It's the most popular night of the year for dining out, and restaurants are banking on a big turnout for Valentine's Day. Reservations are filling up fast.

We've combed through events around town and put together this easy-to-navigate list of restaurants that offer good lighting, cozy seats and an opulent dining experience that is worth lingering. But there are some things to know: Prepaid reservations are commonplace. Do your homework if there are concerns about service fees; most restaurants charge something, but policies vary by eatery. Lastly, bring warm fuzzies and a little bit of patience. This is the restaurant industry's Super Bowl. The staff is racing to ensure that every couple has their best experience, but it's going to be a wild ride.

Here are nine restaurants that at press time had Valentine's Day tables available during prime dinner hours:


Where: 1668 Selby Av., St. Paul,

What's on the table: The a la carte menu is filled with their take on classic Filipino dishes, like the truffled-up chicken adobo. Pair with the bright and floral-garnished cocktails.

Romance: This intimate neighborhood eatery does get a bit bustling when full, but it's a lovely little space for those looking to try something new.

Cost: Entrees mostly in the $20-$30 range.

Reservations: There's a $25 deposit to hold the table on Valentine's Day. Reserve through Tock.

Parlour St. Paul

Where: 267 W. 7th St., St. Paul,

What's on the table: A three-course tasting menu prepared by chef Jon Hall with choice of salad, entrees of flat-iron steak, seared arctic char or a grain bowl, and dessert.

Romance: There are several rooms and spaces available for dining inside this historic building.

Cost: $55 person.

Reservations: Reserve through Tock.

St. Paul Brewing

Where: 688 E. Minnehaha Av., St. Paul,

What's on the table: Order a pizza, two beers of your choice and two red velvet cupcakes.

Cost: $35 per couple. Buy additional cupcakes to take home.

Romance: The historic brewery building is filled with vintage, lived-in style coziness perfect for canoodling and recalling the days when an excellent date didn't require much — just time together.

Reservations: Walk-ins only.


Where: The elegant Italian eatery at the base of the Ivy Hotel, 11115 2nd Av. S., Mpls.,

What's on the table: Chef Kevin Coughenour has prepared an eight-course tasting menu that includes roasted eggplant, grilled octopus, pappardelle with lamb ragu, apricot granita, pan-roasted branzino with braised kale and a braised short rib with truffle risotto. Finish the evening with Pecorino brillo with bruléed beets with honey and a hazelnut white chocolate crumb cake.

Romance: This could be a high-roller staycation at the Ivy. Book a spa treatment, appreciate the short commute that doesn't require bundling up or salt on the good shoes and settle into the breezy elegance of the dining room.

Cost: $140 per person with a 25% service charge. Beverages are extra.

Reservations: Reserve through Tock.

Bar Rufus

Where: The lobby bar inside downtown Minneapolis' Rand Tower Hotel is the building's lesser-known Daniel del Prado restaurant. 527 Marquette Av. S., Mpls.,

What's on the table: The Valentine's Day menu is a la carte, so choose your own adventure, from Blondette burger to the Lyonnaise salad with frisee, bacon vinaigrette, and soft boiled egg, and more snacky shareables.

Romance: The Art Deco style of the room is pretty and the people watching is lovely. It's easy to find a parking meter or roll up to the valet for easy access. This could make a nice midweek staycation.

Cost: Fine-dining prices.

Reservations: Reserve through Resy.

Lake & Irving

Where: In Uptown, 1513 W. Lake St., Mpls.,

What's on the table: Indulge in a four-course, globe-hopping tasting menu that begins with Thai lobster bisque before moving into a choice of second, third and dessert options, like a surf-and-turf with scallops and pork belly or a macadamia nut-crusted kona kampachi. Finish the night with molten lava cake.

Romance: The room's complementary lighting makes for an intimate dining experience. This is also a casual neighborhood spot by day, making it an ideal destination for a love that enjoys a night out dressed up in a favorite pair of jeans.

Cost: $65 per person.

Reservations: Reserve through Resy.

Hola Arepa

Where: 3501 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls.,

What's on the table: The regular menu is being served, including arepas, but there also are gorgeous rice bowls and almost everything served is gluten-free. There are several vegetarian options, too.

Romance: This is a tropical/casual romance spot, which eases the pressure a bit. Gorgeous tropical cocktails and this cozy/funky spot are perfect for a self-assured couple who still love spending every second together.

Cost: An affordable trip to beach paradise, with entrees under $20.

Reservations: Reserve through Resy.

Mason Jar

Where: 1565 Cliff Road, Eagan,

What's on the table: This all-day restaurant would work as well for a brunch date as it does for dinner. The Valentine's Day menu is coursed out with classic starters like artichoke dip and steak entree options. Just try to save room for dessert.

Romance: With the Mason jar light fixtures and family-friendly vibes, this is romance for those who know that the best moments in life are the ones you build together.

Cost: $85.

Reservations: Reserve through Resy.

Red Sauce Rebellion

Where: 205 Water St., Excelsior,

What's on the table: The usual menu is available for Valentine's Day, which means a mix of classic red-sauce dishes like arancini, linguine and clams or baked ziti.

Romance: Tiramisu is always sexy and Excelsior is simply charming.

Cost: A la carte; entrees $24-$29.

Reservations: Reserve through Resy.

If you're feeling lucky ...

There are a few places running Valentine's specials but which don't take reservations.

Market at Malcolm Yards will have Shakespeare readings, plus so many food options — from Abang Yoli Korean fried chicken and Wrecktangle pizza to Bebe Zito ice cream. And there's a full bar. 501 30th Av. SE., Mpls.,

Red Rabbit and Red Cow have fancy specials, walk-ins only and you can add your name to an online waiting list before you leave the house. Several Twin Cities locations

Graze Provisions + Libations food hall in Minneapolis' North Loop has Union Hmong Kitchen, Soul Bowl, the Fabled Rooster and more — plus a full bar and gorgeous downtown views from the patio. 520 N. 4th St., Mpls.,