51 restaurants in Boston and the suburbs that still have room for Valentine’s Day

We got you. February 10, 2016 | 3:25 PM

SRV, a new South End restaurant, still has spots open for Valentine’s Day.
The Boston Globe

If you’re a human being with a job and a life and a penchant for letting things slip, don’t beat yourself up for forgetting to make a Valentine’s Day reservation until now. Here are a bunch of restaurants that still have availability for Sunday—and most of them are also still taking reservations for Saturday, too, if that’s when you’re celebrating. We’ve included options in the the suburbs, Cambridge/Somerville, and Boston proper.

Note: All of these restaurants had open reservations within two hours of 7:30 p.m. on OpenTable at the time of this post’s publication.


Chef Jason Santos’s Theater District spot is in a convenient location for a pre- or post-show dinner.

Another Santos joint, Back Bay Harry’s, is known for its cocktails and large portions. Hungry lovers, head here.

Pretend you’re in New York City and head to Daniel Boulud’s Boston outpost of his famed NYC restaurant for some French-inspired cuisine and an extensive wine list.

If you live on the Hill—or just love those cobblestone streets—stroll on over to the Bistro for French-American cuisine.

This classic spot offers all the traditional French dishes. They also serve mustard carrots and French bread before the meal, so you’ll start off on the right foot.

Nothing is more classically Boston than the front room at the Taj. Even if you don’t end up here for dinner, it’s definitely worth stopping in for a drink at the mahogany-laden, beautifully upholstered Brahmin location.

This bar’s South End location—there’s also one in Davis Square—is an informal, last-minute date spot. Definitely order the chocolate skillet cake.

Jasper White’s innovative restaurant would be a perfect choice if you plan to stroll around the Seaport before dinner or catch an exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

A Southie staple, you won’t go wrong here with comfort food, beers, and a lively atmosphere.

Enjoy traditional entrees like Saltimbocca di Pollo and Linguine al Fruttie di Mare, or split a brick-oven pizza with your date at this North End staple.

Serving some of the best Mexican food in Boston, The Painted Burro won’t let you down when it comes to Mexican street corn, fish tacos, enchiladas, and a huge selection of margaritas (try the Spicy El Diablo if you’re brave).

Are you and your date traditionalists? Head to the OG steakhouse for a carnivorous, red-wine-filled date.

The fireplace alone makes this cozy South End spot a perfect choice for Valentine’s Day, but the weekly specials, like roasted Brussels sprouts or the tomatillo and steak quesadillas, are added incentives.

The brand new South End Italian restaurant still has reservations—hop on it if you want to show your date how hip and with it you are.

If you love Stephanie’s on Newbury and also love Southie, you can have the best of both worlds by making a reservation here.

Stroll around Newbury Street and buy your boo something nice before you head to Tapeo to share some tapas.

Want that authentic North End Italian food experience? Villa Francesca still has tables left for you and yours.


Loyal Nine in East Cambridge.
The Boston Globe

Go for the craft cocktails and clean design, stay for the starters, like the arancini or the blue cheese fries.

The Portuguese word for “tavern,” Atasca offers simple, authentic, well-executed Portuguese cuisine.

If you and your date love jazz and have a thing for Kurt Vonnegut, head to Beat Brasserie, the underground spot in Harvard Square that channels the 50s—and also offers killer martinis.

Catalyst, near MIT, presents clean, inventive dishes that match the science-y atmosphere of its neighborhood. Also, they have an elegant fireplace and a living wall. You’ll get a bunch of likes on that Instagram.

A Porter Square staple—with a Boston location as well—this French-Asian restaurant has something for everyone.

EVOO, which stands for Extra Virgin Olive Oil, offers an assortment of small, medium, and large plates, all convenient for sharing. And don’t forget to order the fries that come with tangy ketchup.

Chef Tony Maws’s famous Craigie on Main is all booked up for Valentine’s Day, but his newer spot won’t disappoint. Be sure to ask what the specials are, because they’re always a treat.

If you want interior design as clean as the food, head to this East Cambridge spot. Order the braised lobster, or go halvsies on the pork shoulder, which comes with macaroni, grilled eggplant, and smoked tomato.

This cozy spot is perfect for a romantic, low-key night. Sit near the fireplace, or in one of the smaller rooms in the back for an intimate evening.

Jody Adams’s flagship restaurant in the Charles Hotel features impeccable service as well as award-winning small plates, entrees, and an extensive bar program and menu. Don’t forget to ask for extra Tuscan rolls.

The recently renovated space in Davis Square offers comfort food like mac and cheese, ribs, and a fun entrance through an old diner.

This Harvard Square spot is perfect if you’re going to see a show at the Sinclair’s concert hall afterward. But the food and drinks are good enough (get the Clair de Lune cocktail) that you don’t even need the music.

Jasper White’s casual Alewife spot is a good choice if you’ve got kids with you. They can draw hearts on the brown paper tablecloths and ogle the lobsters in their tanks while you enjoy some high quality seafood.

Located between Harvard and Porter Squares on Mass. Ave., this American bar and restaurant serves an array of salads, entrees, and cocktails. The soundtrack is always spot on, too.


Fairsted Kitchen in Brookline.
Jacki Morsi

The vintage plates and silverware at Fairsted are as good as the food. But you’ll enjoy eating the latter much more: Start with any of the vegetable-heavy small plates, then move on to the meatier large dishes, like pork schnitzel or hanger steak.

If you’re looking for something a little more casual, head to Osaka, a Japanese sushi place and steak house.

Head to this cozy, Coolidge Corner restaurant for some comfort food, such as a pork belly appetizer with honeyed figs and braised pinenuts or the veal osso bucco.


An entree at 51 Lincoln in Newton.
The Boston Globe

This Italian-influenced restaurant has a coal-burning pizza oven and features an open kitchen.

Chef Jeffrey P. Fournier trained under famous Boston-based chef and restaurateur Lydia Shire. He offers a robust charcuterie and cheese program and features small plates, appetizers, and homemade bread sourced from local ingredients.

The first restaurant in Milton to feature a full bar program, Abby Park provides comfort food with Mediterranean and Asian styles.

Executive chef/co-owner Chris Chung was the first chef at Ken Oringer’s Uni Sushi Bar in 2004. He opened Aka in 2010, where you can find both sushi and French-inspired dishes.

Famed restaurateur Michael Schlow’s Alta Strada offers fine Italian cuisine and craft cocktails.

If the South End is a bit too far for you to trek to for dinner, head to this Aquitaine outpost in Chestnut Hill, where executive chef Seth Woods serves a seasonal menu featuring the original restaurant’s best dishes.

Enjoy a romantic night filled with tapas, paella, sangria, and a Spanish wine list. Nothing says “I love you” like “I’m willing to share my food with you.”

You can still snag a seat at Ming Tsai’s famous Wellesley restaurant, where you’ll dine on Asian fusion from one of the best chefs in the game.

Enjoy some great Old World wines with dishes that take inspiration from Portugal, France, Spain, and Italy. Fun fact: “Ceia” means “supper” in Portuguese.

If you live near Andover and love oysters, you’re in luck: Elm Square Oyster still has some seats for you and your loved one on which to slurp a few together this weekend.

Owner/executive chef Chad Burns cut his teeth at some of the best Boston restaurants, like Radius and Aquitaine. His own restaurant focuses on fresh, local ingredients in a beautiful, clean space.

This elegant gastropub also offers food for pickup, if you’d rather have a romantic night at home. But we recommend getting a reservation, since the fireside lounge is the perfect place to either wait for your table or enjoy a meal at the bar.

This outpost of Newbury Street’s Met Back Bay features a burger bar for couples who have their priorities straight. Order the Tokyo burger, which comes with avocado, Muenster cheese, pickled onion, sticky soy, and daikon sprouts, or go for the decadent Paris burger, which comes with brie, a fried egg, caramelized onion, and truffle mayo.

The Ship Restaurant is literally a ship. That should be enough to convince you to go. There’s even a steering wheel in the restaurant. The food is also worth your while—they offer extensive seafood options, many soups and salads, and traditional Italian entrees.

Steel & Rye is known for using heirloom vegetables, grains, and sustainably raised and gathered meat and seafood. Try the burrata for two, the grilled Mexican chorizo, or a house-made pasta.

If pubs are more your speed as a couple, head to West on Centre. You can order upscale bar food, like truffle fries and baked camembert, and some pints to go with it.

The cheese and charcuterie situation is A-plus, and the wine list won’t disappoint, either. Wings fans, rejoice: Even though it’s Valentine’s Day, you can still eat your favorite football snack. Here, however, they get a classy makeover, accompanied by celery salad and buttermilk blue cheese.