The following local restaurants are accepting reservations for Valentine’s Day, except for Norman’s Landing, which is a first-come first-serve venue for the occasion.
* FireWater Chophouse: 2155 Marketplace Blvd., Cumming; (678) 679-1021
* Norman’s Landing: 365 Peachtree Pkwy., Cumming; (770) 886-0100
* The Ridge, Great Steaks and Seafood: 1035 Turner Road, Cumming; (770) 886-9003
* Tam’s Backstage: 251 Ingram Ave., Cumming; (678) 455-8310
Love is in the air in Forsyth County. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, so are the prospects of a romantic dinner for two.
Instead of staying home this year, local restaurants are encouraging couples to enjoy an evening out through expanded menus, live music or an evening of dancing.
“Just bring your special sweetheart to The Ridge for a spectacular evening,” said owner Steve Campbell. “We have live entertainment from 6:30 to 10 p.m. with Kenny Cook and then we have a DJ and dancing from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.”
Campbell, who also owns a variety of other restaurants throughout metro Atlanta, said The Ridge offers Buckhead-style dining in Forsyth County.
The Ridge is also serving up a dining special of filet medallions, choice of seafood, side dishes and glass of wine for less than $30.
Bill Norman, owner of Norman’s Landing, said Valentine’s Day is the second busiest day of the year for restaurants, trailing only Mother’s Day.
“A lot of people will eat out Friday night because Saturday nights are so busy anyway,” Norman said. “A lot of people will eat out Thursday night, Friday night and even Sunday night, just to try to avoid the Saturday night madness.”
Even with early and belated celebrations, Norman expects to feed anywhere from 350 to 400 guests on Valentine’s Day.
In addition to the standard Saturday menu, Norman's will serve grouper, catfish and trout, along with side dishes like carrot soufflé, grilled asparagus and macaroni and cheese. For dessert, there will be red velvet cake and strawberry cobbler.
Norman said they will likely hold off on Valentine’s Day music and decorations.
“We have done all kinds of stuff like that before and everybody just really says just make all the food delish and we’ll do our own entertainment,” he said.
FireWater Chophouse will also offer specials for the evening, as well as Friday and Sunday, for "anyone that’s not able to come on that one day,” said manager Sue Hamilton.
“There is live music in the bar from 8 to 11 p.m.,” she said. “We have a fire-infused waterfall, which is the focal point, and we have 200 wines to choose from that are displayed on one of the walls.
“There is a wonderful atmosphere and the food is fabulous.”
Hamilton said women dining at the restaurant on Valentine’s Day will receive a flower and chocolate truffle.
This is the restaurant’s first Valentine’s Day celebration, as FireWater has been open only since March.
For Brian Tam, manager of Tam’s Backstage, Saturday will be busy.
“We are always slammed on Valentine’s Day,” said Tam, now celebrating his fourth year with the restaurant. “I wish every day was Valentine’s Day.”
The restaurant, which shares space with the Cumming Playhouse, will offer a prime rib and fresh fish special.
With the Gypsy Theatre production of Steel Magnolias at 8 p.m., the restaurant is also able to “make for a great evening with dinner and then a play,” Tam said.
Tam’s Backstage normally closes at 10 p.m., but likely will stay open later to accommodate the crowds.
“We have a unique atmosphere,” Tam said. “And we have an extensive wine list and dinner menu.