By Amy Le and Michael Bottigliero
Back to back snow storms have wreaked havoc on the D.C. area, but don’t let the weather dampen your Valentine’s Day plans this weekend. You can still plan a romantic dinner at home with the help of some of the cities most elegant restaurants. Come this Valentine’s Day, GrubHub.com and Windy City Wine Guy Michael Bottigliero, a certified sommelier, will help you plan the perfect Valentine’s date on a dime—okay maybe not a dime, but under $100.
GrubHub.com has handpicked some menu items that are ideal for planning a romantic dinner at home. And no meal would be complete without the perfect wine pairing. Bottigliero offers his recommendations for affordable wines that are bold in flavor and nice accompaniments to our selected cuisines.
Planning a romantic dinner at home will eliminate the cost of paying for valet/parking, reduce the amount you pay for tip (people typically tip 10 to 15 percent for delivery vs. 20 percent at a sit-down restaurant), and cut down on the price for a nice bottle of wine. Restaurants typically charge $40 to $100 for their premium bottles of wine. And did we mention, you can dine in the comfort of your home without having to sit next to the annoying couple blowing kisses to each other.
1564 Wisconsin Ave.
NW Washington, DC
Serves: Georgetown, Burleith, Foxhall Village, Foxhall, Normanstone Terrace, West End, Foggy Bottom, Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, Logan Circle, Shaw, Columbia Heights, Lanier Heights, Kalorama Heights, Wesley Heights, Penn Quarter, Downtown, Woodley Park, Cleveland Park, McLean Gardens, Mt Pleasant, Park View, Truxton Circle, Van Ness, Tenleytown, Spring Valley
Menu: Mexican Starters: Platanos Fritos Appetizer Sweet fried plantains served with sour cream. Price: $3.95
Main Entrée: Salmon Veracruz Mesquite grilled fillet of salmon topped with shrimp and scallops, covered with Veracruz sauce. Served with white rice and black beans on the side. Price: $17.95
Masitas de Puerco al Horno Tender morsels of pork, slowly roasted in Spanish style sauce, topped with sauteed onions. Served with white rice, black beans and fried plantains. Price: $16.95
Dessert: Flan Price: $5.95
Wine Recommendation: Spanish Garnacha rocks this cuisine, like one from Bodegas Ateca “Attems” for under $15. Red fruits, minerality, ripe acid and cocoa make this a match for seafood, pork and both Spanish and Mexican sauces.
Total: $51.28 (with tax and delivery charge)
2305 18th St. NW
Serves: Adams Morgan, Lanier Heights, Mt Pleasant, Columbia Heights, Dupont Circle, Georgetown, Logan Circle, Downtown, Penn Quarter, Kalorama Heights, Crestwood, Cleveland Park, Wesley Heights, Burleith, West End, Judiciary Square, Shaw, Truxton Circle, Bloomingdale, Park View, Woodley Park, Cleveland Park, Cathedral Heights, Foxhall
Nepalese and Indian cuisine Starters: Himalayan Choe-La Boneless chicken breast marinated with mustard oil, Himalayan herbs and spices, grilled well in a charcoal oven. Price: $6.25
Main Entrée: Khasi ko Masu (Goat Curry) Tender goat pieces with bone sauteed in ginger and garlic, marinated in Himalayan spices, cooked in mild tomato and onion sauce. Served with Basmati rice or naan.
Himalayan Karahi Mixture of barbecue chicken and lamb cooked with tomatoes, capsicum and coriander leaves in medium spices with red wine tossed in an iron souk. Served with Basmati rice or naan.
Dessert: Rasmalai Sweet cottage cheese made with milk flavored with pistachio, saffron and rosewater topped with cherry.
Wine Recommendation: We’re gonna be bold with this Indian/Nepalese selection and go with a Syrah or Shiraz. If you like more pepper spice, grab Qupe Syrah for around $15. A Shiraz like Tait’s Ball Buster will have more sweet red fruit and vanilla, and is available under $20. Both are perfect with the exotic spice.
Total: $50.71 (with tax and delivery charge)
10257 Old Georgetown Rd.
Menu: Italian Starters: Steamed Mussels With white wine, garlic, hot pepper flakes, and diced tomato. Price: $10.00
Main Entrée: Veal Piccata Veal scaloppini sauteed w/ white wine, lemon and capers served with steamed veggies and pasta. Price: $18.50
Eggplant Parmesan Sliced eggplant cooked w/ garlic and shallots, layered w/ tomato sauce, parmesan cheese, then baked w/ mozzarella until golden brown. Price: $13.50
Dessert: Ricotta Pie Acclaimed throughout the U.S, the pie contains ricotta cheese, toasted almonds, chocolate chips and whipped cream and served in a graham cracker crust. Price: $6.50
Wine Recommendation: I love Italian food and this calls for vino Italiano! Grab a bottle of red from Tuscany, like Monte Antico, made mostly of Sangiovese. It is herbaceous, full of cherries, leather, licorice and ripe acidity- great with tomato sauce. Available under $10.
Total: $61.77 (including tax and delivery charge)
1300 King St.
Menu: Italian and Seafood
Fried Calamari Appetizer Fresh squid dipped in beaten eggs and flour, cooked in olive oil and served with marinara sauce. Price: $7.95
Main Entrée: Lobster,shrimp And Clams Price: $29.95
Zuppa De Pesce Fresh king crab legs,, mussels, clams, scallops, squid and shrimp served with marinara sauce. Price: $19.95
Dessert: Spumoni. Price: $4.75
Wine Recommendation: Seafood like this would be great with a sparkling wine. Domain Chandon Riche has fullness with a touch of sweet fruit, making it the perfect match. Available around $15.
Total: $81.08 (include tax and delivery charge)
Before you visit your local wine shop or gourmet market to splurge on some vintage wine, visit the WindyCityWineGuy.com for some suggestions on great buys for under $15!