Valentine’s Day is a holiday of great expectations. We anticipate an elegant, fun, romantic and seamless evening. Of course, this often ends in disappointment, especially when we wait until the last minute to plan and end up watching cheesy romantic comedies on TV. We’re here to help you avoid that scenario. Union Square, with its many luxury shops, fabulous restaurants, intriguing art galleries and charming streets and alleyways makes a lovely backdrop for a perfect (or at least picturesque) Valentine’s Day. We have many options depending on your date’s favorite activities – whether that be live theatre or music or an intimate dinner for two. Oh, and if you really want to seal the deal you might want to stop at one of our many jewelry shops to get your guy or gal something sparkly too.
A Night at the Theatre:
If your date is into performances with a romantic twist, we have some tantalizing options for you during Valentine’s week. The prestigious American Conservatory Theatre is presenting Higher – an unusual love story about two architects competing to design a memorial in Israel. From New York to Galilee, this thoughtful play explores memory, design and desire to create an exciting and provocative evening. Also, if you’re willing to make Valentine’s a two-day affair, the Wednesday afternoon showing includes a Q&A with the actors. If you prefer a smaller theatre with more experimental material, you might check out Becky Shaw at SF Playhouse. This piece begins with a blind date gone awry and leads to mayhem and dark comedy as we follow the lives of four 30 somethings. It’s perhaps not the best play for those looking for a lighthearted and lovey dovey romp, but if you enjoy sharp wit and stimulating dialogue, you’ll definitely have a good time. Those who want to create an uplifting and enchanting Valentine’s evening need look no further than to Marine’s Memorial Theatre on Mason St. Their Valentine’s Show – How we First Met involves an element of surprise, as comedian Jill Bourque interviews couples live on stage, while a team of extremely talented improvisational actors translates the couples’ stories into songs and sketches. It’s sure to warm your heart and give you a good laugh. Dinner is also available at the Letherneck Restaurant before the show.
A Little Night Music:
Those who enjoy a little mood music or to get out of their seats and dance the night away will not be disappointed either. Biscuits and Blues is always a great venue to enjoy a sultry jazz performance, and this Valentine’s they’re bringing back a favorite in the blues department – Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers. Lavay Smith is well known for her velvety voice that evokes the great jazz singers of the 40’s and 50’s, creating the perfect ambiance for a steamy Valentine’s. Another jazzy option is the Rrazz Room in the Hotel Nikko. There, you can catch the Freddy Cole Quartet this Valentine’s Day – yes, that’s the brother of the legendary Nat King Cole. It’s said that his voice is very reminiscent of his brother’s, but a bit raspier, giving it a night-club vibe. Sometimes, though, you just want to get up and dance with your date. If that’s the case, you can attend the Marine’s Memorial Hotel & Club’s Forever Tango Valentine’s Gala. This event has it all – a spicy tango performance with the Forever Tango Orchestra, a tango lesson with the dancers, cocktails, and post-performance dancing. If you’re not much of a ballroom dancer, you may prefer the likes of R&B performer Ryan Leslie at Ruby Skye. This might be best left to the singles, as it is a chance to fawn over a hot musician and dance your booty off all night long on Ruby Skye’s giant dance floor.
Dinner for Two:
Sometimes the classics are the best route, and an intimate dinner for two can be just the ticket if it’s done right. First Crush always makes for a nice date night with its candle lit corner tables and global wine-driven cuisine. This Valentine’s they’re offering a four-course prix fixe menu filled with indulgent foods like baby beet salad, wild mushroom ravioli and lobster risotto that includes a rose at your table and a Champagne toast. Hotel Nikko’s ANZU also has a special Valentine’s menu of their Asian-influenced California cuisine. Beginning with champagne and oysters, you can enjoy a pheasant crepe, chateaubriand or truffle miso polenta amongst other gourmet dishes. Our newcomer to the dining scene Bouche will serve an elegant three-course prix fixe dinner as well. Their French-inspired menu includes duck confit and herb crusted halibut. If you want to go all out, the Michelin starred Campton Place is a wonderful choice. Their full six-course prix fixe menu includes such delights as sea urchin, wagyu beef and an artisanal cheese course. They also have the advantage of being in the Taj hotel, where you could stay the whole night in their luxurious accommodations. In addition, you can find Valentine’s prix fixe menus at Cityhouse at the Parc 55 Hotel, Bourbon Steak, Farallon and many other Union Square restaurants.
Stick to one of these plans, and you’re sure to impress your date. If you want to make a night of it, several of our hotels are offering special Valentine’s packages with added bonuses like flowers, champagne, chocolates and all the works. You can spend Valentine’s night with the stylish Hotel Diva, the grand Westin St. Francis, the charming Hotel Rex or several others, so keep an eye out. It never hurts to go that extra mile to wow your loved ones.