Sweetheart Ideas: How to Make the Most out of Valentine's Day

From a hotel “Love Lockdown,” to a museum breakfast in bed, to a rooftop singles event - there's plenty to eat, drink at do in Pittsburgh on this weekend for love.

Love Lockdown

Photo by Paul Gelsobello


While most of us can cobble together a romantic Valentine’s date, the lovely spell can swiftly be broken when the date ends and we’re forced to return to our homes. You might be able to craft a fairy-tale evening out on the town, but it can be tough to keep that spirit going when faced with piles of bills or dishes and herds of cats or children.

One fine solution: Do not return home. The Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh has a pair of Valentine’s offers intended to keep your date going strong. Opt for the “Love Lockdown” selection and you’ll receive $50 in food and beverage credit — ideal for a date downstairs at The Commoner — and a padlock to affix to a bridge during a romantic stroll. (The “Love Lockdown” rates also include a built-in late checkout for the next day, so that you can … sleep in.)

Simply looking to unwind in a great room with more down-to-earth accoutrements? Go for the “Finer Things” package to find a six-pack of I.C. Light, a soft pretzel and a teddy bear waiting in your room.

You can book either package at this link.

The Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel is also offering a Valentine's Day package that promises the sweetest of hangovers. Included with a king guest room is champagne, breakfast for two, and a late checkout. Go here for more details and to book your reservation. 



Mattress Factory Breakfast in Bed, the Mattress Factory. Feb. 14, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Wigle whiskey bloody marys, Salúd Juicery mimosas, Waffallonia waffle bar, Animal Friends adoption station and free Mattress Factory admission. $20/person for members; $30 for non-members.  

Animal Instincts Valentine’s dinner, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. Feb. 12, 6 p.m. Dinner accompanied by small animal visits and a presentation on exotic animal mating by animal keeper Henry Kacprzyk, followed by a special Water’s Edge animal event. $70/person for members; $75 for non-members.

Spicy Soirée, Wigle Whiskey. Feb. 12, 6 p.m. A ginger-inspired pre-Valentine’s evening with the Brooklyn Brewery. $35/person, includes two 10 oz. Brooklyn Brewery beers, a Wigle Afterglow cocktail, Wigle Afterglow whiskey samples, and tacos and sides from Smoke BBQ Taqueria.

Photo by laura petrilla


Sienna Singles Night, Sienna Mercato. Feb. 14, 6 p.m. Rooftop event with cocktails, conversation, and The Modern Matchmaker. $10 suggested donation benefits the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute.

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Brunch, Habitat, Fairmont Pittsburgh. Feb. 14, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. “Over-the-top buffet” of chocolate brunch, featuring chocolate waffles, chocolate cheesecake, spiked hot chocolate, and more. $49/person.

Restaurant Fare with Tasting/Prix Menus

Spoon, Feb. 14. $65/person, optional $35 wine pairing

  • First: Choices including steak tartare with shaved foie gras torchon, sourdough, celery root pureé and radishes, and Elysian fields braised lamb cassoulet with shell beans, tomatoes and parsley breadcrumbs
  • Second: Choices including filet & short rib with parsnip pureé and a bleu cheese arugula salad, and a winter vegetarian tasting of parmesan polenta, roasted turnips, sunchokes, beets, rainbow chard and a vegetarian demi-glace
  • Third: Spoon bar with Bailey’s cocoa bar, milk chocolate nougat frozen mousse and semi-sweet chocolate pudding, or citrus with ricotta cheesecake, lemon curd, orange marmalade, citrus salsa and almond amaretti

Casbah, $65/person, optional $35 wine pairing

  • First: Tuna Tartare with avocado crème fraîche, pomegranate, blood orange, hackleback caviar, pea tendrils and grilled focaccia, or roasted duck breast with roasted beets, citrus, Minus 8 concord vinegar, arugula, Ewe’s blue and pistachio
  • Second: Sea Scallops with kale pesto, farro, castelvetrano olives, radish, lemon, sumac and red ribbon sorrel, or short rib ragout with black truffle ricotta cavatelli, Brussels sprouts, young carrots, golden raisins and herb crumbs
  • Third: Chilean seabass with salsify puree, coriander roasted chickpeas, black garlic tahini, fennel and mint, or roasted veal strip loin with kabocha squash gnocchi, quince labne, pear, lacinato kale, crispy sage and jus
  • Dessert: Red velvet molten cake with cream cheese bourbon ice cream and white chocolate almond tuile, or a chocolate éclair with mocha pastry cream, cherry compote and dark chocolate-pistachio bark

Kaya, Feb. 12–14. $39/person, optional $19 wine pairing

  • First: Raw Tasting with Fisher’s Island oysters, tuna tartare and scallop crudo, or roasted baby roots with carrots, turnips, sweet potato, lime yogurt and hazelnuts
  • Second: Grilled shrimp with coconut, mango salsa, jasmine rice and pineapple-chili sauce, or Oaxaca stuffed arepa with avocado, black beans, plantains, cherry tomatoes, jalapeños and Salsa Macha
  • Third: New York strip steak with avocado, sweet potato, green chorizo, Salsa Macha and scallions, or Korean fried trumpets with coconut, jasmine rice, radish, scallion and pineapple-chili sauce
  • Dessert: Chocolate cake, or chocolate-covered strawberries with ganache and mint

Senti Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar, Feb. 12–14. Live music from the Mariko Reid Trio. $65/person.

First: Beet salad with roasted beets with honey glazed pearl onions, whipped goat cheese, pickled hazelnuts and apples, served with a blood orange vinaigrette
Second: Arancini and oyster, served with pickled mustard seeds, mustard crème and black garlic puree.
Third: seared beef tenderloin with foie gras and pinot noir gelee, and seared swordfish with blood orange, preserved lemon and mugolio and pine syrup
Dessert: Cioccolata calda, Italian hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows

Vegan pop-up Valentine’s Day dinner, Pittsburgh Public Market, Feb. 15, 5 p.m. Multi-course, vegan, plant-based dinner by Chef Mya Zeronis. $90/couple, BYOB

  • Chai tea with cinnamon, fennel seeds, orange peels, turmeric, ginger, mint, cloves, sweetened with maple syrup (optional)
  • Roasted red bell pepper sherry bisque topped with a pair of nori hearts
  • Apple cider and herb marinated, thinly-sliced beet carpaccio served with baby arugula, avocado, pomegranate dressing
  • Baby bella mushroom artichoke ragout over kale-sweet potato-stuffed buckwheat pierogies pan fried with unrefined coconut oil and sprinkled with pine nut parmesan
  • Raw chocolate cashew cheesecake with cherry-strawberry compote, banana flambé
  • Raw Mexican hot chocolate with raw cacao, pumpkin seeds, cayenne, dried unsweetened coconut, raw brown sugar

Whitfield, Feb. 14. $50 person/$25 wine pairing

  • First: Beau Soleil Oysters with fresh chillis, lemon mignonette
  • Second: Frisee salad with salad cream, crisp cheese, sunflower seeds, dried currants, dried onion, pickled baby beets
  • Third: 10 oz. Beef Wellington with bone marrow, red wine, roasted rapini
  • Fourth: Chocolate and raspberry Four Play

On Feb. 15, Whitfield is offering a special “morning after” prix-fixe brunch menu will be offered. To keep the love alive, if you book a reservation at Whitfield during the month of February, you and your squeeze can sleep over afterwards at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh for 25% off the best available rate. Just enter secret code DUET at booking.


Categories: The 412