Valentine’s Day 2016, Under $75pp

Go ahead and spoil the one you love this Valentine Sunday – whether that be your spouse, your BFF, or your liver.

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Los Angeles Zoo: Sex & The City Zoo Reception & Lecture, 5-7pm. Adults only event featuring a cocktail reception (5-6pm) and lecture (6-7pm) on “some of the most fascinating and unusual mating rituals in the animal kingdom”. Event tickets are $43/ea and include a selection of bites and a variety of wines, all amongst the animals. If you want to stay around after the presentation for dinner, they will also be offering a 3-course prix fixe dinner at Reggie’s Bistro (in the zoo) from 7-9pm (tickets with dinner $121.74, and $137.49 with wine pairings.) 

Tom Bergin’s (Mid City) 2nd Annual Single Awareness Day (SAD) Party, 5-11pm. DJ playing “unromantic tunes”, specialty cocktails, fireball shots + $30 “Cheap Date” Menu for two (two burgers, fries, and two cans of beer in a champagne bucket.) This is totally the way we want to spend V-day. 

Ester’s Wine Shop & Bar (Santa Monica): Valentine’s Day Tasting, 3-5pm. $25/per person. Features tastes of six pink wines + cheese, charcuterie and 10% off all retail & wine purchases.

Wilde (La Brea):  Valentine’s Wine Class, 3-5pm, $100/pp. Features six wines paired with bites. PSST: f you move fast enough, GiltCity is offering discounted tickets to this wine class on La Brea for just $70 for one, or $120 for two people. 

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A Food Affair (Pico-Robertson): 3-Course prix fixe menu, $66/pp. This would be our top choice of the lot simply because they offer FREE CORKAGE. Bring your favorite $5 TJs bottle or splurge on a nice bottle of DeLoach OFS Zin (Our favorite red!). Bring multiples, drink to your heart’s content, enjoy their awesome food, and love your other-person even more. 

Ca Del Sole (Toluca Lake): 3-Course prix fixe menu$65/pp. Featuring a bunch of  great Italian items to choose from for each course. We’re thinking beef carpaccio followed by grilled colorado lamb chops, and finished with creme caramel would be a great combo! 

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2015 Valentine’s Dinner Menus: $70 or less

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PS: This company makes totally hilarious and awesome Vday cards. This is the the tip of the iceberg of lovely-rude greatness. Check em out by clicking the image.

Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday certainly puts more pressure on going-out to celebrate the day of love. But we are not fans of over-priced prix-fixe dinners with 300% mark-up just because its a holiday, so we’ve rounded up a handful of options that won’t totally break the bank on the 14th. (PS: we will continue to update this post as we get closer to the holiday, so check back for new options!)

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Valentine’s Day 2012: Menus $60 or Less

Check out our 2015 Valentine’s Day menu list here! 

Martha Stewart Always Makes Such a Nice Table (And it’s always complete with booze!)

We feel badly for those that want to impress their dates SO BADLY that they fork over 4x the normal price of dinner just because its Valentine’s Day. Being the dining/drinking savvy ladies that we are, we are not the least bit impressed by such a waste of moolah when you can just go to the same restaurant a day before or after and enjoy nearly the same meal for a fraction the cost.

We feel even worse for those that don’t know that ARE options out there on VDAY that are somewhat reasonable (if not downright steals) that allow you eat out in style + romance (+ no dishes). We hope for their sake those people stumble upon our blog and see our below list of Valentine’s Day dinners for $60 or less. Most prix fixe, some including booze.

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LA Market (Downtown): Offering a Valentine’s Day menu Friday – Tuesday, featuring four courses for $52 per person. Lots of delicious foods included on the menu, but most importantly – a junk food platter for dessert. Yum!

Lot 613 (Downtown-East): This restaurant/gallery set up will include a four course menu for $59 per person. Dinner will include your choice of appetizer, entree, vegetable, starch, and shared desserts. While you dine amongst the art, there will also be a full bar at which you can buy drinks, and live music.

Yxta Cocina Mexicana (Downtown): Four course dinner for $45 per person. Dinner includes a marg or glass of bubbly. Wanna upgrade to your dinner to surf and turf? Just an extra $20 per person. Dinner seatings available 5pm – 10pm.

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Desert Rose (Los Feliz): Special Valentine’s Day menu for $49 per person + live music from Michael B. Levin. The menu will include salads to start, followed by a Lebanese platter for two, your choice of entree from a selection of steak, fish, and pastas, and then a selection of desserts. Dinner reservations available 7- 11:30pm.

Papilles (Hollywood): Automatically scoring points in our book because its USC alum owned, Papilles is offering a four course dinner for $60 per person. And holy mother of g*d it sounds amazing and luxe: first course is your choice of pacific oysters, caviar AND champagne OR brochette of chicken hearts with jus au sang. Then your choice between frog legs with turnip OR smoked Idaho ruby trout with sunchokes. Entrees include your choice between New York strip loin or butter poached lobster. And dessert: a seasonal sweet treat or cheese plate.

Street (Hollywood-ish): We jumped for joy when we saw this one on FB: five course menu of tasty around-the-world bites for $45 per person at Street. We love this place. Love it. Love the food and the happy hour and the brunch and now this Vday menu. Menu available here.

Wood & Vine (Hollywood): V loves this place. Loves. And for Valentine’s day W&V will be offering a three course, $60 per person dinner that includes oysters, slow roasted pork, and a chocolate pot au creme. Kinda sad there is no fried chicken+waffles on this menu, but we can only hope the other items are just a delicious.

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Fig & Olive – Melrose Place (WeHo): Shocked to find this one on the list? So are we. And yet here it is: Three course dinner for $52 per person at this WeHo hot spot featuring a menu of Mediterranean plates. Appetizers includes prawns, veal carpaccio , 1/2 dozen oysters on the half shell or butternut squash soup. Your entree? Filet Mignon, Salmon, Rack of Lamb, or Grilled Truffle Chicken Paillard. And your sweet tooth with be sated with a melting varlhona chocolate heart and honey lavender madeleine. (Careful the link is a PDF – we hate them too, but didn’t have a link posted online to give ya for the menu…)

Tart (MidCity): Special “Meat n’ Three” Valentine’s dinner menu that includes your choice of meat/entree + three sides, AND dessert AND a cocktail. All just $18.99 per person. If you’re date loves southern-style fried foods, this is the place to go.

Taste (Palisades and WeHo): Four ‘Aphrodisaic’ courses for $55 Per Person. Begins with an amuse bouche, and followed by your choice of appetizer, entree and dessert from a menu of quite a few tasty options. Plus if you visit the Pali location there will be a live Spanish Guitartist to sexy-up the mood.

The Roof on Wilshire (Miracle Mile): Probably one of the better dinner-views (and a new addition to our bottomless list), The Roof will be offering a four course menu for $60 per person. First course will be a choice of baby vegetable salad or albacore sashimi. Second course, celery root soup or butternut squash risotto. Entrees include a filet of beef or caramelized scallops. And dessert was created for some sexy sharing: a trio of chocolate treats.

Vinoteque on Melrose (Mid City): Five course dinner WITH wine pairings for $55 per person ($35 w/o wine). Dinner starts with a gougere cream puff amuse bouche, your choice of starter: arugula salad w/burrata or curried cauliflower bisque, entree choice of tri-tip roast or seafood jambalaya, citrus basil granita for your intermezzo, and passion fruit panna cotta for dessert.

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Coupa Cafe (Beverly Hills): This might be one of the cheaper and low-key options on the list, and we love that about it. Dinner is a sharing menu of three courses for just $26 per person. The first course includes tequenos and bruschetta, followed by Venezuelena pabelon and heart shaped ravioli for your entree, and tres leches cake and chocolate mousse for dessert. Annnnnd: there will be live music from 7:30-9:30pm to accompany your food and canoodling.

Momed (Bev Hills): One of our fav Mediterranean spots (with an always affordable wine list) is offering a Four course dinner for $38 per person. 1st Course: “trio mezze sampler of Mediterranean delicacies”. 2nd Course: Shrimp Souvlaki with Muhammara. Entree: Red Wine Braised Chicken Tajine with Toasted Saffron Couscous. Dessert: A Hazelnut Chocolate Pide (pide? not sure what that is but we like the named ingredients!)

The Glendon(Westwood): We’re starting with the best part of this menu: BOTTOMLESS CHAMPAGNE. With your bottomless bubbly you’ll also get a prix fix menu of some food (we’re not sure what, too focused on the above all caps statement.) And its just $55 per person.

Rush Street (Culver City): Three-course dinner just $27 per person PLUS half off wine and bubbly (more booze = more love.) Dinner will include your choice of starter, entree, and dessert from a special Valentine’s Day menu. Plus, for those that don’t yet have a date, you can head to RS for their Single’s Party on Saturday, meet a mate, and bring em back to enjoy all that half-priced wine with you on Tuesday 🙂

Sotto (WestLA): Want to impress your date with an amazing meal? No need to spend a fortune. Sotto, one of Esquire’s ‘Best Restaurants of 2011’, has a three course menu for just $50 per person. The menu will feature some new items for the holiday as well as guest favorites.

Steingarten (West LA): This one is pretty darned good:  Three course dinner (+ 1 boozy drink!) for just $60 PER COUPLE! Dinner includes a starter, entree, dessert, and your choice of booze (wine, draft, or signature cocktail.) Dinner seatings start at 5pm. PSST: For the singles out there: S.A.D. will be celebrated with all night happy hour pricing at the bar.

Bar Pinxto (Santa Monica): Three course menu for $29/per person. Dinner includes: Oyster Half Shell-Cava Minuet to start, Seafood Zarzuela for your entree, and Camarosa Strawberries with Chocolate Ganache for dessert. Reservations still available as of 2/13, 1:25pm.

Border Grill (SM & Downtown): Four course dinner for $55 per person.  First course: Smoky Mussel Ceviche Shooter, 2nd Course: Dungeness Crab Cakes, Entree: Choice of wild mushroom chilaquiles or grilled baseball steak, Dessert: Upside Down Caramalized Plantain Cake. Specialty Cocktails: $13 a pop.

Gasser Lounge (Redondo Beach): This is more for the singles and boozy couples out there – on the 14th Gasser will be doing $2 Tuesday with $2 hillbilly tacos and $2 drinks (beer, wine, bubbly, wells, sailor jerry.) Their ad for the event is pretty fantastic.



Vertical Wine Bistro (Pasadena): “Feed Your Heart and Soul Menu” by Chef Laurant for $59.00 Per Person. Features three courses with some great options (but truth be told, its a bit difficult for us to understand from the website whats an ‘either/or’ situation and what is just flat out included. So we’ll leave that up to you.) Wine pairings can accompany your dinner for an additional $27 per person.

Pinot Bistro (Studio City): Three courses for $55 per person, or four courses for $65 per person. The menu includes some fancy dish that involves salmon, eggs mimosa, asparagus tips and hollandaise sauce. Then (if you upgraded to the four course menu) you’ll enjoy mussels with chorizo. And the entree will be a barramundi with artichokes, tomato confit, and micro basil. All followed by their Pinot croissant bread pudding for dessert. Wow my spell check went crazy with the red underline on all those food terms.

The Red Room (Encino): We can’t comment on the food here since, well, we never actually cross the mountains into that far away area of LA called ‘The Valley’. But for those that enjoy the travel or live north of the hollywood hills, this is an awesome deal: three sharing-encouraged courses + two glasses of prosecco for just $75 per couple.


 

Google Search Produced This Gem from SheKnows. How awkward does that dinner look? And a giant boiled red potato? Bleh. At least their glasses are full!



Valentine’s Day PrixFixe Under $60

Valentine’s Day is both a really sweet concept, and a really big ripoff.

So after you’ve emptied your wallet to shower your love with tokens of your affection (flowers, candy, cards, jewelry…. booze …porno) do the smart thing & don’t max out your credit card on a fancy, absurdly overpriced dinner.

Here’s our list of great VDay dinner options all with prix-fixe menus for $60 or less:

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BacaroLA (Downtown/SC): This dimly lit adorable wine bar with great food is offering a 3-course dinner for $35, and just $15 for Wine Pairings. And the menu sounds FANTASTIC:

  • First Course (Choose one): Roasted artichoke with buratta  di Stefano and speck ~or~ Crispy spiced goat cheese dumplings with heirloom cherry tomato jam
  • Main Course (Choose one): Pan seared quail, Parmesan lemon spelt with salsa Verde ~or~ Grilled Petit filet, bacaro mac ‘n’ cheese with  sweet n salty broccoli
  • Dessert (Choose one): Cookie dough covered with valrhona ganash, cardamom chantilly cream, and fresh berries, ~or~ Strawberry short cake with whipped mascarpone, vanilla bean, and fresh market strawberries

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Yojie Shabu Shabu (Downtown): 3-Course Dinner for Two, $50. Maybe not the typical romantic spot, but if you’re looking for a good deal for dinner for two, this is the place to go.  AND i’ts available the ENTIRE month of February. Wanna add booze to that? Get 50% off any 2 drinks for their menu!

  • First Course: Edamame & Miso Soup
  • Main Course (Choose One)
    • Meat Lovers:  2 Samurai’s (16oz. Certified Angus Beef).
    • Variety Deal:  1 Toriniku Combo, 1 Sakana Combo (3oz. of Free Range Chicken, 3 oz. of Sashimi Grade Salmon, and 6 oz. of Certified Angus Beef).
    • Entrées include sides of signature sauces, 2 sides of assorted vegetables, and 2 bowls of refillable rice.
  • Dessert: Fruit and Pastries Chocolate Fondue (Choose one: Green Tea Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, or Red Velvet Chocolate)

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Border Grill (Downtown): 4-course dinner, $48 per person. Plus mention secret password ‘Downtown Valentine’ when you make your reservation and get a FREE surprise signature cocktail w/ your prix fixe dinner.

  • First Course: Pear and Cabrales Blue Cheese Quesadilla
  • Second Course: Grilled Cumin Skirt Steak
  • Main Course: Macadamia Crusted Hawaiian Ono
  • Dessert: Aztec Chocolate Cake + Goat Milk Cajeta Flan

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Casa (Downtown): 4-Course menu for TWO, $49. Includes a complimentary glass of champagne! Yes, its another Mexican spot, which doesn’t always scream lovey-dovey the way Italian might, but the food, decor, and COST, should help make up for that.

  • Amuse Bouche: Sweet Corn Sope Stack
  • First Course (Choose One): Ensalada de Casa ~or~ Flautas de Chile en Nogales ~or~ Taste of Sopa de Chile Poblano y Calabaza
  • Main Course (Choose One): Pescado a la Veracruzano ~or~ Pan Roasted Mary’s Chicken Breast Fajitas ~or~ Braised Beef Short Rib Birria ~or~ Short Rib Tlayuda
  • Dessert (Choose One): Mexican Dessert Tasting (Flan, Tres Leches Cake & Dulce de Leche Bread Pudding) ~or~ Olla de Chocolate

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LA Market (Downtown): 3-course dinner, $45 per person.

  • First Course (Choose One): Tender hearts of palm salad with arugula, jumbo lump crab meat, passion fruit vinaigrette ~or~ Beets salad, goat cheese, candies walnut, tangerine and scallions
  • Main Course (Choose One): Pan seared sea bass, artichoke hearts, tomato confit, black olive oil ~or~ Tender Filet Mignon, smoked fingerling potatoes, broccolini, sweet shallot sauce
  • Dessert: Valentine dessert junk food platter for two

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Cellar55 (Mid City): One of the larger & more opulent feasts of the night, this Melrose spot is offering 5-courses for $42/per person.

  • .First Course: Cappuccino of Wild Mushroom with White Truffle Oil
  • Second Course: Foie Gras Brulee with Sour Cherries, Candied Pistachios and White Port Gelee
  • Third Course (Choose One): Sea Scallops ~or~Eel Ribbons
  • Main Course (Choose One): Lobster & Red Rose Riolis with Seruga Cavia and 24k Gold ~or~ Slow Cooked Pacific Halibut ~or~ Roasted BC Venison with Quine Madiera Condiment and Cabrales Foam
  • Dessert (Choose one): Buttermilk Panna Cotta ~or~ Molten Choclate Cake

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TART (Mid City): ‘Aphrodite’s Feast’ 3-Course Menu with Cocktail & Wine Pairings. $55/per person

  • First Course (Choose One): Grilled figs & Stilton blue cheese over mesculin baby greens ~or~ Monterey Jack, bacon, and artichokes with a spicy honey drizzle
    • Both Options Served with Tempting Cucumber Cocktail
  • Main Course (Choose One): Grilled Filet Mignon with roasted baby carrots and mashed potatoes in a port wine sauce, garnished with pickled watermelon rind ~or~Baked Sole in creamy lemon sauce with Grilled Asparagus and mashed potatoes
    • Filet Served With 6th Sense Syrah; Sole Served with Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc
  • Dessert (Choose One): Romantic Rose-Petal Sorbet ~or~Flourless Chocolate Cake with Frangelico Chocolate Mousse
    • Both Options Served with Brachetto de Aqui

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Little Next Door (Mid City): 3-Course Dinner, $60/per person. Includes a glass of Crement.

  • First Course (Choose One): wild mushroom and hazelnut soup ~or~ bay shrimp and avocado salad
  • Main Course (Choose One): chicken breast with spinach in puff pastry ~or~ herb grilled lamb chops ~or~ butternut squash ravioli
  • Dessert (Choose One): flourless chocolate cake with orange sauce ~or~ taste tatin with caramel and vanilla sauces ~or~ Chantilly filled mini choux with chocolate espelete sauce

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Taste (West Hollywood): Always a sweet and romantic spot, Taste is a great option with their 4-Course Dinner, $55/ per Person. Bonus, sit on the patio and people watch all the other strange, canoodling, couples wandering Melrose.

  • First Course: Mango and Radicchio Caprese
  • Second Course (Choose One): Spicy Tuna Tartare cakes ~or~ Artichoke Heart Soup ~or~ Winter Citrus Salad ~or~ Crispy Crab Cake Tower
  • Main Course (Choose One): Pan Seared Scallops ~or~ Bacon Wrapped Petit Filet ~or~ Pan Roasted Duck Breast ~or~ Mussels in Sweet Chili Sake Broth w/ Fries ~or~ House Made Red Beat & Goat Cheese Agnolotti
  • Dessert (Choose One): Nutella Cogna Fondue for 2 ~or~ Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet ~or~ Meyer Lemon Strawberry Pave ~or~ Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding

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Angel’s Piano Bar (Santa Monica): Enjoy live music with your romantic 4-course dinner, $60 per person (includes tax+tip)

  • Amuse Bouche
  • First Course (Choose One): Roasted tomato soup w/ creme fraiche ~or~ wild arugula with roasted pears and blue cheese
  • Main Course (Choose One): Warm scallop salad with citrus and pomegranate & carrot smear ~or~ Grilled rib eye with Merlot peppercorn sauce and creamy potato gratin ~or~ Wild mushroom risotto with sauteed spinach.
  • Dessert (Choose One): Boca Negra cake with raspberry sauce ~or~ bourbon pot de creme

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The Yard (Santa Monica): 3-Course Dinner, $50/per person. Includes glass of champagne.

  • First Course: Harry’s Berries, Cherry Tomatoes and Burrata, California Olive Oil, Sea Salt, Herb
  • Main Course (Choose One): Roasted Cote de Boeuf (16 oz) with Roasted Market Vegetables, Potato Aligot, Reduction ~or~ Whole Roasted Loup de Mer au Paupiette, Melted Local Leeks, Weiser Farms Potatoes, White Wine.
  • Dessert: Chocolate Truffle Tart, Cara Cara, Orange Gelato “Puff”, Candied Zest
  • Drinks: Valentine’s specials for the bar:
    • Mini cupcakes and Champagne, $12
    • Bacon wrapped Pigs in a Blanket (w/curried ketchup) and a shot of whiskey, $12

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Vertical Wine Bistro (Pasadena): “Feed Your Heart & Soul” 3-Course menu,  $49/per person. Add wine pairings for an additional $28/per person.

  • First Course (Choose One): Roasted Cauliflower soup ~or~ Crab cakes with a mixed herb salad and a lemon ailoi ~or~ Mediterranean salad ~or~ Bibb lettuce & Cherry tomato salad with buttermilk blue cheese
    • All First Courses Paired with Domaine Michel Fonne 2007 Pinot Gris
  • Main Course (Choose One): Grilled wild Salmon ~or~ Short Ribs ~or~ Monk Fish ~or~“five spice” Breast of Duck ~or~ Beef Wellington
    • All Main Courses Paired with Dehesa La Granja 2004 Tempranillo
  • Dessert (Choose One): Chocolate Decadence ~or~ Wild berry Trifle ~or~ Lemon Soufflé Tart with raspberry sauce
    • All Desserts Paired with Terrabianca 2000 Il Fior Di Fino ( Italy )

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PS: If you want ANY chance of grabbing a reservation at one of these spots, we suggest you act quickly!

VDAY Dining Options Under $50/ Per Person

I will never understand the type of person who is willing to spend $150+ per person on a dinner that would normally cost them half that. How desperately are you trying to impress your dinner companion? Or if you’re the demander of such dinner – are you a gold digger? Yes, you must be. 
Valentine’s Day is a holiday in which nearly every restaurant in town forces a prix fixe menu down our throats and jacks up the price. While researching the numerous dining options available this weekend for lovas I was shocked to see even mediocre spots are partaking in this thievery. $64/per person at Daily Grill? $35/pp at Wokcano? You have to be kidding me.
Say you’re an unhappy couple who just doesn’t have the balls to call it quits – or maybe you’ve got a blind date – and you want to get nice and toasted at dinner to make it more tolerable. That’ll cost you another $20-$50/pp for wine pairings. What a joke.
But if you’re a shitty chef and you must go out for Vday here’s some options that won’t rape your wallet as badly as, say, Gordon Ramsay @ the London hotel will ($350/pp?!?!!??!?!?)
·      The Gorbals (Downtown): 4-Course Seasonal Menu (Including Wine!!!), $45/pp
·      BLVD 16 @ Hotel Palomar (Westwood), Prix Fixe $45/pp (Also serving regular menu)
·      BLD (Mid City): 3-Course Prix Fixe, $45/pp
·      Barefoot (Mid City): 3-Course Prix Fixe, $40/pp
·      Ciudad (Downtown), 4-Course Prix Fixe, $49/pp (With $5 wine pairings)
·      Akasha (Culver City): Serving Regular Menu + Food & Drink Specials
·      Beacon (Culver City): 4-Course Prix Fixe, $49/pp (Also serving regular a la carte menu)
·      Cube (Mid City): 3-Course Prix Fixe Fondue Dinner + Glass of Prosecco + Take home box of chocolates, $35/pp (SATURDAY ONLY!)
As always – please make sure to call in for reservations!