Venice, Anyone?

Such quibbles -- and the question of service -- aside, it's no surprise Cedicci is booking all those tables. Obviously the addition of one good restaurant isn't enough to restore my faith in the Ocean Drive dining experience, but Pane Caldo keeps me from becoming completely Beach bummed.

Side Dish
A press release I received recently posed this question: "When was the last time you ate chocolates by candlelight or took your lover for a walk under the moon?" Well, thanks for asking. But it really hasn't been that long, ever since Belgian chocolatier Leonidas opened at 1231 Washington Ave., on South Beach. And while I'm more inclined to take a dog for a walk than my husband, no matter who I choose to accompany me, I can now fuel my moonlight peregrinations with any of the 60 varieties of chocolates offered at the shop, which stays open till midnight on weekends.

Of course if you regard your furry companions with the same warmth I do, you might want to treat them to a Valentine's Day gift. Located in that monolith we call CocoWalk, the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory sells candy-coated dog biscuits in both regular and large sizes. Kind of like condoms.

Traditionalists might prefer the Godiva store in Aventura Mall, or Krn Chocolatier in Bal Harbour Shops. And for those of us who revel in the hopelessly romantic cliche of the heart-shaped box, Poppin Cottage Candies of Miami Beach, at 7449 Collins Ave., offers upward of twenty sizes and varieties of lacy, beribboned specimens, all waiting to be filled with the shop's made-on-the-premises chocolates. There's even a "tuxedo heart" for that manly man in your life.

But back on the Beach is where the more "alternative" options weigh in. I never would have come up with the idea of selling hand-dipped chocolates in an antique emporium, but that's exactly what Artefacts is doing at 609 Lincoln Rd. In fact, according to owner Howard Talesnick, the sweets are the best-selling merchandise in the place.

If you're looking for something more to the point for Valentine's Day, gawk at the explicit Kama Sutra chocolates at Stephan's Gourmet Market & Cafe, at 1430 Washington Ave. They even deliver.

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