Valentine's Day is a time for fantasy and seduction. It's also the time when restaurateurs, hoteliers, jewelers, and confectioners go out of their way to stoke the flames of desire.
From romantic dinners to late-checkout-lairs, Valentine offers are designed to tempt. Among the many that have crossed my desk are ones that invite couples to revel in delicious excess. While a lucky few can afford them, dreaming – and finding inspiration – are free.
Ultimate Valentine's Day Meal
Considered one of the most romantic places in the USA, the award-winning Inn at Little Washington is a jewel in the Virginia countryside outside of DC. Over the course of 30 years, owner/chef Patrick O'Connell has built this Relais & Chateaux property into an ultimate expression of his love for fine cuisine and the men and women who can appreciate it.
Many of the 18 opulent rooms and suites at the gourmet Inn commemorate a famous foodie. On our visit, we stayed in the Julia Child suite. Antique furniture (including a fainting couch), a bed swagged in toile-printed fabric, and an oversize bathtub were a few of the elements that create an environment perfect for romance.
The greatest seduction at the Inn, though, is the inspired cuisine. For Valentine's Day 2012, O'Connell and his team will served a ten-course truffle lovers' feast. Use the restaurant's menu as an inspiration for a special Valentine's Day meal of your own:
- Truffle Dusted Popcorn
- Savory Lilliputian Petits Fours
- Duck Consommé with Truffled Gougère
- Heart of Smoked Scottish Salmon with Beluga Caviar and Black Truffle Vinaigrette
- Ebony & Ivory: Main Diver Scallop with Medallions of Black Truffle
- Macaroni and Cheese with Virginia Country Ham and Shaved Black Truffle
- Truffle-Stuffed Roast Pheasant on Savoy Cabbage Braised in Champagne
- Blackened Wagyu Ribeye with Bone Marrow Custard and Black Truffle Risotto
- Pineapple Lemongrass Sorbet with Pink Peppercorn Granita
- Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding and Almond Ice Cream Perfumed with Black Truffle
In addition to the Inn at Little Washington's "black diamonds" fare and intimate and softly lit dining rooms, live music will softly serenade lovers on February 14's Ultimate Valentine's Day Seduction Meal.
Do you have romantic Valentine's Day meal ideas? Share your thoughts or recipes below!