The Best Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipe

Whether you’re planning an outdoor dining excursion or a cozy dinner at home, Valentine’s Day is ripe with romantic possibilities, even in these unusual times. To give us all a little inspiration for the big day, we caught up with the amazing team at Coconut Point’s South Fork Grille. Known for their Long Island, New York-inspired cuisine, outstanding service, and locally driven ingredients, they’re experts at making memorable (and delicious!) moments. Read on to learn more about this can’t-miss destination and, if you’re in Estero, Florida, be sure to stop by for a meal on their gorgeous outdoor patio or order up a Valentine’s Day take-out dinner for the ages.  

For those unfamiliar, tell us about South Fork Grille — what makes the restaurant unique and what can we expect when visiting?
We’re a family owned restaurant with a 14-year history of locals serving locals. Coming from the South Fork of Long Island, we brought with us special homemade recipes for our Mussels, Montauk Lobster Roll, and signature Long Island Iced Tea Cocktail. You can expect locally sourced food, a congenial atmosphere, and dedicated management focused on good, personal service.

Tell us, what is the ideal South Fork Grille Valentine’s Day meal from start to finish?
Start with a classic glass of Champagne or our Strawberries and Cream Martini. Then, order our Red Curry Mango Lobster Bisque or Burrata Bruschetta to start. For dinner, we recommend our Surf and Turf or Chilean Sea Bass (we have gluten free and vegetarian options available too, of course!). End your meal with a delicious dessert, like our Bourbon Glazed Bread Pudding or Turtle Lava Cake.

Your menu focuses on local and regional ingredients — what dishes do you recommend this time of year?
Heartwarming comfort food is perfect this time of year! Our regulars love our Braised Short Ribs, house-made Meatloaf, and local Black Grouper (this one’s a guest favorite!). 

The weather in Estero is second to none; can you tell us a little more about your outdoor dining offerings?
We currently host 100 outdoor seats for lunch, brunch, and dinner — perfect to enjoy the fabulous Estero weather. We have covered seating for those looking for shade and open air seating for those taking in the sun!

How about take-out? What do you recommend our readers pick up for a cozy date at home?
Our lunch, brunch, dinner, wine, and cocktail menus are all available for take-out, so you can bring South Fork home and have a cozy date night any time of the week. You really can’t go wrong — the take-out menu is filled with everything from our Coconut Shrimp to Salmon, Burgers to Filet Mignonette. Don’t forget to order one of our house-made desserts!

What makes for the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner date?
The perfect Valentine’s Day dinner date always starts off with a little bubbly to get the senses going. We offer many options at our South Fork bar. Once you’re feeling good, embark on a little shopping with your significant other, then end your evening back at South Fork for a fabulous meal!

And, without further ado, read on for South Fork Grille’s delicious Chilean Sea Bass recipe.

Chilean Sea Bass
Served with Sunroot Puree, Green Beans, and Heirloom Tomato Sauce

1 8oz piece of Chilean Sea Bass
3 large heirloom tomatoes
1/4 pound unsalted butter
7 green beans
1/8 pound of basil
1/2 pound sunroot
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cloves garlic 

Sunroot Puree Method: 

1. In a pot, boil the sunroots for 20 minutes, until soft. 

2. Strain, then add to a blender or food processor. Add in ⅛ pound of butter and all heavy cream and mix until smooth. Add salt to taste. 

Heirloom Tomato Sauce Method: 

1. Dice the heirloom tomatoes and mince garlic. 

2. In a saute pan over medium heat, melt ⅛ pound of butter, then add tomatoes and garlic. Cook for five minutes, then add freshly chopped basil. Add salt to taste. 

Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass Method: 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat up a saute pan with oil over medium-high heat. 

2. Salt the sea bass on both sides and place the fish in the hot pan. Turn heat down to medium. Once the fish is golden brown, flip it over and place the pan in the oven. Cook for five minutes or until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 120°F. 

Plate up and enjoy! 


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