Josh and Katelyn Rine plan to do what many couples do on Valentine's Day - dine out.

"We definitely like to try different things," Mrs. Rine said.

They don't have any specific plans yet, but they're looking for a quiet, romantic dinner, not necessarily easy to find on a typically busy night, but not impossible, she said.

"And we typically look for places that will let us make reservations far in advance - at least a week or so," said the Dublin resident, who hopes to spend $50 to $60 on two meals.

It's a big night in the industry, the third biggest statistically, next to Mother's Day and birthdays, respectively, according to the National Restaurant Association.
Mark Glasper, director of communications for the Ohio Restaurant Association, said restaurants should put their best foot forward on Valentine's Day, ratcheting up kitchen efficiency and service.

"Aside from food, people really notice the type of service they receive," he said.

Because Valentine's Day is on Saturday, typically a busy day in the industry, Glasper said restaurants should consider running their specials Friday through Sunday.

That's exactly what the Polaris Grill intends to do, owner Darren Greene said.

"There will be plenty of people who don't want to go out on (Valentine's Day) night because it's so crazy busy everywhere," Greene said.

Doors open at 4 p.m. on the actual holiday, but no major programming changes are planned, Greene said. Aside from a few specials - crab legs and surf and turf, for example - the menu will not change.

"The biggest thing for is to make sure the people who come here regularly can get what they expect," he said.

Yet, some restaurants, such as Sage in the University District, are offering pre-fixe meals. Chef/owner William Glover said his three-course dinner will cost $50 per person.

Streamlining the menu helps not only the kitchen, but also the servers, who can spend more time tending to the needs of the customers, he said. (He added that hungrier patrons who seek additional courses will have them available.)

But Valentine's Day isn't limited to restaurants. Yosick's Artisan Chocolates in German Village is planning a big day, offering special products and gift baskets, owner Kristi Yosick said.

"Valentine's Day you can't ignore," she said. "You just have to do something for Valentine's Day."

In addition, the shop will have a three-course chocolate tasting to include a beverage, baked dish and fondue. It will be $25 a person.

"This year I think we will be more flamboyant in our offerings," Yosick said. "Chocolate is the food of the gods and the gods are in love. We're going to do some very artistic pieces which will make people even happier to eat it, I'm sure."

gseman@thisweeknews.com