Love! L’amour! Mīlestība!
Valentine’s Day, the day of love, is upon us once more and we’re feeling romance in the air. As the French say, “Excusez-moi, où sont les toilettes?” Ah, what a beautiful language it is.
Whether you’re a fan of Valentine’s Day or not, it’s a great excuse to show your love and appreciation for someone else or yourself by indulging in comfort foods and giving into the love on what is an otherwise grey, cold, and miserable morning on a year that is, shall we say, been less than ideal lately. We could all use a smile and a bit of love!
So if you have a date for two at home planned or a solo movie night for the SERIOUSLY FINE I SWEAR lone wolf, there are plenty of ways to make your Valentine’s Day special with OTT. So with that, we’ve put together the ideal OTT date night!
Enjoy, lovers. Or, as they say in Paris, “La balle est rouge”. Gosh, I wish I knew what these beautiful French phrases meant.
Say it with Chocolate
ChocoSol St. Lawrence Market – chocosoltraders.com
Look, it’s Valentine’s Day and everyone knows that you need to get chocolate. That’s the law. If you don’t get chocolate we can’t be responsible for what happens after that.
Fortunately OTT has the best chocolate in the city with the ChocoSol booth in the St. Lawrence Market. Creating decadent stone-ground dark chocolate from organic, forest garden, shade-grown cacao, the Toronto-based ChocoSol’s chocolates will have your paramour swooning in no time. Our personal favourite is the Vanilla Sea Salt bars, but if you want to spice things up a bit, the 5 Chili Bullet might do the trick.
ChocoSol’s booth is open Thursdays and Fridays and they’ll be at the Saturday market!
A Romantic Dinner
HOTHOUSE – hothouserestaurant.com
Cantina Mercatto – cantina.mercatto.ca
Crepe T.O. – facebook.com/crepetoronto
When it comes to a divine dinner to spark, as the Italians say, lo sguardo dell ‘amore, it’s worth it to pull all the stops for a fine meal that will even have you swooning and thinking how lucky you are to be able to have this wonderful food in your life. Oh, and your significant other too, of course.
And for a true romantic dinner, ARDO Restaurant has always been there to carry us away to the coast of Sicily, watching the breathtaking Mediterannian sunset. Ah, quanto romantico, sì?
As a Valentine’s Day treat, ARDO has prepared a special 4-course meal ready to finish in your oven at home that’s currently available for pre-order. The meal contains scallops crudo with wild fennel, chili, tonda iblea olive oil, large house made ravioli filled with green pea & mint puree, fresh Newfoundland calamari & snow crab on a seafood tomato broth, and chives, fresh Baffin Island turbot, with vined cherry tomatoes, celery & Sicilian capers, and Tiramarena, a tiramisu savoiardi. You can even order from ARDO’s selection of fine wines, though with this meal, perhaps the 2018 Possente Grillo would be the best match. And maybe buy one or two bottles of the Belstar Prosecco Brut. You never know when you might need a bottle of bubbly (see below).
If you’re looking at something a little more casual in terms of dining but not skimping on the romantic gestures, the folks at HotHouse have outdone themselves with a special Valentine’s Day menu consisting of salmon wellington and a steak dinner for two complete with drinks and an option that includes roses, chocolates, a teddy bear, and candles to set the mood. To place the order give HOTHOUSE a ring at 416-366-7800 before February 12th and they’ll arrange everything else!
In need of more wine? Along with their mouth-watering takeout and delivery menus, Cantina Mercatto remains a fantastic source for some of the best wines in the city.
And because Valentine’s Day is all about complete decadence, why not double your pleasure on the dessert menu with one of Crepe T.O.’s famous dessert crepes. We suggest the Cloud 9 with banana and Nutella that will have you feeling untold and forbidden pleasures of the flesh. Or uh, something like that.
See the sights
Whether spending the night alone or with someone special, in our personal experience a lovely night walk through the city is an experience that just can’t be missed. Walking around to see the beautiful architecture of the market, taking in a leisurely stroll through the Esplanade, marvelling at the Flatiron Building and strolling through the breathtaking St. James Park with the cathedral, pavilion, and lit pathways sets the scene for a romantic night over the backdrop of one of the best and most beautiful cities in the world.
Brunch for the Morning After
George Street Diner – thegeorgestreetdiner.blogspot.com
If the night went really well (wink wink, nudge nudge) or ended up being a bust, nothing quite works as a continuation of a good thing or a fresh start like a good, hearty brunch the next day. And with that you know we’re going to suggest George Street Diner’s epic menu. From buttermilk pancakes and a hearty Irish breakfast to breakfast burritos and a good ‘ol bacon butty, George Street Diner’s food will warm the soul better than or about the same as love will.
And if you’d like to make it extra nice, use that bottle of prosecco you got from ARDO to make some mimosas.