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Head to These Delaware Beach Restaurants for Valentine’s Day

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At La Fable in Rehoboth Beach, diners are welcomed into a romantic ambience reminiscent of a French bistro. Enjoy the fromage plate as a starter paired with a glass of sparkling wine. Photos by Deny Howeth

Whether you prefer to dine in or place a to-go order, romance abounds at the region’s beachside eateries this Valentine’s Day.

Dining habits have changed during the pandemic, but one thing remains the same: When it comes to romance, nothing makes the heart beat faster than an indulgent meal. This year, coastal restaurants aim to please. Options include well-spaced in-house dining, carryout and kits. For pricing and ordering information, contact the restaurants. Dine-in availability is subject to the state’s coronavirus restrictions.

La Fable

On the most romantic date for dining out, dessert cannot be missed. Try La Fable’s crème brûlée garnished with fresh berries while enjoying the restaurant’s décor. Photo by Deny Howeth

In the mood for love

In 2019, Megan Kee’s French bistro La Fable made Open Table’s list of the 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America. On Feb. 14, Kee takes the already romantic atmosphere up a notch with heart decorations and balloons. Dine in or consider three-course carryout dinners with optional add-ons, such as sparkling wine, chocolate-covered berries and caviar. 26 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-8510

Houston White Co., a farm-to-table steakhouse also owned by Kee, is more formal. Kee counts on Valentine’s Day flowers to create the mood. Upscale palates will appreciate items such as caviar, oysters and lobster. Customers who want to eat at home can order build-a-date kits for two with steaks, seasonings, crab cakes, sides and wine. 315 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-8511

At Kee’s newest restaurant, the Italian concept Dalmata, take a bite of their heart-shaped pizzas. For carryout, consider the “Lady and the Tramp” box with an extra-large spaghetti-and-meatball dinner, Chianti, Caesar salad and a heart-shaped treat. 28 Wilmington Ave., Unit E, Rehoboth Beach, 542-3748

For two decades, Lisa DiFebo-Osias has held an “aphrodisiac dinner” at DiFebo’s, which has locations in Rehoboth Beach and Bethany Beach. This year, she plans on assembling packages to go. Don’t expect oysters or chocolate, which are “too typical,” she says. But you can count on black and white truffles. 789 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach, 539-4550; 12 N. First St., Rehoboth Beach, 226-4550

Dana Banks, the owner of The Parkway in Bethany Beach, has been preparing a lovers’ dinner for two for 20 years. This year, she’ll feature a carryout option. In 2020, the five courses included such dishes as filet mignon and crab cake, heart-shaped red beet ravioli packed with tomatoes and basil, and a heart-shaped devil’s food cake. 114 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach, 537-7500

In or out

Michy’s has been playing it safe during the pandemic with outdoor dining on the covered front patio. Rolled-up sides and heaters keep the space toasty. However, the restaurant has a bustling takeout business for those who want to cozy up at home.

Valentine’s Day dishes will include halibut with wild mushrooms, fresh ginger and lemongrass in a soy broth with jasmine rice, or roasted rib-eye steak with rosemary-truffle fries, topped with shaved Parmesan and a dash of sea salt. For dessert: chocolate-strawberry ricotta cheesecake. 19287 Miller Road, Rehoboth Beach, 227-0999

Dinner and a show

Local musician and personal chef Paul Cullen has been busy this year despite the pandemic. He’s been wooing locals to his Sunday market and Italian brunch, which will be open on Valentine’s Day. The building just west of Route 1 now has a concert and private dining space, The Room at Cedar Grove, and Cullen plans to host a special event for the holiday. 32882 Cedar Grove Road, Lewes, 316-4074

Beer or wine

During the pandemic, SoDel Concepts launched a successful series of virtual wine and beer dinners at most of its 12 coastal restaurants. The advantage: Diners can pick up a chef-prepared meal paired with a libation or two, and enjoy it at home.

On Feb. 11, the series continues with a beer dinner at Thompson Island Brewing Company in Rehoboth Beach. The multicourse meal has limited seating in the dining room, but it will also be available for carryout. 30133 Veterans Way, Rehoboth Beach, 226-4677

On Feb. 13, Thompson Island’s sister restaurant, NorthEast Seafood Kitchen, will showcase Luke Wines from the Columbia Valley in Washington. The meal is available to go. 29 Atlantic Ave, Ocean View, 537-1785

Chain reaction

All SoDel Concepts restaurants will offer surf-and-turf options on Valentine’s Day with suggested wine and sparkling wine pairings. Because Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday, guests can also take advantage of the Sunday Supper three-course specials. (Most are $19.) The exception is Thompson Island, which features a family-style fried chicken night on Sundays. Visit sodelconcepts.com for individual restaurant information.

Big Fish Restaurant Group has many concepts at the beach, including Big Fish Grill, Salt Air and the Summer House. The Crab House and Obie’s By the Sea are closed in the off-season, but the establishments still open will create dine-in and carryout specials. Visit bigfishrestaurantgroup.com for individual restaurant information.

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Ethnic eats

Colorful, global cuisine stimulates the senses, and for Valentine’s Day, Chef Gyanendra “GG” Gupta will craft a four-course menu for the guests at Raas in Lewes. In each segment, diners will have a choice of items. He will also suggest a wine pairing menu. And there’s more. “I will come out to receive the diners and present a rose to each lady,” he says. “It’s a surprise for them.”

The special meal will be available for takeout. 210 Savannah Road, Lewes, 644-1747

Not to be outdone, Rosenfeld’s Jewish Delicatessen in Rehoboth Beach will bring back the “I Love Reuben You All Over” special: two cups of soup, a hefty 16-ounce Reuben or sandwich to split, pickles, fries, two soft drinks and “a monstrous dessert to share,” Warren Rosenfeld says. 18949 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach, 645-1700

For more on how restaurateurs enjoy Valentine’s Day, visit delawaretoday.com.