ruby cake from nathaniel reid bakery photo courtesy nathaniel reid bakery

17 ways to celebrate Valentine's Day in St. Louis during a pandemic

Covid-19 has kept people apart for a long time, but there is nothing like love on Valentine’s Day to bring us together for some special holiday offerings from local restaurants and bars. Some of these options will bring date night to the comfort of your home or create a safe, distanced activity out on the town. So buy your box of chocolates, a bouquet of red roses, and start making your Valentine's Day plans.

Dine-in is restarting its pop-up series strong with a Valentine's Day brunch by pastry chef Sharon Harter. Reserve a table between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14, for an entree, two sides, and a welcome toast with your date. Try Belgian waffles with crispy chicken or a chive French omelette and enjoy it with bloody marys and mimosas. Meals are $35 per person with reservations available online through Feb. 14. 3723 S. Kingshighway Blvd., St. Louis, 314.353.3986, Facebook: Valentine’s Day Brunch @ featuring Sharon Harter 

Brett Hull’s Junction House is hosting a Valentine’s Day four-course meal for two. For $65 per person, choose any starter, salad, entree and a dessert. Make it the ultimate romantic experience with half off any bottle of wine. Don’t miss out on the lemon-truffle-lobster risotto, the Muscovy duck or the Alaskan king crab legs. Reservations for Feb. 14 can be made online1311 Lodora Drive, Wentzville, 314.375.4855,

Chaumette Vineyards & Winery is serving holiday specials at its Grapevine Grill for lunch and dinner with options for both indoor seating or enclosed, heated patio seating. In addition to the regular menu, try features, such as lobster cakes, crab bisque and prime-grade filet of beef tenderloin. The specials will be offered from Feb. 12 through 14 at lunch from noon to 4 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. Reservations available by phone. 24345 State Route WW, Ste. Genevieve, 573.747.1000, 

Cinder House at the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis is hosting a three-course dinner with views of the iconic Gateway Arch. The meal will be prepared by chefs Gerard Craft and Josh Adams and will cost $72 per guest. Some of the options include sea cress, wagyu flatiron steak and chocolate mousse. Make it even more memorable with the black truffle and caviar upgrades. Dinner includes two complimentary glasses of sparkling wine, as well as wine pairings for an additional fee. Reservations are required and can be made online or by phone. Dinner is available from Friday, Feb. 12, to Sunday, Feb. 14, between 5 and 10 p.m. 999 N. Second St., St. Louis, 314.881.5759,

Le Meridien St. Louis Clayton is offering a romantic five-course, pre-fixe Valentine’s Day menu at Café la Vie on Saturday Feb. 13, and Sunday, Feb. 14, in addition to their normal menu. The five-course meal includes an amuse bouche, aperitif, intermezzo, entree and dessert. Offerings include Dungeness crab cornet, baby iceberg carpaccio, Maine lobster fettuccine or beef duet with dry-aged strip loin, and passion fruit creme brûlée or chocolate pot de creme for dessert. Reservations for dinner are available on OpenTable between 5 and 9 p.m. on Feb. 13 and 14. The pre-fixe five-course dinner is $65. 7730 Bonhomme Ave., Clayton, 314.863.0400,

The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis is offering an upscale three-course dinner for $80 per person. Enjoy your meal in The Lobby Lounge or as room service if you’ve booked a room. The menu boasts choices of lobster bisque, grilled beef tenderloin and Turtle Dove chocolate tart. Reserve by phone for dinner offered Feb. 12 through Feb. 14, from 5 to 10 p.m. 100 Carondelet Plaza, St. Louis, 314.863.6300,

Dine-in or pickup

Bristol Seafood Grill is teaming up with J. Gilbert’s to present a Valentine’s weekend three-course meal for two from Friday, Feb. 12, through Sunday, Feb. 14. Start with a choice of lobster bisque or Caesar salad, following an entree of filet thermidor or lobster tail, and finish with crème brulee or chocolate mousse cake. The meal is $125 for two people and has an optional add-on for drinks at two for $20. This special is available for dine-in or carryout, but not for delivery or online ordering. Reserve online for the O’Fallon location and Creve Coeur location. 2314 Technology Drive, O’Fallon, 636.625.6350; 11801 Olive Blvd., Creve Coeur, 314.567.0272,

J. Gilbert’s will serve an almost identical meal to Bristol Seafood Grill. Again, this special meal is $125 for two and includes three courses. Slight changes in menu options include crab bisque and chocolate velvet cake (mains will be the same and drink add-ons will similarly be available). Reservations are recommended and can be made online. 17A West County Center, Des Peres, 314.965.4600,  

Retreat Gastropub is hosting a three-course dinner for modern American fare and cocktails. The restaurant will have both dine-in and carryout options available for this romantic meal, as well as its regular dinner menu options. Reserve a table online for Sunday, Feb. 14, between 4 and 10 p.m. or place a takeout order6 N. Sarah St., St. Louis, 314.899.0838,

Russell’s is baking up some Valentine’s Day sweets for pre-order at both locations and a limited four-course dinner menu at Russel’s on Macklind, for dine-in or pickup. Indulge in chocolate-dipped strawberries or a decadent chocolate cake. Dinner ranges from $64 to $72 per guest and will be available from Friday, Feb. 12, through Sunday, Feb. 14. You can even ship Russell’s famous gooey butter cake nationally to those loved ones who might be far away. Don’t forget to try the Valentine’s Day flavor, tart cherry-chocolate chip gooey butter cake. Order desserts by phone or online for pickup on Saturday, Feb. 13 (at both locations)Dinner reservations are available on Opentable or by phone for the Macklind location.  5400 Murdoch Ave., St. Louis, 314.553.9994; 952 Brookwood Center, Fenton, 636.343.8900, 

photo courtesy russell's cafe and bakery

Yellowbelly is celebrating the holiday with a three-course surf and turf dinner available for both dine-in and carryout. Sip on Yellowbelly’s signature tropical cocktails and pretend you’re away on a warm island while you try the fresh seafood. Place a carryout order or book a reservation online for Sunday, Feb.14, from 5 to 10 p.m. 4659 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 314.499.1509,

Delivery or pickup

Crown Candy Kitchen is helping you celebrate throughout the whole month of February in the sweetest way possible: by giving back. Buy a half-pound of “Havenly Hash,” a box of assorted chocolates for $15 and $5 of your purchase will go to families at local nonprofit The Haven of Grace, which serves pregnant, homeless women in need of long-term support for build a nurturing home and life. Purchase a box at the Old North neighborhood location or online throughout February. 1401 St. Louis Ave., St. Louis, 314.621.9650, 

Mission Taco Joint is offering a romantic Mexican feast through its ghost kitchen concept Holy Mole for delivery or pickup. Though typically the delivery menu is designed to be reheated, this holiday menu will be delivered hot and ready to eat. In the comfort of your home, start with squash blossom empanadas, fill up on carne asada or vegan enchiladas, and wash it all down with wine, beer, or a margarita for two. Pre-order online before Saturday, Feb. 13, at midnight for delivery or pickup between 5 and 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14. 286 East Ave., Webster Groves, 314.932.5430, 

Nathaniel Reid Bakery is serving specialty bakery items to help you celebrate the love. Get your fill of indulgent desserts, pastries and more. Order by phone or online by Wednesday, Feb. 10, for pickup through Saturday, Feb. 13 (Note: Nathaniel Reid Bakery is closed on Sunday, Feb. 14). 11243 Manchester Road, Kirkwood, 314.858.1019,

schlafly beer bouquet // photo courtesy schlafly

Schlafly is here to remind you that not all bouquets are made of flowers. Celebrate your loved one with a bouquet of beer for $9. Design your own six-pack with IPAs, pale ales and all your favorite brews. Buy your beer bouquet at any Schlafly location through Feb. 14. 2100 Locust St., St. Louis; 7260 Southwest Ave., Maplewood; 920 S. Main St., St. Charles, 314.241.2337,

Switchgrass Spirits has partnered with local craft cocktail syrup maker Heirloom Bottling Co. to help bring the Valentine's Day spirit to your home with a delivery cocktail kit. Included in the kit are all the ingredients and simple instructions you need to make six to eight unique bourbon Old-Fashioneds. On Feb. 12 from 5 to 6 p.m., join Kate Pogue from the blog, Kate Hearts Cake, for a free Galentine’s Day Happy Hour on Facebook live. Buy your ingredients ahead of time to follow along. Order the $35 kit online with a $5 local delivery fee or for pickup at Rolling Ridge Nursery on Feb. 13. 60 N. Gore Ave., Webster Groves, 314.203.6539,

Volpi Foods is preparing a Valentine’s Day charcuterie box for two for $15. Enjoy a spread of dried fruits, chocolates, cheeses and meats on your couch with your favorite romcom movie. Place your order by phone 24 hours in advance of desired pickup time. Pickup is at Volpi’s retail shop during the store’s normal hours (Note: Volpi Foods store is closed on Sunday, Feb. 14). 5256 Daggett Ave., St. Louis, 314.446.7950,