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Valentine's Day Plans Beyond the Schmaltz

Whether solo, consciously uncoupling or just not into the commercialism, these dinners will get you through the weekend.

Don't have a dinner date? This guy is available. Chef Erick Harcey of Upton 43
Don't have a dinner date? This guy is available. Chef Erick Harcey of Upton 43
Lucy Hawthorne
black sunday

To some, Valentine’s Day is only considered romantic if it is built around a white linen dinner, bottles of champagne and gifts normally reserved for toddlers. For others, nothing says "I love you" like Chinese take-out on the couch. Yet for others, only a cynical approach will do, complete with black roses and tequila. Some prefer to hate on Valentine’s Day with a group of friends while others rather belly up to their favorite bar and ignore the whole darn thing. Whether you are loving the single life or contently paired up, here are a few non-traditional ways to dine on Black Sunday.

Upton 43 Chef's Table

The new Linden Hills restaurant from chef and owner Erick Harcey (who also runs Victory 44) is garnering positive early reviews. The menu reads like Minnesota Nordic cuisine poetry - complete with some words requiring a Swedish-to-English dictionary. The chef just kicked off a special Chef's Table and the space is still under-the-radar enough that there are tickets available all this week, including Sunday. Who cares if you aren't coupled up? Why not grab one ticket for exquisite solo dining. Call it a little holiday self-love. Maybe you'll even go home and get lucky!

Image credit: Upton 43

Pizza Luce

Pizza Luce / Facebook

For some, the day of love should be shared with the whole family, kiddos included (guilty!) But no one likes to have a bunch of kids running around when they are shelling a couple of Franklins on impressing their beloved. So keep the kids out of the fine dining arena, please, and treat them to what they really want: pizza.

Image credit: Photo courtesy Pizza Luce Facebook page

Mama's Pizza

Speaking of pizza, Mama’s Pizza on Rice Street has been making heart shaped pizzas for Valentine’s Day since they opened their doors over 50 years ago. And you don’t have to wait until D Day, they are lovingly crafting them right now. Now that’s a lot of love. Custom order your heart pizza or Italian Fries, or pick one up from their freezer and bake at home.

Image credit: Mama's Pizza Facebook page

White Castle

White Castle

We’d be remiss not to mention the Valentine’s Day dinner at White Castle. Reading like an article from The Onion, a recent press release announced it is currently accepting reservations for February 14th and pulling out all the stops with hostess seating, tableside service and a "decadent cuisine of Sliders, Shrimp Nibblers, Strawberry and Cream Waffles." This year is even more special, since the Castle is marking its 25th annual Valentine's Day dinner. That’s a quarter century of onion breath. Now that’s romantic.


Nighthawks Stephanie A. Meyer/Eater Twin Cities

Nighthawks playfully offers their LOVE STINKS: A Celebration of Edible Aromatics dinner, featuring a one-night-only à la carte menu made up of ten small plates showcasing stinky goodies like garlic, kimchi, and funky cheese. The menu will be augmented with pairings from Bell’s Brewing Co. Nighthawks is taking reservations for this special night only, ‘cause that’s how much they love you.