Romantic Restaurants for Valentine’s Week

By Lauren Bray

It’s Valentine’s Week and if you haven’t already purchased a card, chocolates, flowers, or made a dinner reservation for that special someone then I suggest you act fast!

Quick tip, the actual day of February 14 can be hard to get a reservation, so opt for another night this week to celebrate. Below are some restaurants to try for this romantic holiday, and before someone comments, no this is not an advertisement or paid promotion, simply a list of restaurants I like or would like to try. But local restaurants should email me to discuss advertising options on edhat! 

Rare Society

“If Valentine’s Day feels like a fake holiday with just roses and chocolate, let Rare Society be the antithesis of pink and red hearts, with a gorgeous meal to luxuriate over.” That’s the first line of Rare Society’s press release and I’ve gotta say, it speaks to me. I’ve yet to visit this restaurant but it’s on my list.

Chef Brad Wise pays homage to the retro steakhouses that once laid claim to the Las Vegas Strip, but infused it with a touch of modernity, adding a wood-fired log boiler for meats, an impressive cocktail program, and sustainably-sourced seafoods.

For this “fake holiday,” they’re promoting Oysters on the Half Shell, Shrimp Cocktail, cuts of dry-aged ribeyes, Australian wagyu, and classic filet mignon. You can also opt for the shared-style with Chef Wise’s meat boards, dubbed The Associate and The Executive, which offer the opportunity to sample multiple cuts of beef alongside a variety of house made sauces. Desserts are a must on Valentine’s Day and Chef Wise’s Butter Cake with Sour Cream Ice Cream.

If dinner is too much of a commitment, start your night at Rare Society with a cocktail in their horseshoe shaped bar, where you can sip on The Rare Old Fashioned made with dry-aged fat-washed bourbon, rosemary oleo, bitters.  

Schedule a reservation at

Little Dom’s Seafood

(courtesy photo)

If you have yet to try Carpinteria’s Little Dom’s Seafood then a special occassion is the perfect time. 

It’s the seaside sister restaurant to LA’s Italian food institution Little Dom’s located in the former home of Sly’s. This is one of my favorite places to stop when in Carp and you will not be disappointed with their offerings. 

This holiday they have a lineup of savory specials created by co-owner and executive chef Brandon Boudet. Their Valentine’s Day specials include a Wagyu Beef Carpaccio with crispy oysters, old bay aioli and pickled celery root ($40); and an Herbed Potato Gnocchi with Butter Poached Spiny Lobster & Smoked Tomato Sugo (M/P).

For dessert, pastry chef Ann Kirk is whipping up a decadent Chocolate Cream Pie with Cocoa Nib Brittle ($13). In addition, during the week leading up to the special day, Chef Kirk is offering her signature, naughty and nice heart-shaped sugar cookies (pictured above)!

Learn more or make a reservation at

The Black Sheep SB Brasserie

Formerly just “The Black Sheep” on Ortega Street is now the SB Brasserie on Haley Street with new decor, new menu, and new chef. Two edhat contributors recently dined here and are whipping up a full review on the restaurants (coming soon!) but their excitement over the menu and full experience has earned a spot on this list.

With a take on Modern French/European cuisine, Chef Jake Reimer, Chef Robert Perez, and General Manager Ruben Perez have created something that can only be reffered to as “outstanding” by our writers.

They’re offering a prix fixe Valentine’s Day menu for $85 a person that includes three courses with choices of tuna tataki crudo, 48-hour beef short ribs, bass bouillabaisse, and hand rolled cavatelli. Dessert offerings include chocolate decadence and rose water creme brulee. 

Learn more at and make a reservation at 805-965-1113.


Perhaps one of the most romantic restaurants in town, Toma has been providing classic Italian food at West Beach for decades. 

Longtime owners Tom & Vicki Dolan recently announced they were retiring after 20 years. New owners Sam Grant and Julian Sanders recently took over and have promised to respect the restaurant’s famous dishes such as the Tuna Cones and Rigatoni. They do have future plans include tableside cart service, sourcing from local purveyors, and installing booths in the dining room.

For any date night or special occassion, Toma is one of my favorites. Learn more at

Opal Restaurant and Bar

(courtesy photo)

Opal is my go-to restaurant for nearly everything: birthdays, anniversaries, work dinners, celebrations, and entertaining friends from out of town. The food and ambiance are consistently good, I’ve never experienced an “off night,” and the menu has something for everyone. 

This holiday Opal is offering several prix fixe menu options of varying prices that include pancetta wrapped and wild mushroom stuffed chicken breast, seafood paella, slow roasted short ribs on a chipotle honey adobo sauce, grilled lobster with lemon fettucine, and scallops with sundried cherry cous cous. 

For dessert there’s a “like water for chocolate surprise,” vanilla bean creme brulee, and cranberry cheesecake.

For more information and to make a reservation visit


Written by lauren

Lauren is the Publisher of She enjoys short walks on the beach, interesting facts about bees, and any kind of homemade cookie.

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