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Show Your Valentine Local Love

Here are some suggestions for a night out on the town in and around Ellicott City.

Are you still making plans for a special Valentine’s Day meal?

Here are three ideas for tried-and-true, more-than-a-century-old establishments in and near Ellicott City.

1. The  has been listed as one of Open Table's Top 100 romantic spots. The building has been around since 1744, when it was first used as a tavern. To this day, the restaurant has a very extensive wine list. Its prix fixe Valentine's Day menu for 2012 includes dishes like shrimp and scallops in saffron sauce and passionfruit creme brulee. There's a path winding around the inn for a romantic stroll.

2.  will be serving only its special Valentine's Day menu which includes not one, not two, but a trio of chocolate desserts. Enjoy a romantic lunch from 12 - 3 p.m. or dinner from 4 - 10 p.m.

3. Over in Catonsville, try the , housed on a country estate from the 1800s. In the 1920s, people used to eat light fare outside on the porch and in the parlor. These days, the restaurant offers diners the option of having an appetizer and a drink at the bar or an early dinner. It also has a Valentine's Day menu with items such as rosemary-mustard-encrusted rack of lamb and seared salmon with lobster polenta.

4. Is yours more of a laid-back valentine? Head to  in Ellicott City for casual fare like crab dip, chicken wings and bread pudding, followed by a walk along the Tiber. Like the , The Trolley Stop was used as a tavern in its early days. It was also a general store, inn and boarding house. Its stone building has been around since 1833; from 1889 to 1955, a trolley used to stop outside on the streetcar's way through Catonsville to Baltimore, which is how the place got its name.

5. The on Main Street -- a former bridal boutique -- would be my number one pick for a romantic night in Ellicott City. Unfortunately, the four-room boutique hotel is full. It's OK to be romantic some other time, though, right? Or get a jump on next year's Valentine's Day. 

Have other Valentine's Day favorites you want to share? Add them in the comments!

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