From a business perspective, Valentine's Day is to an upscale restaurant as Super Bowl is to a sports bar.
But on the morning of Feb. 11, three days before, you would never know it, based on their reservation books.
As of 10 a.m., 58 percent of the 400 Philly-area restaurants that book seats through OpenTable.com were showing availability for tables of two at 7 p.m. on Sunday, OpenTable says. This makes sense, the company says, as 45 percent of OpenTable's 2009 Valentine's reservations were booked within the week leading up to the holiday.
An OpenTable survey two weeks ago showed that just as many people were planning to dine out on Saturday, Feb. 13, as they were Feb. 14. OpenTable says that as of this morning, 57 percent of Saturday tables were available.
No. 1 cuisine for V-day is Italian (33%), followed by French (29%). In terms of what makes a dining experience "romantic," respondents cited private table (28%), exceptional service (16%), and a beautiful view (13%). Most didn't care about candlelight (5%) or soft music (2%).
The list of OpenTable specials is here.