Valentines Day!

What's a vegan and her omni boyfriend to do for dinner in DC? Obviously there has to be fabulous food, romantic atmosphere, and with any luck, money leftover for booze. Here's what I've been considering.

#1. Dream-date: Reservations for two at Restaurant Eve

I've been wanting to go to this fabulous restaurant for a while. Its definitely a special occasion spot for our budget, but the couple-run Old Town destination has been getting raves on their creative cuisine and excellent drinks. And the best part? Right there, on the website:
"While our menu does not reflect many vegetarian / vegan options, we happily accommodate and serve vegetarians / vegans regularly. All one needs to do is let us know ahead of time."
Sounds perfect! Meat for my bf, vegan delicacies for me, and the famous sommelier for both of us.

The downside? The whole V-day weekend is booked, and even if it weren't, I might feel guilty about blowing the entire budget on a Hallmark-manufactured holiday. *Sigh!* Maybe next year.

#2. Beat the Crowds: A non-Price-Fixed Smorgasbord at an Ethnic Restaurant

Usually the places that everyone herds to on V-day are French or Italian hotspots with outrageously overpriced fixed menus. Now, there is something to be said for a thematic dinner and a restaurant full of other couples, but French and Italian places tend not to be kind to vegans, expecially with a special menu just for v-day (each special containing meat, of course). Why not go to an awesome Indian or Chinese restaurant and have a ball without breaking the bank? We could spend more money than we usually do and still be way below the Valentines day standard of a $65-$85 special menu, not including drinks.

The downside? It sounded like a good idea... There are quite a few Indian and Chinese restaurants listed on Washingtonion, but oddly enough, plenty of the nice ones also have $75 priced V-day menus. The not-as-fancy ones tend to be in strip-malls in Vienna... but I'll keep looking.

#3. D.I.Y.: Fix an elaborate, romantic vegan meal at home

This is the cheapest option. Even if we set the grocery budget at $100 (which I highly doubt we could spend) we'd still be saving big bucks as expensive as the night usually is. I mean, we could even get truffle oil and organic strawberries and fancy wine, and I bet we still wouldn't break $70 for the whole shebag. Here's a couple ideas for dishes:

-Mini pizzas (shaped like hearts!) with roasted garlic, plum tomatoes and roasted red peppers
- Carmelized shallot salad from V'Con
-Portabello mushrooms w/ port wine reduction over mashed potatoes with garlicky broccoli rabe
-Fancy shmancy NSA wine & champagne
-chocolate dipped strawberries (or maybe cupcakes from Sticky Fingers!)

I think this would be both a do-able and romantic dinner- all though I'm betting my bf would want to sub a petite filet for the mushrooms. :P

The downside? Atmosphere! Pushing aside the issue of roomate and doggy presence, dining in a room adjacent to the kitchen means having to watch the dirty dishes piled up in the sink. Not to mention that cooking all day doesn't leave me much time to get dolled up or find a red tablecloth of any other of the valentine's day nonsense. And call me old fashioned, but part of me likes to be wined and dined on special occasions. *Sigh*

So far, option three looks best, but I'm still searching out cheap-ish Indian restaurants. Restaurant Eve and its ilk will have to wait till next year (or when I'm makin big bucks as a public interest atty- ha!)


Jennifer said...

Looks like you have lots of good choices. What do you have to book reservations a year in advance at the Restaurant Eve? Must be pretty nice. I understand your wanting to go, but also not wanting to empty your wallet and buy in to the whole 'corporate holiday' thing too. It's a tough decision to make, I must admit.

I like you elegant meal at home idea! It would be even better if you guys cooked the meal together! Not to mention that you could spend extra dough on a nice bottle of bubbly or wine.

But then I read on, you have a roommate! Oh no! Well, I'm sure you'll be able to come up with something. I'm not very familiar with DC, I actually went there when I graduated from college, but ate mostly in the Market Square area 'cause well, I guess we were cheesy tourists.

Hopefully something will come along that works perfectly for you and the omni. To be honest with you, I had completely forgotten about V-Day.

Good luck making big bucks as a public interest attorney :-), at least you'll still have your ethics and morals, eh?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog! It sounds like you have quite the dilemma there. I have yet to be in your situation. But personally I would opt for the restaurant-free version. I am also fearful of restaurants and their lack of vegan-sensitivity (unless of course it's a vegan-specific restaurant.

Good luck with your decision. And don't forget it's all about you and your sweetie. =)

the vegan blog tracker said...

Those are some good options - I really enjoy going out to eat, but dining in could have some nice advantages, too!

T said...

I think I am going to go for the dine-at-home option- with my bf helping with the cooking!

These restaurant prices are just too outrageous- and there is always the lurking suspicion of non-vegan activity.

Thanks for the comments guys!

Vegyogini said...

Since you're a law student (my sincere sympathies, as I'm a law school grad), maybe it's possible for you to go to one of those nice places for lunch on Valentine's Day instead of dinner? That's usually a less expensive option. Or, if it's not too cold, you could pack a romantic picnic and take it to a beautiful part of the city to enjoy the holiday.

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

I'm with you. We've been considering options and rejecting them or frowning about something about them one by one. And now it's Feb. 7th and we don't have any plans yet!

jd said...

Nice post! You're a lot better prepared for V-Day than I am. I have zero options on the table so far. LOL!

I honestly tend to ignore Valentine's Day, sort of anyway... After 10 years with the same bf, it kinda loses it's luster!

Oh well, at least you reminded me that I should have a nice dinner and booze it up a little bit :) There's nothing like Option 3 - cooking together is truly romantic!