Its easy to hate Valentines Day. The weight of expectation hangs in the air every February, and the pressure on your wallet mounts as the day draws near. Store shelves creak under the weight of prepackaged floral arrangements and heart-shape boxes. But what if your lovah is one of those ultrapicky types who loathes chocolate, is allergic to flowers, and wants nothing to do with candlelight? Worry not, romantic one. We have suggestions that should satisfy even the most difficult-to-please date.
You might want to begin with food to sate the tiger growling in your loved ones stomach. The superchic Vix at Hotel Victor (1144 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-428-1234; $195 per couple) offers a menu built to tantalize. But work on your oyster-slurping skills before you attempt to down the Osetra caviar-paired oysters. Theres only one sexy way to eat the amorous treat, and practice makes perfect. The five-course prix fixe at Chef Allens (19088 NE 29th Ave., Aventura; 305-935-2900, www.chefallens.com; $75 per person) ends with an ode to the roller coaster that is your relationship. Choose among risqué devils food cake, a bittersweet Meyer lemon tart, and a sensual Tahitian vanilla crème brûlée. Sushi Samba Dromo (600 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; 305-673-5337) has created a sparkling saketini that is sure to warm your body from your lips to your heart. For $11, you can experience a cocktail infused with spirits and strawberries. The intimate Blue Oyster Grill (2286 NE 123rd St., North Miami; 305-892-8000; $60 per couple) keeps it simple and sweet with a three-course meal of Louisiana oysters, heart-shape lobster ravioli, and chocolate mousse.
We aint saying your girls a gold digger, but shes looking for a man with big pockets to satisfy her every need. With packages ranging from $150 to $9999, the Mandarin Oriental Miami (500 Brickell Key Dr., Miami; 305-913-8288) is creating the ultimate trip down lovers lane. It includes Bentley-chauffeured rides, champagne body scrubs, breakfast in bed, and orchid-petal-strewn bubble baths. If that doesnt make her happy, then youre right -- she is hard to please. And if youre single and lovin it, the Boutique Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove (3300 SW 27th Ave., Coconut Grove; 305-644-4684) offers a Be My Own Valentine package. Two-and-a-half hours of pampering will have you giving your electric masseuse the night off.
If amor means holding hands before a flickering screen, check out Romance in a Can. The love-infused movie festival will take place February 9 through 14 at locations in Miami Beach and Coconut Grove. Screenings include international contemporary films, an old-school Doris Day flick, and tonights offering: Josephine Bakers stunning ZouZou. Theres also an opera tribute replete with bubbly and bonbons at the Miami Beach Cinematheque (512 Española Way, Miami Beach; 877-836-4849, www.romanceinacan.com). If your proclivity is closer to the sapphic, check out the Florida premiere of Puccini for Beginners. This months offering by the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival will be screened Tuesday, February 13, at the Colony Theater (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; 305-531-2117, www.mglff.com) and culminates with a stoplight party at Cafeteria. Red means happily taken; green means take me now.
For a beautiful, outdoorsy, romantic repast, go to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (1091 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables; 305-667-1651, www.fairchildgarden.org). Enjoy the Romance of Jazz concert under the stars, and admire the gorgeous glow of Dale Chihulys glass art installations throughout the verdant compound. Tickets range from $60 to $125 for a candlelit table.
Wed., Feb. 14