February 7, 2008

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Romantic dinner for two
Plenty of options for Valentine’s Day but reservations are a must
By Linda A. Odum food@hippopress.com

To romance your main squeeze this Valentine’s Day, many area restaurants will have special dinner menus for that evening.

The following are a few of the restaurants that have already announced their special menus. Check with your favorite restaurant if you don’t see it listed to see if they have special seatings or offerings. And no matter where you go, reservations are a must, so call as soon as possible.

The Granite Restaurant and Bar in the Centennial Hotel, 96 Pleasant St. in Concord, 227-9000, will serve a four-course Valentine’s Day dinner from Thursday through Saturday of that holiday weekend. Enjoy Chef Matt Lee’s version of surf and turf — grilled petite beef filet and sautéed Hawaiian blue prawns with a smoked tomato and sage compound butter. Dessert will be a decadent raspberry chocolate tart. The cost is $90 per person, or each menu item may be ordered a la carte. To view the rest of the menu, go to www.thecentennialinn.com.

Head up to the Lakes Region, where Cu Na Mara Irish restaurant, 11 Hobart St. in Bristol, 744-6336, will also feature an all-weekend Valentine’s Day dinner. The five-course meal includes dishes such as lobster bisque, grilled duck breast served on a bed of basil accented couscous, and a chocolate fountain. The meal costs $55 per person, which includes a glass of champagne. Wine pairings are available for an additional $15 and beer pairings for an additional $10. Details can be found at www.cunamara.net.

The Bedford Village Inn, 2 Olde Bedford Way in Bedford, 472-2001, will serve a five-course meal from 5 to 9:30 p.m. The menu selections include Wellfleet oysters on the half shell; tomato and shrimp chowder; butter-poached Maine lobster; and dark chocolate and toffee bread pudding. The price is $75 per person and the evening’s menu can be viewed at www.bedfordvillageinn.com.

Zorvino Vineyards, 226 Main St. in Sandown, 887-8463, will host a Valentine’s Day Lover’s Night Out dinner. When guests arrive at this Tuscan-inspired winery, they will receive a glass of sparkling wine and enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres for the first hour. Next is a three-course meal of warm goat cheese salad and filet mignon and pancetta-wrapped scallops; plus a dessert of falling chocolate lava cake. The cost is $65 per person. To learn more about the vineyard and the evening’s details, go to www.zorvino.com.

L. A. Burdick, 47 Main St. in Walpole, 756-9058, is known for wonderful chocolates. It also has a fine restaurant that will serve a special Valentine’s Day four-course meal. The entrée choices include chateaubriand or roasted lamb for two, oven-roasted pheasant with bing cherry jus, or pan-seared halibut with an herb risotto. The dinner costs $85 per person. To see the entire menu and learn more about the chocolate offerings, visit www.burdickchocolate.com.

The Inn at Danbury’s Alphorn Bistro, 67 NH Route 104 in Danbury, 768-3318, will host a three-course dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Enjoy some of Chef Bob Graf’s authentic pork, veal, or chicken wiener schnitzel with spatzel and red cabbage, or choose a bistro steak with a special compound butter; stuffed breast of veal; or salmon Wellington. The dinner costs $32 per person. Call for a reservation, and to make the night extra special, order a chocolate fondue for two ($16). The entire menu, and information about overnight accommodations, can be found at www.innatdanbury.com.

Fody’s Tavern, 9 Clinton St. in Nashua, 577-9015, will offer a special Valentine’s Day cabaret show and dinner for $40 per person. Call or go to www.fodystavern.com for more details.

Or you can be altruistic while still surprising your sweetie with a sweet dinner. Southern New Hampshire University’s Hospitality Center Restaurant, 2500 N. River Road in Manchester, will hold a Latin Lovers dinner on Valentine’s Day. The four-course dinner will feature the food of Spain and include an appetizer, soup or salad, entrée and dessert platter for two. Spanish wines will be served with the appetizer, entrée and dessert courses. Each couple will receive a “Sweetheart Bag” of gourmet confections. Seating is between 6 and 6:30 p.m. The cost is $80 per couple. (RSVP in parties of two or four). Reserve a spot by writing to j.rain@snhu.edu (and specify the Latin Lovers dinner) or call 644-3128. Proceeds from the dinner will go to sending culinary students to an upcoming American Culinary Federation conference.

If dinner at home seems more romantic, but cooking doesn’t, call the folks at the Stocked Fridge, 704 Milford Road in Merrimack, 881-9635. They will prepare and package a special Valentine’s Day meal, complete with cooking instructions for you to serve at home. Menu options include Cornish game hens with amaretto stuffing and honey glaze; bourbon-glazed salmon; and champagne-feta risotto. All of the desserts are ready to serve with no additional preparation necessary. Choose from a dark-chocolate soufflé cake, orange layer cake with buttercream frosting and berries; and panna cotta with raspberry sauce. To see all the menu options as well as the other offerings for February, go to www.thestockedfridge.com.

Angela’s Pasta and Cheese Shop, 815 Chestnut St. in Manchester, 625-9544, www.angelaspastaandcheese.com, is also offering a dinner for two. Choose from entrée of pork tenderloin with a maple chipotle glaze or a pan-seared cod with a creamy lobster sauce and a bottle of red (Dante Merlot) or white (Monevina Sauvignon Blanc) wine. The meal also includes sides and tiramisu for dessert. The cost for a meal serving two is $54.95. The deadline to order is Friday, Feb. 8.

If you don’t want to wait until dinner to pamper your sweetie, get Madeleine’s Elegance Defined, 124 N. Main St. in Concord, 224-5353, www.madeleinesed.com, to deliver breakfast treats. Order a petite breakfast of two pastries, two wine glasses and a bottle of sparkling cider packed in a to-go pack with a card ($29.50 with delivery; $24.50 if you pick the order up). A grande breakfast ($30 if you pick up the order; $35 with delivery) will feature four pastries. A chocolate lover’s breakfast ($27 if you pick it up; $32 with delivery) features two chocolate croissants, a full slice of Madeleine’s chocolate pate, the wine glasses and a bottle of sparkling cider. Call on or before Feb. 12 to order a Valentine’s breakfast. Delivery is available within Concord city limits.

Jerome’s Delicatessen, with locations at 44 Nashua Road in Londonderry, 425-1820 and 393 Bridge St. in Manchester, 623-5388, is offering a Valentine’s Day dinner for two (for $35.95) to be enjoyed in the comfort of your home. Look for fresh salmon grilled with a honey teriyaki-glaze, roasted pork tenderloin topped with an apple-ginger cream sauce and chicken Saltimbocca, veal Oscar, steak Au Poivre and Dijon lamb chops. All entrees are served with appetizer, potato and vegetable plus dessert. Place orders by Wednesday, Feb. 13, for pick-up after 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14.

Enjoy Valentine’s Day a bit early at Topiary at Owl’s Rest Farm, 252 Brook Road in Sanbornton, 934-3221, thetopiary.com. Topiary will hold a Valentine’s tea on Saturday, Feb. 9, and Sunday, Feb. 10, with seatings at noon and 3 p.m. each day. The tea will feature signature cheese and crackers, miniature quiches, scones, cookies and pots of tea. The cost is $59.95. Call for reservations.


Sweet eats
Know of a restaurant not listed with big Valentine’s Day plans? Let us know at food@hippopress.com. Last-minute Valentine’s events might run in the Feb. 14 issue of the Hippo..


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12/20/2007 Lots of dough
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11/22/2007 Just don't ask them to cook
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11/1/2007 Bringing Italia to New Hampshire
10/25/2007 Trick or treat, the grown-up version
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9/27/2007 Meet your pig
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8/30/2007 The buzz about peach fuzz
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8/16/2007 Festival weekend
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7/12/2007 Reintroducing ratatouille
7/5/2007 Time to hit the grill
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5/24/2007 Josh Logan eats (not before shows)
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11/30/2006 Bites of comfort with chips of happiness
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01/26/2006 Goodbye rooster, hello year of the dog
01/19/2006 The secret lives of chefs
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01/05/2006 A sunny Italian side dish
A year of eats

All-you-can-read guide to breakfast
A bagel by any other l
abel
A picnic — it’s romance with ants
A sweet burst of summer, in stages
Beef, It's What's For Dinner, Lunch, And Dessert
Be it ever so humble, the burger rules
Blockbuster snacks for your movie
Box Of Chocolates
C Is For Cookie And Christmas And Cool Combo
Celebrating A Holiday For The Rest Of Us
Celebrate Easter In A Sugar Coma
Chat And Chew

Chinese soup is magic
Chocolate cake makes everything better
Chocolate, Part II
Competition flows like chocolate
Corn Flake Chicken, Honeycomb Salad
Dining at the "Your House Bistro"
Don't Dread The Bread
Dress Up Your Next Meal
Drinking Out Of The Box
Eating Your Way Back To Health
Empanadas
Enter Soup
Experiments With Very Bad Brownies
Feeding A Crowd The Morning After
Follow the cider house rules
Fresh Herbs
Go ahead — run silent, run deep
Goodbye corn syrup, hello organic oatmeal
Go Indian for Thanksgiving
Grilled Cheese Junkie

Halloween candy for grown-ups
Have a Happy Meal and a happier wallet
Holiday Cookies - The Easy Way
Holiday Potluck 101-Tips For The Kitchen Novice
Home-Based Date
How do you like them apples?
In-A-Pinch Love Feast
It's not easy to be cheesy
It’s not Christmas without tamales
Lest We Forget The Humble Squash
Keeping your cool while you eat
Living through your salad days

Looking Beyond The Hot Dog Stand
Lunching your way to a less toxic you
Meat's meat and a man's gotta eat

Moist and delicious chicken — no, really
Oatmeal Cookies, The Miracle Cure
Oscar Night, When The Stars Come Out To Eat

Offering Up A Slice Of Teriyaki Pie
Pot Pies Are Darn Tasty
Pumpkin-Flavored Treats
Small Plates Are The Next Big Thing
Speedy 'za not pie in the sky
Steak: it’s what’s for dinner, again
Summer coolers, just add sunlight
Summer Squash
Super Bowl Grub
Take A Walk On The Dark Side
Taste of Manchester Event
The Cosmopolitan
The joys of a simple oatmeal breakfast
The return of comfort food
The One-Note Cook Book
The New American Plate Cookbook
The Stickiest, Hottest & Sweetest Of Love's Labors
The taste of retro
The Unheralded Peanut Butter Cookies
The union of sweet and heat
The Weekly Dish (12-16-04)
The Weekly Dish (12-23-04)

The Weekly Dish [1-13-05]
There's a Barbecue Bonanza Next Door
Week Four: Adding Diet To The Mix
What Was Hot And Haute In 2004
When $$ trumps urge to dine out
When in doubt, go for the organic
When nothing else will cool, Slurp it
You Say Potato, She'll Say Potato,Too
You say tomato, writer says lunch