Date night in Hamilton has never been so romantic. Whether you plan on making a reservation at one of our many beautiful restaurants or you just want to bring home something sweet, there’s no shortage of delicious ways to win your Valentine’s heart. Here’s just a few of my favourite romantic Hamilton hot spots.
For Valentine’s Day, Dundas’ famed Quatrefoil – a romantic destination all year long – will be offering guests a sumptuous, five course tasting menu with all sorts of tempting treats with optional wine pairings to match the menu, or drinks from their extensive cocktail and wine lists. Romance on a school night a challenge? Saturday February 11th; join acclaimed head chef and partner Fraser MacFarlane for an early-Valentine’s dinner thee course Prix Fixe menu!
Given the owners here are madly in love husband and wife team Chef Dan Megna and Laurie Lillman, it’s no surprise to find the same passion on their menu. This Valentine’s, Lake Road will feature one-night-only items as well as their hotly reviewed full dinner menu. Find out how they became one of the most romantic destinations on James Street North in just over a year!
If you’re looking for romance, you can’t ask for a better backdrop than The Aberdeen Tavern, a stylish and approachable restaurant with food to excite all the senses. Executive Chef Matt Beasley has prepared some tantalizing dishes to ensure your evening to wine and dine goes off without a hitch. His menu features creations like succulent BBQ pork tenderloin with sweet potato & chipotle puree, roasted Brussel sprouts, mushrooms and finished with a decadent foie gras jus or his mouthwatering Lobster Tortellini with wilted spinach, caramelized onion and a carrot & ginger broth. End on a sweet note with a decadent triple chocolate raspberry Eclair with caramelized white chocolate and raspberry coulis.
Viva Italia! There’s a good chance that La Piazza Allegra has already played a role in many Hamilton courtships. Chef Mark Farrugia’s commitment to culinary excellence and high service standards have made his restaurant the silent partner in countless romantic first dates and anniversaries for almost two decades. At La Piazza, Valentine’s Day is about sharing and this year they’re preparing Risotto di Zafferano , (succulent seafood saffron risotto for two), Ravioli e Nocce (cheese ravioli with braised beef and cashews in a béchamel sauce) and for dessert a “duo of chocolate”. Start your night off with a lychee Bellini or a glass of Italian wine in their ‘oh so comfortable’ lounge.
James Street South’s hot spot Radius is the perfect venue for romance with a locally sourced, sustainable twist. Their team looks forward to hosting a candlelit dinner for you and your significant other with fabulous features from their in-house chef complete with shareable dishes and wine pairings to match or order items from their wildly popular dinner menu. The magic begins early with 4 p.m. seatings.
The mountain’s Baci Ristorante is Hamilton’s home for ‘amore’. This year Baci is celebrating from February 10th to the 12th and, of course, on February 14th with a special chef-designed three course Valentine’s Day Dinner that includes beautifully decadent dishes like Bisteca Di Manzo (10oz slow roasted AAA prime rib served with root vegetables, fingerling potatoes, marsala sauce & smoky parsnip chip) and Pesce Del Giorno (Herb crusted black cod served with broccolini, wild mushroom, Italian parsley & grape tomato compote) – just to name a few. They’re also throwing in a champagne toast. Multiple seatings available with reservations strongly recommended.
One of Hamilton’s flirtiest and most romantic new destinations, Toast Wine Bar, is hosting two distinct events for Valentines’ Day. Kicking off with “Galentine’s Day” on February 12th, create your own personalized candy hearts with Sweet and Simple Candy Co. with proceeds going to Sacha’s Chocolate Fest. Then on Feb. 14th, Ilya Senchuk – winemaker at internationally acclaimed Niagara Winery “Leaning Post” – will host a winemakers’ dinner and pair some of their finest selections with a three course shared meal.
You won’t find heart-shaped desserts at The Other Bird’s Rapscallion Rogue Eatery or even a prix-fare menu. Instead, they’re bringing the romance and masterful culinary creations to their guests’ plate by delicious plate with the belief that EVERY meal is a true romance story. Chef Matt Kershaw’s renowned nose-to-tail eatery plans to approach this Valentines’ Day as ‘just another day’. But we have it on good authority that the John Street gem approaches everything they do with the kind of love and dedication to which all relationships should aspire.
At Nellie James Too, Chef Ken Lefebour and Jacquie Wakabayashi are their own love story and on February 11th and 14th; they’re rolling out all the stops to ensure that YOUR love story has its most romantic chapter yet! Plan to kick things off with one of Chef Ken’s signature amuse bouche recipes and Prosecco. Follow that up with a three course flavour adventure with dishes like “Five Peppercorn and Coriander Seed Rubbed Beef Tenderloin with Porcini Mushroom and Pomegranate Liqueur Reduction”. And feed your sweet-tooth a perfectly romantic “Love by Chocolate Brownie with Amaretto Butterscotch”.
Locke Street’s Mattson and Co is already a destination for amour with their stylish, contemporary interior, sultry live jazz and thoughtfully designed and sense-awakening menu. This year, they’re inviting guests to a multi-course gastronomic love affair that includes offerings like Atlantic eight-ounce lobster tail with Chorizo Brioche stuffing, grilled baby red potatoes and baby prawn beurre blanc or their Half Rack of Australian Lamb with Olive Tapenade, Yukon Gold puree, balsamic jus and crispy Shitake mushrooms (Seatings at 5, 7 and 9 p.m.)
Mississippi Queen Foods with will toast the joys of couplehood AND the single life equally at their “Southern Supper” with an unforgettable feast by our reigning expert in all things Southern Cooking, Connie Rouble. Diners can expect real down home offerings like Blackened U.S. Delta Farm Raised Catfish Fillets and her much sought after “Mardi Gras King Cake” with a live blues performance by award-winning musicians Alfie Smith & Nicole Christian.
Dundurn’s beloved Cake and Loaf Bakery takes your celebration of love seriously with a wide variety of artfully prepared decadent sweets that will have you falling in love all over again. Some highlight’s this year include: mini red velvet or caramel Skor couples cakes, SMOOCH Belgian Cookies and a cornucopia of their famous chocolates. Look for their playfully decorated “We Belong Together Like…” sugar cookies. Vegan options also available.
Without artisan chocolate treats made by one of Hamilton’s favourite chocolatiers, can there even BE a Valentine’s Day? To tantalize your true love’s exotic side, head over to Concession Street’s Candi Werx for decadent chocolate treats like Chocolatier Julienne Gauthier’s Bourbon Truffle and behold the magnificent Mango Chili Heart!
With an abundance of restaurants in Hamilton, you’ll want to choose the right one to start the night off right. Reservations are sure to book up fast so be sure to make yours soon!
Dave Hanley is a proud Hamiltonian; champion of great food & wine and the co-owner/creator of local adventure-dining success story, Pop Up Hamilton. Follow him on Twitter @popuphamilton. Dave’s blog The Hamilton Dish celebrates Hamilton’s unrivaled culinary scene and shines the spotlight on the wonderful people that make it happen.