Love Bites

By Erin Hartigan Staff Writer
Thursday, January 25, 2007; 4:06 PM

Valentine's Day conjures images of chocolate, presents and lovey-dovey couples, but whether you're in it for a singles-only event or a night with your beloved partner, a memorable dinner is an integral part of the package.

Cozy Italian gem Al Tiramisu (202-467-4466) and younger sibling Al Crostino (202-797-0523) will both offer the a la carte menu of decadent pastas and rich meat dishes augmented by a few love-themed specials. Past Valentine's Day desserts have included heart-shaped pastries.

Cleveland Park's dimly lit Ardeo presents a three-course tasting menu ($70) with a taste of romance. A crispy goat cheese salad is dressed with champagne vinaigrette, while pork tenderloin is served with forbidden rice. Dessert includes tiramisu and a mixed berry shortcake. (202-244-6750)

Bazin's on Church will supplement the a la carte menu with a three-course prix fixe menu for $60. (202-255-7212)

David Craig plans a four-course prix fixe menu for $75 per person. The menu of seasonal items will be determined a week before Valentine's Day. (301-657-2484)

A heart dots the "i" in Jackie's, and it's a fitting and fun choice for Valentine's Day. The quirky neighborhood restaurant plans to serve its standard menu augmented with a few evening specials, so fans of the miniature "Elvis" burgers can get their fix. (301-565-9700)

Delicious treats and pampering should not be confined to just one night, so Oceanaire Seafood Room has a special menu focusing on American caviar, among other sustainable seafood, throughout February. The menu can be ordered as three ($65) or four courses ($75). Options include oysters with mango-infused caviar, scallops with sturgeon caviar and swordfish with wasabi caviar. (202-347-2277)

"When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie," that's the time to visit Pizzeria Paradiso. Both locations of the wood-burning pizza haven will offer a romantic meal for two ($50 per couple). The meal commences with an antipasti sampler, followed by a large customized pie and capped off with chocolate truffles and gelato. Dinner will pair with special bottled beers selected for the occasion. (Dupont: 202-223-1245, Georgetown: 202-337-1245)

Newcomer PS 7's caters to duos with a three-course prix fixe menu ($45) that includes dishes for two. Chateaubriand and a chocolate souffle are meant to be ordered by both people, while baked Alaska, seared tuna and all starters are individual portions. The restaurant's a la carte menu will also be available. (202-742-8550)

Couples can cuddle over the lovers-only exotic feast at Rasika. The restaurant's four-course prix fixe menu ($75) will include oysters, crab with cashews, black cod and lamb. (202-637-1222)

Rock Creek Restaurant has a reduced-guilt, three-course prix fixe menu for $48. The health-oriented restaurant will offer a choice from at least five items -- including vegetarian options -- on each portion of the menu. Starters include a crab cake appetizer, grilled quail salad with coffee-chili rub and oysters on the half shell, while entrees include poached lobster ravioli, lamb loin and a wild mushroom and sunchoke streudel. (301-907-7625)

Logan Circle's Viridian plans an a la carte menu of love-themed dishes. Starters include salads, oysters or a splurge of caviar and champagne, while entrees include a pumpkin gnocchi with chanterelle mushrooms and duck two ways. (202-234-1400)

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