When making plans with a friend of mine, I always say ‘We’re going to have a blast!’ She recently replied to that comment with ‘We could have a blast at the Ivy Landfill!’ Meaning that as long as the two of us are there, it doesn’t matter where we are, a fun time will be had by all. A Valentine’s Day dinner could be considered the same way. As long as you are with the person who means the most to you, the dinner will be enjoyable no matter where you go. That being said, since this person is important to you, you want them to feel special on this upcoming big holiday, right? So, taking them somewhere special, where the food is great and the atmosphere is romantic, is top priority. These last two restaurants on our list provide all of that and more.


Tucked away in a quiet corner of a shopping center on Ridge-McIntire Road is the Shebeen restaurant. Shebeen was opened by Walter Slawski, a man who spent much of his childhood in South Africa. This time in his life inspired the cuisine of the restaurant, which is very unique for the area and offers amazing flavors you may not have experienced before. Sosatie, mealie pap, and peri-peri were only a few of the things I had to ask the server about on the menu, but the staff is more than happy to help you decipher and to make recommendations. And even if you can’t pronounce it, it is still delicious.

The lighting is perfect in Shebeen for a romantic meal. Low, but not so low that you can’t read the menu, see your food, or see your dinner companion. There’s a rustic feel with overhead beams and wood floors throughout. It’s cozy and warm and comfortable. If you arrive before your reservation time, there is a quaint bar to the right where you can experience one of the Shebeen’s famous cocktails or a glass of South African wine before your meal. Shebeen offers a great experience start to finish.

Shebeen is offering a special Valentine’s menu from February 14th to the 16th and is taking reservations now. Enjoy!


Fleurie is a special restaurant on a side street of the downtown mall in Charlottesville. While it is know throughout the area for its incredible French-inspired cuisine, Fleurie has also been recognized recently as one of the ‘100 Best Wine Restaurants‘ in the nation by Wine Enthusiast magazine. When a quaint restaurant in Cville gets national attention, you know it has to be amazing. The service, the food, the ambiance – everything about Fleurie says elegance and transports you to a different world until you walk back out onto the bricks and realize you are in Charlottesville again. It’s just that good.

On non-holidays, Fleurie not only offers its incredible a la carte menu, with items such as Beef Tenderloin au Poivre and Butter Poached Lobster, but also offers a pre-theatre prix fixe menu available before 6:30, perfect for when you and your date are going to the Paramount or the movies later in the evening.

For Valentine’s Day, however, Fleurie is offering only a Valentine’s menu that you and your sweetheart are sure to love. You can find that menu by scrolling to the bottom of this page:

Wherever you decide to dine this Valentine’s Day in Charlottesville, we hope that you have an incredible day with the one you love (or just like a lot, if it’s early). And if you are visiting and need a place to stay, check out our friends at Stay Charlottesville. They still have availability on and around Valentine’s Day, and you can book by calling 888-977-STAY or online at

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