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A V-Day table for two.

Byline: A round up of the places where you can eat your heart out with your special one.

Cafe Chic

Dining out on Valentine's day can be a dicey affair that could even turn cheesy, if you let one too many of the ubiquitous heart-shaped red balloons out of the bag. But the intimate French restaurant Cafe Chic at Le Meridien seems to have struck the right chord with its divine five-course set menu. Even the slow-cooked sea bass lying languidly on a heart shaped bed or the heart-shaped chocolate cake with citrus mousse and menthol sauce made perfect sense. But the hit of the evening was the main course -roasted veal loin dunked in its own jus and accompanied by artichoke mousseline. In short, you many not know whether your dining partner is "The One", but you will face no such doubt about your choice of dining place. Cafe Chic is the one for you. Price: Dh420 per person Where: Le Meridien, Dubai Contact: 04 7022455 Ossigeno's packages romance The soft lighting, subtle music and tables strewn with rose petals at Ossegino's lend themselves naturally to romance. The serving staff are attentive yet not overcrowding. The first course, oyster and granita, arrived on a beautiful glass plate which looked like it had been carved from ice. The oyster was plump, succulent and fresh. In fact, I stole my friend's oyster just to make sure I had been right the first time. The starter of warm langoustine carpaccio was a muted riot of colour and flavour. Lobster linguine was the pasta course and presented very simply and without frills. The main course was a choice between veal and sea bass. Ossigeno's dishes are mainly seafood based, but the restaurant does have option for both vegetarians and those who are allergic to shellfish. And at the end of your mouthwatering meal, the restaurant has a special romantic surprise for you. Price: Dh888 per couple Where: Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina Tel: 04-3995555

PierchicA

It has all the ingredients for romance: a magnificent beach, a long wooden pier stretching out across the water, an elegant fine dining restaurant overlooking the Burj Al Arab. The Al Qasr jewel, Pierchic, is the stuff that chick flicks are made of - a setting that is destined to make women go weak at the knees and lead men to pop the question (or vice versa depending on your views on the rules of engagement).

And on Valentine's Day, the restaurant - which specialises in sumptuous seafood dishes - pulls out all the stops with a scattering of red rose petals and candlelight that sets the mood for longing glances across the table. To put all the romance schmaltz aside for just a moment, Pierchic's menu is not to be overlooked. For the 14th it's offering a set menu that includes everything from Atlantic lobster with sea scallop ravioli to smoked wagyu tenderloin and terrine of ivory chocolate mousse.

The dishes can be counted on to be created from the freshest produce (our lobster was overwhelmingly succulent) and artistically presented in a manner that engages the diner. This may be a cliche in restaurant reviews, but do yourself a favour and leave room for dessert. It's the perfect note to end a meal that can only be described as a symphony of flavour - and after all, Valentine's Day would not be complete without something sweet. Where: Al Qasr Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah Tel: 04-3668888 Pai Thai

This Valentine's Day, why not take a gastronomic journey to South East Asia for a non-traditional experience? Your trip starts when you board the abra that whisks you away from the hustle and bustle of Dubai and on to a foreign destination offering Thai delicacies.

Enjoy a glass of pink bubbly upon arrival, then tuck into the first of four courses that includes yam somo salad and cho chom poo pu a" steamed crab dumplings with ginger soy sauce that's oddly coloured, but chewy and good. The tom yam soup that follows this could be a bit spicy, ask them to tone it down if you can't stand the heat.

With the mains, beware the rice a" it's addictive and lethargic, the last thing you want to be at the end of the evening. The fresh fruit served with the dessert is a true treat, as it includes exotic choices like dragon fruit.

It is pleasant to sit outside, and the acoustics ensure the sweet nothings you're whispering in your date's ear aren't overheard. Price: Dh400 per person Where: Al Qasr Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah Tel: 04-3666730 Latino Love

Latin is meant to be the language of love, and Latino House is definitely fluent.

Dim lights, secluded tables, scattered rose petals a" even a menu split into two, so you'll have to meet over the candle to see what you're having for dinner.

We began with cold and hot starters of beef carpaccio with rocket salad, and scallop mousse ravioli with herring caviar. I'm not a fish or beef lover, but both were surprisingly tasty.

Roasted pumpkin and squash soup was next, followed by our choice of stuffed monkfish or lamb tenderloin. Both were delicious and cooked to perfection.

By dessert I was struggling, but managed to squeeze in a bite or two of the divine vanilla and praline parfait for the grand finale.

Latino House's Valentine's package includes a sumptuous five-course meal, two glasses of bubbly per person and live tango performances throughout the night. Price: Dh 750 per couple Where: Al Murooj Rotana Hotel, Dubai. Tel: 04-3211111 Lotus One A "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get," said Forrest Gump, waiting for a bus. However, had Forrest gone to Lotus One, he would've have gotten exactly that: chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

A special Valentine's Day menu has been created where chocolate is infused in the most innovative ways, so prepare yourself for sensual dining that's still affordable.

Ever thought of combining white clocolate with brie and salmon in a spring roll? Or how about prawn spring rolls with a chocolatey chutney dip? If you don't score brownie points with either of these, the chocolate curry sauce served with the sesame-crusted hammour is sure to melt the most frigid of hearts.

While the sirloin rubbed with cocoa is to be recommended, it is with the desserts that Lotus One's menu comes into its own. Of the vast decadent options, order the chilli chocolate tarts for yourself, and you'll have your date eating out of your hand in no time.

Chocolate is renowned for its psychoactive qualities, and you're guaranteed to see its effect as endorphines are released and your date melts into the plush chair.

Give cupid the night off, because with these chocolate delights you're sure to have things covered. Price: About Dh400 for a three course meal for two Where: World Trade Convention Centre, Shaikh Zayed Road Tel: 04-3293200

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Article Type:Restaurant review
Date:Feb 12, 2009
Words:1174
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