I love you. I love you very much. So much, in fact, that for Valentine's Day I'm willing to take you to the farthest reaches of Collierville. I will, my dear, book us a room at a swank hotel for a night of romance. Or would you prefer an evening filled with sweet soul music? It's anything your heart desires. Just look below. (But, baby, we're going dutch.)
Grill 83 will host a Valentine's Day masquerade ball on Saturday, February 12th, in the Iris Ballroom at the Madison Hotel. "This will be the first of many, we hope," says catering/sales director Erica Flemming. "There's nothing like it in Memphis." The black-tie event will include a five-course dinner and the music of Amy & the Tramps for $195 per couple. Chef Antony Field will offer a selection of appetizers during the cocktail hour, starting at 7 p.m. The main course will feature a choice of beef tenderloin or salmon and saffron shrimp. For more information, call 333-1224.
Chefs Sam Long and Brian Harwell, co-owners of Seasons at the White Church, invite couples to enjoy a quiet romantic dinner set in the 19th-century church. On Monday, Valentine's Day, Seasons will feature a prix-fixe menu with seatings available from 5:30 until 8 p.m. The four-course dinner will begin with a choice of crab cakes or butternut-squash bisque followed by a mixed baby greens salad. Next, choose from veal osso bucco, roasted Alaskan king salmon, or herb-roasted rosemary filet of beef. Top it off with a choice of gourmet desserts. Call 854-6433 for reservations. The cost is $60 per person.
With more than 80 years in business, Jim's Place East has been the location for many Valentine's dinners. The staff has been known to serve up a surprise for special occasions in addition to its regular menu of steak, seafood, and Greek specialties. Co-owner Angelo Liollio recalls hiding gift boxes and roses for customers until the perfect moment. And, he says, they've even put engagement rings in the champagne flutes or atop a piece of pie.
At Jarrett's in East Memphis, husband-and-wife team Richard and Barbara Farmer will offer a selection of their customers' favorites. This charming bistro is best known for its fresh seafood combinations such as smoked trout ravioli or porcini-dusted cod with caviar cream. "We are having a scaled-down version of the regular menu with lots of fresh fish and specials like Kobe beef ribeye, veal osso bucco, and special desserts like our Wet Kiss, a super-light layered génoise cake with strawberry sabayon gratin," says Rick, who placed second in the best-chef category in Memphis magazine's 2005 Readers' Restaurant Poll.
At Peabody Place downtown, Isaac Hayes will make a rare appearance at his restaurant. The man whose music has set the tone for countless seductions will perform two shows on Friday, February 11th. Guests can enjoy music and drinks or take advantage of the regular Hot Buttered Soul menu, which features Southern favorites like smoked ribs and Isaac's turkey meatloaf. Appetizers are included in the cost of tickets, which range from $50 to $100. For more information, call 529-9222, extension 3.
Take a trip to Tunica where Hollywood Casino offers a romantic Valentine's dinner at the Fairbanks Steakhouse. The prix-fixe menu will feature an oyster appetizer; spring greens salad with Roquefort cheese, spiced pecans, and raspberry vinaigrette; and tenderloin of beef with a truffle demi-glaze, followed by a chocolate lover's dessert with strawberries. The cost is $120 per couple for dinner or $160 for dinner and wine. For more information, call 800-871-0711.
In Germantown, Equestria's chef and managing partner Kevin Rains has designed a five-course meal with sexy options like red-velvet soup and oyster salad. No one will leave hungry with a choice of Chilean sea bass or Equestria Newburg followed by filet mignon or raspberry balsamic duck. Pastry chef Jason McElvany will tease the senses with the "Indulgence Cake," a mix of rum, tangy sweet raspberries, and rich chocolate. Joe Norman will be performing in the lounge. The cost is $75 per person. Call 869-2663 for reservations.
Make a night of it at The Peabody hotel with the "Touch of Romance" package, which includes a luxurious room with complimentary champagne and flowers, dinner for two at the hotel's award-winning Capriccio Grill, and breakfast in bed for an all-inclusive price of $450. For more information, call 529-4000.
For those who want to indulge in the city's culinary delights with a clear conscience, join the Valentine's Day 5K and 10K runs Saturday, February 12th, beginning at 10 a.m. at Bartlett Presbyterian Church, 6671 Yale Road. This annual event is hosted by the Bartlett Parks and Recreation Department. It's an all-day event which culminates in a post-race party with food, games, and entertainment. In addition to healthy fruits and bagels, runners can chow down on pizza donated by Papa John's and other snacks. For more information, call 385-5593.