By Lily Biagi
One perk of Valentine’s Day falling on a Monday this year is that the whole weekend before it becomes a holiday. This year, we empower you to celebrate Valentine’s – or Galentine’s – all weekend long!
Xo Taco is hosting their annual “All Hearts Brunch” on Saturday, February 12th from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm. Grab your girls and head down to Xo Taco to start your Galentine’s Day party – a complimentary mimosa or shot of tequila is included! They are offering special menu items like a breakfast burrito, a flight of 3 different flavors of waffles, and fried chicken and churros. They will also be serving fun and flirty cocktails like a “Chocolate Cherry Cordial” and the “Queen of Hearts,” which is rhubarb gin, lemon, strawberry and egg white.
Oh My Darling is having a Galentine’s Day brunch featuring The Syracuse City Ballet on Sunday February 13th! Pregame the Superbowl in style by watching some classy dancing and enjoying some soulful Southern food. Oh My Darling makes a mean fried chicken and waffles topped with a sweet maple glaze, and you can’t go wrong with their mac and cheese as well. So enjoy your mac and cheese out of a cast-iron skillet instead of a plastic bowl on your couch for a change! Their special Red Velvet Latte looks delicious too, and it is available the entire month of February.
Now for the main attraction… the holiday of love. Whether you’ve been seeing someone for a while or are taking out a new flame, here are the best restaurants for a delicious Valentine’s Day dinner in Syracuse.
Lemongrass is always a good date night spot, but especially on a dreary February night, warm Thai food sounds comforting. The menu at Lemongrass is upscale, but don’t worry, you will still find traditional favorites like pad thai and green curry. We recommend splitting an appetizer (the shrimp dumplings are our favorite), and an order of pad thai. Maybe lady-and-the-tramp style? Make sure you save room for dessert because Lemongrass makes show-stopping ones. The only “shoes” we want to receive as a gift for Valentine’s Day is the Stiletto dessert from Lemongrass: it’s a silky chocolate hazelnut mousse served in a cone that looks like a high heel shoe.
Amano is a spacious family-run Italian restaurant with food sure to impress any date. The menu is large and has something for everyone. From appetizers like calamari to burrata, a selection of delicious pizzas, and the real star of the show… their handmade pastas. We aren’t talking about your standard spaghetti and meatballs. Try the unique francobolli filled with cauliflower or the delicate rotolo with bolognese and bechamel. Desserts at Amano change frequently but are always stellar. For Valentine’s Day try their zeppoli filled with lemon curd and topped with a poppy seed craquelin.
Eden is a cozy farm-to-table restaurant with a small and refined menu. You seriously can’t make a wrong choice here because every dish is so well thought out. Some menu standouts include the Ember roasted NY strip steak with chimichurri and crispy potatoes, and the seasonal hand rolled cavatelli pasta. Eden’s thoughtfulness extends to their delicious craft cocktails, so check out their holiday drink specials. Syracuse is lucky to have Eden, and your date will be lucky if you take them there for Valentine’s Day.
Go to Francesca’s Cucina on Valentine’s Day for all the bells and whistles! An upscale restaurant with a bustling bar that serves the best Italian food in Syracuse. Start with a speciality cocktail or a glass of wine while you enjoy warm focaccia dipped in tomato sauce. We recommend trying one of their specials: the Surf & Turf is always outstanding and enough to share with your date – a great value and an aphrodisiac! Francesca’s also has an amazing pastry chef who makes six desserts daily. We’re sure they will have some excellent choices for Valentine’s Day, but you can never go wrong with their famous butter cake either.
A Syracuse establishment for good reason; Pastabilities is always consistent in serving up big bowls of pasta in delicious sauces. They are famous for their hot tomato oil (and yes, it really is THAT good). Make sure to get on the waitlist, call ahead, or be prepared to talk to your date for at least 2 hours while you wait to get a table. But once you’re seated make sure to order the duck bacon flatbread as an appetizer. They are also featuring Valentine’s Day specials like lobster ravioli and festive drinks.
We hope you have a lovely Valentine’s weekend full of delicious food. Check out one of these local date spots and share your V-day pics with us on Instagram @bakedmagazine.