This Valentine’s Day we asked bloggers, Chefs, and politicos “What do you like to do for Valentine’s Day?” Their responses were varied, although delicious food and House of Cards were a few themes. Thanks to all for contributing and a special thank you to Simon Majumdar, chef, author, and Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef & Iron Chef America judge for participating.
Happy Valentine’s Day DC!!!
Exchange Valentines and head to a comedy show for lots of laughs!
I really haven’t had a Valentine’s Day off for over 10 years, but I’d like to stay home and cook dinner for two together with someone special.
Thomas Schoborg, Executive Chef, P.J. Clarke’s Washington, DC
The old saying of ‘happy wife, happy life’ is even more true on Valentines Day. So I do whatever my wife wants me to. Thankfully, that usually involves me cooking her a great meal, which is no hardship as, with my rather crazy schedule, anytime I can spend in the kitchen is a blessing. Last year I spent two days making Peking duck and all its trimmings. This year, being in Spain right now, I think Lechel codero will be in the menu.
Simon Majumdar, Chef, Author & Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef & Iron Chef America judge
I’m a girly girl-on-the-go who likes to dress up. So, I confess, I love the whole flowers and a fancy restaurant mise-en-scène. I’d prefer the corner of a French restaurant with red wine, steak frites, dark chocolate, and a dapper gentleman. I’m not bothered that some think it’s a contrived Hallmark holiday; I appreciate any excuse for a celebration.
This Valentine’s Day is a very special Valentine’s Day for me because House of Cards season two debuts. I plan to gather as many single friends into my studio apartment for a night filled with wine and takeout, most likely from D.C.’s best jumbo slice, Duccini’s.
Ugh. Valentine’s Day out is worse that New Year’s Eve and Restaurant Week combined. I’ll be ordering in Pete’s Apizza and watching a House of Cards marathon.
Sparkling rosé and chocolate cake with girlfriends and House of Cards marathon.
My wife and I always celebrate the Sunday before or after Valentine’s Day as I work on the day itself. We keep it low key and usually sleep in, have a small breakfast and relax for most of the day. For dinner I make Chicken Parmesan, which is my wife’s favorite.
Matthew Britt, Executive Chef, Ceiba
Oddly enough, both my mother and my older brother celebrate their birthdays on Valentine’s Day. And my husband and I had our first date on February 17th. So Valentine’s Day for me usually just means making Happy Birthday phone calls and then making a dinner reservation for the 17th!
Sometimes, my wife and I go out for dinner at the restaurant we dined at the night I proposed. We have also tried a new place on that date. This year we are dining in after putting our girls to bed.
I always go all out on Valentine’s day and like to make a multi-course gourmet meal with some secret aphrodisiac ingredients. Try serving oysters with a champagne sabayon, a salad with strawberries and avocado, or a filet mignon with a pomegranate and red wine reduction to really enhance the mood.
I like to bake sweet things like little heart cakes with my daughter Adora. She has so much fun frosting and decorating with sprinkles!
Angie Goff, Anchor & Reporter, NBC4
My two favorites on Valentine’s Day are Dom Perignon and kisses from [my wife] Norah O’Donnell.
Geoff Tracy, Executive Chef & Owner, Chef Geoff’s franchise and Lia’s
I prefer to avoid the restaurant reservation frenzy and stay in. Who wants to eat an overpriced prix fixe dinner at5pm? This year I’ve set aside a bottle of Veuve Clicquot to share with my boyfriend, but we’ll likely go stir crazy by10pm and go out for just one bourbon (okay…maybe two or three bourbons) at the same place we ended our first date, Lyon Hall in Arlington. The rest of the night I’ll keep to myself, as it is not PG-13.
It’s been several years since I’ve spent the holiday with a Valentine, but I hate eating overpriced prix fixe menus. This year, I decided to invite a few friends over and hire a “chef on demand” from Postmates to cook for us. It’s a great way to avoid the holiday crowds and spend V-day with some of my favorite people.
I tend to avoid French and Italian restaurants as well as anywhere with prix fixe “special” Valentine’s Day menus. The only thing special about these is that you’ll pay twice as much for about a quarter of the options you’d have on the regular menu. If your date’s not the type to demand something highfalutin, it’s more fun and less of a hassle to go out for Margaronas and tacos or hit up a reliable mom-and-pop Asian restaurant — spicy noodles and beer will get the endorphins flowing and make you feel sufficiently fuzzy/romantic. After that, it’s nice to splurge on dessert at a restaurant when the crowds have dissipated a bit, and then finish the night at a bar that holds some relationship significance — just remember the exact bar stools or booth where you first met or shared a romantic (or awkward) moment.
Charlie Harris, LocalEats
There are 3 days out of the year that I stay in and avoid the crowds: New Years Eve, Halloween & Valentines Day.
Casey Patten, co-owner, Taylor Gourmet
Years past, would always be at a favorite pizza place – this year I’ll be bring home Lori Lane – the dessert pie (shameless plug :).
Steve Salis, CEO, &pizza
The last Valentine’s Day I had off was in college and was spent eating copious amounts of Chinese food on the floor of my girlfriend’s dorm room. These days I always work the holiday and spend it cooking for happy couples. This year I’ll be preparing whole black bass, bone in rib-eye and a number of other dishes that are meant to be shared. Nothing says ‘I Love You’ like giving your date the last bite off your plate ;-).
I’m a hopeless romantic, but I am also lamentably single. So Valentine’s Day is kind of a mixed blessing. It’s wonderful to see so many people in love and their joy is often infectious, which lifts moods and sets a lovely tone in the restauant. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t wish I could take the night off and that I had a valentine’s date of my own with whom to share the evening!
Nathan Berger, co-owner, Beuchert’s Saloon
I’m always working…so come say hi!
The first thing I like to do is stop by the local CVS and get a large heart shaped box of Russell Stover assorted chocolates and a Valentines card (there are actually some really good cards to choose from). Then, I call about 10 local restaurants (mostly French) to see if I can get a reservation since I’ve waited until the last minute to do so. Rarely do I actually get a reservation, so I ask to be put on a couple wait lists. As a back-up, I may have to stop by the grocery store to prepare for a nice romantic dinner at home. I’ll get ingredients for my favorite tuna casserole (one bag of egg noodles, one can of generic branded cream of chicken soup, tuna – of course – and lemon pepper). Believe it or not, this dish is pretty good! This goes really well with a Caesar salad from scratch (in a wooden bowl); I’ll need to make sure I have a couple of candles, and a bottle of a mid-range priced Bordeaux from Schneider’s on Capitol Hill… (more likely 2 bottles)… and Voilà!