To help you get it right, that elusive ambience of Valentine's success, three French restaurants that put amour on the menu The all-important Valentine's dinner are recommended.
But romance is hard to foster in the minimalist decor of ultra-modern restaurants, and intimacy is nonexistent in grand dining rooms packed to the rafters.
To help you get it right, that elusive ambience of Valentine's success, here is a selection of restaurants with a bit more character.
Many things French seem linked to romance - from the city of Paris to the French language. And of course, French food completes this harmonious trio.
Le Cygne, a new addition to Shanghai's French fare scene, opened just two months ago on Jinxian Road. With a glamorous entrance lobby, and finely detailed Art Deco interior, the restaurant aims to create the "taste, style and discretion of old Shanghai."
The restaurant is loosely modeled on a long-gone French restaurant in the 1950s. In those days Shanghai had very little international influence and the Western food scene was limited to three restaurants: French restaurant Hong Fang Zi (now revived as HFZ), a long-gone German restaurant, and a French restaurant known in Chinese as The Swan - the inspiration for Le Cygne.
"Western food in those days was not really authentic, it was more a mix of styles," says Larry Zhou, owner of Le Cygne. "My aim was to offer authentic French food, plus some of the famous dishes from the old Swan restaurant."
The new Le Cygne employs French chef Serge Alain Gros who has worked at Parisian restaurants Maxim's, Le Pavillion de l'Elysee and Le Doyen. The Valentines menu at 588 yuan (US$86) for two features a salad entree with warm scallops and foie gras, followed by bisque of prawn soup.
Mains are a choice between beef and duck breast in spiced mango sauce, or a la minut scallop. To finish, there is a surprise Valentine's dessert, and all couples get a complimentary rose and chocolates.
Zhou's own family history is closely tied with the fortunes of the old Swan restaurant. The descendent of a distinguished Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) official, scientist and diplomat, Zhou's grandmother was part of 1930s Shanghai high society. Their home employed three chefs, one of whom went on to found the Swan restaurant.
The new Le Cygne will not only serve authentic French food, but it will also be in "quantities reflective of a bygone era," says Zhou.