The Boston restaurant scene is exciting, ever-evolving and led by world-class chefs. A dinner date might seem like a simple way to spend this year’s Valentine’s Day with your significant other (or galentine), but a meal at any one of these establishments is anything but. From a multi-sensory tasting menu to ultra-creative Japanese plates, you’ll want to make reservations throughout the year, not just on Feb. 14.
The Table at Season to Taste
This 20-seat restaurant with an open kitchen is led by Cambridge-native Carl Dooley, a veteran of Top Chef Season 13. Using seasonal ingredients and french techniques, Dooley delights diners with four-course prix-fixe menus, which can be paired with libations from the standing wine bar. Standouts include celery root ravioli made with Maine sea urchin, jalapeño and Meyer lemon and the local hake au poivre made with burgundy truffle and Brussels sprouts.
2447 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
Tuesday – Saturday 5:30 – 10 p.m.
$99 per person
For Valentine’s Day: The Table at Season to Taste offers a special five-course tasting menu for couples or friends. The $190 ticket price per person includes wine pairing, tax and gratuity.
It’s dinner hours only at Tasting Counter for only 20 guests at a time. But, what it lacks in wider opportunity it makes up for in a two-hour multi-sensory experience where diners can watch as chefs cook, plate and immediately serve each course of an impressive nine-course menu, paired with carefully selected wines, beers or sake. Previous dishes served have included pork shoulder with macomber turnip, oyster and fermented red chilli curry, and venison with horseradish and mascarpone.
14 Tyler St., Somerville, MA
Wednesday – Saturday 6-10 p.m., two-hour seatings
$195-$210 per person for dinner. Each dinner ticket includes gratuity and tax, “completely removing the financial component from the dining experience so that guests may simply walk out the door when their meal is complete,” reads the restaurant’s website.
For Valentine’s Day: $300 per person.
Located in Boston’s South End, MIDA is a chic and modern yet cozy establishment that serves classic Italian cuisine. Chef and owner Douglass Williams has 14 years of experience cooking and training in places like Paris, Thailand and New York.
Simple, fresh and local ingredients go a long way with each dish, like the lobster scampi made with linguine, fresh basil and mascarpone. If you want to try a little bit of everything, the “della casa” option is a $40 tasting menu of the restaurant’s most popular dishes.
782 Tremont St., Boston
Sunday 5-10 p.m.; Monday–Saturday 5-11 p.m.
$20-$28 per person per entree
Set in a lush setting overflowing with green plants and high ceilings, Nahita is the perfect date destination for lovers of international cuisine and ultra-exclusive settings. Developed by D.ream restaurant group from Turkey (and its first restaurant in New England), Nahita combines Asian and Latin American flavors with a dash of Turkish cuisine.
100 Arlington St., Boston
Sunday – Wednesday 5:30 – 10 p.m.; Thursday – Saturday 5:30 -11 p.m.
$31–$44 per person per entree
O Ya is where you go if you are in the mood for a sumptuous 20-course omakase menu, creative sushi combinations and some of the best sake around. Led by restaurateur couple Tim and Nancy Cushman, O Ya is known as Boston’s most expensive sushi joint, but described as well worth its prices by food critics. With original bites like the kumamoto sashimi oyster with watermelon pearls and cucumber mignonette or the Santa Barbara sea urchin with osetra caviar and Italian white truffle, O Ya offers one special experience.
9 East St., Boston
Tuesday – Thursday 5-9:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 5-10 p.m.
$9-$38 per small dish, $45-$279.99 per Japanese wagyu dish