Here's how to celebrate the day of love, sweethearts, singlehood, commercialized holidays, chocolate or whatever you like to call Februrary 14 (Galentine's Day, anyone?) right here in the city of Memphis. I'll update this as I hear about more things - you can add them in the comments, too.
1. Go to dinner. You will need reservations for all of these places, and most will fill up fast.
Flight, Feb. 14, call for times, $75 per person
Go downtown and choose from Surf or Turf flights.
Bleu, Feb. 14 – 15, 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m., $75 per person
Have four courses with a few choices each. Ladies get roses, couples get champagne, and valet parking is free.
Texas de Brazil, Feb. 14, call for times, $24.99 for salad bar, $44.99 for salad and meat
Try the bountiful meaty feast plus a few Valentine's themed cocktails.
Eighty3, Feb. 14 - 15, call for times, $59 per person
Go to the Madison's restaurant for a special four-course menu with a few options each.
Capriccio Grill, Feb. 14 – 15, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., $65+ per person
Have a four-course pre-fixe menu with a shared dessert and glass of wine.
Chez Phillipe, Feb. 14 – 15, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m., $90+ per person
Enjoy a three-course meal, for an additional $30 you can have wine pairings, too.
Peabody Corner Bar, Feb. 14 – 15, 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., $19.95 per person
Gorge yourself on a dessert buffet in the swanky lobby.
Felicia Suzanne's, Feb. 14, call for times, $65 per person
Have a three-course meal with three choices for each course, plus complimentary chocolate covered strawberries.
River Oaks, Feb. 14, 6:30 p.m., $75 per person
Enjoy a three savory courses paired with wines, and a dessert course at this East Memphis favorite.
Blind Bear, Feb. 14, dinner at 6 p.m., music 10 p.m. – 1 a.m., $55 per person
The Blind Bear speakeasy is hosting an "aphrodisiac" tasting menu, i.e., oysters, hearts of romaine, and live music for the evening.
Kid's Night Out, Children's Museum of Memphis, Feb. 14, 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m., $40 per child
This isn't technically dinner, but can definitely help facilitate grown-ups dinner plans. On Valentine's Day, CMOM will entertain and feed your kids for a few hours so you can have a nice evening out. It's win/win.
Savory Chocolate Dishcrawl, Location TBA, Feb. 19, $45 per person
It's a few days after V-Day, but if you haven't had your fill of chocolate, join in this dishcrawl featuring four dishes and four locations that use chocolate in savory dishes.
Terrace at the River Inn, Feb. 14, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m., $30 -$40
Have a three-course meal with a view (choose between filet, chicken, or fish for the entree). Reservations aren't required for this one, but they're always a good call in my opinion.
2. Go see/do something different.
The Vagina Monologues, Circuit Playhouse, Feb. 13 – 15, $20/$15 students with ID
It's funny, it's shocking, it might make you cry: it's the annual Memphis production of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues". The production, which features heartfelt monologues about the female experience, will benefit Planned Parenthood of Greater Memphis.
Spaceface & New Madrid Valentine's Show, The Sanctuary (1015 S. Cooper St.), Feb. 14, $5 entry, $5 AYCD beer
Self-proclaimed "psychedelic rawk" band Spaceface (including guitarist Jake Ingalls, who's back in town after touring with the Flaming Lips) is putting on a show at the Sanctuary – a new venue in Cooper Young – along with psych-rock group New Madrid and all-girl punk group Not.
Must Love Cats, Brooks Museum, Feb. 14, 6 p.m., $15, 21 and up
The internet cat video fest is back again, and this time there's a party including "cat-inspired" performances (?!) by Opera Memphis. There is a 100 percent chance that this will sell out, so buy your tickets now.
Monster Jam, FedExForum, Feb. 14 – 15, 7 p.m., $15 to $50, plus fees, all ages
The perfect alternative to flowers and chocolates, take your loved ones with you to watch huge vehicles with names like "Cleatus" and "Grave Digger" smash each other to bits.
Dessert Beer Pairing Sampler, Flying Saucer locations, Feb. 1 – 14, everyday, $10, 21 and up
Let's say you're not much of a wine drinker and you're feeling left out with all these wine dinners. Do not despair; the Flying Saucer has put together something just for you and your beer-loving date. Sampler sizes of beer come paired with small desserts and descriptions. This isn't really a dinner, more of a tasting, and it's going on for the first fourteen days of Feburary. I had a preview, so I can tell you more about this soon.
$1 off Singles' Growlerettes, Madison Filling Station,Feb. 14, all day, 21 and up
If you're single, you can save a buck when you fill up your growlerette (32 oz. jug) on Valentine's Day at the Madison Filling Station in Cash Saver. No word yet on if they'll be checking your Facebook status or asking for your "I'm Officially Single" ID to determine eligibility.
Valentine's Day Desserts, The Mighty Olive, Feb. 14, 8 p.m.-10 p.m., $12
Do something a little different and have dessert at The Mighty Olive shop in East Memphis. They'll have a vareity of desserts to choose from and everyone gets to take home some olive oil or vinegar. Reservations are required.
Java Cabana Open Mic Nite Valentine’s Contest, Java Cabana, Feb. 13, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m., free
Go share your original work with the crowd for a chance to win gift certificates and chocolate. You can compete in three categories, all with a "Heart" theme: Best Song, Best Poem, or Best Story. More information, please email: email@example.com
Wicked Divas from Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Cannon Center, Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m., $79
The MSO presents musical theater and opera favorites with vocalists Emily Rozek and Nicole Parker (Glinda and Elphaba from Wicked, omg!) They'll perform some from Wicked, of course, in addition to selections from Ragtime, Chicago, and Carmen.
Singles Super Fun Valentine's Celebration, Charles Vergos' Rendezvous, Feb. 14, 7 p.m., $10, 21+
This party for singles promises to be super fun with complimentary snacks and soda, games Taboo, Cards Against Humanity, Headbands, Word Jenga, etc), prizes, and a sweets bar. There will also be prizes provided by the event's sponsors, Fondantaly Yours, The Orpheum, Phillip Ashley Chocolates, Better Bodies Yoga, Andrea Fenise, I love mi-me, and Cloud 9 Hookah.
3. Get someone special something special.
For $25 (or more, depending on what you want), a University of Memphis music students will deliver your special someone a box of chocolates, a card and a tuba serenade.
Have the big bear himself deliever basketball game tickets, a one-night stay at Harrah's, and other goodies to your Valentine. It's $249, but, really, how can you put a price on quality time and a photo opp with Grizz? Availability is limited, so call 901.205.1416 for reservations ASAP.
Gifts by local artists/you at Valentine SOS, Broad Avenue, Feb. 8, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Go over to Broad Avenue next Saturday (Feb. 8) and find something locally made for your sweetie at Bead Couture (it's their grand opening), T. Clifton Art (Dorothy Northern's jewelry trunk show), Five in One Social Club (make a custom-molded chocolate), or My Heavenly Creations (V-Day themed soaps and candles)