If Civic Center Park's romantic possibilities don't call out to you, perhaps you're just not thinking far enough outside the chocolate box. The Civic Center Conservancy thinks plenty of folks have found love at the park — and the nonprofit wants to hear all about those starry-eyed experiences. The Conservancy is giving lovers a chance to tell their stories on social media using the #CivicCenterLove tag on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Post a story about meeting, falling in love, sharing a date or getting engaged at the park, and you could win two gift certificates to dine and shop at Civic Center Nosh & Posh. See the complete rules of the contest on the Conservancy's website.
But there are many other lovely, unconventional ways to celebrate Valentine's Day in Denver over the next few days. Here are ten of them.
Monday, February 13
1. Beatrice & Woodsley
38 South Broadway
Romance might be an iffy proposition this Valentine's Day, but friendship is forever. Hang with your gal pal this year at Beatrice & Woodsley for Galentine's Day on Monday, February 13. Most guests at the beguiling Broadway spot don't even know there's a hidden underground lair and wine cellar reserved for special events just below the main dining room, but that's where you and a female friend can experience an enchanting evening that includes a cupid piñata filled with gifts and treats, sparkling wine and good food served community style. The $48-per-person, girls-only party will start with a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception at 6:30 p.m. and move to a three-course prix fixe menu beginning at 7 p.m., with optional wine pairings available. Space is limited to only sixteen guests, so call the restaurant soon for a reservation.
Tuesday, February 14
2. Bombay Clay Oven
165 Steele Street
Forget about puppy love or innocent crushes, and embrace passion at Bombay Clay Oven's Kama Sutra dinner on Valentine's Day. "The Kama Sutra is an ancient Hindu text that discusses the nature of love and the enjoyment a couple finds in each other," the Indian restaurant explains. The book is "known across the globe for its more…graphic aspects." The five-course Lovers’ Dinner is built around ingredients renowned as aphrodisiacs, fragrant seasonings and exotic flavors, including oysters, ajwain (or bishops’ weed, and said to increase sensual energy and virility), ginger, garlic and cardamom. Reservations are required for the dinner, which is priced at a naughty $96.69 per couple.
3. Brown Palace Hotel
321 17th Street
If you love chocolate, don't just eat it: Let the Spa at the Brown Palace Hotel douse you and your sweetie in chocolate-scented bliss with a fifty-minute Chocolate Covered Couples Massage for $230, offered from February 10 through February 18. Call the Spa directly at 303-312-8940 to book a time, then look into the hotel's Valentine's Day packages online for complete packages that include champagne, chocolates and dinner.
4. Chocolate Lab/Westfax Brewing
Fulfill your Valentine's Day fantasies on Colfax Avenue with a chocolate-and-beer dinner or a sultry chocolate gift box that might have your sweetheart blushing in fifty shades of red. The Chocolate Lab (2504 East Colfax Avenue) has created a Fifty Shades Darker set with four different truffles: Domination (Urfa chili and raspberry gastrique); Submissive (rose and salted caramel); Whipped (ginger and black pepper); and Masked (grains of paradise). Purchase a box for $12 at the shop or on the Chocolate Lab's website.
For a more complete chocolate experience, the Lab is teaming up with Westfax Brewing (6601 West Colfax Avenue) for a Valentine's Day dinner with a salad, small plate, entree and dessert — each made with chocolate and paired with beer, from a cream ale to an imperial coffee stout. Tickets are $45 each at one of two seatings (6 and 8 p.m.), and can be purchased on the Westfax website, where you can also view the full menu.
5. Parisi Italian Market & Deli
4401 Tennyson Street
A romantic Italian dinner for two from a traditional pasta house may not sound cutting-edge, but the difference with Parisi's offer is that it's takeout only — so you can Netflix and chill with your significant other while enjoying restaurant-quality cuisine in the comfort of your own living room (or kitchen, or bedroom). The San Valentino package will set you back $50 (to be paid when you call in your order) and must be ordered by this Friday, February 10, for pick-up on Valentine's Day. The restaurant is only making forty packages, so get your order in sooner rather than later. Instructions for heating and plating will be included, so you can pick up your order by 5 p.m. on February 14 and have it ready to pass off as your own cooking not long afterward. (No, not really — that would be wrong!) The two-person meal includes one vegetable soufflé with buffalo mozzarella; one bruschetta with smoked salmon, goat cheese and fennel; two portions of savory spinach-and-ricotta-stuffed Florentine crepes with béchamel and marinara; two portions of slow-cooked pork ribs served with roasted potatoes; and two heart-shaped flourless chocolate cakes. (No substitutions, says Parisi.)
6. The Post Brewing Company
105 West Emma Street, Lafayette
But there are many other lovely, unconventional ways to celebrate Valentine's Day in Denver over the next ten days. Here are ten of them. Going it alone for V-Day, or hoping to meet that special someone over drinks? The Post is hosting a SAD (Singles Awareness Day) party in its Elkhorn taproom at the Lafayette brewhouse. Guests can enjoy $3 shots of housemade sweet-tea vodka, barrel-aged tequila and pours of Lovey Dovey Amber Ale, which was brewed at exactly 69 degrees Fahrenheit (there's that mysterious number again). Show up between 5 and 9 p.m. on February 14 for games, prizes, oysters Rockefeller and Oscar-style New York strip.
Qdoba doesn't believe you're in love and will need visual proof before giving you a Valentine's Day deal. Head into a participating location (call ahead to your favorite Qdoba if you're not sure) on February 14 and share a kiss with your companion; your public display of affection will net you a free second entree with the purchase of a first one. Qdoba also wants to share the love and will donate $1 to No Kid Hungry for every photo of a kiss shared with the tag #QdobaForaKiss from February 10 through February 15.
8. Ratio Beerworks
2920 Larimer Street
Valentine's Day at Ratio Beerworks calls for the tapping of a single keg of Loveless, which the brewery describes as "a beautiful, complex yet delicate, barrel-fermented dark sour saison, which spent over a year in red wine barrels before being re-fermented with raspberries." There will be a full release party complete with bottles for sale on February 14, but you can get an early pour (without the fanfare) by heading to the taproom beginning February 11.
9. Rebel Restaurant
3763 Wynkoop Street
The theme for Valentine's Day is ’80s Prom Night at RiNo's most eclectic eatery. Show up with ’80s fashion and hairstyles for music circa 1987, a photo booth, a costume contest to declare the prom king and queen, and spiked prom punch. Tickets (available on nightout.com; $35 for early bird or $40 once those sell out) will cover an open bar, passed hors d'oeuvres and a totally rad dance party. Live music will be provided by the Night Shift.
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2639 West 32nd Avenue
Spuntino has you covered if you're a procrastinator — or if you just hate battling the crowds of lovebirds for a prime table on Valentine's Day. This season's Festa della Stagione wine dinner takes place on February 15 and covers both the celebration of San Valentino and Lupercalia, the traditional Roman pagan festival of fertility. A five-course meal, complete with Italian wines, will explore the myths and facts behind Valentine's Day. Reservations, at $110 per person, are limited, so send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and spotlights uncommon proteins such as wild elk carpaccio, foie gras, El Regalo Ranch young goat and venison loin.