Whether you love or hate February 14, it is a day of bright colors and spontaneous desserts in the middle of a month of old, gray snow. For that reason alone, it has the potential to be something to look forward to — even if just to break up the monotony of a Minnesota winter.
Everyone should be able to enjoy what Valentine’s Day has to offer, whether they’re in a relationship or not. Really: what about all the people are single by choice? Or those who are heartbroken? To quote the ever-so-wise Dr. Akopian from the show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, “Love doesn’t have to be a person. It can be a passion.” (You know, like food.) So celebrate love in whatever form you have it: self-love, familial, friendship, or otherwise. Brush off those societal expectations and order yourself something special.
Treat Yourself – Dinners Under $200
Travail’s Valentine’s Day “Just the Two of Us” Take-Home, $175
Travail’s indulgent kit is listed as serving two or more people, but as with all of these options, let’s leave that up for interpretation. The dinner includes elevated dishes such as beef Wellington with a lemon truffle sauce, prosciutto-layered pave potato, king crab salad with crackers, curried deviled eggs, red velvet chocolate cake trifle, chocolate-covered nuts, and a butterscotch pancake mix for breakfast. If you really want to go for it, the $350 luxury box, recommended for two to four people has all you could ever want and more. And then some more.
Preorder on Tock to pick up your meal at Travail starting at noon on February 13.
Petite León’s Valentine’s Day Take & Bake, $125
Do you know who deserves a five-course dinner just because? You do. Enjoy onion dip with caviar and crunchy potato chips, a bitter green salad with citrus vinaigrette, wood-fired lamb shoulder in mole poblano, fresh tortillas by Nixta, wood-roasted vegetables with herbed chile butter, and a chocolate mousse layer cake from Patisserie 46. Each dinner comes with reheating instructions and other tips from the Petite León team. To pair with the meal, two wines are also available for pickup: a pink, bubbly Tissot Crémant du Jura Rosé, $32, or a bottle of Alvaro Palacios Camins del Priorat, $25, a rich red.
Preorder on Resy for pickup on Sunday, February 14 from 12 to 5 p.m.
Grand Cafe’s Keep it Grand Valentine’s Day Kit, $185
Grand Cafe has put together the ultimate luxurious and decadent dinner kit for February 14. For $185 you will receive instructions to prepare the cotes de boeuf with pommes puree and accouterments at home, while the rest of the menu will be prepared for you. The other stunner dishes include Norwegian king crab with baguette and butter, kale and wood-fired vegetable salad with sherry vinaigrette and blue cheese, and a chocolate pot de creme with mandarin and yogurt. Add-ons include $30 for a floral arrangement and a $100 bottle of Veuve Fourny Blanc de Blancs Champagne. Live it up.
Preorder and pick up at Eastside on Saturday, February 13. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and for details on dietary substitutions, special pickup times, or delivery arrangements.
Union Hmong Kitchen’s Heat-at-Home Dinner, $165
Union Hmong Kitchen’s Valentine’s option, is, in their words, a “Surf ’n’ Turf party with a side of nostalgia.” The dinner kit includes smoked trout, a 12-ounce New York strip steak, khao soi (coconut red curry broth, egg noodles, beef brisket, crunchy fried noodles, and pickled mustard greens), a romaine and cabbage carrot slaw salad, string beans with oyster sauce, carrots, sticky rice, and Thai tea pavlova with dark chocolate and coconut for dessert. This package comes with all you need to sip on strawberry passionfruit night-mosas, which, one can assume, are some delicious fruit juices to mix with bubbly.
Pre-order on Tock for a February 12, 13, or 14 pickup.
Get A Little Bang for Your Buck – Dinners Under $100
Hark! Cafe’s Prix Fixe for One, $45 or $80 with wine pairing
For a meal perfectly portioned and plant-based, Hark! Cafe is offering cold-packed dishes with instructions to heat and serve at home. Dinner options for one and two are available and 100 percent vegan, gluten-free, and celiac safe for anyone with dietary restrictions. Start your feast with a truffled mushroom amuse-bouche, rissole with romesco sauce, grilled broccolini with preserved lemon and pomegranate molasses, “lobster” pot pies (made from black pearl mushroom stems from R&R Cultivation), and the choice of either an orange-cranberry cheesecake or orange-caramel and chocolate tart. Add-on your choice of white or red wine pairings by Libation Project for an additional $35.
Preorder before February 7 for pickup from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m, on February 13 or 14.
Saint Dinette’s Valentine’s Dinner, $60
Saint Dinette’s Valentine’s dinner will be prepared for pickup, so there is no reheating required. Each meal includes meat and cheeses and your choice of side, entree, and dessert. Choose between grilled carrots or grilled cauliflower and marjolaine (chocolate, hazelnut buttercream) or pot de cheesecake for dessert. Entrees include brochettes (skirt steak, vadouvan, eggplant) and lumache (pasta with escargot, maitre d’hotel butter, and breadcrumbs). Since you have the option, pick one of each entree and try a bit of everything. Add on some Hamm’s, sparkling rosé, or an Old Fashioned kit depending on the mood.
Preorder on Tock for pickup on the 11, 12, 13, or 14.
France 44’s Valentine’s Cheese Tray, $44
For those who don’t want to bother assembling or reheating multiple dishes, a cheese tray featuring a selection of best-selling cheeses, prosciutto di parma, fresh fruit, Valrhona chocolate, house-made crostini, and jam is yours for the taking. There is also an option to add some bubbles for $30 or cold-weather red wine for $20. France 44’s website says this tray is “for two”; we say it’s for two days. Order this and snack on it for a couple of days in a row. It’ll keep.
Preorder for pickup Saturday, February 13, or Sunday, February 14.
Brasa Catering’s Valentine’s Day Package, $45
Brasa is offering a more than reasonably priced dinner that comes with a rotisserie chicken, gumbo fried rice with shrimp, mixed green salad with cucumber, tomato, and vegan ranch dressing, signature green sauce, Creole sauce, 16 ounces of chocolate pudding, and two gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. There are options to add wine to your order include either cava, rose, or malbec, of course. Reheat the dishes at home, pour yourself a glass, and put your feet up.
Preorder for pickup Saturday, February 13 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Virtual Foodie Experiences
Chowgirls Virtual Wine Pairing Event, $80-$135 with wine pairing
Order a Treat Yourself experience with Chowgirls Catering founders Heidi Andermack and Amy Brown talking wine pairings with Angie Heitz, a sommelier, wine rep, and owner of the forthcoming wine bar Coquette & Colibri on Valentine’s Day at 4 p.m. on Zoom. For $80, they will lead tastings of wine and charcuterie. Spend an additional $50 for three bottles of wine: a brut rosé, Côtes du Rhône, and primitivo. However, you have the option to source your own wine for the experience as well. An added bonus is that a portion of sales from the virtual event will go to Minnesota Central Kitchen. There are boxes for two available as well.
Preorder the experience for a Saturday, February 13 pickup after 12 p.m. Vegetarian and gluten-free options available upon request.
Cooks of Crocus Hill’s Virtual Cooking Classes, $50
Consistently, Cooks of Crocus Hill offers innovative and seasonal cooking classes for home cooks of all skill levels. Whether you know a little or a lot, cooking along with charming chef instructors is a guaranteed way to get better. This year, participate in the comfort of your own kitchen. Sign up for the macaron class on the 13th, Valentine’s Dinner surprise, or Big Heart Valentine’s brunch.
All three of these virtual experiences are $50 each, not including ingredients. One week prior to the class date, Cooks will email you the virtual class login information, recipes, equipment list, and ingredient list for shopping ahead of time.
Check out their February classes here.
Savor Something Sweet
Jojo & Co’s Valentine’s Cake, $55
A cake for one, you say? Yes, but hear me out. Jojo & Co, a new online boutique patisserie from longtime local pastry chefs Joanna Biessener (Surly Beer Hall, Solera) and Els Young-Haug (Butcher & the Boar, Pazzaluna) has desserts to die for. If you want to buy a whole cake and eat a whole cake, we won’t judge ... at all. If this black chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting appeals, I’m just saying, you’ve got options. You can freeze slices for a future treat or cut up a slice or two and pop them in some Tupperware to leave on a friend’s doorstep. Other smaller options available for preorder include 12 bonbons filled with passionfruit ganache, salted caramel, or dark chocolate ganache, Valentine’s Day hot chocolate bombs, and more. If dessert is your cup of tea, check out Jojo & Co.
Preorder from the online store to pick up Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Contactless pickups are available Thursdays through Sundays.
Hot Hands Pie & Biscuit Chocolate Passion Fruit Pie, $34
Hot Hand’s Valentine’s pie is a milk chocolate passionfruit mousse with passionfruit syrup and a chocolate cookie crust. Preorder a pie for pickup and enjoy something ever-so-slightly pink. Freeze what you can’t finish and you’ll have pie on deck for the next time the craving strikes.
All pies are available for pickup only from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. To place a pickup order for any other items, like biscuit sandwiches or hot items, visit orderhothandspie.com.
Milkjam Creamery’s DIY Valentine’s Sundae Kit, $38
Milkjam Creamery has everything you need to make and devour a sundae that will surely make your friends jealous. The kit includes two pints of ice cream (I ❤ You, a white chocolate ice cream with raspberry rose jam and XOXO, a dark chocolate ice cream with hazelnut chocolate waffle cones, chocolate-marshmallow bar), passionfruit caramel sauce, berry lychee sauce, homemade rose and salted caramel brittle, and a little something they’re calling “chocolate-covered everything.” If you aren’t a chocolate fan, order February’s other two seasonal flavors instead. Ruby Rose is a bergamot and lavender ice cream or Drunk in Love, a rosé and hibiscus sorbet with edible flowers.
Preorder the kit to pick up on February 13 and 14 from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Vegan East’s Floral Cupcake Bouquet, $39
To hit two birds with one stone, so to speak, preorder a floral cupcake “bouquet.” For $39, you will receive seven beautifully piped vegan cupcakes. For only $2 more the cupcakes can be made gluten-free. If you prefer cookies to cupcakes, the Valentine’s Day cookie kits go on sale starting Monday, February 1, at the Uptown location. Cookie kits include eight unfrosted heart-shaped cookies and three bags of cookie frosting. Decorate them for yourself or gift half to a friend.
Preorder for pickup from the Uptown location 9 a.m. to 3 p.m on February 13 and 14.