Feed Your Appetite This Valentine's Day
For romance, maybe. But definitely for local food and drink.
There are few things more romantic than prepping a fancy candlelit dinner for you and yours. There are also few things that come with a greater risk of burning one's house down.
But just because you're not a champion of the culinary arts doesn't mean you have to resign yourself to a night of Easy Mac and dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggies (unless, of course, you are young at heart). Whether you feel comfortable with taking your date out or would prefer just takeout, this Valentine's weekend in the Gem City holds a host of gustatory possibilities.
None of which will have you scrambling to shut up the smoke detector.
Valentine's Weekend at Mazza
Where: Mazza Vineyards (11815 E. Lake Road, North East), South Shore Wine Company (1120 Freeport Road, North East), Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing (8398 W. Main Road, Westfield, NY)
When: Friday through Sunday during regular business hours
What: Flighty dates usually frustrate, not delight. But not on this occasion. Those who visit any Mazza-owned location over the weekend will be able to purchase a Valentine's Featured Flight paired with Pulakos chocolate hearts. Each tasting room will offer a variation of the featured flight — for example, Mazza Vineyards' will feature their L'Anima Rosé, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cream Sherry. You should probably eat some "real" food with all that though — so full or partial build-your-own charcuterie boards will also be available (not to mention mandatory, per current COVID regulations regarding on-site alcohol consumption).
How much: $5 per flight, plus pepperoni/cheese/cracker escalators
Valentine's Curbside Cakes
Where: Stanganelli's Italian Foods, 602 E. 25th St.
When: Saturday, 3 to 5 p.m.
What: The difference between being deserted and desserted on Valentine's Day is one "s." "S" is for Stanganelli's, where the Flower Kitchen will be setting up shop to cake things up a notch. This pop-up bakery, a venture of Chet Hasabnis and Amy Delessandro, specializes in flower- and fruit-infused desserts with locally sourced ingredients. One look at this weekend's menu could very well have you deserting your principles with mouth-watering options such as a beautifully boozy Black Forest gateau, a delicately tart white chocolate-raspberry cake, and more. Pick-up is curbside only, so wear a mask and keep your drool inside the car.
How much: Cake slices $5, trifles $3, cake pops $2
Oh Crepe It's Valentine's Day
Where: Courtyard Winery, 10021 W. Main Road, North East
When: Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
What: You may not give a crepe about Valentine's Day, but LaCrepErie certainly does — after all to Give a Crepe is in their identity. They'll be laying it on thick with very thin pancakes on both Saturday and Sunday at North East's Courtyard Winery. Do yourself a favor and fix yourself up with your choice of sweet or savory crepe PLUS a bottle of white, a bottle of red — or perhaps a bottle of rosé instead. Simply call 814-725-0236 to place your order, drive up to the winery, and they'll deliver the goods directly to your vehicle.
How much: Varies, depending on selections
Galentine's Day Brunch
Where: Serendipity Sweets, 861 E. 38th St.
When: Saturday, noon to 3 p.m.
What: Boys make you want to froyo self through a window? Turn defenestration into delectation at Serendipity Sweets' Galentine's Day Brunch. You and up to three of your besties will savor a midday smorgasbord consisting of smoked turkey (Underdog BBQ), breakfast ham, fresh fruit salad, herb and cheese quiche, apple cinnamon muffins, an 8-ounce frozen yogurt, coffee, bottled water, and sparkling grape juice. Prefer your grape juice a little stronger? Not to worry — Serendipity would be happy to bundle up your brunch to take home where state liquor licenses do not apply.
How much: $20 per gal (reservations required for dine-in, tables of 2 or 4)
Be Our Valentine Four-Course Dinner and Cocktail Pairing
Where: Room 33, 1033 State St.
When: Saturday and Sunday, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
What: You'll surely be reading signals behind the bookshelf at Room 33 after this sumptuous feast. This four-course meal features a choice of two appetizers (heart of palm "calamari" or stuffed clams), a sweet winter salad, two entrees (cauliflower "steak," surf and turf, or shrimp piccata), with a decadent NY style cheesecake for dessert. The appetizer, entree, and dessert courses will each include a cocktail pairing married perfectly to the featured dishes. Those who attend Sunday night's affair will be treated to live jazz courtesy of the Stephen Trohoske Trio.
How much: $150 per couple
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