There will be plenty of people dining out at Twin Cities restaurants this weekend, hoping to celebrate Valentine’s Day with what they consider a little bit of normalcy and a nice meal.
But the great thing about the Twin Cities food community is that it is totally possible to have a very similar experience from the comfort of your own home (minus the wait staff).
Takeout and meal kit suggestions
One thing you can do even if you aren’t planning on eating out this weekend? Take five minutes and spread some online to your favorite restaurants with a review. Google, Facebook, Yelp. Whatever platform you choose, winter is consistently a really tough time for restaurants and with health restrictions in place, they need all the support they can get. Reviews do matter.
Terzo – Modern Italian restaurant and wine bar in Minneapolis. One of the three Broders’ restaurants on the corner of 50th and Penn. Order here.
Saint Dinette – Downtown St. Paul spot, known for fun, creative spins on classic dishes. Made famous because of its burger. Offering a Valentine’s Day meal for two, prepared fresh for pick-up. Order here.
A one-stop option for Valentine's Day
France 44 – France 44 has made itself your one-stop-shop for Valentine’s Day this year. The well-known southwest Minneapolis wine & cheese destination has you covered for Valentine’s Day with an entire menu designed specifically to help you properly celebrate at home.
Start off your lazy afternoon with a Valentine’s Day Cheese Plate paired with some bubbles. Then move onto dinner, beef tenderloin served with seasonal vegetables, scalloped potatoes and a chocolate stout cake with rose buttercream for dessert.
Add in a perfectly-paired bottle of red and don’t forget to check the box for a beautiful arrangement from locally-owned floral pop-up Pockets of Posy. Yes, you can get your dinner, drinks, dessert and flowers by pulling into one parking lot. Pre-order here.
Enjoy Your Surf at Home
Coastal Seafood – If you haven’t visited Coastal Seafood’s new digs in Minneapolis, this week is the perfect time to do it. It’s a seafood lover’s paradise and don’t worry, it’s not just for the experts in the kitchen. The staff at Coastal Seafood know their stuff and the way their service counter is arranged, you get one-on-one service to ask all those questions you have brewing in your head. So even if you aren’t a seafood savant, you’ll walk out feeling like one (at least a little bit).
We made our first trip to Coastal Seafood for Thanksgiving and were so happy with the quality and service that we went back for Christmas. Coastal Seafood runs like a well oiled machine and even with a long line waiting outside, we were in and out in well under 15 minutes. And great news for those that might be indecisive – Coastal Seafood has special Valentine’s Day meal packages ready for purchase.
Support the local wine community at these speciality stores
Solo Vino Bottle Shop – This wine shop in St. Paul’s Cathedral Hill neighborhood is a great place to stop if you are someone who knows they like wine but is looking for someone to lead them to the perfect bottle. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable and Solo Vino is known for carrying unique wines from smaller, lesser-known vineyards. So if you’re ready to be pushed out of your varietal comfort zone, Solo Vino is the spot for you. More info here.
Cork Dork Wine Co. – Dubbed "Your Neighborhood Wine Shop," Cork Dork has given Minneapolis’ Nokomis neighborhood an incredibly deliberate collection of wine focusing on local and artisanal producers. Fans of Cork Dork warn you right away – don’t discount this place because of its size. The selection is precise and every spot on the shelf is taken up by something deemed worthy of being shared. Cork Dork is a great spot to get a little creative with something you already love, like trying a Pinot Grigio from Slovenia (it’s called Pullus and its soft pink hue makes it perfect for Valentine’s Day). More info here.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with treats from one of these local shops
Muddy Paws Cheesecake – When you want cheesecake in the Twin Cities, Muddy Paws is the place you go. Owner Tami Cabrera has been making cheesecake for more than 25 years and the mastery shows; she shows off 222 different flavors of cheesecake, each made to order artisan-style. Small batch, great ingredients.
Tami and her team are showcasing some fun Valentine’s Day-themed products this year with their Conversation Hearts cheesecakes, available for pre-order and pick up at their St. Louis Park bakery. And if you have someone with dietary restrictions, Muddy Paws does offer vegan, gluten-free and keto options. Order the Valentine’s Cheesecake here
Marc Heu Patisserie Paris – Located on University Avenue just blocks from the State Capitol, Marc Heu Patisserie Paris is filled to the brim with jaw-droppingly beautiful desserts that would be better off labeled ‘art’ than ‘pastries’. A childhood love of traditional French desserts led Chef Heu to Paris where he trained under some of the best chefs in the world and in August 2019, he brought his talents to Minnesota and opened up his little corner shop in St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood.
Chef Heu’s Valentine’s Day Special is called ‘Pour Toujours’ – Forever, in English – and features a collection of desserts with a customizable handwritten card all wrapped up in a bow. Order the Pour Toujours Collection here.
Have a tip of your own to share? Favorite recipe or restaurant? Connect with Lindsay through Twitter and Instagram at @lindsayguentzel or through her website www.lindsayguentzel.com. You can also find all of her Bring Me The News recipes and articles here. (https://bringmethenews.com/search?query=lindsay+guentzel)