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If you just looked at the calendar and realized that Feb. 14 is sitting right there, mere days away, it's going to be OK. We've got you.

Valentine's Day reservations have been flooding in for weeks by couples who want to feel all the love for a few hours over a special tasting menu. But fret not, fellow procrastinator, this is where we both exist and shine: We don't have reservations yet, either.

We've spent the morning scouring reservation sites and social media to bring you the best options for a fantastic, unforgettable meal with reservations still available — at least for a minute — plus tips and strategies for a lovely meal that doesn't require exacting forethought.


Raise a class to Cajun flavors at Guacaya Bistreaux in Minneapolis, which still has reservations open for Valentine's Day.
Raise a class to Cajun flavors at Guacaya Bistreaux in Minneapolis, which still has reservations open for Valentine's Day.

Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune


Mara: For those with deep pockets, there are still a couple of early reservations available at Mara at the Four Seasons for $195 per person. 245 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.

St. Genevieve: Steven Brown's French brasserie would be perfect for oysters, bubbles and romance. There are still a couple of seats available at the bar or in the dining room. 5003 Bryant Av. S., Mpls.

The Kenwood: There are just a couple of seats left at this beautiful restaurant near Lake of the Isles. Between the gorgeous food and excellent wine list, they won't last long. 2115 W. 21st St., Mpls.

Red Wagon Pizza Co.: There's all the standard pizza toppings, plus their signature flavors — and all pies can be ordered half and half for just the right kind of cheesy romance. Plus, there is an impressive beer wall, exceptional wine list, full cocktails and THC beverages for pairing. Regular dinnertime seats remain up for grabs. 5416 Penn Av. S., Mpls.

Hazel's Northeast: This restaurant performs the deceptively tricky task of delivering classic comforts with cozy consistency time and again. It's a beloved neighborhood restaurant for a reason, and there are prime-time dinner reservations available for lovers who appreciate Swedish meatballs. 2859 NE. Johnson St., Mpls.

El Sazón Cocina & Tragos: The new restaurant near Tangletown in Minneapolis from the couple who created a sensation with their gas station tasting dinners has several seatings available. We can't stop obsessing over these dinners. (And if you miss the reservations or live in Eagan, there's always takeout tacos from the original location.) 5309 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls.

The Dakota: Take in dinner and a show at downtown's iconic club with tickets to see jazz vocalist Sophia Shorai and Prince's Diamonds and Pearls-era keyboardist Tommy Barbarella paired with a four-course dinner. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. Tickets for everything are $125 and still available. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.

Sun shines in through windows during Wrestaurant at the Palace in St. Paul.
Sun shines in through windows during Wrestaurant at the Palace in St. Paul.

Shari L. Gross, Star Tribune

St. Paul

Nico's Tacos Bar: Give the gift that always fits: tacos and margaritas. Not only does Nico's on Como have an excellent selection of agave spirits, but the bright room is absolutely romantic — and so is the St. Anthony Park neighborhood setting. The entrees are also occasion-worthy. It's hard to believe there are still a bunch of tables available to reserve. 2260 Como Av., St. Paul

Gus Gus: The incredibly romantic restaurant over by St. Thomas has a couple of seats open for those willing to celebrate Valentine's Day on the late side. 128 N. Cleveland Av., St. Paul

Wrestaurant at the Palace: Get them what they really want: pizza. Actually, Wrestaurant, from the same folks that gave us Wrecktangle, is more than just pizza — although they have it. The culinary team stretches a bit and does some beautiful pastas and salads. This might be a sleeper hit hot spot and there are seats available at a normal dinnertime. 33 W. 7th Place, St. Paul

King Coil Spirits: The new distillery in St. Paul's Vandalia Tower complex has prime-time dinner reservations and a back bar cocktail list that's very special for sweethearts who love a top-shelf sip. 550 Vandalia St., St. Paul

Bullvino's Churrascaria in Lowertown: This is a full experience with all-you-can-eat meat served tableside. Save room for crème brûlée dessert. Reservations are still open for early and late dinners. 289 E. 5th St., St. Paul

White Castle: You know you want to. There are a couple of late-night slots left at White Castle, which turns into a fine-dining restaurant for one night only but with the same menu. Just slide-r right in. 1120 W. University Av., St. Paul


Cedar + Stone: If your sweetie is a shopper, this elegant restaurant at the Mall of America's JW Marriott hotel might be a fun date night experience — and there are still prime-time dinner reservations available. It's a very pretty room, and the food leans into Minnesota ingredients. 2141 Lindau Lane, Bloomington

St. Louis Park

Punch Bowl Social: If the idea of just the two of you sitting and staring at each other all night is a little bit much for Valentine's Day (say, if you haven't been dating all that long), Punch Bowl Social has a bunch of reservations open — and there are games. Activities take the pressure off and it's a creative way to look like this plan has been in the works a lot longer than 48 hours. 1691 Park Place Blvd., St. Louis Park

Outside the metro

Tattersall Distillery River Falls: If your sweetie is a big cocktail fan, it might be fun to plan an evening drive out to River Falls to Tattersall's big distillery. In addition to lots of dinner times available, there's an onsite store and gift shop. And because it's Wisconsin, you can buy full bottles of their booze. 1777 Paulson Road, River Falls, Wis.

Krewe: A romantic drive can be part of the evening's experience, and this Cajun-flavored restaurant is most definitely worth the drive — and staying out late. There are a few tables still available for dinner on the later side of the evening. 24 College Av. N., St. Joseph, Minn.

Marc Heu Patisserie Paris in St. Paul serves up eye-catching pastries, including this passion fruit-raspberry tart, that are perfect for a last-minute Valentine's Day surprises.
Marc Heu Patisserie Paris in St. Paul serves up eye-catching pastries, including this passion fruit-raspberry tart, that are perfect for a last-minute Valentine's Day surprises.

David Joles, Star Tribune

Romantic breakfast restaurants count, too

Who says romance has to be limited to dinner? Breakfast counts, too. And with these options, it really can be the most important meal of the day.

At French Hen Cafe in St. Paul, the entry is through a flower shop (hint). 518 Selby Av., St. Paul,

Yum has a hearty candy and sticker-filled display at the heart of all their sun-filled restaurants, and plenty of sweets for your sweetie. Locations in Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, St. Paul and Woodbury;

Wise Acre Eatery is another beguiling early morning setting, with a menu supplied by its own farm. Pick up something in the deli for dinner, too. 5401 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls.,

Silver Fern is still a relatively new all-day cafe on E. Hennepin, and no one would bat an eye at a romantic glass of wine with breakfast. 114 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls.,

Cafe Alma stocks beautiful pastries, a gorgeous early morning menu and soft early-morning lighting that looks great on everyone. Plus, there's a selection of body products used in the upstairs boutique hotel for last-minute gifting. 528 University Av. SE., Mpls.,

The sweet cafe and bakery Heather's is the work of Lucia's alum Heather Asbury and a beloved neighborhood day cafe. Sit inside the cozy cafe or in the year-round tented patio outside, lit by a colorful chandelier. Food is local/seasonal when possible and there are coffee drinks, plus a beautifully appointed wine list. 5201 Chicago Av., Mpls.

In the suburbs, the Fox and Pantry has lovely cocktails in a highly romantic setting with fresh pastries and curated gifting options displayed around the recently expanded restaurant. 15725 37th Av. N., Plymouth,

Breakfast is available until 2 p.m. at the Grocer's Table, where mimosas and Bloody Marys are on the menu in addition to all your morning favorites. Leave time for perusing the market and bakery case. 326 Broadway Av. S., Wayzata,

Off to a late start? RH Rooftop might be one of the most jewel-encrusted restaurants in the Twin Cities, its glittering chandeliers dripping down over a center-of-the-room fountain. It opens for brunch at 10 a.m. and some reservations are still available. 6801 France Av. S., Edina

Romance your partner with pastries — the ultimate procrastinator coverup because it's a gift that needs to be bought day-of. Marc Heu Patisserie opens at 9 a.m. with croissants that glisten like sugary, bready jewels. 156 N. Dale St., St. Paul,

Sweethearts on both sides of the river can get John Kraus' world-class chocolate sweets at Rose Street Patisserie in St. Paul and Patisserie 46 in Minneapolis. 171 N. Snelling Av., St. Paul; 4552 Grand Av. S., Mpls.;

Sneak out early and grab breakfast and coffee at the cheery Honey & Rye (it opens at 7 a.m.). Or order ahead online and bring home a quiche and pastries (and a few heart-shaped cookies) for a memorable start to the day. 4501 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park,

There are all the beautiful things — both pastries and gifts — at the three Cooks Bellecour locations sprinkled throughout the metro. Minneapolis, St. Paul and Edina;

If your honey has gluten problems, head to Hold the Wheat in St. Louis Park for fresh-baked gluten-free treats. 4050 Brookside Av., St. Louis Park,

And remember, if no reservations are open, dive bars are never a bad idea.

Staff writers Sharyn Jackson and Nicole Hvidsten contributed to this report.