By Leigh O’Connor.
Come Sunday, February 14 love is in the air and everywhere you look around. Partners will ask how deep is your love, or just call to say I love you, as Australians can’t help falling in love one more time.
When a man loves a woman, Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to spoil her with jewellery, flowers, or a romantic dinner at a favourite restaurant. Those crazy in love will truly, madly, deeply celebrate their feelings with champagne, hot air balloon rides, or just hanging out at home together on the couch.
The power of love can’t be denied and love will keep us together as we move forward into a new year of hopes, dreams and expectations. For those crazy in love and wanting to commemorate their own love story, check out these restaurants, where endless love and fine food abound:
Spoil your special someone with a three-course a la carte meal and panoramic vineyard views at Hunters Quarter on De Beyers Road in Pokolbin. Experience elegant, romantic dining in a relaxed atmosphere at this restaurant, nestled in Cockfighters Ghost Vineyard, where a private terrace and sophisticated interior design with steeply sloping ceilings await.
From a menu delivering pure flavours and textures in every dish, delve into starters like raw harvested seafood, salmon caviar, pomelo, samphire, finger lime and smoked soy ponzu; before mains of roast duck breast, spiced stone fruit, Amaranth, bitter melon and wild rice. For a sweet finish, opt for caramel chocolate pave, milk and honey ice cream, cherries and white chocolate.
Romantic dining alfresco at Hunters Quarter.
Romance the one you love surrounded by stunning views of Port Phillip Bay and Melbourne’s cityscape at Monzarella Italian Restaurant on Nelson Place in Williamstown. Chill out on the balcony overlooking the bay and sparkle of fairy lights, or dine indoors where white-clothed tables set the scene for memorable Valentine’s Day dining.
No romantic meal should start without oysters, whether natural or Kilpatrick, or perhaps mussels pan-fried with garlic white wine and lemon, served with mash and bread; for the main, try slow-cooked beef ribs, jacket potato and sour cream, finishing with a divine dolci special of mini love heart Nutella crepes.
Valentine’s feast Italian-style at Monzarella.
Feel the love along with enjoying plant-based and gluten-free tantalising treats at 1111 Sistas Café on Commercial Road in Prahran. With a motto of ‘Day Spa for the GUT’ head to this cheery café for a coffee and vegan Valentine’s Day love heart cookie, in surrounds of yellow accents from the bicycle parked out front, to a vibrant front door and coffee machine.
Sit alfresco and soak up Melbourne sun while pondering a menu ranging from nourish and macro bowls, to sustainable salads and raw treats like chewy almond bars and fudge brownies; all best washed down with a smoothie, or organic brewed tea.
Vegan Valentine’s Day cookies from 1111 Sistas Café.
Indulge your Valentine with an unforgettable feast at Garlic Clove Indian Restaurant, on Eggersdorf Road in Ormeau. Expect recipes handed down through generations at this locally-loved restaurant, where the vibe is warm and friendly, inviting lingering at white-clothed tables to delight in the spices and taste of rich curries and Indian delicacies, with a few modern twists.
Sip a drink from the fully stocked bar to go with entrees like tantalisingly tasty Masala prawns, each one charred slightly at the edges; followed by an all-time favourite curry like hot and spicy beef Vindaloo, with steamed rice and garlic naan. Want to spoil your other half at home? Opt for Garlic Clove’s ‘romance at home’ package with dinner for two, chocolate, flowers, bubbles and candles.
Romance Indian-style at Garlic Clove…dine-in or take home a dinner for two.
Roses, vines and divine wine await romantics at Heritage Estate Winery Restaurant on Granite Belt Drive in Stanthorpe. Established in 1990, this destination-worthy venue is the place to taste cool climate wines, alongside a five-course degustation menu – you can even stay the night for the ultimate Valentine’s Day experience.
Nestled on a 10-acre vineyard with a 1946 apple store converted into a cellar door, this restaurant offers elegant dining options from the signature degustation to Nips and Nosh, wine flights and estate drops. Delight your partner with dishes like seared sea scallops on Melba toast, harissa mayo and chorizo crumb, accompanied by a glass of French bubbles.
Roses, vines and divine wine at Heritage Estate Winery Restaurant.
Say arriba to Sangria and amor at Pablo’s Kitchen on Norton Street in Leichhardt. Settle into vibrant surrounds of neon lighting, shabby chic brick and recycled timber walls and Mexican accents, best suited to a cucina dishing up sophisticated South American fare - from chipotle chicken tacos to beef brisket empanadas.
Perhaps share a barbeque feast for two with pork, Angus beef, chicken, chorizo, house salad, chips, tortillas, beans, guacamole, salsa, rice and brownie for dessert; ideally paired with an icy cold cerveza, Tequila Sunrise or spicy Margarita…hola!
Enjoy a mexican feast at Pablo’s Kitchen.
Drawing inspiration from nature, Seville Estate Restaurant on Linwood Road in the Yarra Valley, delivers the ultimate Valentine’s Day experience from an ever-changing menu, heavily influenced by seasonal and regional produce. A light, bright ambience awaits as a glass frontage lets in an abundance of natural light, while high ceilings and statement pendents create a sleek, chic feel.
From produce delivered daily, accompanied by freshly baked bread, pickles, chutneys and ferment – grown onsite in the kitchen garden – temptations may include the likes of mushroom parfait, buckwheat and crouton to start; followed by housemade gnocchi, garden heirloom tomatoes, Sicilian olives and capers.
Inspired by nature…dine at Seville Estate Restaurant.
For more venues to romance your Valentine near you, click here.