Love is in the air…and basically everything this time of year. The city of Tampa has the best restaurants and venues to make your Valentines Day, or any date night, exceptional. Don't settle for a default night out, here's how to have fun in Tampa:
*7th avenue chicharrón with kurobuta pork cheek, passionfruit, puffed rice, black bean, pickled sofrito
This is the premiere culinary experience in Tampa. 'Experience' doesn't quite cover it, though. A meal at edison, the top ranked restaurant in all of Tampa Bay by Times Food Critic Laura Reiley, is a cathartic pilgrimage for your taste buds. Their buffalo cauliflower (served with carrot date celery salad, maytag blue cheese dressing) is a sensational starter, as is their smoked maple-glazed pork belly. If you're in the mood to share, do your date a favor and order bone marrow, eggs and toast (two roasted marrow bones, half dozen sunny-side-up quail eggs, grilled ciabatta toasts, onion marmalade, parsley shallot salad).
For the main course, the sweet corn seared sea scallops (with butternut squash pepita risotto, grilled zucchini and corn, autumn mole, crema, cotija, radishes, micro cilantro) and wood-grilled filet mignon are revelatory. Click to see their full menu.
You can make a reservation on OpenTable or you can call 813.254.7111.
edison: food+drink lab, 912 West Kennedy Boulevard.
For nearly nine decades the Tampa Theatre has stood as a monument for cinema, both contemporary and classic. The Theatre has served as a venue for artists like Damien Rice, comedians Joe Rogan and Jim Jeffries, and iconic actors like Linda Blair (The Exorcist), and that's just within the last few months!
The Theatre continues to provide the city with the most prestigious films in the industry in a historic atmosphere. This Valentine's Day they'll be screening the mutliple Academy Award-winning film Shakespeare In Love. You can get your tickets for the film by clicking here.
Tampa Theatre, 711 North Franklin Street.
The Straz Center offers a variety of entertainment options that range from internationally acclaimed comics and performers, to local rising stars. You can catch free shows on the Riverwalk by the Theater on an almost weekly basis.
Through Valentine's Day you can catch the Broadway sensation, Lion King – The Musical on their stage, a Valentine's Day pops performance by The Florida Orchestra Feb. 12 and PostSecret Live on Feb. 13.
Click here for a full list of events.
Straz Center, 1010 North W.C. MacInnes Place.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. ….
The Lightning play four home games in the span of 6 days! They face the Predators on Feb. 12, the Blues on Feb. 14, the Sharks on Feb. 16 and the Jets on Feb. 18.
You know that the love is true when they're down to #BeTheThunder with you! Click here for tickets.
Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive.
It's 2016, a boring old dinner just won't do for the romantic holiday. Splitsville takes a childhood favorite and adds fine wine and delicious bar bites to the mix. The bowling alley features 12 lanes, 7 billiards tables and an outdoor boathouse bar.
You can reserve your Valentines Date package, which includes 75 minutes of bowling, shoe rental, two menu items, a bottle of wine and dessert for just $100. Email [email protected] or call (813) 514.2695 to make reservations.
Splitsville is fantastic any of day of the week and a true staple in the ever-growing Channelside District.
Splitsville, 615 Channelside Drive.
A foodie favorite since it opened its doors, Rooster & the Till will host a four-course prix fixe Valentine's Day menu on Sunday. The menu:
- First course: Mushroom bisque, puffed farro, truffle chive oil, foie Gras duxelle toast
- Second course: Risotto, bay scallop, squid ink, leeks, tomato confit, Parmesan reggiano
- Third course: New York strip steak, crisp potatoes, burnt cauliflower, Comté soubise
- Fourth course: Valrhona flexible ganache, chocolate cake, strawberries, strawberry white chocolate ice cream
The dinner costs $60 per person with an option for wine pairings for $25. Call 813.374.8940 to make your reservations.
Rooster & the Till, 6500 North Florida Avenue.
For over three decades, Bella's Italian Cafe has served the best Italian cuisine in South Tampa. The restaurant's late night happy hour, which features half-priced pizzas and 2-4-1 Wells, Calls and house wines, is flawless in our humble opinion. They run the special 11pm-close, Sunday through Thursday, and midnight-close, Friday and Saturday.
This weekend the restaurant will be open for Valentine's Day and will be serving a slew of delicacies you need to try. Specials include: Lobster mezzaluna, petite filets (served on buttered crostini), roasted red and golden beet caprese and red velvet cheesecake.
If you've enjoyed any of the recent shows at Amalie or Straz, or have your tickets for a future event, you can bring in the ticket stubs to Bella's for a FREE glass of vino or one FREE antipasto.
Bella's Cafe, 1413 South Howard Avenue.
What local romantic ideas do you recommend? Let us know your top Valentine's Day/Date Night spot in a comment!