This is no time to forget Rough Creek Lodge.
The region's finest rural lodge-resort still has star chef Gerard Thompson, and he's delivering in grand style for Valentine's Day.
Rough Creek's $95-per-person meal features six dinner choices including pheasant with lemon-mascarpone potatoes, wood-grilled elk with onions and a garlic-potato-cauliflower puree, or other beef or seafood.
The dessert menu leads with Valrhona chocolate cakes or candies and also includes an orange-blackberry crisp.
Rough Creek Lodge is in Erath County between Glen Rose and Stephenville. The address is 5165 County Road 2013, Glen Rose; 254-965-3700, roughcreek.com.
Nearby, even country roadhouse Loco Coyote Grill has a Valentine's special.
The Hammond family's legacy steakhouse and barbecue restaurant will serve two seasoned and open-grilled 1-pound rib-eyes, salad, sides, potatoes and one of the huge Hammond desserts for $50.
The Coyote is open Thursday and Friday nights, all day Saturdays, and for lunch Sundays; 254-897-2324, letseat.at/lococoyotegrill.
A Mexican restaurant isn't usually the pick for Valentine's dinner.
But La Choza isn't the usual Mexican restaurant.
With most choices booked, chef Anthony Aguillon's Santa Fe-style grill west of Lake Worth is offering an unusual Valentine's menu.
The six entrees include a pecan-crusted sea bass with a jalapeño-pineapple sauce, or seafood linguine in a jalapeño-capers sauce.
Also: a chicken-and-shrimp habanero combo, fajitas or beef tenderloin, all for $18-$36.
Aguillon's first-rate, fresh-baked desserts include spicy chocolate cheesecake, "impossible" amaretto flan cake or German chocolate cake.
La Choza, which has bounced around from Meacham Boulevard to Parker County, is settling in for its second year at 7001 Confederate Park Road (Farm Road 1886), next door to Lightcatcher Winery in rural western Tarrant County near the town of Lakeside.
It's open daily except Mondays for lunch and dinner; 817-751-9060.
Former Portofino owner Reza Mirzadeh would like me to explain that he is not connected to the new Portofino Italian Grill in Fort Worth.
The new Portofino has some employees of the old restaurant, but not the same management or menu.
Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com Weekend. 817-390-7538
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