February 11, 2013 at 2:39 PM

A Valentine’s Day Feast for Two

Some decadent and delicious ways to romance your sweetheart

By Lynn Cline

Gourmet Girl

Lynn Cline is a former food editor and the author of two books – Romantic Days and Nights in Santa Fe and Literary Pilgrims: The Santa Fe and Taos Writers' Colonies, 1915-1950. She also loves to cook, when not dining out.

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An Evening of Aphrodisiac Foods

What could be more romantic for foodies than a hands-on cooking class devoted to aphrodisiac foods? The Santa Fe Culinary Academy hosts "Romancing the Stove" on February 14 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Led by the academy's co-founder Tanya Story, the class focuses on a menu including oysters with champagne shallot mignonette, wild mushroom and asparagus risotto Italian chopped salad with basil vinaigrette, venison with red wine cherry reduction and chocolate trufle cake with pomegranate sauce and crème. Yum! Sign me up! Click here for more info.

Luscious Lobster with Chef Johnny Vee

Bring your Valentine to Johnny Vee's annual hands-on cooking class, a lusty celebration of everyone's favorite crustacean. You'll make smoked lobster salad, lobster au gratin with truffled mashed potatoes, old-fashioned lobster rolls, lobster pot pie with sweet corn and vermouth and flourless chocolate torte with chocolate truffles. The class takes place Friday, February 15 from 6 to 9 p.m.  Click here to learn more.

If you can't make it on Friday, Chef Vee offers "Hot & Spicy Curries," a cooking class that features curries from India and Thailand. The menu includes Sri Lankan eggplant curry, homemade curry powder, Sumatra curried chicken, Indian lamb curry, Thai red curry pork, cucumber raita and Thai green curry vegetables with coconut jasmine rice. The class takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, February 16.

At the Artist's Table

Share a romantic dinner at The Artist Table, hosted by the Santa Fe School of Cooking starting at 7 p.m. Artist Ron Pokrasso and Tracy Ritter, the school's culinary director and executive chef and also the former owner of the much-missed Whistling Moon (remember those cumin fries?)  have designed a menu to win your hearts. Guests will receive an original print by Pokrasso to take home. Proceeds benefit Partners in Education and the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission. Click here for to see more.

High Tea for Two

There's something romantic about sharing an afternoon tea, and the Chocolate Maven provides the perfect setting along with all the other ingredients. Finger sandwiches include curried chicken, goat cheese and caramelized pear, cucumber and dill and smoked salmon and cream cheese. There are also freshly baked pastries and tea cookies, quiche, garden salad and berries with dark chocolate and crème fraiche. Order the Champagne Tea for Two, which comes with two kinds of finger sandwiches, chocolate-dipped strawberries and two glasses of champagne. Served from 3 to 5 p.m. Click here for more info.

The St. Francis Hotel also offers Afternoon Tea, served with coffee and sherry as well. The menu includes both sweet and savory local specialties that date back centuries, using traditional spices such as anise, lavender and cinnamon along with goat's milk and organic eggs. Try the Monk's Fruit Cake, made by Trappist monks, and the Pastelles de Tres Leches, a moist cake made from three kinds of milk, and the artisan cheese plate, with award-winning goat cheese and hand-pressed artisan date cake. Served from 3 to 5 p.m. Click here to see more.

Valentine's Day Menus

Many Santa Fe restaurants offer special menus for Valentine's Day, including Andiamo!, which has a three-course dinner featuring oyster soup, grilled tenderloin and flourless chocolate cake with strawberry coulis (click here for menu). 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar serves up a three-course dinner that includes coquilles Saint Jacques, seared foie gras, steak frites, seared duck breast Coq au Vin and rack of venison (click here for menu) and The Old House at Eldorado Hotel serves up a four-course prix fixe dinner highlighting aphrodisiac foods such as oysters, lobster tail and strawberry mascarpone tart with balsamic and crisp basil (click here for menu).

Whoo's Donuts has just started serving breakfast and lunch, with a menu of delectable items including a Veggi Foccacia Boursin Sandwich, Smoked Turkey & Green Chile Bagel, Mushroom Focaccia, Garden Salad and Creamy Tomato Basil Soup. This would be a wonderful spot to share a healthy and delicious Valentine's Day lunch, followed by one of Whoo's decadent Valentine's Day Donuts, including Sparkling Rose Vanilla Cake, Berries & Cream, Valentine Sprinkles and Forget Love, I'd Rather Fall in Chocolate.  Then step next door into The ChocolateSmith, run by the same engaging couple, where you'll find a staggering array of Valentine chocolates, from sweet salt caramels to red chile pistachio bark, rosemary marcona almond rounds, boutique gift pouches, non-pareils, chocolate ganache hearts and more! See more here.

Step back into a bygone era on Valentine's evening with the music of Swing Soleil, which plays gypsy jazz from 1930s France at the Zia Diner. Savor upscale comfort food in the special Valentine's Day Menu, which includes seared Chimayo chile scallops, grilled New York steak gorgonzola and molten chocolate cake, along with champagne truffles and champagne cocktails. From 6 to 8:30 p.m. Click here to see the full menu.

Albuquerque

Take in a musical performance of "Valentine's at the Monte Carlo" by Q-Lesque Cabaret Dinner Theater. You'll dine on a four-star meal at the Embassy Suites at 7 p.m.  The performance chronicles Mickey Monte Carlo, a Las Vegas-style showman who decides to revamp his act.  Click here for more info.

Enjoy a romantic Valentine's Day tea at the St. James Tearoom, complete with long-stemmed roses and a three-course meal in the full afternoon tea tradition. Click here for more info.

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