Las Vegas has endless romantic opportunities, and they extend to the city’s restaurants. So if you’re thinking of treating that special someone on Valentine’s Day, here are a few suggestions. One caveat: While we think they’re romantic, a lot of other people do, too, so Valentine’s Day can be a tough ticket if you haven’t planned ahead. Consider a little flexibility in your schedule — who says you have to celebrate right on the 14th? — or take comfort in the fact that there’s always next year.
Eiffel Tower Restaurant
There aren’t many places more romantic than Paris, and the Eiffel Tower only amplifies that mood, which gives the Las Vegas version a head start. But the real swoon factor stems from the walls of windows that provide expansive, just-high-enough views of the Strip and its glittering lights — even more so if you reserve a table overlooking the Fountains of Bellagio. French-born chef and proprietor Jean Joho, whose home base is Everest in Chicago, is the executive chef here, and the restaurant’s specialties reflect the best of his homeland — with a modern American twist. Expect such dishes as a cold foie gras torchon with duck prosciutto and fig compote, venison medallions with pumpkin gnocchi and huckleberry jus, or any of a quartet of caviar choices.
Paris Las Vegas, 702-948-6937, eiffeltowerrestaurant.com
Bavette’s Steakhouse & Bar
There are a million and a half steakhouses in Las Vegas — well, it seems like it, anyway — but what sets Bavette’s apart is the dark and mysterious vibe, starting in a lobby that looks like Grandma’s sitting room, if Grandma were a wealthy Victorian. Dark wood, subdued lighting (with individual table lamps so you can see your amour) and stained-glass accents lend an air of elegance. The menu has the expected steaks, but also five versions of seafood plateaux, starters such as peppered duck and goat cheese terrine, and entrees that include spiced fried chicken and vegetarian selections.
Park MGM, 702-730-6700, bavettessteakhouse.com
It’s easy to romanticize old Vegas because it was kind of a romantic time, and no place pays homage to that era better than Hugo’s Cellar downtown. The venerable restaurant, a half-flight down at the Four Queens, has lots of exposed brick, dark wood, crisp linens and soft candlelight. Most of the luxurious feel stems from the personalized service, which extends to design-your-own salads from a rolling cart and other tableside or tabletop preparations: a hot-rocks appetizer (beef tenderloin, marinated swordfish, chicken and shrimp cooked on a granite slab set before guests), table-brewed coffee and waiter-prepared Cherries Jubilee and Bananas Foster — all for two, of course. And every woman gets a red rose.
Four Queens, 702-385-4011, fourqueens.com
Have we mentioned that a lot of romantic restaurants have stellar views? Count Rivea in, and the fact that it has renowned French chef Alain Ducasse at the helm does much for the dreamy factor. The four-course prix fixe Valentine’s Day menu starts with marinated sea scallops with Meyer lemon and Cristal caviar before moving on to house-made linguine with black truffles, roasted Maine lobster with purple artichokes or Mishima reserve Wagyu tenderloin. A heart-shaped dessert seals the deal. The atmosphere is designed to evoke the Riviera, but the rooftop bird’s-eye view is all Las Vegas. Delano, 877-632-5400, delanolasvegas.com
The view’s the thing here, too, but in the case of the newly opened Vetri Cucina, it’s from the rooftop of the Palms,
56 floors up. Las Vegas lies before you like a bowl of glittering jewels and the decor is restrained enough that it doesn’t compete. Veteran chef and founder Marc Vetri, who gained fame for the Philadelphia original, has said he wants this to be a destination restaurant, so feel free to linger while staring into the eyes of your beloved. The menu is Italian without the stereotypes, with dishes such as a sweet onion crepe with truffle fonduta, almond tortellini with truffle butter or salt-baked Pacifico striped bass for two.
Palms, 702-944-5900, palms.com