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Here Are Some Good Last-Minute Valentine's Day Options

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We're a couple days away from the biggest romantic holiday of the year (no pressure, boys and girls). You'll get laughed off the phone--or added to wait lists--if you try notoriously romantic spots like Mister A's (they've been booked since December), or Addison, Cusp, Mille Fleurs, and Fish Public.

Before you head to the supermarket for spaghetti and wine, have no fear: We found some great restaurants in town that surprisingly have openings. (Some are even extending their menus throughout the weekend.) Options range from oyster aphrodisiacs to racy cocktails. You might pay a pretty penny, but many of the following picks include water views on the house.


--Tierney Plumb

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Davanti Enoteca

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Little Italy's romantic Italian restaurant is starting the celebration early with a wine-infused intimate meal for 20 tonight. The Cupid-themed dinner comes with five courses, each paired with a top selling wine from 2013. From 7 to 10 p.m., at $75 per person, feast on Panama Cobia Crudo, poached lobster, and Julian apple bread pudding.

Ritual Kitchen, Tavern and Beer Garden

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Skip vino and go the nontraditional beer route at this North Park staple, which teamed up with AleSmith this year. Pick either a three-course surf (seared ocean scallops) or turf (Sous Vide Beef Filet) menu. Don't know answers to your date's pressing beer questions? Some of the AleSmith team will be on hand to chat about such brews like the Horny Devil (perfectly named for the holiday). A 9:30 p.m. seating was just added.

RA Sushi Bar Restaurant

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Who says sushi has to be pricey? This Friday through Sunday, pay only $30 for three courses for two people (and save room in your wallet for lychee cocktails). Options include pork gyoza, the Viva Las Vegas Roll (pictured), and coconut creme brulee.

Morada (inside The Inn At Rancho Santa Fe)

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Go big at this luxury hotel with a four-course tasting menu created by Executive Chef Todd Allison; seasonal picks include Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut with faro risotto or the Morada Cioppino. The damage is $78 per person, and tack on $30 for optional wine pairings. Friday night is sold out, but the Valentine's Day menu runs Saturday and Sunday nights, too.

Table 926

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Impress your plus one with Table 926's prix-fix Valentine's Day dinner, which shows off seasonal California cuisine with a Mediterranean spin. The three-course menu includes plates like Lobster Gnocchi and Uni Butter and a Wild White Shrimp Penne. $60 per person.

Pearl Hotel

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Save a few bucks with a pre-Valentine's dinner on Thursday for $49 per person (on Friday the price jumps by $10). Nosh poolside on orders like squash blossoms, wild king salmon, and NY cheesecake. If you decide to splurge on Friday, beware: They have hold your credit card and you'll be eating on the later side; the only seating slot left is for 9:30.

The Westgate Hotel

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This Gaslamp hotel's five-course dinner for $99 (wine pairings cost $30 extra) is a little expensive but comes with some freebies: Jumpstart the meal with an elixir cocktail, and each guest gets a rose and macaroons. Get in the mood with live music from Greg Shelby. Stay the weekend and go for their classic Sunday brunch buffet for $45, served with special Kir royals starting at 10 a.m.

Spike Africa's Fresh Fish Bar & Grill

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Nothing gets her going like an aphrodisiac, so check out Chef Paul Rinaudo's $44 four-course array of romantic dishes like Warm and Sexy Oysters with pancetta, arugula, gruyere and truffle butter; Exotic Mushroom Ravioli in cognac sauce with fried sage; or Roasted Swordfish Prime Rib for Two. End the meal with an unlikely finale: donut holes. At this point tables are only available before 6:45 or after 8:30 p.m. (the menu also runs Saturday night, which is wide open).

Saltbox Dining and Drinking

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Whether you're single or taken, downing drinks on Valentine's Day is always a good idea. At this swanky hotel hot spot, each drink special is $10 for the evening. Pick from the Run around Sue (Pimm's No. 1, strawberry-mint coulis and house made cucumber soda) and the Handsome Devil (Herradura Silver tequila, cucumber water, lime and chili shrub with a dash of salt and pepper). Or, drown your sorrows with a Forgive and Fernet (pair any canned beer from Saltbox's list with a shot of Fernet).

Pacifica Del Mar

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Pacifica Del Mar seafood will cook up a variety of fresh options from Executive ChefStephanie O'Mary-Berwald for the big night; think sea scallop crudo with Thai chile, gingered citrus and shiso oil mesh withentrees like grilled swordfish with cauliflower, chickpeas and fennel-saffron compote. Pacifica will also offer wine and champagne specials. Hurry up and call: there's only openings left for 4 p.m. or after 9:15 p.m.

Sea & Smoke

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Matt Gordon kicks off a three-night Valentine's Day celebration Thursday with the same three-course prix fixe menu at his three restaurants across the county (the others are Urban Solace in North Park and Solace & the Moonlight Lounge in Encinitas). Think amuse-bouche of Dungeness crab on buttered brioche with a lemon-cucumber crème fraîche and smoked trout roe. Vegetarian and gluten free options are also available.

Brabant Bar & Cafe

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Put a Belgian twist on the holiday with this new South Park joint's specialty menu and drinks this weekend. Starting at 6 p.m. Friday, get the prix fixe assortment for $60 per person. (A preview: croquettes of roasted cherry tomato, pickled dandelion and green leaf lettuce, fillet of ruby trout smoked to order in an abbey ale béarnaise, or rabbit quarter in a cherry kriek sauce.) The holiday cocktail (The Beetchi) comes with a splash of Absinthe. Another plus: They don't take reservations, so first come first serve.

Mistral

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Take in breathtaking sunset views of the bay from floor to ceiling windows at this classy Coronado spot. Chef de Cuisine Adam Cho will be preparing a four-course prix fixe menu (options include an oyster trio; eggplant cannelloni; a very berry kale salad; and American Kobe short rib). Tickets are $65 per person and reservations are available from 5 to 9 p.m. A few spots are left, we hear.

Marina Kitchen

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Marina Kitchen is offering a three-course menu for $55 per person. What makes them stand out? View overlooking the San Diego Bay, and upon arrival, guests will enjoy a surprise gift from Chef Aron. Menu options include oyster bisque made with local oysters, Jidori Chicken Roulade with black truffle, and Red Velvet Cake. Add on wine pairings for $25.

Davanti Enoteca

Little Italy's romantic Italian restaurant is starting the celebration early with a wine-infused intimate meal for 20 tonight. The Cupid-themed dinner comes with five courses, each paired with a top selling wine from 2013. From 7 to 10 p.m., at $75 per person, feast on Panama Cobia Crudo, poached lobster, and Julian apple bread pudding.

Ritual Kitchen, Tavern and Beer Garden

Skip vino and go the nontraditional beer route at this North Park staple, which teamed up with AleSmith this year. Pick either a three-course surf (seared ocean scallops) or turf (Sous Vide Beef Filet) menu. Don't know answers to your date's pressing beer questions? Some of the AleSmith team will be on hand to chat about such brews like the Horny Devil (perfectly named for the holiday). A 9:30 p.m. seating was just added.

RA Sushi Bar Restaurant

Who says sushi has to be pricey? This Friday through Sunday, pay only $30 for three courses for two people (and save room in your wallet for lychee cocktails). Options include pork gyoza, the Viva Las Vegas Roll (pictured), and coconut creme brulee.

Morada (inside The Inn At Rancho Santa Fe)

Go big at this luxury hotel with a four-course tasting menu created by Executive Chef Todd Allison; seasonal picks include Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut with faro risotto or the Morada Cioppino. The damage is $78 per person, and tack on $30 for optional wine pairings. Friday night is sold out, but the Valentine's Day menu runs Saturday and Sunday nights, too.

Table 926

Impress your plus one with Table 926's prix-fix Valentine's Day dinner, which shows off seasonal California cuisine with a Mediterranean spin. The three-course menu includes plates like Lobster Gnocchi and Uni Butter and a Wild White Shrimp Penne. $60 per person.

Pearl Hotel

Save a few bucks with a pre-Valentine's dinner on Thursday for $49 per person (on Friday the price jumps by $10). Nosh poolside on orders like squash blossoms, wild king salmon, and NY cheesecake. If you decide to splurge on Friday, beware: They have hold your credit card and you'll be eating on the later side; the only seating slot left is for 9:30.

The Westgate Hotel

This Gaslamp hotel's five-course dinner for $99 (wine pairings cost $30 extra) is a little expensive but comes with some freebies: Jumpstart the meal with an elixir cocktail, and each guest gets a rose and macaroons. Get in the mood with live music from Greg Shelby. Stay the weekend and go for their classic Sunday brunch buffet for $45, served with special Kir royals starting at 10 a.m.

Spike Africa's Fresh Fish Bar & Grill

Nothing gets her going like an aphrodisiac, so check out Chef Paul Rinaudo's $44 four-course array of romantic dishes like Warm and Sexy Oysters with pancetta, arugula, gruyere and truffle butter; Exotic Mushroom Ravioli in cognac sauce with fried sage; or Roasted Swordfish Prime Rib for Two. End the meal with an unlikely finale: donut holes. At this point tables are only available before 6:45 or after 8:30 p.m. (the menu also runs Saturday night, which is wide open).

Saltbox Dining and Drinking

Whether you're single or taken, downing drinks on Valentine's Day is always a good idea. At this swanky hotel hot spot, each drink special is $10 for the evening. Pick from the Run around Sue (Pimm's No. 1, strawberry-mint coulis and house made cucumber soda) and the Handsome Devil (Herradura Silver tequila, cucumber water, lime and chili shrub with a dash of salt and pepper). Or, drown your sorrows with a Forgive and Fernet (pair any canned beer from Saltbox's list with a shot of Fernet).

Pacifica Del Mar

Pacifica Del Mar seafood will cook up a variety of fresh options from Executive ChefStephanie O'Mary-Berwald for the big night; think sea scallop crudo with Thai chile, gingered citrus and shiso oil mesh withentrees like grilled swordfish with cauliflower, chickpeas and fennel-saffron compote. Pacifica will also offer wine and champagne specials. Hurry up and call: there's only openings left for 4 p.m. or after 9:15 p.m.

Sea & Smoke

Matt Gordon kicks off a three-night Valentine's Day celebration Thursday with the same three-course prix fixe menu at his three restaurants across the county (the others are Urban Solace in North Park and Solace & the Moonlight Lounge in Encinitas). Think amuse-bouche of Dungeness crab on buttered brioche with a lemon-cucumber crème fraîche and smoked trout roe. Vegetarian and gluten free options are also available.

Brabant Bar & Cafe

Put a Belgian twist on the holiday with this new South Park joint's specialty menu and drinks this weekend. Starting at 6 p.m. Friday, get the prix fixe assortment for $60 per person. (A preview: croquettes of roasted cherry tomato, pickled dandelion and green leaf lettuce, fillet of ruby trout smoked to order in an abbey ale béarnaise, or rabbit quarter in a cherry kriek sauce.) The holiday cocktail (The Beetchi) comes with a splash of Absinthe. Another plus: They don't take reservations, so first come first serve.

Mistral

Take in breathtaking sunset views of the bay from floor to ceiling windows at this classy Coronado spot. Chef de Cuisine Adam Cho will be preparing a four-course prix fixe menu (options include an oyster trio; eggplant cannelloni; a very berry kale salad; and American Kobe short rib). Tickets are $65 per person and reservations are available from 5 to 9 p.m. A few spots are left, we hear.

Marina Kitchen

Marina Kitchen is offering a three-course menu for $55 per person. What makes them stand out? View overlooking the San Diego Bay, and upon arrival, guests will enjoy a surprise gift from Chef Aron. Menu options include oyster bisque made with local oysters, Jidori Chicken Roulade with black truffle, and Red Velvet Cake. Add on wine pairings for $25.

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