It’s that time of year when love is in the air with hearts and flowers and romantic Valentine’s Day specials appearing on the menus of Marco Island’s fine restaurants. To smooth a path in the name of love, the Marco Eagle has gathered, not rose buds, but a bouquet of menus to assist our readers in the search for the perfect Valentine’s Day restaurant.
The Marco Island Princess is offering a Valentine’s Day Brunch Cruise, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., featuring several gourmet breakfast faves, carved roast turkey, pasta, salad and cash bar, for $39. There’s also a Dinner Cruise, 5 to 7 p.m., with canapés, beef and chicken entrees, side dishes, salad and dessert, at $54 per person.
Call for reservations: 642-5415. Sunshine Tours/Marco Island Princess, 951 Bald Eagle Drive. Website: themarcoislandprincess.com. Prices do not include gratuity, tax, port and other charges.
n Arturo’s Ristorante Italiano is presenting a three-course prix fixe Valentine’s Day Menu for Lovers, including choice of lobster bisque or Italian wedding soup, bountiful salad, choice of four entrees including Arturo’s stuffed pork chop, at $50 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Full dessert menu available, and full bar open all evening.
Reservations requested, phone: 642-0550. Arturo’s Ristorante Italiano, 844 Bald Eagle Drive. Website: arturosmarcoisland.com
The Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club and Spa’s elegant Kurrents and Rookery Grill Restaurants are both presenting the same special three course, prix fixe Sweetheart Dinner including bouquet of baby greens with Asian pear, roasted walnuts, Gorgonzola and honey soy vinaigrette; an entrée of Filet Mignon and grilled lobster tail with gold mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies; and a decadent Cupid’s Trio Dessert. $50 per person plus tax and gratuity, and a la carte menus will also be available.
Kurrents serving 6 to 10 p.m. Reservations recommended, call 642-2696.
Rookery Grill serving 5 to 8:30 p.m., reservations required, call 642-2793.
Tropiks Valentine Buffet, served 5 to 9 p.m., features raw bar shrimp and oysters; carved beef Wellington; a pasta station; several entrees, from seafood boil of shellfish in white wine garlic broth; free range chicken, and pork tenderloin, to macadamia crusted swordfish and appropriate sides. Sweets for the sweet include a chocolate fountain, and Chef Todd’s cherries jubilee made to order and assorted dessert table.
Prices: Adults $29.97; children (under 12) $14.95. Reservations not accepted, a la carte menu will not be available, and 6 percent sales tax and 20% gratuity will be added to buffet prices. The Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club and Spa, 400 S. Collier Blvd. Phone: 394-2511.
The Island Café is serving a special Valentine’s day four-course prix fixe dinner including choice of four varied appetizers; Choice of soup, lobster and crab bisque, or salad of mixed field greens tossed with pomegranate orange dressing; Choice of five entrees, from Chateaubriand or Florida lobster tail to potato crusted snapper or rack of lamb. Expresso chocolate semifreddo with raspberries for dessert. $42 per person, tax, beverages and gratuity not included. The regular menu and early bird menu will not be available. Valentines Day reservations are being accepted from 4:30 until 8:30 p.m., call 394-7478. The Island Café, 918 N. Collier Blvd.
Bistro Soleil’s chef Denis Meurgue has created a romantic four-course prix fixe, $39.95 per person, Valentine’s Day menu that offers the option of a bottle of Mum Cordon Rouge French Champagne, at $69.95 per person. Happy Valentine’s Day menu includes choice of appetizers such as escargot, and fromage de chevre; Bistro Soleil salad; choice of five superb entrees such as duck a l’ orange and salmon en croute, to filet mignon and Bistro Soleil’s signature roast grouper to name a few. Save room for Valentine Chocolate Decadence — a dark and white mousse cake atop orange genoise lavished with berries in Grand Marnier. Prices do not include tax and gratuity. Dinner will be served and reservations will be accepted from 5:30 p.m. Phone: 389-0981. Bistro Soleil, 100 Palm Street, Marco Island, FL
n Sale e Pepe executive chef Alberto Varetto has created a superb Valentine’s Day Tasting Menu designed to melt any heart: Four courses, prix fixe $55 per person, with an optional wine pairing by Sommelier Sebastian J. Ruggieri, $85 per person, not including tax or gratuity. The Valentine menu is presented in both Italian and English: First course: Duck prosciutto served with roasted pear salad and Modena balsamic reduction; optional wine paring: Astoria Prosecco Cuvee Lounge. Second course: Homemade beet tortelloni pasta with shellfish sauce; optional wine paring: Peter Brum Riesling. Entrée: Roasted beef filet served with spinach and black truffle polenta topped with black truffle sauce; optional wine paring: Caruso & Minini Nero d’Avola Terre di Giumara. Dessert course: Macarons framboise with rose cream and raspberry lychee sorbet; optional wine pairing: H. Lun Gewurztraminer Albertus Sudtirol Alto Adige. Dinner served, 5 to 10 p.m., reservations strongly recommended, call 393-1600. Sale e Pepe Restaurant, Marco Beach Ocean Resort, 480 South Collier Blvd. Website: marcoresort.com
Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa Executive Chef Syed Asif Rasheed has created a splendid Valentine’s Day, three course prix fixe menu for the resort’s gourmet Sandcastles Dining Room served from 5 to 9 p.m.. Beginnings: Maine lobster bisque or Sandcastles signature greens and heirloom tomato salad. Mains including choice of three courses: jumbo prawns, or prime beef short ribs or Chilean sea bass; Dessert choices include chocolate dipped strawberries with rose petals or tropical island fruit tart.
Reservations recommended, call 394-5000. Sandcastles Dining Room, Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort, 560 South Collier Blvd.
The Marco Island Marriott Resort, Golf Club and Spa has created a dreamy Valentine’s Day Weekend Package for Collier County residents who can enjoy a special rate of $249 for a deluxe guest room, including a candlelight dinner on the beach, only for Feb. 12 with additional nights (based on availability) at $149 per night, stated Jada Smigley, director of reservations.
The resort’s romantic Valentine’s Day Weekend dinner by candlelight, served to Valentine couples seated gulf front on the moonlit beach, includes filet and lobster tail grilled to order by a chef on the beach. Chef Todd Champagne will prepare a specialty dessert for the finale. Dinner: 6 p.m. with appetizer and cash bar; 6:30 p.m. buffet filet and lobster tail dinner service; 7:30 p.m. chef’s selection desert presentation.
Guests should ensure that the promotional code FR6 appears in the Corporate/Promotional code box when making their online reservation at marcoislandmarriott.com or call 800-get-here, explained Smigley. “Please join us on Saturday evening Feb. 12 for an unforgettable experience.”
Café de Marco, voted “Best Seafood on Marco Island” is offering several Sweetheart Seafood Specials created by Chef Jean only for Valentine’s Day in addition to the regular restaurant menu, said owner Sandi Franchino.
Dinner will be served from 5 p.m. to closing and reservations are requested. Phone: 394-6262. Café de Marco, 244 Royal Palm Dr., Shops of Old Marco.
CJ’s on the Bay welcomes one and all to come and enjoy its Valentine’s Weekend Celebration special menu and live entertainment event from Friday through Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. Chef Laura Owen has created a special, romantic a la carte menu that includes roasted red pepper bisque with shrimp pesto, five entrée selections such as lamb Wellington and tournedos of veal with stone crab and béarnaise to name but a few, topped with The Sweetheart Special Dessert served for two. The restaurant’s regular menu will also be available.
As an added note, CJ’s is presenting Valentine’s weekend live entertainment: Friday, Jenny Woodman, 8 to 11:30 p.m.; Saturday, Jim Long, 8 to 11:30 p.m.; and Monday, Richie D7, 7 to 11:30 p.m.. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Phone: 89-4511. CJ’s on the Bay, 740 N. Collier Blvd. No. 105, at the Esplanade.
Marek’s Collier House Restaurant, will be presenting a special menu created by award-winning chef Peter Marek for Valentine’s Day, as well as its regular a la carte menu. A special 4 Course Valentine’s menu will be available from 4.30 p.m. — details available by telephone.
Reservations accepted. Phone: 642-9948. Marek’s Collier House Restaurant, 1121 Bald Eagle Drive..