Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! I repeat: Valentine’s Day will be two days away from the time this paper is published. Which means there is still time to show appreciation for the ones we love.
I like to interpret “loved ones” loosely. While I love my husband dearly, I also love my friends and the people who make life easier—like the folks who make my trash magically disappear every week or the folks who serve delicious beers when I ask. Since my husband lives in Florida now, proximity-wise I’m a lot closer to the latter (I’m lookin’ at you Marisa at Flytrap … wink). While I love fresh flowers as much as the next person, the way to my heart is with food and drink. (But if you want to get me flowers, please, check out Mother of Wild’s new space or Beauty and Bloom in the South Front District. Swoon.)
Our port city is full of places to find sweets and snacks come Friday, February 14. Here are a few Valentine’s Day specials I’m excited to taste.
1127 Military Cutoff Road (The Forum)
1005 N. 4th St.
If there’s one thing I can eat a truly irresponsible amount of, it’s Boombalatti’s ice cream. Lately, I’ve been going for Chocolate Cream Pie with hot fudge, but my first love was Mocha Oreo. Oh! And Cinnamon Caramel Oatmeal Cookie.
When I take myself out for Valentine’s Day, I’ll go for a waffle bowl with four mini scoops, three of which will be their special holiday flavors. They’ve got Be Mine, which is their classic sweet-cream base with conversation hearts. Too cute. Then there’s Raspberry Cheesecake, which has their cheesecake base with raspberry coulis and graham-cracker crumbs throughout. (Yeah, not sharing that with anybody.) And the third is Chocolate Covered Strawberry, which is layers of the shop’s strawberry ice cream and their hot fudge. (OMG.) I think the forth scoop will be good ol’ vanilla as a palate cleanser in between other flavors. That’s how that works, right?
ONE BELLE BAKERY
1616 Shipyard Blvd.
A great way to treat the office or bring some extra sweetness to Galentine’s Day is bring a big box of colorful macarons. While I’d love to make them myself, I just don’t see that happening. One Belle Bakery is whipping up (literally) boxes of Valentine’s treats for folks to drop in, scoop up, and whisk away!
There are six options for the boxes: a party box filled with various pastries including cupcakes and cookies ($30), gourmet truffle box ($36), a heart-shaped cake filled with sprinkles (6” for $25, 9” $40), a French macaron variety box with five different flavors ($15), a strawberry box ($28), and a gourmet strawberry box ($32). It’s too late to custom order, and the are no substitutions on the boxes, but they are absolutely sure to please.
The bakery will be bagging and bowing varieties of their famous decorated cookies, such as one saying “you’re neat” (piped above a glass of whiskey) and “low key obsessed with you.” And my editor tells me I’ve been missing out on One Belle’s caramel-glazed salt and pepper donut for my whole life, so a box of those would be lovely.
319 Walnut St.
If a lot of ice cream isn’t your love language (weirdo), then maybe pretzels and beer are. Last year I went to Flytrap Brewing’s collaboration with Boombalatti’s for Valentine’s Day. They paired four of their stouts with four fantastic flavors from Boombalatti’s. This year they’ve teamed up with Wicked Good Pretzels, the traveling pretzel purveyors.
Once again, Flytrap will be slinging stout flights and Wicked Good will be frying the pretzel bites to order. Reservations are not required, and the cost of the pairing is $15. Pairings will consist of: cream cheese stout with an “everything” pretzel; maple bacon stout with a Sriracha pretzel; chipotle stout with a chocolate pretzel; and cherry-vanilla stout with a cinnamon-sugar pretzel. I’m so excited, I’ll probably order two and act like I got stood up so I can “drown my sorrows” in a second pairing flight.
Just to make this already excellent deal a little sweeter, Jesse Stockton will be playing songs beginning at 8 p.m.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all of the Wilmington-area breweries releasing Valentine’s brews. Front Street Brewery is bringing back Sinful Stout, but this time with coffee! Head Brewer Christopher McGarvey is calling it “the mocha latte of beers.”
Good Hops is rolling out a stout for the Valentine’s skeptic, the Broken Hearted Stout. It’s a limited release made with rye malt and chocolate.
Edward Teach Brewing is getting steamy with the release of Let’s Neck, a blueberry blackberry witbier, and Sizzling Orchard, a wheat ale with peach and vanilla. There’s talk of a chocolate-strawberry nitro stout from Wrightsville Beach Brewery, and a wine barrel-aged sour release from Broomtail Craft Brewery called “Kleptocracy.” And Salty Turtle Beer Company brewed up a Love Potion with raspberry and chocolate.
For all who prefer to wine their way through the holiday, Stalk + Vine on the riverwalk is hosting a small wine festival the day after Valentine’s Day. Sippers can explore the differences between California and Argentina beginning at 4 p.m. Tickets are just $35 or $60 for two and include unlimited sips and small bites.