The international day of love is just around the corner and you need a game plan to woo the pants off your significant other. While it’s terribly cliché, nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a candle-lit dinner at one of Auckland’s best restaurants for Valentine's Day. Pair this with a bottle of vino, a bouquet of roses and you’ll be away laughing…or should we say loving? Pro tip: Make sure you book ahead because an unplanned drive-thru dinner ain’t fun for anyone.
Gusto at the Grand
Italians are pretty on-point when it comes to romance, so it’s no surprise Gusto at the Grand are serving up the ultimate Valentine’s indulgence. With dishes made for sharing, gaze into each other’s eyes as you make your way through king prawns, gnocchi and crab risotto.
Forget diamond rings, baskets of puppies and sickly smelling perfume, we’ve found something much better to do this Valentine’s Day. With a breath-taking, six-course degustation menu on offer, featuring delights of a crayfish tail, crispy West Coast whitebait with soy butter, smoked duck and pork and pineablle with chocolate and hazelnuts to finish, Cibo may just steal the heart of your loved one, soz!
The French sure know their way around love. But there’s no need to fork out on tickets to the City of Love. Instead, take bae to La Fourchette in St Heliers. The French eatery is pulling out all the stops this V Day with a live French violinist and three different (but equally romantic) dining options. Each includes a divine four-course meal showcasing the likes of scorched salmon, duck confit and their signature hummus. Gaze into your lover’s eyes as you finish the evening with a special shared dessert for two. You’ll j’adore this spot!
So you haven’t locked down lover’s day plans yet? Stress less because the friendly folk at Botswana Butchery have got your back. Their menu has our tummies rumbling and our hearts fluttering. We’re talking oysters accompanied by Champagne and petit fours—perfect! Of course, for those after a heartier meal there are also Botswana’s famous banquet and a la carte menus available on the night, too!
If it’s early days in your relationship, keep things low-key at Federal Delicatessen a.k.a The Fed. You’re gonna want to be hungry when rocking up to the old-school New York deli because there are heaps of mouth-watering, finger-licking dishes on offer. We can’t go past the smoked brisket and a big ol’ serve of poutine. Save room for their famous dessert pies. Get in my belly, lemon meringue pie.
If there is ever a place to reenact that infamous spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp (nawwww), then Coco’s Cantina is it. With red-checkered table cloths, arms-round-each-other ambience, it serves up hearty and homemade portions of spaghetti and meatballs, making it the crème de la crème of romantic restaurants.
Ostro Brasserie and Bar
Lovers and others are can eat their hearts out at Ostro on global date night. With one of the most romantic decks in Auckland, order a glass of bubbles and allow the delectable food to fill your belly. You can't go past their oysters, followed by the duck two ways—with pickled mushroom, asparagus, PX sherry, macadamia and plum, it is mouthwatering delious. Save room for dessert! We recommend the petite fours, a selection of sweet treats.
We all know the way to a heart is through the stomach and you’re sure to woo your boo at Harbourside. The restaurant is offering a package deal for couples which will see you eating through a dozen oysters, followed by dessert and washed down with good ol’ G.H. Mumm. With this age old proven combo, the night is guaranteed to be a success!
If your bae is all about seafood you’ll win them over with dinner for two at Sails Restaurant. Overlooking Westhaven Marina, the restaurant serves the likes of yellow fin tuna, oven baked mussels and spiced calamari. Order a serve of oysters and see where the night takes you (wink).
The Garden Shed
For a suburban Valentine’s to remember, look no further than the delightful The Garden Shed. Covered in sprawling ivy and adorned with overflowing flower baskets, this venue puts the beauty in beautiful. Order one of their signature burgers (the ultimate date night feast, amiright?!) paired with a glass (or two) of bubbles. For dessert, the eatery has you sorted with heart-shaped treats.
Image Credit: Kellie Blizard, Gusto At The Grand, Sails Restaurant