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Where to spoil your sweetheart this Valentine's Day

Fireside table set for two at Tacoma’s Asado. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

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ANNOUNCER: Dutch and Jackie this week let their stomach and hearts lead them across the South Sound with each sharing their favorite go-to spots for a romantic evening.

DUTCH: An intimate setting is a great start for a romantic night out with the one you love. A loud and crowded location creates a challenge when whispering sweet nothings in each other's ears over the dinner plate. However, if the food doesn't satisfy, then it doesn't matter what you've whispered because, as they say, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and I'm no exception. So, here are a few places that meet all the needs for just such an evening.

One is located at the end of an off-ramp in Parkland. Citron European Bistro boasts French-inspired selections with a touch of German influence. Dishes such as the beef bourguignon partner a traditional French beef and red wine stew with a side of German spaetzle. The French Onion soup is baked to perfection with bubbling cheese atop a crostini in a rich broth swimming in onions. And don't forget about the mousse. I mean really . . . don't forget about the mousse. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday, 10716 A St., Tacoma, 253.327.5087

For those of you on the south end, Falls Terrace Restaurant in Tumwater offers views of Tumwater Falls from nearly every seat as well as a great selection of Northwest seafood. The starters alone here will satisfy your seafood cravings with unique options like the crab and lobster cakes, pan-seared oysters, or the artichoke shrimp and crab dip. The main courses feature several seafood dishes as well. The seafood sampler combines halibut and salmon topped with shrimp and cream sauce, then served with a crab and lobster cake. The seafood sauté is another Falls Terrace original combining prawns, clams, crab legs, and scallops in a rich, creamy butter sauce. My favorite here, however, is their signature halibut, which is a simple dish of grilled fish topped with mushrooms, crab, shrimp and lobster covered in hollandaise sauce. In this case, simple does not mean ordinary. Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday, 106 Deschutes Way, Tumwater, 360.943.7830,

JACKIE: Like body language, presentation is absolutely vital when translating the language of love tableside. My top picks boast some of my favorite aspects of Valentine's Day dining. Let's dig right in shall we:

Brix 25 is the ultimate white linen experience. With a vast selection of Pacific Northwest wine varietals, carefully selected by owner Katie Doherty, Brix also has some delectable, hand-crafted, boozy libations. Their dinner menu features beautifully executed fare using the freshest ingredients, with special care given to balance, texture and presentation. The Brix Signature Boeuf Bourguignon delights with its hearty richness, while seafood lovers can indulge in the Thai Curry and Coconut Steamed Mussels that deliver an aromatic and scrumptious experience. The staff provides professional, informed and warm service to boot, allowing you and your loved one to savor the experience. Plus, dim overhead lights and a candlelit table equate to the perfect ambiance for making eyes over the table in-between bites. Open 4:30-9 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 4:30-9:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday; 4:30-8:30 p.m., Sunday, 7707 Pioneer Way, Gig Harbor, 253.858.6626,

Warm tones throughout, a roaring warm fireplace and the aroma of mesquite grilled goods wafting through the air, sets the tone before you even begin to peruse Asado's menu. This Argentinian steak house puts big flavor center stage. The Lomo steak is a juicy and tender number served with a rosemary fig demi and Asado's house-made, uber flavorful chimichurri. Other dishes include their butternut squash gnocchi presented in a rich brown butter sauce, a seared sea bass and serrano wrapped stuffed chicken. Just to name a few. Even their sides pack big flavor like bacon leek butterbeans and creamy poblano polenta. Bonus, their wine list boasts over 100 wines with a generous selection from Washington, Argentina and France. Full disclosure, my husband is employed here but we were regulars long before he became a part of the team. Open 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., Monday-Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., Friday; 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Saturday; 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday, 2810 6th Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.7770, 

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