Eats Beat

Valentine’s warning: Book now or wind up at Waffle House

A Waffle House in Lake Worth will be decked out in red for Valentine’s Day.
A Waffle House in Lake Worth will be decked out in red for Valentine’s Day.

This is your first warning: Valentine’s Day is three weeks away.

If you planned on dinner after work at Bird Cafe, Capital Grille, Paris 7th, or Reata, those restaurants are filling up.

Try an Italian restaurant — Aventino’s, Piola or Taverna come to mind — or for contemporary flavors, somewhere like Cannon Chinese, Malai Kitchen, Tokyo Cafe or Wabi House.

Here’s a quick look at a few Valentine’s specials, with a longer list coming soon:

In the Modern, Cafe Modern has announced only a 3-course dinner ($65, with wine pairings $100). No menu yet, but last year’s menu ranged from osso bucco to sea bass; 3200 Darnell St., 817-840-2174,

Downtown’s fine dining mainstay, Grace, is offering a broad menu priced per item, with a choice of 11 entrees including steaks, snapper, turbot, lobster and rack of lamb; 777 Main St., 817-877-3388,

Chef Tim Love’s Lonesome Dove Western Bistro has announced a $95 price but no menu yet; 2406 N. Main St., 817-740-8810,

The charity restaurant Taste Project will charge a set price for the first time, asking $300 for a benefit dinner for two with the money going to help feed the hungry. The menu features filet mignon, lobster risotto, stuffed calamari, salad and dessert; 1200 S. Main St., 817-759-9045,

The annual Waffle House Valentine’s special, when the diners are darkened with tablecloths and flowers added, will be served this year at 1910 N. Collins St. in north Arlington along with locations in Benbrook and Lake Worth. Call for reservations;

Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.