The Blog Squad

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Valentine's Vittles

If you’re looking to wow someone with a great dinner this Valentine’s Day, there are plenty of options around town. Here are a few that we’ve heard about.

To satiate your appetite and your comedy craving, head to The Funny Bone. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. and includes a choice of New York strip steak, herb-stuffed chicken in a Merlot sauce or vegetarian pasta as well as “Chocolate Decadence” cake for dessert and a champagne toast. Then at 7:30 p.m., Kevin Brennan, a former writer/performer on Saturday Night Live and current regular on late-night shows (i.e. Conan O’Brien, David Letterman and Carson Daly) will take the stage. Tickets cost $70 per couple. Call 521-8900 for reservations.

Acacia will be offering up a four-course tasting menu, dishes yet to be determined, along with its regular dinner menu.

Café Gutenberg will also be offering a special dinner on its second floor. And, if you don’t have a date, head downstairs for drink specials and the Valentine Schmalentine Party.

To go exotic, try reservations for a three-course dinner at Nile Ethiopian Restaurant. It’s only $18 per person. Call 225-5544 to reserve a table.

Manakin Grill is serving up a three-course pre-fixed menu. The first course is a choice of appetizers ranging from vine-ripened tomato bruschetta with feta, diced olives and fresh basil to coconut shrimp with Thai chili sauce. For the second course, guests will have a choice of she crab soup or one of two different salads. For the entrée guests can choose from six different dishes including tiger shrimp pasta, filet mignon and pecan chicken. Dinner costs $42 per person. Call 784-0544 for reservations.

La Petit France’s new executive chef, Abel Lucca, has developed a special five-course meal for Feb. 14. For the main course, guests can choose between brown butter-bathed Maine lobster over saffron-English pea risotto and truffle velouté (sauce) or pan-roasted veal loin with lump crab in two sauces. And for dessert there will be a choice of chocolate mousse mille-feuille (puffed pastry with chocolate mousse) topped with white chocolate crème anglaise or chocolate-dipped strawberries with an orange and grand marnier sabayon. Dinner costs $75 per person. Call 353-8729 to make reservations.

In addition to the normal menu, Pasta Luna will be offering a special menu with items like crab luna with linguini (lump crabmeat sautéed in brown garlic sauce with a splash of hand-squeezed pomodor) and costa alla Milano (veal or chicken topped with organic baby greens, Roma tomatoes, diced fresh mozzarella and a balsamic vinegar dressing).

Impress your beloved with a stroll though Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s conservatory and a French-themed dinner at the Robins Tea House. The four-course meal will feature a choice of coquilles St. Jacques (a gratin of large sea scallops in a chardonnay-shallot cream sauce), magret de canard au poivre (duck breast pan-seared with peppercorns and topped with a Calvados sauce) or steak Diane (thin tenderloin steak sautéed with shallots, thyme-dijon mustard, cream and cognac) for a main course. Tickets cost $40 each or $80 per couple. Call 262-9887, Ext. 329 for reservations.

If you want to treat friends or coworkers, order the Valentine’s dessert buffet from Food Fanatics. For $7.50 per person (minimum of 10 people), they’ll bring cookies, brownies, cheesecake, dipped strawberries, candy and soda to you. Plus, they’ll throw in red or white tablecloths, utensils, plates and cups.

Looking for the quite Valentine’s dinner at home? Have Food Fanatics bring dinner to your door. A few of the dishes they’re offering up include filet mignon, chicken chardonnay, Fan surf and turf (New York strip steak and shrimp), and an array of Italian dishes. Most include a salad, sides and dessert.

On the takeout front, Strawberry Street Market is serving up a choice of sun-dried tomato soup or cream of crab bisque; beef Wellington or crab cakes; a side dish and “chocolate lovin’ spoonful cake” for $49.95.

Tastebuds is also offering a dinner special that you can eat there or take out for $39.50. The first course is one appetizer. Couples can choose from roasted beets with melted blue cheese or a goat cheese torte with mango and country ham. Then for the second course each person can choose from petite filet and scallops with asparagus and red bliss potato sauté; lobster ravioli in a light cream sauce with grape tomatoes and crab meat; or half a Cornish hen with herb-mushroom stuffing, sautéed mild mushrooms and truffled mashed potatoes. Dessert will be chocolate mousse with berries to share. Call 261-6544 by Feb. 12 to order.


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