LINK Streetscapes: Romantic spots for Valentine’s Day

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This story originally appeared in the Feb. 10 edition of the weekly LINK Reader. To get these stories first, subscribe here.

Valentine’s Day comes during one of the coldest, dreariest months of the year when many could use a day dedicated to love and warmth. A challenge for some each Valentine’s Day is finding a cozy, comforting, and hopefully romantic place to celebrate. This Streetscapes, feel the love found in Northern Kentucky’s eateries.

Carabello Coffee

Carabello has been an NKY staple since its founding by husband and wife duo Justin and Emily Carabello. They sought to create a space that would bring the community together. In a video about the origins of Carabello, Justin Carabello explains “coffee is the means to relationships,” which is why so many have found themselves enjoying a drink in their coffee shop, and usually in good company. 

For those who aren’t looking to spend an arm and a leg for Valentine’s Day, Carabello is also an easy alternative without sacrificing romantic ambiance. 

Each year, the Carabellos use their coffee shop to bring couples – new and not-so-new – together for Valentine’s Day. Carabello is transformed from a bright coffee shop to a candlelit room with linen-draped tables. The ticketed event offers couples a special tasting menu served over a one hour period. The menu is specially curated for this event and includes three drinks each and two desserts to share, all set to live music. Tickets are $46 per couple.

That event is planned for the evening of Feb. 11. The day before, Carabello is making room for gals with “Galentine’s Day.” The event is designed for best friends to grab a coffee and toast to their relationship with hot chocolate, desserts, two signature drinks and a photo booth for this ladies only event. 

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For those with dietary restrictions, dining out can be a challenge. However, Bouquet in Covington offers vegan dishes, varying charcuterie boards with plant-based cheese, and is best known for its fresh, farm-to-table food. 

The chefs at Bouquet take their food seriously. They frequently share photos of their artfully crafted dishes on social media to whet appetites with photos of perfectly pink steaks, zaatar onions and poblano peppers; or braised carrots with arugula, mushroom, corn and red pepper hummus. 

Bouquet is located in the heart of Mainstrasse. Upon entering, guests are greeted by colorful walls, stained glass windows, and a spacious dining room. Bouquet uses every nook and cranny for its seating, so tables are plentiful but still feel private.

The location in Covington’s hub paired with its delicious menu and plentiful seating make Bouquet a great choice for couples looking to dine out this Valentine’s Day. 


For those seeking a decadent and romantic ambiance for the evening, this new-to-the-scene restaurant in Bellevue is a great option. A glass elevator takes guests to the restaurant, where the first thing one notices are the floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the Ohio River and offer a view of the Cincinnati skyline. 

MRBL specializes in surf and turf, with steak, lamb, and pork options alongside a sushi menu, seafood appetizers like the blue crab spinach dip, and ahi tuna tacos. 

MRBL is celebrating Valentine’s Day on both Feb. 14 and Feb. 15 with a four course menu for guests to try both their sushi and steak offerings. Cost is $100 per person with an optional wine pairing that can be added on for $50 per person. MRBL also allows guests to preview its regular menu and make reservations online. 

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Ripple Wine Bar

Romance doesn’t always have to include candle lit dinners and caviar. Ripple Wine Bar takes a more modern approach to a romantic setting with white walls, light wood tables, and mosaic tiles to brighten up the space. 

Sharing a bottle of wine and charcuterie board here can turn an afternoon into a mini-European vacation. 

Ripple is also a tasteful option for those who aren’t looking for a multi-course meal, though the menu is plentiful with dishes like filet mignon, mushroom pasta and scallops with the right wine to match. Anyone who isn’t a sommelier can rely on the Ripple’s expert suggestions to maximize their wine tasting experience. 

Valentine’s Day is about appreciating the most important relationships. Whether that’s with friends or significant others, Northern Kentucky has an array of options and experiences to fit any style.

Have a city, street or business you want me to check out next? Email me at [email protected] and it could be featured on the next LINK streetscapes.

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