Valentine’s Day 2014 is just days away, and while the loaded holiday comes with the need for a celebratory dinner (recommendations here), we’re fully aware that you’ll also need a creative, thoughtful gift. This year, think outside the box and present the ultimate, unconventional surprise. From tickets to upcoming foodie events, to prime picks for chocolate lovers and spice addicts, you’ll be hooking your food lover for years and years to come.
Tickets to Cured & Crafted — In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma, Di Bruno Bros. has partnered up with Big Bite Philly to host the ultimate cured meat and craft beer festival. Slated to unfold Thurs., Feb. 20 at Old City’s Power Plant, any meat lover would go hog wild at this porky extravaganza, which will highlight eight acclaimed chefs preparing prosciutto-accented dishes, all of which are paired with select craft beers. Tickets are $45 per person, available here.
Spots at Dashing Rogue’s Beer & Food Pairing Course — If you’re a twosome who loves craft beer and adventurously pairing food with it, you’ll want to become acquainted with Main Line’s Dashing Rogue. The beer-centric private event group, run by Shannon Jones (known as “Beer Mistress”) and Ian McCafferty, is bringing back the dinner party, hosting unforgettable affairs in your own home—food, craft beer, menus, cleanup, and more all covered by the savvy hosts. Click here to book the beer superstars for an unforgettable night in. Want to meet them on the scene? Snag a seat at their upcoming food and beer intro course, unfolding Feb. 27 at Manayunk’s Transfer Station.
Pack on the heat — If your main squeeze can handle the heat, gift him or her the spiciest care package to date. Collect some of the area’s hottest products, from Downingtown’s Chile Spot’s artisan chile pepper-sprinkled caramel popcorn, raspberry rush hot sauce and peach-mango-jalapeno jam, to Philadelphia’s St. Lucifer Spice’s fiery blend of garlic, salt, vinegar and habanero peppers. The gents behind West Chester’s Righteous Felon Jerky enjoy kicking up the heat too, with their packs of Habanero Escobar and Che-potle Guevara that are equally peppered with generous amounts of spice.
Love in a mug — Sure, chocolate is always popular among the ladies for cupid’s holiday. But, if you’re looking to elevate the standard box of chocolates, let Eclat Chocolate help you reinvent your sweetest gift. The West Chester chocolate shop is serving up cocoa sticks that bring Euro-quality hot chocolate to your home kitchen. With just a few fanciful stirs in steamed milk, your main squeeze will be sipping into decadent oblivion. Eclat’s cocoa sticks are available in flavors like organic dark chocolate, milk chocolate and salted caramel, cinnamon and chile pepper, and more.
Still haven’t booked a reservation? Here’s a handy list of a dozen ideas of where to go.