February 27, 2006
There's nothing romantic
about pressure-and yet that's what many of us feel when the calendar turns to
February, the stores are full of heart-shaped boxes and florists get the idea
that $75 is an acceptable amount to charge for a dozen roses. If you're stuck
for ideas on how to treat your special someone to a grand romantic Valentine's
Day, fear not-we've got you covered. Here are a few Panorama suggestions to
make Valentine's Day in Boston a night you'll both treasure for a long time to
Fire and Ice
Ice skating outdoors in New England is more than just a fantasy sketched on a Currier & Ives Christmas card. You and your sweetheart can glide gracefully (or not so gracefully) across the Boston Common Frog Pond (refer to listing), the Hub's version of Rockefeller Center and a popular winter destination for young lovers. Best of all, once you doff those skates and your feet feel like blocks of ice, you're not far from exactly what you need to thaw them-a blazing fireplace. Hungry I (refer to listing)-a converted Beacon Hill brownstone that's been regarded as one of Boston's most romantic restaurants for 25 years-has three working fireplaces, intimate tables for two and exquisite French cuisine that will satisfy you both.
For the Available
When you're single on Valentine's Day, it's not uncommon to want to tell Cupid where he can stick his bow and arrow. However, the blissfully manacled couples of the world shouldn't have all the fun on February 14, should they? To that end, partiers without partners might want to check out the sixth annual Valentine's Day Flirt Fest at Saint (refer to listing), which features saucy attractions like a Julianna Rae lingerie show and a "kissing booth" for fabulous flirts. Or, if you're having none of it and simply want to substitute food for love, head over to Cambridge Common (1667 Mass. Ave., 617-547-1228) which hosts a four-course Lonely Hearts Beer Dinner , boasting such dishes as an iceberg wedge salad with bitter blue-cheese dressing, topped with cherry tomatoes and sour apples.
My Jazzy Valentine
There's no better soundtrack for seduction than the warm and mellow sounds of jazz, and Boston clubs offer a number of quality options for lovers this Valentine's Day. Regattabar (refer to listing) presents Brazilian guitarist Vinicius Cantuaria and his quintet, while the Top of the Hub (refer to listing, page 28) accents its excellent cuisine and unparalleled views of the city with music for dancing by The Chris Taylor Trio. Finally, Scullers (refer to listing) hosts a performance by Paul Taylor and Eric Marienthal, and also offers a dinner option for those for whom nibbling on earlobes simply isn't enough.
A Kiss is Just a Kiss.
But the timeless romance between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca is forever. The Brattle Theatre (refer to listing, page 25) continues an annual Valentine's Day tradition, screening the legendary film at 5, 7:15 and 9:45 p.m. on February 14. And after you and your sweetie have watched Ilsa fly away, why not take a flight of your own-a flight of stairs, that is-to UpStairs on the Square (91 Winthrop St., 617-864-1933) where the restaurant will host special Valentine's Day menus (complete with champagne and caviar) in both their Soiree Room and Monday Club Bar.
Where better to spend a romantic Valentine's Day than on Boston's most luxurious street? You and your special someone can start the day with a bout of shopping at any of the street's fabulous designer boutiques, and once your energy starts to flag, take respite with an appointment at g2O spa and salon by Giuliano (338 Newbury St., 617-262-2220). There, the two of you can indulge yourselves with special massage, body wrap and/or pedicure packages for two, which will have you looking and feeling gorgeous in time to dine where the beautiful people go to see and be seen-Sonsie (refer to listing). On V-Day, Sonsie's downstairs Wine Room is hosting a three-course, three-champagne dinner for $100 per person, beginning at 8 p.m.-a bubbly way to end a perfect day on Newbury.
Sometimes, when you're with the one you love, you want to skip dinner and cut right to the chase. Finale (One Columbus Ave., 617-423-3184 and 30 Dunster Square, Cambridge, 617-441-9797) specializes in decadent desserts, and as one would imagine, V-Day is their busiest night. But with something as delicious as their Temptation for Two (a plate of five different chocolate desserts for sharing) on the menu, you and your lover may find it's worth the wait. Or, call ahead to order one of seven varieties of Valentine's cakes or a box of chocolate dipped strawberries to go, and have your celebration in private.
The Lighter Side of Love
Who says Valentine's Day has to be all about somber declarations of love and overwrought flowery poems? If you and your significant other have a love that's more goofy than gooey, stay true to yourself this holiday by scarfing a decidedly unpretentious dinner at Dick's Last Resort (refer to listing) where the snarky waitstaff and stick-to-your-ribs cuisine will lighten your mood before you move upstairs to the Comedy Connection (refer to listing) to catch an 8 p.m. show by popular comedian Wendy Liebman.
Okay, the ending is admittedly a bit of a downer, but up 'til that point Romeo and Juliet is so passionately romantic that it makes you believe two nutty kids in love can take on the world. the American Repertory Theatre's production of the Shakespeare classic (refer to listing) is a perfect way to inspire that sort of fervor in your loved one-though we'd recommend against drinking poison after the curtain closes. Instead, drop by nearby Om (57 John F. Kennedy St., Cambridge, 617-576-2800) for one of their seductive aromatherapy cocktails, which go down much more agreeably.
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Food of Love
L.A. Burdick's, 52-D Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-491-4340. This Harvard Square café sells whimsical trademark chocolates shaped like mice and penguins, in addition to a plethora of chocolate confections and sinfully sweet hot chocolate.
Cardullo's Gourmet Shoppe, (Refer to listing). This specialty shop stocks some of the finest chocolates from America and around the world, including Godiva, the local Lake Champlain, Leonidas from Belgium and many, many more (pictured above).
Temper Chocolates, Hotel Commonwealth, Kenmore Square, 617-375-2255. Chocolatier Caroline Yeh imports high grade chocolate bars from around the world, but specializes in exotically-flavored filled bon-bons like grapefruit caramel, honey pear and butterscotch pie.
Boston Chocolate Tour, departs each Sat. & Sun. from the corner of Charles and Boylston streets. If you just can't decide, take your sweetheart aboard Old Town Trolley Tour's exploration of the Hub's richest chocolate treats. Sample desserts at Top of the Hub, Boston cream pie at the Omni Parker House, and finish off with the Langham Hotel's decadent Chocolate Bar Buffet. (Refer to listing.)