Dining out on Valentine’s Day 2016

You’ve got options and we’ve got recommendations, but for heaven’s sakes, make your reservation already!

For the unabashedly simple

You’re always dragging him to the latest place for $25 plates of “gifted and talented chicken thighs soaking in a risotto tub” or whatever, so maybe show him you care about his unfancy desires by treating him to a white-tablecloth dinner at two participating area Waffle Houses (view locations here). When he asks you, “Honey, why are we heading towards Petersburg?” you can smile sweetly, dip your fingers in a tub full of butter you brought with you for the purpose, and trail them lightly across his cheek. He’ll get the picture.

For the cheerfully flirtatious

Pizza Tonight’s new spot at the former Aziza’s on Main (2110 E. Main Street) has pizza lovers and cream puff lovers meeting up, discovering instant attraction, and beginning new lives of greasy, pillowy bliss. But honestly, it gets old watching them swap calorie kisses all the time, so Pizza Tonight’s Valentine’s Day menu consists of neither pizza nor cream puffs–instead, treat your own special someone to squid, quail, baby octopus, mushrooms, and chocolate. See if you can recreate that scene from Lady and the Tramp when you both start sucking on tentacles from the same baby octopus! Awww! Seatings will be doled out at 6:00, 6:30, 8:00, and 8:30. Tickets are $75 per couple and includes a bottle of wine from a preselected list. Call 804.477.3355 for reservations.

If your babydoll just can’t get enough pan-roasted or sautéed entrées, skip blithely to Acacia (2601 W. Cary Street), where the Valentine’s Day prix-fixe menu has a whole lot of both. Think tuna ceviche, braised pork shoulder, lump crab cake, pan-roasted and/or sautéed salmon, rockfish, beef filet, and lamb loin, and then stop thinking, because the dessert menu needs to be shown the respect that only a moment full of mind-silence can give. $65 per person.

Postbellum (1323 W. Main Street) absolutely refuses to be outdone–just simply will not be outdone! Even when asked politely! Their own Valentine’s Day menu includes Rappahannock oysters, kale, duck, gnocchi, salted caramel…you know, all the stuff that you absolutely want to consume together before moving to an undisclosed location to Netflix wildly. $80 per couple, and can be gotten anytime over the weekend!

For the continentally curious

She’s got two loves–you…and dinner. That’s why the Amour Wine Bistro (3129 W. Cary Street) “Un Amour de Dinner” makes literal perfect sense for her. Choose the early (5:15 PM) or later (8:30) adventure and elegantly scarf down a five-course dinner (plus two bonus amuse-bouches). The menu is brimming with confit, reductions, and jokes I don’t get, but there’s both a first and a second main course, which I do get. Dinner costs $79 with an optional wine pairing for $29. Make your reservation by emailing reserve@amourwb.com or by calling 804.353.4020.

For the bitterly unrequited

Valentine’s Day has become more than just a way to show your impatient partner that you do really care about them, and yes you definitely think about them while you’re at work, and of course you want to spend some money so that they can take grainy Instagrams and then spend the rest of the night frantically checking their likes. It’s also a way for those unlucky in love to get together with like-minded individuals and declare their intention to form a human chain that will stretch around the world–only without holding hands with anyone, because gross. Become a weak or strong link (depending on your mood) at various parties:

Sour Haus’s Winter Boo Ball presents local favorites Lady God, Cherry Pits, Magnus Lush, and cookies at their annual broken hearted celebration.

WRIR invites you to wear black and mope to your wounded heart’s content at the Black Valentine’s Day celebration at Gallery5. The Wimps, Julie Karr, and Brown Sabbath will croon songs about love gone wrong all night long while you sway with your eyes closed and hope to forget.

If you’re a wallower instead, Carytown Cupcakes (3111 W. Cary Street) has not forgotten about you. You can order their “Un-Valentine’s Day” themed cupcakes (and all the other ones, too) for solitary bingeing. Cupcakes include: Galentine’s Day, Nothing to Wine About, Treat Yo’ Self, Netflix & Chill, Bleeding Heart, and Un-conversation Heart. They’ve also got rather pretty cupcake corsages and long-stemmed roses, which will make you much more popular when delivered at work than actual corsages or long-stemmed roses.

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Don’t see anything you like? Some places are still getting their prix-fixe crabcake parties together. Check back for updates.

Want us to include your spot’s special V-day situation? Email us at editor@rvanews.com and allow us to write a couple of weird sentences about it.

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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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