Where to Eat this Valentine’s Day

by Caroline Gentile ’17

As is the case for most holidays, my favorite part of Valentine’s Day is always the food.  Although many cast Valentine’s Day as merely a commercial holiday or a sad reminder of one’s loneliness, to me, there is nothing better than a day that encourages you to eat chocolate and drink wine (whether by yourself, with friends, or with a special someone). Regardless of who your celebrating with, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to go try some fun, new restaurants, especially those that are running special deals in honor of it. Below is a list of suggestions for where to eat this Valentine’s Day:
Zinneken’s
1154 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA
(617)-876-0836
A tried and true Harvard Square favorite, this Belgian waffle joint never fails to please. If you’re looking for somewhere relatively well-priced, conveniently located, and romantic, this is your place. And of course, we can’t forget about their delicious waffles, topped with whatever your heart desires.
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Strawberries + banana + chocolate sauce= true love
Orinoco
56 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA
(617)-354-6900
This cozy Venezuelan restaurant, tucked away on JFK street, offers a warm and inviting ambiance in addition to hearty, flavorful fare.  Be sure to try the datiles, or the bacon-wrapped dates!  They do not accept reservations, so try to go at an off-peak hour if you aren’t willing to wait for a table.
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Datiles at Orinoco
Max Brenner
745 Boylston St., Boston, MA
(617)-274-1741
For those of you who view Valentine’s Day as an excuse to eat all of the dessert in sight, then you must go to Max Brenner. Located conveniently near the Copley Square T stop, this is definitely the place to go get chocolate wasted. In addition to real food (which is pretty good in itself), they offer a variety of decadent sundaes, milkshakes, hot chocolate, lava cake, fondue, and chocolate-inspired cocktails. Be sure to make a reservation or call ahead, though, as they do get very busy!
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Dessert Pizza at Max Brenner
Temple Bar
1688 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
617-547-5055
templebarcambridge.com
For all of you Quadlings, Temple Bar is a tempting choice due to its proximity. Not only is their location prime, but they also are offering a three-course prix fixe menu, as well as a vegetarian tasting menu, in honor of Valentine’s Day! Dinner is $49 per person, or $39 per person if you go before 6pm.  For the 21+ crowd, add wine pairings for $19.
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(Photo courtesy of http://www.tripadvisor.com)
Russell House Tavern
14 JFK St., Boston.
617-500-3055
russellhousecambridge.com
Another Harvard Square favorite, Russell House Tavern is offering a special three-course prix fixe menu, featuring seared Gloucester monkfish loin and cider glazed heritage pork shank.  Dinner is $59 per person, or $79 with wine pairings.  If you go between 5pm and 6pm, there is a $10 discount on the prix fixe menu.  Be sure to make reservations!
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(Photo courtesy of http://www.bostonglobe.com)
The Beehive
541 Tremont St., Boston
617-423-0069
beehiveboston.com
The sister restaurant of Harvard Square’s Beat Hotel, the Beehive offers a cool ambiance, an extensive champagne list, and a mouthwatering Valentine’s Day menu.  Start with appetizers like their fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs or lobster chowder, then choose from a variety of delicious entrees, and finish with strawberry cheesecake, chocolate pot de creme, or the dessert du jour.  Dinner is served from 5:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 5:30 p.m. – 11 p.m. Sunday – Tuesday.  On Valentine’s Day, their prix fixe menu is $65 per person, but they are still offering their specials on the 12th and 13th as well.  Don’t forget reservations!

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A romantic ambiance at the Beehive (photo courtesy of thebostoncalendar.com)

 

 

Cupid’s Cuisine: 5 Valentine’s Day Dates

Darwin’s Ltd.
148 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA

By Danielle Leavitt ’17

Darwin’s Ltd., located at 148 Mount Auburn Street is the perfect place for a Valentine’s date. Eclectic decor, a vast array of natural, organic soups, made-to-order sandwiches, wines, and fresh veggies and fruits — it’s a great place to either pick-up a picnic lunch or eat in. Take a seat in the cozy seating area with your date, and sample many of the different flavored coffees and fresh bakery items. However, no great Valentine’s date would be complete without a gluten free option, and Darwin’s is no exception. Their gluten free sandwich bread is incredibly tasty, and the homemade gluten free pastries and scones are to die for. My personal favorite sandwich is the Hilliard: sprouts, Havarti cheese, and turkey on gluten free bread. For the yummiest and best kept secret in Cambridge, take your date to Darwin’s Ltd.!

Giulia
1682 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA

 By Victoria Piccione ’16

There are few things more romantic than really delicious Italian food. It makes sense: the country is romantic, the language is (quite literally) (R)omantic; it only follows that the food be romantic as well. Giulia on Mass Ave. has mastered this romance – and everyone knows it because the restaurant is always packed. The lighting is dim and the venue is small, the perfect amount of cozy for you and your Valentine. And despite below-freezing temps and below-zero wind chill, the food will warm you from the inside-out.

For the antipasto, you can’t miss the burrata: kind of a cross between mozzarella and ricotta, this is probably the best cheese you’ll ever eat. Choosing a main course is virtually impossible, with countless mouthwatering pastas on the menu, each prepared fresh daily at the big wooden pasta table featured right in front of the kitchen. And with amazing secondi, like homemade lamb sausage, you may be better off sharing, so you can both get a taste of everything. Of course, Valentine’s Day is the chocolate holiday, so your meal wouldn’t be complete without the chocolate terrine or the affogato. (The latter may just be the best gelato on this side of the Atlantic.) No matter what you choose, though, you can’t go wrong.

With a three-course meal averaging around $35 per person, I wouldn’t really call it a bang-for-your-buck kind of place. But you will certainly be getting your money’s worth. Let’s be honest: great food evokes feelings of pleasure–all the better to share it with your partner. But even if the date is a total flop, you’ll undoubtedly find yourself falling in love with Giulia.

Beat Hôtel
13 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA

By Orlea Miller ’16

Looking for somewhere new and exciting this Valentine’s Day? Try the Beat Brasserie (the Beat Hôtel)! The regular Bohemian-themed menu will be offered, along with specials including a Duck Confit Salad, the Blue Crab Crostini, and Roasted Lobster with Squid Ink Pasta. You can’t miss this season’s dessert offerings: banana bread pudding, raspberry and blackberry mousse, and flourless chocolate cake! Live music and drink specials are sure to add to the special occasion. Reservations are highly encouraged, call 617-499-0001 to make yours.

Taranta
210 Hanover Street
Boston, MA

By Caroline Gentile ’17

Located in the always romantic North End, Taranta boasts an unlikely fusion of Italian and Peruvian cuisine that is actually a match made in heaven (perhaps like you and your date!). Any of their six pasta dishes are to die for, but the lobster ravioli are by far the most popular.  As for the main dishes, the Petto di Pollo –chicken stuffed with fontina cheese and spinach– and the Amazon paiche are sure to impress.  The dim lighting, friendly service and delicious food make Taranta a perfect place for a Valentine’s Day date.  Be sure to make a reservation by calling 617-720-0052.

Café Algiers
40 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA

By Dana Ferrante ’17

Tables for two, apricot cookies, a spiral staircase, peppermint orange hot chocolate. The only thing missing? That special someone. If you’re looking for an intimate environment, made for conversation, warm beverages, and classic coffee shop romance, Café Algiers is the perfect place to go and hide from the sure to be snowy Valentine’s Day weather this year. Chances are it won’t be teaming with people, and you won’t have to wait an hour to get your delicious tabbouli salad or cheese plate with arabic bread. For a causal Valentine’s Day, where you’ll be warm, well-fed, and able to hear what your date is saying, Café Algiers is the place to go.

Harvard Square Feature Food: Orinoco’s Datiles

By Dana Ferrante ’17

Chances are, you’ve already walked by Orinoco about 20 times this semester without even knowing it. Located at 56 JFK Street,  it’s not in a place that most people look when trying to find somewhere to eat (i.e. down an alley), but that ends today.

Orinoco boasts an extensive menu of Venezuelan food, so it’s easy to overlook the bacon-wrapped and almond-stuffed dates, or datiles, and go straight for the arepas without giving it a second thought. You’re probably second guessing it right now—what actually is a date? Doesn’t my grandmother eat those? I can eat bacon with fruit?

Put your questions on hold, take a bite, and just enjoy the perfect combination of sweet and savory. The salty bacon and crunchy almonds offset the chewiness and the rich, brown-sugary sweetness of the dates. This dish has it all: flavor, texture and most importantly, the ability to be eaten without silverware. The only downside is that one order only comes with four datiles. Order a dish for your party of four or, better yet, just for yourself, since you probably will not want to share.

Unfortunately, Orinoco does not offer a vegetarian version of this dish (at least that we know of), but luckily another menu item, the maracuchitos (cheese wrapped in sweet plantains) will still give your taste buds a run for their money.