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OUR GUIDE TO THE MOST ROMANTIC RESTAURANTS TO TAKE YOUR SWEETHEART ON VALENTINE'S DAY




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By Miriam Raftery

February 7, 2009 — Where are the sweetest spots to
savor a romantic Valentine's dinner for two in San Diego's eastern region?

East County Magazine's restaurant reviewers, staff and editors have teamed
up to offer these recommendations for places that offer not only fabulous food,
but a cozy ambience ideal for wining and dining your sweetheart this Valentine's
Day.

THE BARREL ROOM VINTAGE WINE BAR& BISTRO: Situated
in Rancho Bernardo, the Barrel Room has a selection of wines so impressive
that it received both the Wine Spectator 2008 Award of Excellence and the
Wine Spectator 2008 Award of Distinction. Prices are surprisingly moderate
for this upscale area. Dark warm woods, leather sofas and tables
with white linen cloths make the ambience both intimate and formal. Savor
a wine flight, gourmet appetizers and a selection of delectable entrees and
desserts. Try our favorite aphrodesiac –bacon-wrapped dates, for a sumptuously
savory experience. www.thebarrelroomsandiego.com

BLUE BOHEME: From stone walls to wax-drenched candelabras, the
Blue Boheme in Kensington exudes the warmth and charm of an authentic French
bistro. The restaurant is offering a special Valentine's Day menu at
$65 a person. The feast begins with a choice of marinated goat cheese
salad or lobster bisque, followed by a main course of salmon and shrimp in
flaky pastry shell, pork chop in Dijon mustard sauce, or filet mignon pastry
topped with foie gras and forest mushroom sauce. As a finishing
touch, savor a creme brulee tarte or a heart-shaped raspberry mousse on a chocolate
biscuit. Bon appetit! www.bleuboheme.com

GIO'S WINE BAR & RESTAURANT: La Mesa's sophisticated
new happening spot includes a cozy loft with barrel ceiling, elegant
wine bar, and an outdoor patio complete with waterfall and fireplace. Start
your feast with a selection of tapas and entrees ranging from Oysters Rockefeller
to lobster tails, but leave room for desserts such as lava cake and creme brulee. Live
music and candlelight completes the ambience for you and your loved one. www.giowineanddine.com

JULIAN GRILL: Steaks, seafood, prime rib and
of course, pie from Julian apples are among the offerings at this cozy mountain
retreat, nestled in a quaint cottage with French-paned windows in the historic
gold-mining town of Julian. Savor hot cider or wine as you snuggle up
beside a fireplace in the main dining room, or enjoy garden views in an enclosed
patio area. So old-fashioned that it doesn't even have a
restaurant, the Julian Grill is well worth a trip back in time to historic
Julian at 2224 Main Street; phone (760) 765-0173

RANCHO BERNARDO WINERY: For the Romantic at heart,
Rancho Bernardo Winery is hosting Vino Valentino, a special event with live
jazz music, fine wines, food and chocolate. Enjoy an evening with your special
someone amid the romantically charming walls of a century old winery in the
tasting room, then savor a selection of specialty sweet and savory appetizers
created by Cafe Merlot, as well as an abundant selection of fine cheeses and
meats, served with Italian charm. Please your palate with tastings of estate
wines and champagnes, Moscato rose and Chocolate Port--in rim-dipped chocolate
and caramel glasses. Add a red rose and a box of fine chocolate for each
of you to take home after you dance the night away. Call to reserve tickets,
as availability is limited for this special event. www.bernardowinery.com

THE VINE WINE BAR & BISTRO: Cozy and intimate,
Alpine's newest attraction is filled with rustic charm--from a river-rock
fireplace to a tree trunk supporting the roof above the bar, plus secluded
nooks for an intimate dining experience. The Vine Wine serves up generous
portions of vintages to sample on its wine flights, plus cheese platters, soups
and salads to please a variety of palettes as well as full-course meals including
seafood, poultry, steak and shepherd's pie. Prices range from very
modest to moderate, making this an ideal place for those seeking a romance
on a budget. www.visitthevine.net

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Julian Grill and Rancho

Julian Grill and Rancho Bernardo Winery looks very romantic, lucky those who have visited the place. Valentine's day can be made memorable with the way we celebrate it. Some of us may feel that what's in our hearts is more important and not the place but I think sometimes taking our loved one out and dining can make a huge difference. Las Vegas workers comp

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I think, THE BARREL ROOM

I think, THE BARREL ROOM VINTAGE WINE BAR& BISTRO is the most romantic restaurant. I wish I could have dinner with my girlfriend there.


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