San Diego

Love Bites: What Aphrodisiacs to Eat to Make Love Tonight

Feb 14th 2011 12:00PM / by Nanette Wiser

Looking for Love Potion #9? Feed your Valentine legendary ingredients purported to incite lust and inspire a frisky night after you've painted the town red (or pink). Consider the folktales: Aztecs ruler Montezuma drank chocolate before satisfying his harem while Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, rose from the sea in an oyster shell. Athenian lovers drank honey to sweeten their interludes, hence ... honeymoon? Sip and nibble aphrodisiac delights at these romantic restaurants:

El Bizcocho: Four-course Valentine's meal kicks off with oyster shooters with yuzu mignonette and another aphrodisiac, avocado (in the white asparagus soup), derived from the Aztec word "ahuacuatl" or testicle tree. For dessert, $75 per person will get you a choice of red velvet Valrhona chocolate or rose-infused ganache with white chocolate cream.
Rancho Bernardo Inn, 17550 Bernardo Oaks Dr., Rancho Bernardo; 858-675-8550

The Glass Door Restaurant: Love tapas and bay views? Chef Brent Calley's smoked salmon flatbread and duck fries rock, but on Valentine's Day, he steps it up with hand-shucked oysters and chocolate ménage a trois washed down with Piper Sonoma. A three- course meal tonight will cost $120 per person.
Porto Vista Hotel, 1835 Columbia St., Little Italy; 619-544-0164

Mille Fleurs: The aphrodisiacal menu features hot and cold asparagus with blood orange hollandaise, pan-roasted chilies with avocado, and mousse au chocolate topped with sautéed bananas and Meyer's rum sauce. An Islamic tale says banana leaves hid Adam and Eve's naughty bits, and what man hasn't swooned seeing his Cupid delight in a banana?
6009 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe; 858-755-3085

Terra: Honey miso dressing drizzled over beets, greens, goat cheese, toasted hazelnuts and shave asparagus and bubbly kick off the $59 per person four-course meal, topped off by dark chocolate mousse clouds with raspberry bursts. Best of show entree is the filet mignon and vanilla butter-poached lobster tail.
3900 Vermont St., Hillcrest; 619-293-7088

Photo Courtesy of Mille Fleurs

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