Canlis is the toughest restaurant in the city to get into on Valentine's Day. In fact, it is booked solid for the occasion an entire month in advance; an impressive but irrelevant bit of information for those of us with more sensitive checking accounts. There are already so many occasions--anniversaries, birthdays, etc.--that require us to make sacrifices and drop $250-plus on a single evening. Valentine's doesn't always make the cut when it comes to priority spending.
But that doesn't mean you need to choose between staying in or going broke. Several of Seattle's finest restaurants offer a memorable dining experience that cost as much as it would to grab a couple burgers at Red Robin. Here are five of the most affordable (but romantic!) dinner-date destinations to consider, come February 14. Disclaimer: None of these come with bottomless fries or sodas.
5. May Thai
This Wallingford restaurant executes authentic but lavish Thai cuisine. Pad Thai is never sexy, except here, where they prepare it tableside like an upscale steakhouse prepares salad. Golden-brown noodles are served in a purple banana blossom, then various spices and sugar are stirred in, according to your flavor preference.
Hidden inside the Oddfellows Building, this gorgeous space is surprisingly inexpensive. Grilled octopus, lamb cassoulet, and steak frites are in the $10-$17 range, which means you may have extra cash to spend on a post-meal dance lesson across the hall at Century Ball Room.
Want to steer clear of traditional? Try Ethiopian! The cuisine lends itself to an intimate dining experience; shared dishes meant to be eaten with the hands. And luckily, this South Lake Union establishment is so dimly lit that no one will see you and sneer as you feed your date injera bread.
2. La Rustica
The small family-owned restaurant serves Northern Italian dishes like cheese tortellini with egg and prosciutto for under $20. If a couple appetizers would send you over budget, you're in luck: La Rustica serves basket after basket of the best free (focaccia!) bread in the city.
1. Bleu Bistro
SW readers voted this cute nook on Capitol Hill the Best Restaurant for a First Date. Most of the tables seat two, and have velvet curtains that can be drawn for privacy. Between serving stiff cocktails and rich pasta dishes, servers wisely keep the interruptions to a minimum, giving you some serious time to suck face.