Valentine’s Day is not a time for typical. If you’re having reservations about your reservations, then maybe it’s time for something a little daring. 86’d is just that perfect date night spot, and with a sultry Valentine’s menu it has just the cachet (and dark mood lighting) for a sexy date night that is sure to please. Located on Dundas West, the wood-clad interior gives it a cuddle-up and cozy vibe, and with only a handful of tables, snagging a spot for this $75 prix fixe means your sweetie is special for sure.

But every good meal starts with a great cocktail, and owner and Davide De Ciantis is a seasoned pro, in both bartending, and hospitality. The well stocked bar features bitters, dried fruit segments and their own in house blends and bases to create custom cocktails on the fly. 86’d has no formal bar menu, instead Davide crafts drinks on demand, taking careful consideration into food pairings and flavour preferences. For Valentine’s, Davide is featuring the ‘It’s Complicated’, a Gatsby-esque flirty cocktail shaken vigorously for foamy egg whites, topped with a dried blood orange garnish.

Executive Chef Rory Kennedy makes the noise in the kitchen, and although he’s only in his 20’s, he’s got the skills in spades. Like his co-conspirator Davide, he’s not resting on his laurels either, and menus are often changing not only seasonally, but frequently, according to what’s available and fresh, and also what’s inspiring him, whether that’s his family, and their diverse cultures, or the ingredients, or a bit of both. His Valentine’s Day menu explores flavours that are both unique and unexpected. Hand made pasta is part of his repertoire, and Chicken Liver Mousse Ravioli is a lovely starter, just a perfect bite to get the juices flowing. I’m a huge fan of chicken liver mousse in any application, but here, lovingly arranged and nestled in fresh pasta makes you want more, but wisely the portion is precise and the flow of food continues to the slightly phallicly served Root Vegetable dish. Solid and simple ingredients shine under Chef’s supervision, and lead up perfectly to the Pork Belly, with spicy red hot chili peppers- a known aphrodisiac- and a colourful coconut chutney. Beet Stuffed Tortellini is somehow strangely feminine, another handmade pasta presented carefully, almost tenderly. Chef is courting couples here, and making sure you’re not getting too full, dessert is included too for good measure.

86’d is located at 1321 Dundas Street West. Call 416-908-8913 or email eighty6bar@gmail.com to book a table.