Valentine’s Day is less than two weeks away and you’re going to want to make dinner reservations immediately, if not sooner. Don’t freak out if you’re stumped on where to take your date. We got some of the city’s finest bakers and pastry chefs to weigh in on their favorite romantic hotspots. Trust us, the people who live to make decadent confections know how to tickle the heart strings.
The owner of Magpie Artisan Piesunderstands that when life is hectic, you take date night when you can get it. “To be honest, anytime I can have dinner out with my husband feels like a date no matter where we go,” Ricciardi says. “We live in Drexel Hill, so one of our favorite places to relax and enjoy a simple dinner is La Belle Epoque Cafe(http://labellebistro.com/ ) in Media. Their Hanger steak with fries and a glass of Foppiano Lot 96 Petite Sirah is all we need to feel human again.”
The pastry chef at Kermit’s Bake Shoppejokingly points to his own house as the most romantic spot for dinner, though he’s not exactly taking reservations. “I would have to say I love Bistrot La Minette(http://www.bistrotlaminette.com/index.php ). Chef Peter Woolsey and his crew are great over there. It’s a very special place.”
The owner of East Passyunk’s Ms. Goody Cupcakegoes old school for romance. “My favorite place to eat on Valentine’s Day is Il Villaggio(http://www.ilvillaggiocherryhill.com/). It’s an Italian restaurant with an atmosphere that makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a little town in Italy. They have musicians that stroll around each table and we always feel special when we go there.”
The general manager at vegan and gluten-free bakery Sweet Freedomknows that romance doesn’t have to stop at just one restaurant. “Being a chef/sommelier, I appreciate the hard work and creativity that goes into alternative cooking. I would start with drinks at Ristorante Panorama(http://www.pennsviewhotel.com/panorama) – best wine list on the planet – and then dine at New Harmony Grill for outstanding creative vegan Chinese. The walk between the two places is quick and sweet too.”
Go straight for the sweets
Feel like doing dessert at home? The bakers told us exactly what to pick up to end the night on a sweet note.
Magpie: Chocolate mousse pie with raspberry jam and chocolate brownie bites. It even comes with a complimentary glass of Lindemans Framboise Lambic.
Kermit’s: His and hers petite cupcakes, and liquor cordials made with pear brandy and vanilla bourbon.
Ms. Goody Cupcakes: Cupcakes that come with a plastic pipette of alcohol sticking out of the top. Try Chocolate Boilermaker, a chocolate cupcake with Jack Daniels buttercream and a shot of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout.
Sweet Freedom: A Valentine’s Day box of goodies that includes pairs of chocolate-dipped strawberries, chocolate hearts, thumbprint heart cookies, and cupcakes.