Belfast Telegraph

Where to dine on Valentine’s Day in Northern Ireland: 9 perfect spots

Valentine’s Day is upon us and couples across Northern Ireland have begun their annual search for the perfect way to spend the year's most romantic day.

From a melting chocolate sharing cookie in Armagh to a delicious seven course special in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland’s culinary scene has romance in abundance this Valentine’s.

Here's our guide to the best places to dine:

1. James Street South, Belfast

Now a Belfast institution, James Street South offers classic European cuisine in contemporary surroundings. The restaurant’s Valentine’s tasting menu includes a Dundrum crab with parsley, blood orange and red pepper starter and miso pork cheek, apple & crispy Lough Neagh eel, among other delicacies.

Prices start from £50pp.

Tasting Menu 1

  • Dundrum Crab, Parsley, Blood Orange & Red Pepper
  • L’Effet Papillion Grenache Rose, Cotes de Roussillon, France

 

  • Miso Pork Cheek, Apple & Crispy Lough Neagh Eel
  • Rustenberg Chardonnay, Stellenbosch, South Africa

 

  • Hannans Salt Aged Sirloin, Cauliflower, Carrot & Portavogle Langoustine
  • Le Pigeoulet de Brunier, Vacluse, Rhone, France

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Tasting Menu 2

  • Roasted Monkfish, Bakes Leek Salsa Verde
  • Macon Lugny, Chardonnay, Burgundy, France

 

  • Coolattin Cheddar, Toasted Crumpet & Beer Onions
  • Quinta de la Rosa 10yr old Tawney Port

 

  • Rhubarb & Dulcey Éclair
  • Coto de Hayas, Muscatel, Spain

 

4 courses £50 (£70 with wine pairing)

5 courses £55 (£80 with wine pairing)

For more information, visit www.jamesstreetsouth.co.uk

2. Catalina Restaurant, Enniskillen

With celebrity chef Noel McMeel at the helm, the Catalina Restaurant provides diners with an elegant yet relaxed ambiance as well as spectacular panoramic views of Lough Erne.

The tasting menu for two includes pork belly with celeriac remoulade, Armagh apple butter, celeriac and MacIvors cider jus.

The pièce de résistance is the Chocolate Delice - 65% Bitter Cocoa, Barry Chocolate Delice, a Salted Caramel Gel served with Caramel Ice Cream and glazed Pecan.

Prices for the seven-course tasting menu start at £58pp (£78pp with wine).

For more information, visit www.lougherneresort.com

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3. The Moody Boar, Armagh

For a unique culinary experience, visit the Moody Boar in Armagh city.

The restaurant infuses the smells, sights and flavours of its grounds with its own restaurant garden and local foraging.

Known for its homemade traditional food, the restaurant is relaxed, quirky and stylish. This year, the restaurant is bringing back its melting chocolate sharing cookie for Valentine’s Day so you can melt your partner’s heart.

For more information, visit www.themoodyboar.com

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4. Carleton Restaurant, Clogher

Treat your loved one to a four-course meal in this award-winning restaurant, housed within the 4* Corick House Hotel and Spa in Tyrone, for £35pp between Friday 9th – Sunday 11th and on Wednesday 14thFebruary. 

Extend your stay with a one or two-night Valentine’s escape package in the hotel, which includes Prosecco, a bouquet of roses, a sumptuous four-course romantic meal and a buffet breakfast all for £99.99pps.

For more information, visit www.corickcountryhouse.com

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5. The Gown Restaurant, Derry~Londonderry

The Gown Restaurant offers seasonally inspired menus of locally sourced ingredients in the heart of Derry’s Cathedral Quarter at the Bishop's Gate Hotel.

The vibrant eatery’s original features such as the original wall panelling give a charming and delightful ambiance.

Why not prolong your treat by staying a weekend with the five-star hotel’s special Valentine’s packages, which include a cocktail upon arrival, an overnight stay with a chocolate platter in your room and a delicious four-course meal. Hotel and dinner packages from £149 per night.

For more information, visit www.bishopsgatehotelderry.com

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6. Balloo House, Co Down

Nestled in the Co Down countryside in Killinchy, near the shores of the stunning Strangford Lough, this beautiful country pub is the ideal place to spend Valentine’s Day.

Eat downstairs for a casual meal with a varied menu or upstairs for a more intimate, luxurious dining experience and a menu that allows the kitchen team to show off the full extent of their talents.

A three course meal starts from £27.95pp with a delicious salmon & Portavogie prawn ravioli, Strangford scallops, and winter berry pannacotta all among the selection.

For more information, visit www.ballooinns.com/balloo-house

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7. The Salty Dog, Bangor

Start the evening off with a glass of Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rose before indulging in a luxury version of the bistro’s world-famous scotch egg made with Ballinteer Quails Egg.

Other standouts include Home Smoked West Coast Salmon, with buttered asparagus and a slow poached egg or a Trio of Corn Fed Chicken on a bed of chorizo risotto.

A Pickled Wild Mushroom Lasagna offers a different take on the Italian classic finished with a hazelnut & parmesan crumble.

All finished off with Neary Nogs Dark Chocolate Delice, with textures of raspberries and salted caramel ice cream.

The seven-course tasting menu is £49pp (or £69pp with expertly paired wines with each course).

For more information, visit www.saltydogbangor.com

8. Hadskis, Belfast

Hadskis is offering prix fixe meals for two for only £27.50 per head featuring dishes such as sweet potato soup, ricotta gnocchi and white chocolate crème brulee.

Starter

  • Sweet Potato, Coconut & Ginger Soup
  • Crispy Squid, Sauce Romesco & Fine Herbs
  • Chicken & Ham Terrine, Fois Gras & Apricot
  • Portavogie Crab, Fennel & Pear

Main

  • Sirloin, Chips & Prepper Sauce (£5 Supplement)
  • Armagh Chicken Supreme, Grilled Gem & Caesar Dressing
  • Stone Bass, Cauliflower, Chorizo & Dulse
  • Ricotta Gnocchi, Truffle Cream, Salsify & Chicory

Dessert

  • Death By Chocolate
  • White Chocolate Crème Brulee
  • Clementine & Passionfruit Upside Down Cheesecake
  • Selection of French & Irish Cheese (£3 Supplement)

For more information, visit www.hadskis.co.uk

9. Bar & Grill, Belfast

Treat your significant other to a delicious and elegant prix fixe dinner menu at The Bar + Grill on James Street South.

Guests can indulge in a three-course menu from £27.50pp, with choices including ricotta or duck ragu, mains of cod, beef sirloin or spatchcock chicken and a classic apple and pear crumble for dessert.

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Starter

  • Crab on toast
  • Prawn cocktail
  • Duck + venison ragu pappardelle
  • Warm beetroot salad with ricotta + truffle honey dressing
  • Warm potato salad with pastrami

Main

  • Roast Cod with grilled leeks, chorizo and Portavogle prawns
  • Sirloin of Beef with pepper sauce and chips (£5 supplement)
  • Curried vegetable cassoulet
  • Braised shin of beef with baked onion + Stilton
  • Spatchcock Chicken with spinach, wild mushrooms and pecorino

Dessert

  • Pistachio crème brulee
  • Baked Alaska
  • Selection of Irish + French cheese (£2 supplement)
  • Apple + pear crumble with Ice-cream
  • Black Forest sundae

For more information, visit www.belfastbargrill.co.uk

To book your Valentine’s meal visit www.discovernorthernireland.com

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