Trust me, gentle male readers. Feb. 14 is significant to members of the fairer sex. I offer as proof statistics from the Greeting Card Association, which estimates that some 1 billion Valentine cards are sent each year, and that women send 85 percent of those.
Therefore, gentlemen, it is important to acknowledge this day with some remembrance, even if just a card.
Valentine acknowledgements today usually include something in addition to a card. Chocolate is a nice accompaniment. This confection has long been associated with Valentine’s Day. Considered to be an aphrodisiac in many cultures, a gift of chocolate can be as personal or impersonal as the giver chooses, but stick with the bonbons and stay away from chocolate body parts.
This Valentine’s Day, our area is fortunate to have the blockbuster “Chocolate: The Exhibition” at the Anniston Museum of Natural History. What a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, by immersing one’s self in chocolate.
Consider taking your significant other to the museum for Date Night: Love, Wine, Diamonds and Chocolate, 6-8 p.m. Friday. Admission is $25 per couple for non-members and $20 for members. Tour the exhibit, view chocolate diamonds from Couch’s and sample wine and chocolates along the way. For reservations, call 256-237-6766, ext. 114.
Cards are nice. Chocolates are good. Flowers are pretty. But dinner reservations are better. “Reservations” being the key word here, unless planning a romantic dinner at the Waffle House.
Several local gourmet restaurants are featuring special Valentine’s dinners.
Chef Alan Martin is offering a couples dinner featuring a prix fixe menu on Friday, Saturday and Monday evenings at his restaurant in the Victoria Inn. The menu includes lobster and shrimp chowder, salad, ribeye for two and chocolate molten cake for dessert. Call 256-236-0503 for reservations.
Chef Dave Garfrerick will be hosting special valentine themed dinners at Garfrerick’s Café in Oxford on Saturday and Monday, featuring a prix fixe menu that includes lobster bisque, filet mignon, sea bass, roasted and stuffed quail and a special surprise dessert. Enjoy live music while dining. Reservations at 256-831-0044.
Classic on Noble will feature a special dinner on Monday evening. Owner David Mashburn is introducing a new line of gourmet desserts that will be regularly featured at the restaurant. Appetizers and desserts will be available for sampling throughout the evening, and guests will order from a special menu. The Tracey Tyler Ensemble will provide music for dancing. Reservations at 256-237-5388.
Don’t forget the wine.
Wine sets the tone for the evening and encourages the most reticent to become a brilliant conversationalist. Along with cards, chocolates, jewels and flowers, consider a gift of wine from one of the bottles listed below:
Moët & Chandon Rosé Champagne. $52.50 at the Wine Cellar on Quintard in Anniston.
For the month of February, the French Champagne House of Moët & Chandon has placed its delicious pink Champagne in a pale pink box decorated with hearts and arrows.
No card is needed, as the box conveys the sentiment. And the wine is not bad, either.
Champagne Drappier. $35.20 At Tyson’s Fine Wines and Things in Golden Springs. Another rosé French Champagne from a small, reliable producer. Excellent pricing for true Champagne made from 100 percent pinot noir. Great wine for savory hors d’ oeuvres or chicken and salmon entrées.
Fantinel Vinò Spumante Rosè. $19.50 at Tyson’s Fine Wine and Things. A classic dry, pink, fizzy wine from Italy, with hints of strawberries in the flavor profile from a blend of pinot nero and chardonnay. Light, uncomplicated wine in a pretty bottle.
Salvatore Principe Prosecco. $11.75 at Tyson’s. A delicious white sparkling wine from Italy. A beautiful heart label designed by world-renowned artist Salvatore Principe adorns the bottle.