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How to Spend Valentine’s Day in New Orleans

Royal Street
Take a stroll with your sweetheart down Royal Street on Valentine's Day. (Photo: Zack Smith)

Valentine’s Day in New Orleans is nothing short of special. Whether you celebrate or not, it’s a fun excuse to get out and have some fun with loved ones. After all, Valentine’s Day does fall in the middle of Mardi Gras season. With lots of events, plenty of restaurant specials (be sure to make a reservation in advance), and even a few parades, this special occasion is just another reason to celebrate.

Things to Do on Friday, Feb. 14

Krewe of Cleopatra rolls on Friday, February 14, 2020 at 6:30p.m.  (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Parades – With Mardi Gras in full swing, Valentine’s Day just happens to coincide with a big Carnival weekend here in New Orleans. On Friday alone, check out the Krewe of Cork downtown and the Krewes of Oshun, Cleopatra, and Alla in Uptown New Orleans.

Kanaval Ball Feat. Arcade Fire, Preservation Hall Jazz Band & More – Krewe du Kanaval, founded by Win Butler and Régine Chassagne of Arcade Fire and Ben Jaffe of Preservation Hall Jazz Band in 2018, is relatively new to the Mardi Gras scene. A true celebration of Haitian culture and its many contributions to the city of New Orleans, Kanaval Ball’s 2020 theme – “Merci Haiti” –  will pay homage to the longstanding relationship between the two cultures, which dates back for more than 200 years. The ball takes place at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts. $85

The cast of Roald Dahl’s CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (Photo by Jeremy Daniel)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Children and adults alike will enjoy the classic Roald Dahl novel come to life with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Sweet like Valentine’s Day, this show is a treat. $62

Hot Date, Hot Plate: A Special V-Day Class – Go behind the scenes of your favorite meal with a cooking class from NOCHI. This special Valentine’s Day-themed menu includes Champagne with berries, Oven-roasted tomatoes and mixed lettuces with roasted garlic vinaigrette, Shrimp Scampi, USDA Choice beef filet with maître d’ butter and creamed or wilted spinach, and Fresh berries with amaretto cream and vanilla balsamic. $150 per person

Restaurant Dinner Specials

Enjoy cocktails from Couvant inside the Eliza Jane Hotel (Photo: Justen Williams)

Couvant at The Eliza Jane – Enjoy a three-course meal of Parisian Gnocchi with crabmeat or Salad Gourmande, Scallops a la Grenobloise or Hanger Steak with a Perigourdine sauce, and Biscuit Coolant with ice cream. In addition to the prix fixe menu, diners will have the option to order from the full menu. $69

Jewel of the South – The Anti-Valentine’s Day Feast at Jewel of the South is not for the faint of heart. The six-course prix-fixe dinner includes Chargrilled Beef Heart, Blood Boudin, and Roast Chicken. $95

Bywater American Bistro Farro Risotto (Photo Credit: Denny Culbert)

Bywater American Bistro – Enjoy a romantic dinner at Bywater American Bistro curated by Chef Nina Compton and Chef/Partner Levi Raines. The four-course prix-fixe menu includes Hamachi Tartare, Beet Ravioli, Ora King Salmon, and Champagne Semifreddo. $75

Restaurant Avo – Avo’s four-course Valentine’s Day menu includes a choice of Caesar Salad or Poached Shrimp, Cacio e Pepe Fettuccine or Octopus Gemelli, Short Rib or Grilled Redfish, and Strawberry-Lemon Tart or Italian Sundae. $67

Josephine Estelle at The Ace Hotel (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Jospehine Estelle – Seafood meets Italian cuisine on Josephine Estelle’s Valentine’s Day menu. Select specials include a Seafood Cocktail for Two with gulf shrimp, calamari, mussels, octopus, and crab meat, Canestri Cacio e Pepe, and 24-oz Bone in Ribeye for Two with marrow bone, bordelaise, farrotto, and early season asparagus.

Seaworthy – Special Valentine’s Day options at this chic seafood restaurant include Kumamoto Oysters with Bowfin Caviar and satsuma, Whole Fish for Two, and Almond Semifreddo with Louisiana strawberry.

Bijoux – Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Le Pavillon Hotel’s in-house restaurant, Bijoux. Four-course menu highlights include Melon & Prosciutto, Lobster Bisque, 1855 Beef Tenderloin, and Peanut Butter and Jelly Torte. $80

Poydras & Peters – Enjoy a four-course prix-fixe dinner at Poydras & Peters, with menu highlights including Rappahannock Oysters with Cajun Caviar, Asian Cabbage Salad, Roasted Butternut Squash “Steak,” and Vegan Flourless Chocolate Cake. $55

Commander’s Palace – Indulge in a six-course meal with optional wine pairing at Commander’s Palace. Chef Tory’s Playground Tasting Menu includes Siberian Ossetra Caviar, Breaux Bridge Crawfish Gnocchi, Hudson Valley Foie Gras Torchon, Blue Crab Crusted Flounder, Hand Carved Veal Tenderloin, and Meyer Lemon & Poppy Seed Angel Food Cake. $95

Marjie’s Grill – Marjie’s celebrates Valentine’s Day by transforming into a noodle house: Marjie’s House of Tatseful Noods. The special menu will include three types of Japanese-inspired ramen, an array of Ramen-ya bar snacks and small plates, and grilled dishes for two (or more!). A fun selection of sake will also be available.

Ralph’s On the Park – The three-course Valentine’s Day dinner at Ralph’s includes options such as Truffle Risotto or Lobster Pasta, Grilled Filet Mignon or Seared Nantucket Scallops, and Red Velvet Cheesecake or Frozen Prosecco Sabayon. $65

The Grill Room at Windsor Court – The Windsor Court Hotel invites all lovebirds to celebrate the Feast of Saint Valentine with a specialty menu created by The Grill Room. The four-course menu features dishes like Crabmeat Ravioli, Coconut Lobster Bisque, and Seared Scallops with Risotto and Truffle Butter, which are paired with wines from Austria, France, Germany, and California, among others for an additional cost. $95

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