Valentine’s Day Celebrations in Costa Rica Offer Something for Everyone

February 10, 2006

It’s hard to say who feels the pressure of Valentine’s Day more, singles or couples. Here are some Valentine’s Day events to appeal to both.

Mike Forbes, proprietor and chef of Big Mike’s private dining club in the western San José suburb of Escazú, is hosting a special Valentine’s dinner with a table for eight available for singles, and intimate tables for couples.

“We will be giving really attentive service, table-side serving,” he said.

Forbes described the menu for the evening: “Chateaubriand center-cut tenderloin, a classic French dish, served for two and cut at the table, with a selection of vegetables served with French sauces.” A seafood entrée option will be available, and dessert and coffee are included for the price of ¢8,500 ($17) for singles, or ¢18,000 ($36) per table of two. Reservations are required, and can be made by calling 289-6087.

An art show seems like a good place for singles to go on Valentine’s Day, have a cultural experience and meet others with the same interest. On Feb. 14, Nu Bistro in Escazú is having a Tropical Night art opening. On display will be paintings by María Nielsen Alvarado, whose work features the bright colors of tropical plants and flowers of Costa Rica.

Complimentary appetizers will be served from 6-8 p.m., and the dining room will be open for dinner. The menu includes salmon, chicken and shrimp dishes, several salad options, and crepes or cheesecake for dessert. Prices start at ¢3,000 ($6) for entrées, ¢1,950 ($3.90) for salads and ¢1,500 ($3) for desserts. For more information, call 228-2989.

The Capitol Grill in San Antonio de Escazú’s elegant White House Hotel is offering three menus for Valentine’s Day. Singles can just buck up and go for any of them, despite the love-inspired names, while couples can snuggle in and soak it up.

The “Valentine’s Menu” for $36.95 per person features spinach salad or clam chowder and “Passion Chicken” or Chilean salmon.

The “Love Menu” for $49.95 per person features calamari or Caesar salad and strip loin steak or Angus prime rib. Finally, the “Passion Menu” for $125.95 per couple offers Chilean mussels, onion soup or “Wedge” salad and filet mignon or “Surf and Turf.” All options include a glass of wine and a piece of Black Forest cake or crème brûlée for dessert. For reservations or information, call manager Brian Frazee at 288-6362.

In downtown San José, Sonny Smith is getting his new bar and grill ready for his first Valentine’s Day, having just opened Sonny’s Bar and Grill in December, in the space that used to be La Palma Restaurant. The restaurant’s romantic ambience is a popular choice on the day of lovers.

Smith says he will be giving a rose and a free drink to each lady, and will offer his regular menu of pasta, ribs, chicken, fish or pork. Entrée prices range from ¢3,200-6,000 ($6.40-12).

“Everything the chef puts out has something fancy on it,” Smith said of chef Edir Mendoza’s carving skills.“He carves birds out of mangoes, and roses out of tomatoes… it’s really nice.”

For information or reservations at Sonny’s, call the Hotel Castillo, next door to the restaurant, at 221-5141.

Couples can maximize their Valentine’s Day pleasure with a marathon date at the Hotel Aurora Holiday Inn in downtown San José. It might go something like this: buffet lunch at the Tropicana Restaurant; check-in and a rest; a fancy dinner at the El Mirador Restaurant, which offers a panoramic view of the city from the 17th floor of the hotel; an overnight stay; and complimentary continental breakfast.

Buffet lunch at the Tropicana, featuring salad bar, stroganoff, chicken Provençal and a dessert bar, costs ¢3,200 ($6.40). El Mirador’s offerings include cream of pumpkin soup, filet mignon, chicken Florentine and tiramisu, for ¢5,000 ($10) per person.

The hotel is offering a special Valentine’s Day room rate of ¢37,500 ($75), compared to its normal rate of ¢47,500 ($95), plus tax. For reservations, call 523-1000.

If what you need is a dose of the beach, the Hotel Poseidon in Jacó, a boutique-style hotel on the central Pacific coast, is offering a dinner geared to Valentiners, though single folks can grab a friend and get in on it, too.

“We’ve got a great special,” said chef Patricia Ferguson. “Two half salads, two choices of entrées, two glasses of wine and a dessert for two.”

The price depends on the entrée chosen, and starts at ¢21,000 ($42) for a couple. Ferguson says tuna with wasabi is the restaurant’s specialty dish, but it also offers chicken breast, mahi-mahi, jumbo prawns, lobster and rib eye. All ladies will receive a rose in honor of the occasion.

Room rates start at ¢49,000 ($98) and include continental breakfast. For reservations or information, call 643-1642.

 

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