Monday, February 14th, 2011. Valentine’s Day. You’re looking for the perfect place to take that special someone in beautiful Claremont, California. Maybe you’re a student at one of the Claremont Colleges, or maybe you’re just passing through the town. Whatever the case, you want it to be perfect, and that means picking the perfect restaurant. There are a lot of options for places to eat in the Village, but a few rise to the top.
Tucked away in the Village at 114 North Indian Hill Boulevard, La Picoletta Ristorante is the perfect restaurant if you’re looking for an intimate Italian dinner. With a capacity of about 40 people, service is always prompt and attentive. The low lighting and soft music add the feeling of a classic Italian dinner date. The menu is simple and timeless, and the pasta portions are sized perfectly. Looking for a dish to share? The meatballs are enormous, and, if you’re not taking a vegetarian to dinner, they are perfectly sized for you and your date to split one. Since Valentine’s Day is on a Monday this year, you won’t be able to take advantage of the college student special on pasta every Thursday night, so expect to spend about $20-25 per person not including tip. Reservations can be made at 909-624-1373.
The Village Grille
Nostalgic for the 1950s? The Village Grille is the place for you if you and your date want to relive a simpler time. Black and white tile floor, red booths, and a soda fountain all complete the vintage feel of this little restaurant located at 148 Yale Ave. An incredibly friendly waitstaff helps keep the regulars coming back for their burgers, chili, and other diner food staples. With a similarly small capacity to La Picoletta, the service is never slow, the food is always delicious, and prepared in a timely fashion. The Village Grille is a cheaper option for couples who are looking to spend only about $15 per person. Reservations can be made at 909-626-8813.
Casablanca Bar and Grill
Located in the “New Village” area at 500 West 1st St., Casablanca is the premier Mediterranean restaurant of Claremont. Offering both indoor and outdoor seating, a full bar, and hookah on the deck, Casablanca has something for everyone. The appetizers are incredible, especially their hummus. Entrees continue to score highly, ranging from kebabs and shawarma, to quail for the more adventurous diner. The highlight of the menu, however, is the seafood. These are the best scallops you will ever eat. With so many options, splitting two entrees between you and your date is definitely the way to go. This is a more expensive option, especially if you order some of their unique cocktails or opt for hookah, but it’s well worth it. Expect to spend $25-30 for the basic Casablanca’s experience, more if you opt for spirits or hookah. Reservations can be made online, or at 909-626-5200