The main course is a choice of Grilled Lamb Chops with Garlic Cabernet Sauce & Gratin Potatoes; Beef Tenderloin with Jumbo Shrimp and Roquefort Fresh Herb Sauce with Mushroom Risotto; Parmesan Crusted Red Snapper with Avocado Relish & Basel Beurre Blanc; Sea Bass and Sea Scallops with Champagne Caviar Veloute and Garlic Mashed Potatoes; or Fresh Maine Lobster Navarin with Spring Vegetables Over Linguine Pasta. Dessert is a choice of Black Forrest Cake, Black Cherries & Kirsch Wasser; Frozen Grand Marnier Souffle with Strawberry Coulis; Coupe Valentine: Amaretto Fruit Salad with Sorbet; or Ginger Ice Cream & Lychees Syrup. Price is $85 a person.
Restaurant Gwendolyn, 152 E. Pecan, Downtown, (210) 222-1849 -- For a romantic dinner near the River Walk, Chef Michael Sohocki has pre-selected a seasonal menu for his seven-course dinner that includes his house-cured charcuterie board from his non-electric kitchen. All dishes are house-cured, house-butchered and made with the labor of love. The menu offers options such as; Smoked Oyster “Bloody Mary,” Beet Salad with Citrus Gelee, Shrimp Tortelloni with Champagne Cream, Exotic Mushroom and Braised Lamb Beggar’s purse, Rosewater Sorbet, Strube Ranch Hanger Steak Marchand de Vin, and Chocolate and Cigarettes for dessert. Pricing for seven-course menu is $125 with additional pre-selected wine for $65. Please make reservations at the phone number above.
San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston — The Botanical Gardens are offering three different Valentine's options, ranging from the exclusive to the inexpensive:
- Schedule a private dinner for two. Start with champagne in the Overlook, with panoramic views. Dine in the glass conservatory setting. This is limited to three couples, one couple per evening, February 13-15, 2014. Reserve by calling (210) 829-0804. The Carriage House Bistro chef will personally consult with you on your “Yellow Roses” themed menu. The price is $500 per couple.
- Dine in the Carriage House Bistro on Valentine's Day from 5 to 7 p.m. Stroll in the garden before dinner. There will be a prix fixe menu for $75 per person (wine not included). A yellow rose and chocolates are offered for each Valentine couple. Call (210) 826-5800.
- Have lunch at the Carriage House Bistro from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 7- 16, 2014 (closed Monday). Call (210) 826-5800. The special menu includes Seared Mahi-Mahi and Roasted Pork Tenderloin in a Marsala glaze over rice pilaf with grilled asparagus topped with sundried tomato hollandaise. It comes with a Bowl of Love Salad, spring mix greens with walnuts, strawberries, and feta tossed in a champagne vinaigrette.
Tre Trattoria Downtown, 401 S. Alamo St., (210) 223-0401 — On Valentine's Day, the restaurant will be offering a five-course menu for $65 a person. Menu choices include Bruschetta with House Focaccia, radish, shell bean, ricotta, and mint; White Gazpacho with almonds, cucumber, grapes and balsamic; Spring Panzanella with buffalo Burrata; Spring Pea Gnudi with blistered cherry tomatoes, oregano, and Parmesan brodo; Crespelle with duck ragu, wilted arugula and Pecorino Romano; Gnocchi with lobster, tarragon, and chiles ($8 supplement); Pan Seared Scallops with Grilled Ramps and Romanesco; Filet of tenderloin with spring carrots, new potatoes and Foie Butter ($8 supplement); and Chicken Cacciatore with capers, San Marzano, Calabrese peppers.
Tribeca, 4331 McCullough Ave., (210) 320-0698 —The Valentine's menu begins with a choice of Shrimp Bisque with Crème Fraiche or Endive Salad with Caviar Dressing, blue cheese, roasted walnuts and fresh apples, followed by a choice of Seared Beef Tenderloin, grilled asparagus and mash potatoes with Truffle Hollandaise; Rack of Lamb with Israeli couscous and mint cacik sauce; or Seared Red Fish with truffle risotto, Brussels sprout leaves and melted leek. Dessert is a ginger chocolate tart with rose-scented gelato and Champagne strawberry panna cotta. The price is $45 per person.
Umai Mi at the Alley, 555 W. Bitters Road, (210) 404-1555 — Chef Jason Dady's modern Asian concept will be open with its regular menu and Dady Date Night specials.
Z'Tejas, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 690-3334 — There will be several Valentine's specials available Feb. 13-16 in addition to the regular menu. They include Cornbread Panzanella Salad ($10.95), Guajillo New York Strip ($29.95), Buttermilk Pork Chops ($15.95), Crispy Chicken Thighs ($14.95) and Champagne Wishes and Truffle Dreams ($7.95).
Bonnie Walker contributed to this report.
Restaurateurs, if you would like to include your Valentine's offering, email firstname.lastname@example.org.