That's amore: Italian restaurants rule Valentine's Day reservations

Almost 20 per cent of Valentine's Day reservations were made within 48 hours of the date.
Almost 20 per cent of Valentine's Day reservations were made within 48 hours of the date. Photo: Marco Del Grande

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore – it turns out Italian is the food of love, according to online booking service Dimmi's 2016 Valentine's Day reservations.

While you won't have ol' Deano serenading you at a gingham-draped table, Italian remains a popular choice for lovers – six of Dimmi's top 10 most popular Valentine's Day venues were Italian.

The cuisine accounted for 13 per cent of table reservations, second only to the 'modern Australian' catch-all.

Roses are red, violets are blue, here's a chocolate fondant for two.
Roses are red, violets are blue, here's a chocolate fondant for two. Photo: Marina Oliphant

Popular Melbourne pasta bar Tipo 00 has capped its Valentine's waitlist (currently at 42 couples) but you can try your luck on the night with bar and window seats reserved for walk-ins. Restaurant manager Nik Stakes said tables for two were snapped up "at least a couple of weeks ago" for the $75 four-course set menu. 

Sydney Italian restaurant Otto's Brisbane spin-off is hosting its first Valentine's Day dinner this year. While the restaurant is almost full, chef Will Cowper says it's not just Italian venues that get booked up on Valentine's Day, it's "every restaurant in general". He suggests couples go out the night before or the night after, so they're not beholden to set menus.

However, Cowper and the team are embracing the love and throwing a few romantic gestures onto their three-course menu ($95), including boxes of handmade Otto chocolate truffles, for "a few extra brownie points".

For two years running, 67 per cent of Dimmi's Valentine's Day bookings were made by men.

Did you fail to notice the supermarket card stands and other heart-shaped hints and leave your booking 'til the last minute last year? You're not alone. Almost one fifth of reservations made via Dimmi were locked in the day before or the day of, and 55 per cent were booked only within one week of the Hallmark holiday.

Loved-up couples (and singles) who are yet to make plans can consult our dinner picks below.