If restaurateurs could have their way the 14th February would always fall on a Monday. The good news is, it does in 2011. The bad news is, this year it falls on a Sunday. A day that is already traditionally busy & full with the noise & banter from families dining out with their kids.
There are of course a few options still available, you could dine later in the evening once the families have vacated the premises, celebrate on a different day that week or find a restaurant that either has a ban on children or is prohibitively too expensive to bring them.
One thing that I have discovered in the restaurant business since the recession began, is that although people don’t dine out as often as they used to, if there’s a special occasion then they tend to let go of the purse strings a bit, almost as an act of defiance against the current economic difficulties.
Birthdays, anniversaries and celebrations like Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s Day & Mothers Day take on even more meaning & deserve commemorating to the extreme. With this in mind we are hoping for a multitude of loved-up couples in La Bucca over the Valentine’s weekend.
The most important thing about Valentine’s, wherever you’re intending to dine, is to book your table well in advance at the restaurant of your choice. Don’t wait until the day itself & be forced to scan the yellow pages for any restaurant within driving distance, because the chances are, if they’re not fully booked at this stage there’s generally a good reason why.
Another important thing to note when you’re booking your table is whether there’s a fixed set price menu, if this is the only menu available & what price it is. Once you’ve sat down & been presented with a €75 per person, 3 course only menu, it will be too late to ring around & book into somewhere within your price expectations.
One of my personal pet hates on Valentine’s Menus is when a restaurant takes their normal menu items, gives them Love orientated descriptions & then doubles the price because they know they’re going to be full regardless. This is obviously a short term business philosophy and nobody is fooled by calling something a ridiculous name, making it in a heart shape and piping an arrow on the plate with reduced balsamic vinegar.
If I applied the same principle to La Bucca, these would be some of the dishes available:
Mermaid’s Pool of Fancy with hot love balls (Seafood chowder & baked dough balls). Cupid’s Spicy Thighs with a cooling pleasure pot (Chicken Wings & garlic dip).
Chocolate Love Bumps smothered in love juice (Brownies & chocolate sauce) & I’m not even going to start with our ‘Banger’s & Mash’.
But we’re a family friendly restaurant, so there will be no set menu, no fancy names & no inflated prices. If you want to book a romantic dinner, do so soon & make it for after 8pm to avoid the atmospheric clatter of dropped crayons, spilt drinks & the general commotion that goes with Sunday afternoon dining.