With the magic of Valentine’s Day behind us, we’re looking forward to special offers on delicious dining this month. Check out these February 2017 Restaurant Weeks and follow the savings to a city near you.
Russell Stover and the Whitman’s sampler are a major source of inspiration for bartenders at this time of year. Thanks to their cleverness and creativity, you can enjoy a heart-shaped box brimming with bonbons in liquid form. Here are eight chocolate cocktails to help you have a sweet Valentine’s Day.
Jackie Brown at La Moderna, Miami Beach, Florida
Garnishes don’t come cuter than this. A small side basket is filled with chocolate covered espresso beans. They’re the perfect complement to the caffeinated cocktail featuring white tequila, espresso liqueur, and spice syrup. Make a reservation at La Moderna.
Lost in Decadence at Bourbon Steak, Washington, D.C.
Filed under the “A Sweet for a Sweet” section of the menu, this confectionary cocktail will delight candy crushers. A chocolaty blend of vodka, fudge, and coffee liqueur comes capped with a cloud of white chocolate espuma and a sprinkling of chocolate and cherry powder. There is no such thing as a guaranteed aphrodisiac, but this comes close. Make a reservation at Bourbon Steak.
Cocoa Smoke at LondonHouse, Tri-Level Rooftop, Chicago, Illinois
Finely balancing sweet and spicy components is an art. This mix of mescal, Averno Amaro, chile liqueur, and simple syrup pulls it off. Curls of dark chocolate float in its ruby depths, adding bittersweet bursts. Make a reservation at LondonHouse.
Chocolate Milk Punch at Waypoint, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Clearly, this is a translucent drink. (See what we did there?) However, the silver rum and green chartreuse powered cocktail evokes the flavor of chocolate milk thanks to the inclusion of cocoa powder and crème de cacao. Make a reservation at Waypoint.
Poor Soil & Low Temps at Filini, Chicago, Illinois
Tropical notes dance amidst the chocolatey tones of this tipple. Pineapple shrub and lemon juice add a beachside sensibility, which found a counterpoint in the cacao nib infused sweet vermouth and chocolate bitters. Rye forms the bracing backbone. Make a reservation at Filini.
Looking for a perfect first-date icebreaker or a game-changing family night out? Any restaurant that features a fabulous meal, as well as interactive games, is a W in our book. Some spots serve board games like Monopoly and backgammon, while others feature games that require more physical activity, such as an indoor miniature golf course. Here are six restaurants with games where you can add another element of fun to your next outing.
Punch Bowl Social, Denver, Colorado
This entertainment dining concept kicked off in Denver in 2012 and has since added seven other players to the team including restaurants in Portland, Oregon, Austin, Texas, Cleveland, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan. It’s games galore: board games like Monopoly, Pictionary and Apples to Apples, and bowling, ping-pong, darts, foosball, bocce, giant Jenga, wall-sized Scrabble, marbles, and Pac-Man video games. The Southern-twist menu features dishes like the Alabama Chicken Sandwich (crispy chicken and white BBQ sauce, shredded lettuce and tomato, bread ‘n butter pickles and house cut fries). Pop quiz: Guess the most popular dish? The answer is: Chicken n’ Waffles. Make a reservation at Punch Bowl Social-Denver.
Urban Putt, San Francisco, California
Located in San Fran’s Mission neighborhood, executive chef Dane Boryta aces California comfort cuisine like his Tombo Tuna Poke (toasted seaweed, red clay salt, gluten-free soy, sriracha, and taro chips) and his Back Nine deep-dish pizza (black bean sauce, cilantro-pumpkin seed pesto, avocado and tomato salsa, cotija and mozzarella cheeses, diced bell peppers, and jalapeno cream). And he also serves a side of fun. There’s a mini-golf course on the first floor next to the main bar — 14 handcrafted holes including wonky machines and some San Francisco-themed holes, such as the 1906 hole — the buildings shake, rattle and roll. Enjoy a meal upstairs, then hit the links. Make a reservation at Urban Putt.
Proof at the Four Seasons Resort, Scottsdale, Arizona
Hit the road — the menu here features dishes from all 50 states. Think shrimp and grits, Maine lobster roll, Beer Can Chicken, and fried green tomatoes, and drinks like American whiskey and bourbon, and a soda jerk station for milkshakes. You’ll find classic Americana games, too, including “Etch-A-Sketch” for kids while they eat (or you eat!), and there’s a shuffleboard table in the middle of the restaurant. Come at night, and that Etch-A-Sketch and other games meant for the kiddies become a popular pick for adults indulging in some late-night dining. We can only imagine the etchings. Make a reservation at Proof at the Four Seasons Resort.
Jaleo, Washington, D.C.
At James Beard award-winning chef Jose Andres’s flagship restaurant in the Penn Quarter, you’ll find a Spanish tapas/small plates bar menu that includes dishes like Flauta de Jamon Iberico Fermin, (flauta bread brushed with tomato and extra virgin olive oil and topped with cured ham from the legendary acorn-fed Iberico pigs of Spain) and, another Spanish specialty, a pair of glass-topped foosball tables where you can dine and play (. One is a nod to Andres’ beloved Futball Club Barcelona, the other a cavalcade of pop stars like Kiss.) You can score a table at his other Jaleo locations, too: Arlington/Crystal City, Virginia, Bethesda, Maryland, and Las Vegas, Nevada. Make a reservation at Jaleo D.C.
It’s handled — Scandal returns tonight! We admire Olivia Pope for so many reasons, but perhaps most of all because she never spills a drop of red wine on her show-stopping white outfits – no matter what world-shattering drama is going down. Though she only makes the rarest of allusions to what’s in her glass, she has enjoyed a 1994 Châteauneuf-du-Pape and a tear-inducing Bordeaux, so it stands to reason that she loves full-bodied reds. But where would she sip them if she allowed herself a night out on the town in the Capital? We’ve picked out six grand cru D.C. wine bars and asked their experts to select something special for the Gladiator-in-Chief to sip.
Consider it a liquid atlas of wines from around the world. Flight’s menu has 450 selections – including 40 by the glass – from America and Hungary to South Africa, Argentina, and many, many points in between. Situated across the street from the Verizon Center in Chinatown, the vino bar makes it easy for indecisive drinkers by offering 25 carefully curated flights.
What Olivia would drink: “A full-bodied blend from Priorat, Spain – 50 percent Garnacha, 30 percent Carinena, 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10 percent Syrah. The wine is produced by Bodegas Los 800, which gets its name from the fact that they source fruit only from 800 meters above sea level or higher from the hills of Priorato, where they believe the quality of the fruit truly reflects the terroir and best of the region. This wine is a little more Old World in style. Big but restrained. Fruit-forward, but balanced by delicate tannins.” – Swati Bose, owner/sommelier. Make a reservation at Flight.
Tucked away in Cleveland Park, its list focuses on sustainable, organic, and biodynamic options from boutique winemakers. The wine selection is well-matched by breathtaking fare from recently installed executive chef Ryan Ratino, who made an unexpected splash at Masa 14 with his wow-worthy tasting menu dinners.
What Olivia would drink: “Retro Cellars’s Petite Sirah from Howell Mountain, made by Randy Dunn’s son. Randy Dunn is an icon in Napa Valley and his son has seemingly picked up on his father’s talent to make concentrated, full-bodied wines that showcase much more than just ripe, saturated fruit. The wine shows lovely floral aromatics and intense blue and dark fruit, as well as white pepper notes alongside a graphite mineral component. Big, bold — but also delineated.” – Jose Aguirre, general manager and wine director. Make a reservation at Ripple.