Your Valentine’s Guide to Local Shopping, Dining and Canoodling

by The Village Green
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Pillows from No. 165, $18 to $50.

Pillows from No. 165, $18 to $50.

Love is in the air! With Valentine’s Day fast-approaching, it’s time to think about how to show that special someone you care. Whether you’re in the market for small tokens, romantic keepsakes, decadent meals, or sweet treats, you don’t need to look too far.

The holiday gets off to a deliciously early start with Maplewood Village’s annual Chocolate Walk, held Saturday, Feb 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. To find participating businesses, simply follow the balloons throughout town while you shop and dine.

Speaking of eating, some believe the way to a man’s heart is through the stomach, but we think that adage holds true for women as well — especially with these amazing local offerings. Let’s take a look at some of the brunch and dinner options that are sure to win over even the most fickle palate.

 

DINING

Maplewood:

Reservations are now being accepted at Restaurant Lorena’s, Maplewood’s award-winning French restaurant. Brunch is priced at $42 per person (exclusive of tax and gratuity). Dinner, which includes Chilled Lobster and Lump Crab Salad, Wasabi, Avocado, Cucumber, Radish, Yuzu-Jalapeno Marmalade, Mache and Citrus; or Pan Roasted Grass Fed Beef Tenderloin, Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Brioche, Pomme Puree, Black Truffle-Madeira Sauce, is priced $95 per person on 2/13 and 2/15 and $125 per person on 2/14 (exclusive of tax and gratuity). Reserve online through Open Table, or call the restaurant at 973-763-4460.

Home to contemporary French cuisine Verjus will feature its regular menu plus specials. Reservations are necessary and can be made by calling 973-378-8990.

Arturo’s will offer its regular menu, but remember reservations are not accepted, so you may want to consider take-out.

Coda will be offering its regular menu. Reservations can be made by calling 973-327-2247.

Millburn:

MoonShine Modern Supper Club’s owner Victor Delapa says Chef Anthony Theesfeld “has created a sexy three-course prix fixe for this Valentine’s Day.” Priced at $60 per person, Moonshine is accepting reservations from 5 p.m. until 11p.m. Entree offerings include Butter Poached Rock Lobster Tail, Fire Roasted Filet Mignon, and Creamy Arborio Risotto.

Charming French bistro, Cafe Monet, will feature a special pre-fix menu as well as acoustic gypsy guitar with seatings 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday as well as a Sunday Brunch.

Perennial Italian favorite Basilico is offering a 3-course dinner for $80 per person. Warning: This menu will make you hungry.

South Orange:

Above Restaurant & Bar will feature its regular menu with the addition of some specials. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 973-762-2683.

Named ‘New & Notable’ by NJ Monthly, Ricalton’s Village Tavern will feature its regular menu. Call 973-763-1006 for reservations.

 

ENTERTAINMENT

LOVE in the LOFT: An Evening with Wincey

Enjoy an evening of music and award-winning cuisine prepared by Chef Ed Wilkes (formerly of Borgota Hotel & Spa, Atlantic City) with international singer-songwriter Wincey Terry Bryant.

5:30PM  (Concert Only)
Tickets: $35
SOPAC Members $30

7:30PM  (Concert & Dinner)
Tickets: $55
SOPAC Members $50

For more information, call 973-313-ARTS(2787) or visit SOPAC’s website.

PaperMill Playhouse

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play, will be performed at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. For more information, call 973-376-4343 or visit the PaperMill box office.

 

EXPERIENCES

Wellspring Health Collective on Valley Street in Maplewood is offering something more intimate: their first-ever Valentine’s Day Special Package for Couples, which includes:

  • Tandem, couple’s massage with two Wellspring massage therapists
  • Two roses
  • A sweet treat (or two)
  • Champagne for two
  • Ambiance aromatherapy courtesy of Green Heart Aromatherapy and Massage

Appointments are available Thursday through Sunday, February 12-15. The cost is $250. This package is limited to 25 couples only so book your spa package now.

Express Yourself Studios will host a a Couples’ Cocktails & Canvas, Saturday, February 14, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Bring your bottle of wine (or favorite beverage) and explore your creative side with your partner. Participate in a guided art project; no experience required. You’ll leave with a frame-worthy piece to enjoy for years to come. All materials and Valentine’s Day treats will be provided. The cost is $35 per person (adults only). To enroll in this workshop please register 2-3 days prior. Contact Express Yourself Studios 973-763-5256, or email info@expressyourselfstudios.com or REGISTER NOW!

 

FLORISTS

Gefken’s in Maplewood is advocating for Valentine’s Week and encouraging lovebirds to get a head start to the holiday by ordering flowers early.

Add a little feng shui to your beloved’s life with a gift from Lotus Petals in Maplewood. The holistic florist offers a full line of therapeutic-grade essential oils and other items designed to soothe the soul.

Victor’s Florist in South Orange has a huge variety of arrangements in case you’d like to take a departure from the traditional rose route.

If you want to remind your love that life is a bed of roses, Emerald Garden Design of Millburn has just the thing.

Necklaces from Perch Home, $32.

Necklaces from Perch Home, $32.

GIFTS

Perch Home has a great selection of cards and signs perfect for the holiday. Other popular items include both the ‘I Love You to the Moon and Back’ necklaces (silver: $32; gold: $38) and signs (small: $28). Or, transform your tub into a spa with Lollia Bubble Bath’s In Love scent. (475 ml: $36)

Make a statement with a comfy pillow from Maplewood home store No. 165. “Hug Me,” “Kiss Me,” and “You Are My Sunshine” woven and cotton pillows range from $18 to $50.

[words] The Maplewood bookstore has an assortment of items that will make your Valentine happy. Let us count the ways:

“We have lots of Valentine’s Day gift ideas and a great collection of cards,” explains Lisa Matalon. “There is a big selection of journals and notebooks with heart and flower themes. We have many popular children’s series with Valentine-themed stories. There are ‘gifty’ books about love and poetry. We also have trays and candles.

“Most importantly, we have delicious Theo chocolate bars including two special Valentine bars that can be added to any Valentine gift.”

Anti-Valentine cookies from The Able Baker

Anti-Valentine cookies from The Able Baker

SWEET TREATS

Gigi’s suggests surprising your loved ones with a six-pack of their delicious cupcakes. Starting at $9 for half-dozen, flavors include Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, Black Velvet, Strawberries & Cream and many more. Call (973) 763-8986 to place an order.

Not feeling the love this year? The Able Baker has just the thing. Choose from an assortment of “Dislike,” “As if,” and “Not Ever” cookies. If you have a change of heart at the last moment, there are plenty of pastries bearing romantic messages as well.

Chocolate Works in Millburn is accepting pre-orders on chocolate-covered strawberries don’t miss this opportunity to dazzle your darling with a decadent treat. Call 973-218-9222 to place an order.

 

 

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