Valentine's Day

red heart.jpg

Photo by Darwin Bell.

Lurve it, hate it, ~VALENTINE’S DAY~ has its permanent place on the calendar, so there’s no way around it. You gotta get through it, somehow, whether it’s by gorging on chocolate, or hibernating for 24 hours. And of course my inbox is always crammed with a ton of event announcements. Rather than highlight a bunch of restaurant dinners around town (hey, only you know what places you and your honey like), I thought I’d mention a few other kinds of V Day/D Day options instead.

Let’s start with chocolate, shall we? Let’s. Fog City News has booked a pretty extensive collection of guest chocolatiers and chocolate makers at the store. Normally, only the store’s chocolate club members are invited to these events, but Fog City News wants to share the wealth. Meow. These events are a great way to begin the process of Chocolate Enlightenment. All events are 12:30pm-2pm, and they’re all free. Here’s the upcoming schedule:

Tue Feb 2nd: Lloyd Martin
Thu Feb 4th: Ginger Elizabeth
Tue Feb 9th: Michael Mischer

Dinner à la Heart is on Tuesday February 9th. This has been a San Francisco event for more than 20 years: a group of SF restaurants offer a prix-fixe three-course meal, and most or all of the proceeds go to the Institute on Aging, a non-profit that benefits low-income elders. There are a number of participating restaurants—your dinner options range from $60 to $175, depending on your restaurant choice.

Want to impress your sweetie with handmade truffles? NeoCocoa, Kika’s Treats, and La Cocina have joined forces to offer a truffle-making class on Wednesday February 10th from 6:30pm-9pm. And not just any truffles: we’re talking smoked sea salt, cinnamon, and spices galore. And you get fed some dinner, and wine! All for $65. Or for $85, you can take the class and bring home an additional NeoCocoa 10-piece truffle box and 5-pack of Kika’s Treats ($27 value) in case your truffles suck (kidding). And, don’t forget, 75% of the fee is tax-deductible!

Elixir is hosting a trio of cocktail-making classes: Drinks Guys Like is on Wednesday February 10th (7pm-9pm), and Thursday February 11th is Woo Her with Cocktails (7pm-9pm). Both classes are $85 per person and include four cocktails and class; cocktail tools and books are available for purchase. And then on Sunday February 14th is Cocktails for Couples, a side-by-side cocktail class where you’ll make and drink cocktails together. The class will cover drinks he likes, and drinks she likes. You’ll be welcomed with a Champagne cocktail for each of you and a surprise Valentine. Tickets are sold in pairs for $170 and include three drinks each, class, and treats. 4pm-6pm. Click for more info/tickets.

Parties That Cook is hosting a few Valentine’s Day cooking class parties: there’s a Gourmet Dating Class for Singles on February 11th ($75), as well as Date Night—A Course for Couples, on Friday February 12th, Saturday February 13th, and Sunday February 14th at various Bay Area locations ($190 per couple). No cooking experience is required for participants, and each class includes an expert culinary demonstration, an interactive cooking session with guidance from professional chefs, and a gourmet meal, followed by digital photos and copies of the recipes post-event.

The seventh annual Food from the Heart is at the San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace on Friday February 12th from 5pm-8pm, with proceeds benefitting Slow Food’s Terra Madre and Slow Food San Francisco’s school garden projects. Napa Valley Vintners will pour wines by the glass and Marketplace vendors will offer small bites of their specialties, plus there’s tango and salsa dancing to live music. No admission fee; wines by the glass $4; small bites $2-$6.

CookWithJames.com is hosting his second official Anti-Valentine’s Day Dinner on Saturday February 13th at 7:30pm. Single or attached—doesn’t matter—come dine and celebrate. Let’s just say there will be chorizo, burrata, chicharrones, pasta alla Bolognese… it’s quite the menu. Oh, and chocolate Neapolitan bittersweet pudding to finish, ha! Cost is $95/person (BYOB). Space is limited.

In love with suds? (Hic.) Trumer Brauerei in Berkeley is hosting the closing party for San Francisco Beer Week on Valentine’s Day, with 30 local breweries, barbecue, and music to support the California Small Brewer’s Association. Bonus, there are free shuttles from the downtown Berkeley BART to the Brauerei—they will run every half hour beginning at 3:30pm, and the last shuttle departing will leave at 8pm. $40 advance, $50 door (tickets include unlimited 4oz. pour beer tasting, full BBQ dinner, and free shuttle). Tickets and info. 4pm-8pm. 1404 4th St., Berkeley, 510-526-1160.

This Valentine’s Day I thought “Dinner and a Flick” looked clever: 5 Courses paired to 5 Short Films, from graffEats Guerrilla Dining. $55 to dine; $75 dinner and pairing. Cocktails from 5pm-7pm; dinner 6:30pm-10pm. Located at Gray Area Foundation For The Arts (55 Taylor St.). And they will be donating proceeds to the charity Street Poets.

And here’s one restaurant on Valentine’s Day I do want to mention: one of my favorite neighborhood gems, ~LA CICCIA~, will donate 25% of food and wine sales on Valentine’s Day to UNICEF’s Emergency Response to Haiti fund. The restaurant will serve the regular menu plus specials for the romantic occasion.

Event Info

Tuesday Feb 9, 2010 – Sunday Feb 14, 2010