Fondue you: The Melting Pot draws couples closer for Valentine's
2/14 - Belgian beer and butchery at La Trappe
Many of us don't get excited by the commercialism of Valentine's Day - and not just because we may or not have a special someone in our lives. It could just be that we don't like things rosy, pink and cute. No need to go the hearts and chocolate route when you can do Belgian beers and butchery, right? La Trappe does it right by making their enchanting Belgian brick-walled, candlelit basement the setting for A Porcine Valentine. Only 45 lucky people will have their run of the place, cozying up on church pews and couches with all the beers and pig they can ingest. La Trappe's Dave and Chris will each be breaking down a whole pig, showcasing different butchering techniques between the US and Italy.
$95 per person, limited to 45 people
800 Greenwich Street
Mission Beach makes it sweeter
2/14 - Mission Beach Cafe sweets for the sweet
ILove Mission Beach Café. Not only is it a morning delight for weekend brunch or weekday pastries and Blue Bottle coffee, but its dinners are some of the best and most underrated neighborhood dining in the city. Valentine’s Day there is, yes, a special four-course prix fixe dinner (including white linens, roses, champagne toast, amuse bouche and sweets from fab pastry chef, Alan Carter). Knowing their track record, it won't be the often overpriced, mediocre food one gets for Valentine's. There's dishes like Heirloom Chicory Salad with pomelos and huckleberries, Lobster and Dungeness Crab Ravioli or Prather Ranch organic prime rib. All this in the cozy, chic glow of a neighborhood restaurant that's also a worthy destination.
$75 per person
198 Guerrero Street
2/13-14 - The Melting Pot - Valentine's fondue feast
The Melting Pot chain may not be your first thought for Valentine's Day, but if you're in Marin or the idea of a relaxed fondue feast (cozy in these Winter months) in a unique setting is appealing, here's an idea (discounts for groups of 7 or more friends): head to Larkspur's Melting Pot in an 1891 brick kiln, forced to close for economic reasons in 1915, empty for over 70 years until restored in 1989. The space has the feel of a labyrinthine Spanish wine cellar set in a circular, brick tunnel. For Valentine's they've got a four-course prix fixe at $65 a person - there's choices each course, like Quattro Formaggio Fondue (fontina, gruyere, raclette, mozzarella cheeses with roasted garlic, basil, pesto) or Crab Imperial Cheddar Fondue, a Caprese or Caesar Salad, entree fondue meats like Filet Mignon Florentine, Limoncello Basamic Sirloin, Orange Fennel Pork Tenderloin, and a finish of either Milk Chocolate Tiramisu or Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fondue. Females get a rose as they leave... if you guys want one, too, you could probably ask.
$65 per person (10% off for group of 7 or more)
125 E. Sir Francis Drake, Larkspur, CA
2/10 - La Cocina's Truffle-Making Class
Community treasure La Cocina, along with fabulous Neo Co coa chocolates and ever-popular Kika’s Treats, host a hands-on evening rolling your own truf fles, either to with your sweetheart or to give as a Valentine's gift. The theme is "how to be a bet ter lover"... I always knew chocolate was somehow involved. The class includes wine, din ner and a take-home box of your handiwork.
$65 class; $85 class + 10-piece truffle box & 5-pack of Kika's Treats (a $27 value)
2948 Folsom Street