If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day dinner that’s at least a tad off the beaten path, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few dinners and events happening around the Garden State that might surprise you. And if we’ve missed any good ones, add them to the comments!
Seating for most events is limited, so please call ahead.
February 11: Start the party early! Garden State Food Tours is hosting a Love Bites event at LITM (Love is the Message), a bar/restaurant/gallery in downtown Jersey City. Sinful and sultry desserts on one side from All Kinds of Whoopie, and lovey-dovey, cutesy sweets from Milk Sugar Love on the other, plus two Valentines Day-themed cocktails. 6:30 p.m. $35/person. Click here to purchase tickets. Love is the Message, 140 Newark Ave., Jersey City. 201-536-5557.
February 13 and 14: 2 Chicks with Chocolate host “He Said, She Said, Wine vs. Beer” dinners complete with wine, beer, a three-course dinner, dessert, and even surprise pairings throughout the evening. Seating is limited and reservations are $95/couple. Guests will learn about pairings, vote for their faves, and even take home a package of 2 Chicks bon bons. YUM. For reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-896-2449. Seatings are as follows: February 13 in South River at 7 p.m., and February 14 in South River and Metuchen, 7 p.m. 268 Main Street, South River and 387 Main Street, Metuchen.
February 14: Get OUT of the spirit with an Anti-Valentine’s Day dinner at TheDowntown in Red Bank. Enjoy the restaurant’s regular menu with anti-Valentine’s-themed drinks and decor. $30/person. Click here to purchase tickets. The Downtown, 10 West Front Street. 732-721-0890.
February 14: Take the Local! Silver Birch Kitchens hosts a rustic three-course dinner prepared by Chef Jessica Geanoules, which includes a local wine pairing. All proceeds will benefit the Community FoodBank of NJ. For more information about Silver Birch Kitchens, read Jennifer Miller’s recent article here. 16 Schooleys Mountain Road, Long Valley. 908-876-0160.
February 14: Beneduce Vineyards has limited tickets left for their Second Tuxedo Dinner. This black-and-white semi-formal attire event will feature a special five-course-meal paired with the vineyard’s finest wines. Seats are $150/person. Call for reservations at (908) 996-DUCE. Beneduce Vineyards, 1 Jeremiah Lane, Pittstown.
February 14: Love is in the castle—the White Castle! Celebrate in style with White Castle. Event hours: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Click here for instructions for more information. New Jersey info: 908-753-0822, x103.
February 14 and 15: Art and fabulous food, what more could you want? For a unique Valentine’s Day date, take your sweetheart to Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton. Take a stroll through their gardens and admire some of the 270 sculptures they display. Afterward, head over to Rat’s for their Valentine’s Day tasting menu on Friday or Saturday, or close the weekend with Sunday brunch. Grounds for Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton. 509-586-0616.
February 15 and 16: Many of the New Jersey Wineries across the state will be participating in the Wine and Chocolate: Wine Trail Weekend which continues this weekend. Check here for details, and for even more information, read Jersey Bites contributor Jennifer Malme’s recent article about the event here.
February 15: Try a pleurotus djamor (pink oyster mushroom) at Unionville Vineyards for a Day-After-Valentine’s Day dinner you won’t forget. Click here to reserve your tickets for this five-course mushroom (and wine, of course) tasting from Princeton’s Shibumi Farm LLC. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Womanspace and Homefront of Mercer County. Unionville Vineyards, 9 Rocktown Road, Ringoes. 908-788-0400.
And if you’d rather stay in…
Sapore’s Ravioli of the Month for February is here! Heart-shaped lobster or cheese ravioli, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Pick up a box of these gems and enjoy a meal full of love. Pair them with Sapore’s homemade lobster or vodka sauce. Click here for details. L&D’s Sapore Ravioli and Cheese Inc., 429B Lincoln Boulevard, Middlesex. 732-563-9190.