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A sweet Valentine

Valentine’s Day, observed Sunday, traditionally celebrates affection between lovers. Named after St. Valentine, the holiday historically honored early Christian martyrs and later became associated with romantic love in the 14th century.

Today, it is adorned with images of Cupid and white doves (“love birds”) and celebrated by many couples with the exchange of red roses, heart-shaped confections, “Valentine” greetings and intimate gatherings. For singles, it often entails overindulgence of red wine, love-gone-wrong movie marathons and cursing Cupid’s bow and arrow.

To satisfy the cravings, many Laguna Beach restaurants will offer delectable cuisine, romantic ambience and sexy cocktails, guaranteed to help you fall in love with your mate all over again. For those flying solo or with pals, there’s always the Sandpiper. Cheers!

 Claes at Hotel Laguna, 425 S. Coast Hwy., will offer Valentine’s extras, including a special Surf and Turf for two. For reservations, call (949) 376-9283.

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 French 75, 1464 S. Coast Hwy., will offer a special five-course prix fixe menu from 5 to 9 p.m. today through Sunday, which includes a choice of first course, entrée and dessert. Special entrees include seared duck breast, rack of lamb and coq au vin. Cost is $95 per person. Call (949) 494-8444.

 Hush, 858 S. Coast Hwy., will feature a romantic dinner for two Valentine’s Day evening. The prix fixe meal includes a shared appetizer, choice of entrée, decadent dessert and bottle of house wine. Cost is $150 per couple. Call (949) 497-3616 or visit www.hushrestaurant.com for the full menu.

 K’Ya Bistro & Rooftop Lounge at Hotel La Casa del Camino, 1287 S. Coast Hwy., will feature a special four-course Valentine menu, including two entrees and a dessert trio, for $99 per couple, and will provide live entertainment by Tyler Weinrich in the Grand lobby. Call (949) 376-9718.

 Laguna Canyon Winery, 2133 Laguna Canyon Road, is holding a Valentine’s Winemaker’s Dinner at 6 p.m. Saturday. Enjoy gourmet food paired with artisan boutique wines while listening to pianist Linda Fuller. Cost is $95 per person. Call (949) 715-9463.

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 Lumberyard Courtyard, 384 Forest Ave., will be buzzing with live music, champagne and more. Laguna Colony Co., Flower Stand and C.J. Rose Fashions will be offering discounts. Custom Studios will be serving champagne from noon to 5 p.m. and offering a $95 photo session special. Call (949) 218-4739.

 Mosun’s Club M, 680 S. Coast Hwy., will host it’s 4th annual Valentine’s Day “One Love” Reggae Festival from 6 to 11 p.m. featuring an array of artists including Pato Banton and the Rebel Rockers. Tickets are $30. Call (949) 573-8624 to make a reservation. Tickets will also be available at the door, if space permits.

 Mozambique, 1740 S. Coast Hwy., will feature a weekend of “Sweetheart Specials,” including a $35 surf and turf, $45 twin-broiled Lobster entrée and $29 Sunday brunch. Live music by singer and pianist Lee Ferrell will perform from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, followed by an evening of reggae with Jamaican artist Andrew Bees of “Black Uhuru.” (949) 715-7100.

 Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 S. Coast Hwy., will celebrate Valentine’s Day the entire month with restaurant and spa specials. On Sunday, the Loft will offer a four-course prix fixe menu, featuring an array of aphrodisiacs including oysters, chocolate and wine. Cost is $95 per person, $135 with wine pairings. Studio (atop of the bluff) will also offer a special paired for two six-course tasting menu for $300 per couple, $450 with wine pairings. A couples daylong retreat will be offered Feb. 21 and 28, guaranteed to “reaffirm your loving relationship” through beach walks, yoga, massages and more. Cost is $740 per couple; $340 for half-day (does not include togetherness massage). For more information or to make a reservation, call (949) 715-6000.

 Nirvana Grille, 303 Broadway, Suite 101, will feature a special three- and four-course prix fixe menu with a complimentary glass of champagne. Cost is $55 for three courses; $65 for four. Reservations are recommended, so (949) 497-0027. Visit www.nirvanagrille.com for the full menu.

 Royal Hawaiian, 331 N. Coast Hwy., will offer a prix fixe menu with a choice of starter, entrée, dessert and cocktail for $30 per person, and will also feature reggae by Kevin Smith and James Ide from 3 to 6 p.m. Call (949) 494-8001.

 Sapphire Laguna, 1200 S. Coast Hwy., will feature a Valentine’s brunch box with a signature cocktail Saturday through Monday, for $24.50. A three-course prix fixe menu will be served Feb. 14, with choice of starter, entrée and dessert. Prices range from $45 to $62 per person. Sapphire will create a more romantic and intimate ambience with smaller tables for two. A V-Day-to-go dinner for two ($42) will also be offered in the Pantry. Call (949) 715-9888

 Sorrento Grille and Wine Bar, 370 Glenneyre St., will offer a three-course Valentine’s menu with a choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert for $60 per person. For those who prefer to avoid the Valentine’s Day crush, they will also offer some specials today and Saturday evening. For reservations, call (949) 494-8686.

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 Splashes at the Surf & Sand Resort, 1555 S. Coast Hwy., will offer a three-course prix fixe menu, which includes an appetizer, entrée and dessert for $80 per person. Call (949) 497-4477.

 Sundried Tomato, 361 Forest Ave., will serve a special Valentine’s dinner from 4:30 to 9 p.m., at $40 per person. Call (949) 494-3312.

 Ti Amo, 31727 S. Coast Hwy., will feature a romantic four-course dinner-for-two with a choice of five entrees, for $120 per person. Each couple will receive one dozen long-stem red roses and a special Ti Amo Dolce. Six seatings are available from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Call (949) 499-5350 for reservations.

 Watermarc, 448 S. Coast Hwy., will offer weekend-long holiday specials a la carte in addition to the regular menu, including a filet carpaccio, peppercorn-seared ahi and a white chocolate strawberry cheesecake with a ginger Jello shot. Call (949) 376-6272



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