opus(credit: Opus Restaurant)

It’s here, that wonderful time of year where the pressure is on to show your sweetheart just how much you love her/him. Valentine’s Day can be a difficult holiday to navigate, but with a little planning and a few extra bucks, you can wow your sweetie and have a night to remember. Instead of heading out to one of your usual restaurants, check out one of these great spots in town, as they all feature smaller plates, prix fixe menus and other ways to take the pressure off your meal. You’ll get treated to all of the best foods and you’ll love the experience as each new plate is delivered to your table. The best part? You get to try a lot of great new foods while spending time with the person you love the most.

3350 Brighton Blvd.
Denver, CO 80216
(720) 542-3721

Acorn is one of the newer restaurants in Denver but is making a name for itself thanks to amazing food, great ambiance and an approachable and friendly staff. Acorn is located in the Source, an 1880s foundry that has been reclaimed and turned into an epicurean marketplace within the River North District. The food comes as smaller shared plates so you’ll want to order three or four dishes per person. You get lots of little tastes of some truly delightful culinary treats. Make sure to try the Foley Fish scallop crudo, which is an insanely fresh scallop covered in brown butter, chives and thinly sliced radish. You’ll also want to have a few custom cocktails while you are there and make sure to save room for dessert.

250 Josephine St.
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 355-5853

Opus is a beautiful fine dining restaurant located in the heart of Cherry Creek, next to Aria wine bar. It is the perfect destination for a romantic Valentine’s Day meal with your sweetheart. If you plan on a double date, be aware that the entire table needs to participate to take advantage of the prix fixe kitchen tasting menu. But one look at the menu and you’ll all be in quick agreement. You’ll enjoy seared scallops with a caper vinaigrette, herb-roasted monkfish with bacon and bay leaf butter, Angus striploin with a carrot puree, and to top it all off – vanilla crème brulee for dessert. Of course, with all chef’s menus, you’ll need reservations, and the menu could be subject to change.

Related: Top Romantic Restaurants In Denver

Palace Arms
321 17th St.
Denver, CO 80202
(800) 321-2599

Looking to really impress someone? Then make a reservation to spend Valentine’s Day at The Palace Arms restaurant, located in Denver’s historic Brown Palace Hotel. It is a truly memorable fine dining experience, and you can take advantage of the chef’s eight-course tasting menu. You’ll get a Chef’s Creation amuse to start and then you’ll dine on everything form Hudson Valley foie gras to Palace Arms rossini, a special Chef’s Creation pre-dessert and classic bananas foster prepared at your table. A smaller four-course tasting menu is also available, but this is a big night, so why not really live it up?

225 E. 7th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 832-4778

Mizuna’s fabulous menu changes often, featuring only the freshest ingredients custom picked by the impressive chefs that create the ever-changing menu. Valentine’s Day is always a popular time at Mizuna, so you’ll need to make a reservation early. However, you’ll be glad you prepared when you get to enjoy a prix fixe menu of the finest culinary treats. There is usually a five- or eight-course menu option, paired with the staff Sommelier’s wine pairings to make for a truly unforgettable meal.

Related: Top Celebrity Chef Restaurants In Denver

Luca d’Italia
711 Grant St.
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 832-6600

There is a reason that Zagat has rated Luca d’Italia one of the top Italian restaurants in the western United States. Make your Valentine’s Day reservations here so that you can experience this spot firsthand. You can enjoy a four-course prix fixe menu or the six-course chef’s menu, each can be paired with the perfect wines. You’ll start with an antipasti of calamari, meatballs or crudo and then move on to heartier Italian fare like roasted parsnip agnolotti or fusilli with truffle crema and then dine on Colorado lamb loin or dry aged New York strip steak. Of course, you’ll also want to save room for dessert so you can enjoy Frangelico bread pudding or a layered chocolate torta – two spoons of course.

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.