Time is running out, my cupids and cupidesses, so today I will show you six ways to Valentine's Day.
The most obvious thing to do is make a dinner reservation at a nice restaurant then invest in some combination of flowers, chocolates, silk undergarments and a greeting card — not necessarily in that order.
As far as dining out is concerned, OpenTable.com recently released its list of the 25 most romantic cities in the U.S., and Oklahoma City ranked fifth thanks to places like The Cellar at Castle Falls, The Melting Pot, Paseo Grill and Opus Prime Steakhouse.
While Oklahoma City's inclusion might surprise you, keep in mind OpenTable's Most Romantic Cities Index was calculated using three variables: The percentage of restaurants rated “romantic” according to OpenTable diner reviews; the percentage of tables seated for two; and the percentage of people who dined out for Valentine's Day last year.
Only San Antonio, St. Louis, Providence, R.I., and Atlantic City, N.J., rated higher than Oklahoma City on the list.
Now for the bad news: If you haven't secured a reservation at any of Open Table's list of romantic local restaurants or even your own favorite secluded rendezvous by now, the pickings might be slim.
1.No. 1 on my list is a trip to Tsubaki, 5900 W Memorial Road, Suite E, for The Heart-Stealer roll. This brand-new sushi and hibachi restaurant on the far northwest corridor is a lovely little spot for dining-in or takeout. If you want to experience the full glory of this heart-shaped roll, plan on sticking around.
2.Sushi is light, bright and oozes romance, but I realize it's not for everyone. If you're looking for a dining experience like no other, consider my No. 2 recommendation: Queen of Sheba, 2308 N Macarthur Blvd., where eating with your hands is not only likely, it's the law. Owner Mimi Younis has been known to confiscate eating utensils at her fine Ethiopian restaurant, but in the case of romance, Mimi told me it's not enough to eat with your hands; you must feed your lover.
“It's the ultimate act of trust,” she said of allowing your beloved to feed you from his/her fingertips.
I do have one other potential Valentine's activity to mention, but I can't yet speak about it from experience because it is so new. The ultra-talented chef Christine Dowd and her partner Maggie Howell, who are proprietors of Aunt PittyPat's Catering, have started A La Minute, which they describe as a culinary flash mob. I haven't yet done an A La Minute event, but I have eaten plenty of chef Dowd's food to vouch that no one will be disappointed. And as it turns out, chef Dowd and Howell have an event planned for 7 p.m. Friday.
For information about this super-exclusive experience, you'll need to go online to alaminute.register110.com or “like” the Facebook page, facebook.com/alaminutemob. The menu and location will be revealed when you register. Only 96 seats are available for this event.
Dining at home
Because Valentine's Day proper falls on Friday, seats at local restaurants will be hard to come by, so I expect there will be a lot of folks destined to dine at home this year and celebrate the holiday out on Saturday or Sunday. That's right — it will be a double Valentine's experience for many.
3.So, for dining at home, consider my No. 3 idea: the heart-shaped steak. Rhett Lake, owner of Rhett's Meat Market, and many other local butchers can hand-carve a full rib-eye into a heart shape large enough to feed two for two days. Lake will even throw in a batch of his famous mashed potatoes and a dusting of his specialty rub developed over two decades at the Indian Hills Steakhouse in Norman, where Lake spent the early part of his career.