What’s new in food: Wine, dine and eat more chocolate

CHERRY BOMBED: Get your heart on with a tin of chocolate-covered cherries, part of the French Broad Chocolate Valentine’s Sweet Shop line. Photo by Kristina Valdiviezo, courtesy of FBC

In the Before Times, snagging a table for two for a Valentine’s Day dinner out with your sweetie required shrewd advance planning. But this year, take heart, procrastinators! Several Asheville restaurants are cooking up romantic dinners to take away and enjoy in your private love nest. Some are also offering dine-in service, but reservations — and masks — are required.

La Bodega by Cúrate’s Tapas for Two To-Go recreates the grazing experience tête à tête in the privacy of your own home. Among the eight small plates are a trio of Spanish cheeses, croquetas, sautéed shrimp, Cúrate’s signature piquillo peppers and burnt Basque cheesecake. Available for pickup or local delivery. $92 plus tax and gratuity. 32 S. Lexington Aveavl.mx/8zi

Ivory Road Café & Kitchen has your love feast and tables for two by reservation 5-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12. The three-course menu with options for appetizer, entrée and dessert is $32 per person. Ivory Road, 1854 Brevard Road. avl.mx/8yk

Reserve a view for two with a three-course prix fixe dinner on Sunday, Feb. 14, at The Montford Rooftop Bar. 199 Haywood St. avl.mx/8yl

RendezVous suggests a rendezvous chez vous with a takeout surf (lobster) and turf (beef Wellington) dinner for two with sides, dessert and wine for $145. Pickup is at noon and 5 p.m. on Valentine’s Day.  $145. Call 828-348-0909 for details or order by Saturday, Feb. 13. avl.mx/8ym

The same menu can also be enjoyed inside RendezVous or Bouchon downtown by reservation only at avl.mx/8yn. RendezVous, 181 New Haw Creek Road; Bouchon 62 N. Lexington Ave.

Seeing red

And white and pink and even orange. Just in time to clink glasses of bubbly with your valentine, Bottle Riot reopens Friday, Feb. 12, with a new love match between the River Arts District wine bar owners Lauri and Barrett Nichols and Strada Italiano owner and chef Anthony Cerrato. Piccola Strada will take over the kitchen and serve a small-plate menu of Strada classics like Tuscan stuffed figs, grilled Florentine ravioli and new items showcasing house-made fresh pasta. The reopening will also reveal Bottle Riot’s new awning, enhanced indoor and outdoor seating and additional lighting and heating on the patio. Bottle Riot, 37 Paynes Way. avl.mx/wordcaoq


French Broad Chocolates invites you to say “je t’aime” with its Valentine’s Day-themed Love + Chocolate Collection of a dozen boxed chocolates, red and rose wine bonbon sets, chocolate-covered cherries, raspberry-white chocolate covered macadamias and limited-edition chocolate bars. Order online at avl.mx/8yo and pick up from the factory at 821 Riverside Drive, or wear your mask and peruse the cases at the downtown shop at 10 S. Pack Square.

Pop star

Want an unconventional Valentine’s Day gift that benefits the community? Poppy Hand-Crafted Popcorn’s new Asheville Artist Bag, designed by local artist Annie Riker, is stuffed with nine cups of Asheville Mix — a savory-sweet white cheddar and salted caramel blend. For every Asheville Artist Bag sold, Poppy will donate $2 to the Asheville High School Hands Up program supporting students and their families with educational resources. To order, visit avl.mx/8zj.

Puppy love

Botanical Bones, a vegan and gluten-free line of dog biscuits baked by former Brooklynite Rachel Meyer, is offering limited edition Hearts & Bones treats, a partnership with Texas- and New York-based Hearts & Bones Animal Rescue. Three blends of the specially shaped love bites are available all month, with $1 from every $10 package sold being donated to Hearts & Bones. Botanical Bones are sold at Flora and West Village Market, can be ordered as an add-on to BimBeriBon’s Big Bountiful Bags and are available through the Bountiful Bones website at avl.mx/8qp.


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About Kay West
Kay West was a freelance journalist in Nashville for more than 30 years, contributing writer for the Nashville Scene, StyleBlueprint Nashville, Nashville correspondent for People magazine, author of five books and mother of two happily launched grown-up kids. To kick off 2019 she put Tennessee in her rear view mirror, drove into the mountains of WNC, settled in West Asheville and appreciates that writing offers the opportunity to explore and learn her new home. She looks forward to hiking trails, biking greenways, canoeing rivers, sampling local beer and cheering the Asheville Tourists.

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