Did you read about the London Valentine's Day Dinner (to go!) that's offered at £61,000? You know, where I come from, love means never having to say, "Honey, we lost the house because of our take-out Valentine's Day dinner." And even if it did, I don't want to eat three pounds of gold leaf for dinner.
That said, because Valentine's falls on a Friday this year, we have a high pressure situation as big dogs such as La Belle Vie, Piccolo, The Gray House, and W. A. Frost have been fully booked for the big night for a long, long time.
One alternative would be Cosmos' new Relevé Champagne Lounge (no one knows about it because it's on the fourth floor of the hotel). Or, you could always try no rezzies spots such as Tilia and Broders.
Then again, if you don't have a reservation and you don't have £61,000 to drop on Valentine's Day, you should probably just take a look at my top 5 romantic Valentine's Day options for folks on a budget:
5. Dinner for Two from Yarusso's for $22.89 Stick a candle in a wicker bottle of Chianti, throw a copy of Lady and the Tramp in the DVD player, and enjoy the old school red sauce joy of one of St. Paul's most enduring institutions, Yarusso's! For $22.89 you get antipasto, garlic toast, deluxe spaghetti and meatballs for two, and then Instagram yourselves doing that thing with the spaghetti strand connecting your two romantic maws if you must. 635 Payne Ave., St. Paul, 651-776-4848
4. Heart Shaped Pizza from Randy's Premiere Pizza Every year, Randy's in Oakdale sells par-baked heart-shaped pizzas. They're cute and memorable. Pick one up during the week and finish it in your oven for a Valentine's Day centerpiece you can feed to your beloved. 6030 N. 50th St., Oakdale, 651-777-1400
3. Ice Skating with Hot Chocolate. Why not take advantage of our many beautiful, romantic ice skating spots, lit for nighttime skating? Pack a thermos of fancy hot cocoa to warm your sweetheart's hands. Pro tip: Don't bring a diamond. Drop that thing in the snow and you'll never find it. Alternately: Pretend to bring a diamond!
2. Butcher & the Boar's Beer Garden. Everything's $10 and under and it's got tons of foodie bragging rights—it is, the Butcher & the Boar's beer garden after all! It's heated and tented, but not so airtight that you can't wear your most romantic pom-pom hat. If you're into penny pinching on trend and with great style, do the Beer Garden. 1121 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-238-8888
1. Make dinner! Nothing says love like actually spending some time doing something for the person you love. Be it ever so humble, there's no food like homemade food.
Photos by Yarusso's Facebook, Caitlin Abrams, Katherine Harris, Butcher & the Boar Facebook, Steve Henke