The date night of all date nights, the pressure always mounts on Valentine's Day. And, as we all hopefully know by now, the Woolies bouquet and jumbo box of Favourites just doesn't cut the romantic mustard anymore (not that it ever did!).
Stumped for ideas on how to woo your Valentine? We all know the way to a heart is through the stomach, and nothing says 'I love you' more than a candlelit dinner for two at one of Melbourne's most romantic restaurants.
So, dear readers, we're here to help you impress the pants off your date this Valentine's Day, with our list of the most romantic wining and dining spots around Melbourne.
Follow our lead and you can bet your honey's heart this Valentine's Day will be the best yet!
With 360 degree panoramic views of Melbourne CBD, love will certainly be soaring sky high this Valentine's Day (89 levels, to be exact). And, believe us, the food is equally as spectacular as the view. Michael Hartnell's menu begins with canapés and cocktails on arrival, followed by four decadent courses, each dish carefully matched with wine– think a delicate shellfish bisque with spanner crab enjoyed with a glass of Veuve Clicquot. YUM!
Oh, and the dessert definitely deserves a mention: a pillowy pudding of strawberries and cream with crème fraiche ice cream, carefully matched with a glass of Vietti 'Cascinetta' Moscato d'Asti from Italy – it is sure to impress even the most saccharine of palettes.
Eureka 89 | Level 89 Eureka Tower, 7 Riverside Quay in Southbank
Canapes + 4 courses | $240 per person (incl. wine)
7:00pm – 10:30pm
To book, please call 03 9693 8889
Head Chef, Matthew Butcher, has created a delectable five-course menu starring kingfish sashimi, Gippsland duck and decadent chocolate truffles, all with sumptuous wines to match! We frankly can't wait to sink our teeth into the duck: cooked to juicy perfection and paired with pistachio, cherries and a Farr Rising Pinot Noir, it's sure to be an absolute knockout!
Morris Jones | 163 Chapel Street in Windsor
6 courses | $100 per person | $140 with matched wines
To book, please call 03 9533 2055
The latest gem in Neil Perry's bejewelled Crown, Rosetta is a lavish Italian ristorante that absolutely oozes opulence…and hey, isn't that what Valentine's Day is all about? Treat your sweetie to their La Dolce Vita package, which includes a delicious two-course lunch complete with prosecco, coffee and cannoli and a glorious hour-long La Prairie facial at Crown Towers' Crown Spa. Ohhh, hello heaven! The La Dolce Vita package is available from the 11th of February and runs right up 'til the 26th, so you can enjoy the genius pasta/facial combo before, during and after Valentine's Day!
Rosetta Ristorante | 8 Whiteman Street in Southbank
11th – 16th February
$225 per person (incl. valet parking Tuesday – Thursday)
To book, please call 03 9292 6182
The Urban List has professed our love for Hammer & Tong before (read our verdict here) - heck, we've even snagged Head Chef and part owner Simon Ward's recipe for his Christmas Tuna (delicious any time of the year). Yep, we've said it once and we're going to say it again: Hammer & Tong can do no wrong. This extends to Valentine's Day, where you can expect three courses of unadulterated deliciousness – think kingfish ceviche with yuzu sorbet and tender chargrilled octopus with braised fennel, kimchi, apple and coriander. Holy moly, and that's just the first course! It only gets better from there, folks!
Hammer & Tong 412 | Rear 412 Brunswick Street in Fitzroy
3 courses | $70 per person
To book, please call 03 9041 6033
A tried and true favourite, Cecconi's is one of the top spots for a romantic Valentine's dinner.
Whether it's belted out at an opera or whispered in an ear, 'I love you' is best voiced in Italian. And Cecconi's, a bustling Italian basement on Flinders Lane, is one of the very best places to profess your love this Valentine's Day. Forgoing the set menu trend, Cecconi's are giving you six options to pick from each of the three courses. Decisions, delicious decisions! We're going for the caramelised scallops with cauliflower cous cous, smoked bacon and sherry vinaigrette, followed by the house-made potato gnocchi with duck sausage, porcini mushroom and parmesan. Oh, and who could go past their decadent tiramisu? Heaven drenched in Kahlua and mascarpone.
Cecconi's Flinders Lane Restaurant & Cellar Bar | 61 Flinders Lane in Melbourne
3 courses | $120 per person
To book, please call 03 8663 0500
Brooks has already knocked our socks off with their five course degustation (and TWO of their desserts made it to our Top 13 best sweet treats list!), and this Valentine's Day they're upping the anté with a specially designed six-course degustation menu. Possibly the most suave restaurant in Melbourne, their mix of old world hospitality and inspiring contemporary dishes makes this the perfect spot to dote on your loved one this V-Day. Reservations are limited, so be sure to get book in quick to avoid the no-Brooks blues.
Brooks of Melbourne | 115 – 117 Collins Street in Melbourne
6 course degustation | $120 (excl. beverages)
To book, please call 9001 8755
Single? Don't spend Valentine's Day recreating the famous Lady and The Tramp spaghetti snog with your spoodle. Half Moon is hosting a No Strings Attached party, where you can nibble canapés, guzzle sparkling and maybe even recreate the scene with another (human) singleton. Bring a foxy friend of the opposite gender and get in for $10 instead of $20! Bargain!
Half Moon | 120 Church Street in Brighton
$20 per person | $10 for those with a friend (incl. canapés and drink on arrival)
For more info, call 03 9591 0611
Brunswick favourite Pope Joan is also getting in on the Valentine's Day action with chef Matt Wilkinson preparing a three-course feast! In addition to dishes such as salt and sugar cured wallaby, steam baked blue cod, and roast pork belly with summer slaw, there will be canapés plus a mid-course cleanser, all for $150…that's for the pair!
Pope Joan | 75 – 79 Nicholson Street in Brunswick
3 courses | $150 per pair (excl. beverages)
To book, please call 03 9388 8858
The three-course Valentine's feast at Pope Joan is not to be missed! Image Credit: Rochelle Seator
Located conveniently within The Prince building, Circa is famous for exquisite dining options. Their Valentine's Day menu is no different, with the seductive spread featuring heritage tomato served with caviar and crayfish emulsion, juicy Sher Wagyu rump, and in case you weren't full enough, there'll also be a choc mousse with meringue, strawberry and cookies. Droolworthy!
Circa | 2 Acland Street in St Kilda
3 courses | $150 per person (inc. cocktail on arrival)
To book, please call 03 9536 1122
Once again, the Vue de Monde group of restaurants have come up with the dining goods for Valentine's Day! Our pick of the bunch would have to be Café Vue at Heide – the head chef has designed the perfect three-course menu (plus matched wines!), focusing on the seasonal produce sourced from the Café Vue gardens. Once you've polished off your crab, cucumber and melon entrée, and either your Wagyu steak or Mark Eather fish of the day, you can dig into the sweets from the dessert bar. This is pretty much Valentine's dinner perfection!
Café Vue at Heide | 7 Templestowe Road in Bulleen
3 courses | $98 per person (inc. matched wines)
To book, please call 03 9852 2346
The lovely folk at Sartago, one of Richmond's hidden gems, are putting on a fab, budget-friendly spread for lovebirds. With three-courses and a glass of bubbly on arrival, you're sure to fall in love all over again when you sample Riccardo's mouthwatering Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Whatever you do, leave room for dessert! We're salivating in anticipation of the saffron poached Corella pear, honeycomb and Sicillian ricotta cannolo.
Sartago | 460 Church Street in Richmond
3 courses | $60 per person (inc. bubbly on arrival)
To book, please call 03 9427 9063
It's no secret we love Mexican food at The Urban List, so our roundup of the best Valentine's Day dining options wouldn't be complete without Mesa Verde! In Mexico, people consider Valentine's Day to be more about friendship and often celebrate the day with their friends and other loved ones – CBD venue Mesa Verde have emulated that for their relaxed Valentine's dinner, which features three shared courses, all matched with a cheeky Mexican tipple.
Mesa Verde | Level 6, 252 Swanston Street in Melbourne
3 courses | $100 per person (inc. matched drinks)
To book, please call 03 9654 4417
A BIT OF A DRIVE
While we've already told you allll about what's happening this Grape Grazing Festival, here are a few Valentine's Day highlights: al fresco screening of Breakfast at Tiffany's at Rochford Vineyard, sunset hot air balloon flight, a romantic five-course degustation at Bella Vedere… Well, folks, if you can believe it, there's even MORE romantic events happening in the Yarra Valley on Valentine's Day. Prepare to swoon.
Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa Yarra Valley is offering up a very special deal for lovebirds looking for a romantic getaway. Book the luxurious Spa Suite and you'll be treated to a dozen red roses on arrival and a three-course candle lit dinner for two in Rae's Restaurant. Once you get back from dinner you'll find candles lit and your bed covered in rose petals. Hello romance! Refuel your romantic charges the next day with a gourmet buffet breakfast and a complimentary spa pack. Talk about ultimate romantic brownie points.
Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa Yarra Valley | 1309 Melba Highway in Yarra Valley
From $499.00 per night
For more information and to book, click here
Now that's what we call a picnic basket! Image Credit: Chandon
Picnics = sweet and romantic; your soggy sangas don't. Thankfully, our kind friends at Chandon have taken the hassle out of packing the perfect picnic with the launch of their new gourmet picnic hampers. The cute wicker basket comes filled to the brim with a selection of seasonal produce and oh-so-tasty treats, with gastronomic delights such as Serano Jamon, kalamata olives, paté and salted caramels (yum!) putting all other home-packed picnics to shame. Pre-order the hampers before your visit, ask them to throw in a bottle of sparkling and spend your day lolling around the winery's lush lawns with your better half. Bliss.
Domaine Chandon | 727 Maroondah Highway in Coldstream
25th January – 30th April | $150 for two people (excl. wine)
To order, call 03 9738 9245
To celebrate the beautiful Yarra Valley harvest, Chandon's own Greenpoint Brasserie is launching a brand spanking new summer menu, perfect for sampling this Valentine's Day! Our hot picks? Their scrumptious potato and leek tart with Yarra Valley Persian feta, a slow-cooked duck leg with a pinot gel and, to finish, the delicious strawberry pannacotta with spiced white chocolate ganache and pink macaroons. Chandon, you know the way to my heart!
Domaine Chandon | 727 Maroondah Highway in Coldstream
To book, please call 03 9738 9245
Main Image Credit: The Frosted Petticoat/Micko Photo