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Scott Joseph | Valentines Day

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A toast to romance at American Gymkhana. Photo- Scott Joseph

A toast to romance at American Gymkhana. Photo- Scott Joseph

What’s the most romantic restaurant in Central Florida? According to those who voted in a poll conducted on my website, it’s K restaurant in College Park, followed by Vito’s Chophouse on International Drive and Cafe de France on Park Avenue. Other top vote getters included Bistro on Park, RusTeak in College Park and the new Boca, also on Park Avenue. I guess those Winter Parkers are a passionate bunch.

It’s a fairly disparate collection, which only goes to prove that romantic is as romantic does. And of course all of this is just to remind you that Valentine’s Day is next week and if you haven’t made a reservation at your favorite romantic restaurant yet, you may find yourself trying to whisper sweet nothings to your Valentine across a table at Chuck E. Cheese. And they probably have a wait list.

Making matters worse, Valentine’s Day this year falls on a Saturday, which is already the default Date Night. And restaurants are able to accommodate fewer diners at a time because most tables — even those that can seat four or six guests — are occupied by just two people. Double dating on Valentine’s Day is just wrong.

But that doesn’t mean the restaurants won’t be trying to, um, woo your business. Several offer special Valentine’s Day menus. Some to consider are:

American Gymkhana, especially if you want to spice things up.

Hamilton’s Kitchen, which is conveniently located at a hotel.

And Rocco’s Italian Grille, because the Italians have this amore thing down pat.

And here’s a tip if you’ve procrastinated too long and can’t get a reservation at the romance restaurant of your choice: make a reservation for Friday night instead. Several restaurants are offering their Valentine’s Day specials all weekend — Venetian Room, for example. Enjoy your date night Friday then stay home and cook on Saturday. That’s the sort of evening I really love.

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