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Top 5 Casual Dining Spots for Valentine's Day

I’ve never really been much of a Valentine’s Day person. I’ve always appreciated the sweet little thoughts from my husband and loved ones over the years, but I’ve never really had any expectations about what the perfect Valentine’s Day should look like.

I do, however remember my mom making a big deal out of it when I was a kid. To my surprise, I would always wake up to some type of balloon, candy, or a sweet card from her just to tell me how special she thought I was. As a boy mom, I’m not sure my son really cares about balloons or sentimental cards, but he does care about food!

We’re always looking for a good excuse to try new restaurants and go on foodie adventures, so this year I’m compiling a list of my top five casual restaurants that are fun for the whole family on Valentine’s Day!

All of these places are family friendly, and “come as you are" type places. No need to dress up, no need to put on fresh make-up, or make your boys brush their teeth and comb their hair, (maybe just a bit of deodorant, would help though!

  1. Lou Manalti’s - Dish Out Some Love Campaign - Always staying current with great promotions for families, Lou Manalti’s is going the extra mile this year by donation $1 of every heart-shaped pizza you order to Feeding America Phoenix food banks.  You can even SHIP heart shaped pizzas along with a heart-shaped cookie or other desserts from partnered brands like Eli’s cheesecake and Portillo’s!

2. Dave and Buster's in Tempe Marketplace has a great family fun or couples option! Cost is about $135 per couple (including tax and gratuity), and includes appetizer, two entrees, and a dessert! Deal also includes two Power Cards, each loaded with 75 chips, plus unlimited video game play! For couples 21 and over, you’ll also get free entry into their Salsa Dancing event on the rooftop from 7pm to 12am!

3. The Sicilian Butcher – If you know us, our family has frequented TSB for many years and the food never disappoints! Their Valentine’s Day special runs Monday, February 12 through Sunday, February 18th.  For $95, their five-course Valentine’s Day dinner for two includes: Pull apart Garlic Bread, Imported burrata w/Heirloom tomato, arugula pesto and basil oil (1st and 2nd course), Mare e Terra - Sicilian NY strip and Nova Scottia Lobster Fra Diavolo (main course), Gnocchi Mac & Cheese (fourth course), Strawberry lobster tail (dessert course). This is an AMAZING deal and I HIGHLY recommend any of the cocktails from their bar menu!

4. Over Easy - known for its creative made-from-scratch dishes and delicious breakfasts, Over Easy is celebrating with their special, limited-time Blackberry Pancakes topped with chocolate ganache, white chocolate granola and fresh raspberries! YUM! Kids will devour these, as they can be sold as a single pancake, double, or stack of three. Champagne toasts are also available with a Strawberry Bellini, made with strawberry puree, muddled strawberries and a sugared rim to make it extra sweet! These limited-time menu items will be available at all 13 Over Easy locations Monday, February 12 through Wednesday, February 14th. Hurry for this one!

5. Recreo Cantina - If you love Mexican food like we do, Chandler’s vibrant Mexican Recreo Cantina is offering a dessert and bottle of wine for two! Guests can enjoy a warm chocolate lava cake paired with a bottle of the house red or white wine for only $25. Let the kids run around and play, as it boasts a 6,000 square foot patio filled with games, bar swings, and lively atmosphere for all to enjoy!

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