What Steven’s Craving

By Steven Doyle

February is the traditional month for love and Valentine’s Day is just on the horizon. Finding imaginative ways to profess your love without breaking the bank is a special task unto itself, but it can be done, and we have a few suggestions for you and your significant other.

Secret Rendezvous

There is a movement in the Dallas culinary scene to take dinner underground; meaning that you book a dinner at an undisclosed location by a real chef who guides you through a special dinner shared with a small group of perhaps 20 to 25 people. These dinners are prepared on the premises at a legal kitchen hidden from the unsuspecting public, and are always a true dining guilty pleasure. On February 14th enjoy a five course meal from Chef Nicole that is served with a complimentary glass of bubbles and a stash of chocolates to take home. Nicole’s dinners are always superb as she uses fine local and all natural ingredients. Nicole is a classically trained chef who happens to be married to the chef at the Anatole’s SER steakhouse. The couple met at culinary school and have been cooking together since. This dinner is BYOB and costs $75 per person. There are limited reservations available for the Valentine’s Day dinner. Contact Nicole at nicole@chefnicoledallas.com for more information.

Chocolate Factory

Take a chocolate culinary tour across Dallas on the cheap with Dallasbychocolate.com. This service provides a small busload of chocolate lovers an excursion across Dallas to some of the most noted chocolatiers and hidden gems. The $30 per person price of admission includes wine or bubbly and makes for an excellent day or night of romance. Other tours throughout the month include BBQ, pizza and ethnic food destinations. This service also has an upcoming dive bar tour. Gift certificates are available and make a fantastic gift. Email tardam@aol.com for details.

Hidden Gems Found In Dallas

Many of the top restaurants will be booked for this special day so look for newer and out of the way gems to ensure your reservation. The NYLO Southside rooftop provides one of the very best views of the city and they will be serving a special over the top Valentine’s dinner for $60 per person, with a $20 wine pairing for each course. The menu is incredible and the service is sublime. Live music on the roof for the perfect romantic setting. Call 214-421-1080 for reservations. Ocho is one of our favorite new restaurants in Dallas that serves up incredible Santa Fe style cuisine. The restaurant is located in Preston Center facing Preston at Northwest Highway, and will be one of the few restaurants this day not forcing a special upcharged menu for you and your date. Order a la carte from the menu then enjoy specialty cocktails upstairs in the 8 Bar with a live DJ and no cover charge. Wine and drink specials offered all night, and passed appetizers will be complimentary. What a perfect way to spend the evening or drop by for a late night cocktail with your special person. Call (214) 217-0888 for more details.

Valentines Are Cheesy

Scardello Cheese located on Oak Lawn near Lemmon in Dallas offers special classes and events, and Valentine’s Day is no different. Unfortunately the big day is sold out, but many will be celebrating all week. On the 13th Scardello offers a Chocolate, Cheese and Bubbles event. The same party will be held on the 15th of February, each for a mere $30 per person. Enjoy the unique experience by calling in your reservation at 214-219-1300. Cupid, beware! Frankie’s Sports Bar & Grill is not the place for you this Valentine’s Day, as Frankie’s locations in Dallas, Lewisville and Fort Worth get ready to host people who have been burned by Cupid’s arrow. On Thursday, February 14, Frankie’s will throw an Anti- Valentine’s Day party, complete with free drinks for those who do not “heart” love, happy hour prices and drink specials that are not exactly welcoming to the little winged creature with love-tipped arrows. Check out one of three parties that evening in Dallas, Lewisville and Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth. www.frankiesbar.com