Happy Valentine's Day Baltimore! Some of you have planned dinners at your favorite restaurants, or maybe an elaborate home-cooked meal for two. But there's no need to spend a paycheck at the Charleston, risk getting robbed in that cesspool of crime that is Roland Park for a table at Petit Louis, or even slave all day in the kitchen.
For those after a more casual Anna Howard Shaw Day, you can always hit up these ten Baltimore bars - they're romantic, they have specials, and they're softly-lit! (Also: check out this guide to local Valentine's Day events)
Vino Rosina (507 S. Exeter St.)
This comfortably swanky Harbor East restaurant has a special dining menu for the night, but it'll also be serving up some new infusions for Valentine's: The Duchess, a vodka infusion topped off with champagne, is made with fresh lemon juice and lavender bitters ($10.50). There's also the Orchard Fizz, a lemon-infused vodka cocktail that has an egg white and is finished with club soda ($10.50). The bar was one of our top ten critic's picks.
Idle Hour (201 East Fort Ave.)
Owner Randal Etheridge told me the South Baltimore bar isn't doing anything special on Valentine's Day. But it doesn't need to. With its moody lighting and quality background music, it's helplessly romantic. It also topped our critic's picks top ten.
Power Plant Live bars
Power Plant has been holding Valentine's Day-themed events since Saturday: there was a Love Sux party at Howl at the Moon, and a "My Bloody Valentine" day party at Angels Rock Bar. Tonight, restaurant Tatu (614 Water St.) has two pre-fixed menu options, specialty cocktails and a champagne toast. Also: on Thursday, it's hosting - with our B weekly - a singles night that includes a date auction with two top singles.
Pazo (1425 Aliceanna St.)
Another Harbor East restaurant and lounge that is doing a special Valentine's Day menu, Pazo also has a new cocktail that is fitting for a romantic dinner: the chocolate-covered strawberry martini, made with Godiva dark chocolate liqueur ($13).
Eden's Lounge (15 West Eager St.)
We voted Eden's one of our top ten bars to meet singles, and for Valentine's it's hosting a special romantic edition of its Tuesday open mic night, Organic Soul. Happy hour, from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., has two-for-one specials.
Brewer's Art (1106 N. Charles St.)
Another Mt. Vernon bar that's ideal for singles - it topped our top ten list - Brewer's, with its corner tables and dimly-lit basement is a great destination for couples. Tonight, it'll have specials in the dining room, manager Amanda Virkus said.
Sidebar (218 East Lexington St.)
Other bars may host Anti-Valentine's Day parties, but they'll pale in comparison to Sidebar's, Baltimore's punk temple. Chicago punk band All Eyes West and Baltimore's Sal Bando (garage-pop) perform. Cover is $8.The bar is also one of top ten places to watch live music.
Red Maple (930 N. Charles St)
With its accent lights and many candles, Red Maple effortlessly creates a romantic mood. Tonight, it has a $65 per couple dinner special. Starting at 9:30 p.m., it's also hosting a special dance party with DJs Renzo and Tico playing salsa and merengue. Cover is $5.
Midtown BBQ & Brew (15 E. Centre St)
Romantic bars don't all have to be posh lounges. This is one is for lovers of BBQ. It doesn't have anything special planned for tonight besides its Tuesday night trivia night, but those rack ribs will still be there. Trivia night starts at 8:30 p.m.
Mad River (1110 S. Charles St.)
This one is for the young couples. Mad River - which we voted one of the top ten bars to meet young people - is holding an anti-Valentine's Day party with a dirt-cheap special: from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., it's $10 for all your can drink. After that, it'll offer $2 Rolling Rocks and $5 red drinks, according to its website.