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9 Over-the-Top Valentine's Day Dinners for Epicureans

BY Riki Altman-Yee and Dena Roché | January 4, 2017 | Feature Features

The city's booming culinary scene is hallmarked by inspiring new restaurant openings, impressive chefs, dishes to die for, experiences to savor and a spectrum of food and drink trends that take dining out into a whole new and exciting realm.
Eleven cuts of steak at Bourbon & Bones can be topped with anything from foie and shrimp to lobster sticks

Binkley’s Restaurant
At long last, chef Kevin Binkley has reopened the doors to his legendary Phoenix location after a significant renovation, but arguably the biggest news is he has also opened up his kitchen for diners to walk through. Binkley says he welcomes conversation while he and his team prepare 22 or more courses of edible innovations like Kushi oysters with uni and quince mignonette gelee and red wine-poached pullet egg on creamy grits with oxtail. The meal starts at $160 per person before wine pairings. Reservations are sold in advance, keeping the focus on the experience rather than the bill. 2320 E. Osborn Road, Phoenix, 602.388.4874

Sel is one of the latest darlings on the culinary scene. The intimate Old Town restaurant dripping in chandeliers and velvet drapes sets the stage for romance with a five-course prix-fixe contemporary American dinner featuring oysters, braised pork belly, lobster lasagna and more on carefully constructed and artistically presented plates. $100 per person, $175 per person with wine, 7044. E. Main St., Scottsdale, 480.949.6296

Prado Contemporary Restaurant
Couples will enjoy a gourmet prix-fixe-course culinary adventure that ends with a midnight kiss. The "kiss," in this case, is an artistic tabeltop dessert crafted tableside. The decadent dessert includes fruit coulis, crunch nougats, house marshmallow rope, chocolate hearts, macarons and hazelnut mousse arranged in unique designs covering the top of your table. $95 per person. 4949 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale, 480.627.3004

Bourbon & Bones
Granted, the Epic Cristal Dinner is available for up to 12 guests at one time, but surely with a price tag of $35,000, no one would balk if a guest wanted to invite a smaller party to partake. While it is true that a meal featuring a limited-edition Jeroboam of 2002 Vintage Cristal Champagne, a six-course meal with a dozen 36-ounce dry-aged wagyu tomahawk rib-eyes and limo transportation to and fro might not seem to justify the costly ticket, consider this: A portion of the proceeds will go to UMOM, the largest local shelter for homeless families in the Valley. 4200 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480.629.4922

One of the Valley's classic chefs, Christopher Gross, is dishing up a romantic four-course dinner. The tasting menu gives diners several options for each course, including indulgent dishes like foie gras, diver scallops and several filet opions. To really impress your sweetie, opt for wine pairings and optional Black River Caviar or lobster tail add-on. $115 per person, $150 per person with wine, 2502. E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602.522.2344

Boulder's Resort & Spa
Elevate your Valentine's Day on the Sixth Fairway at The Boulders Resort & Spa. Enjoy a private six-course feast with views of the ancient boulder and private hot air balloon that will glow throughout the night and be available for vertical rides. The wine-paired dinner features dishes like beet risotto, seared sea bass and chocolate gateaux. 34631 N. Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree, 480.488.9009

Lincoln infused fresh culinary mojo back into JW Marriott Camelback Inn when it opened last year. Chef Chris Neff is bucking the prix-fixe trend and offering a special Valentine's Day a la carte menu with specials like crispy oysters, wagyu New York strip, and a playful strawberries and Champagne dessert. 5402 E. Lincoln Drive, Phoenix, 480.948.1700

Chef’s Den
Those who have tasted chef Gabriele Bertaccini’s food at any number of top-notch events around the city are already believers, but there is nothing quite like watching him create culinary alchemy in his very own kitchen and dining at his table. He recently opened his home for parties of six to 20 who wish to engage in an intimate, sublime experience. “It’s quite exclusive,” he promises, and we agree—there is no better way to describe a night comprising five or six courses of his creations with constantly flowing fine wine and sips of limoncello between. From $280 per person, 480.295.0308

Orange Sky
No one's “got game” quite like Talking Stick Resort’s 15th-floor fine dining restaurant, Orange Sky, now serving items straight from the hunt, including a venison chili croquette appetizer ($16), grilled New Zealand elk loin with carrot-ancho sauce ($44) and buffalo strip loin ($50). Arguably the best way to enjoy the aforementioned, and a bottle of wine (of course) from the 400-label-strong list is from any one of seven exclusive, private booths perched high enough to allow for dazzling sunset views. $200 minimum spend per table and reservation required, 9800 Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, 480.850.7777

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