Ah, Saint Valentines Day an occasion for sweaty-handed daters and old marrieds to shower each other with overpriced gifts, and for singles to bitch about the elusive nature of love over lavishly garnished cocktails. Hate it or love it, the pink-and-red theme will be inescapable this Saturday. We say go with it, take advantage of the range of awesome Valentines Day events taking place around town, and laugh at the absurdity of it all, preferably over a fruity, lavishly garnished cocktail. For a sip that sizzles, we love the chili passion martini at The Setai (2001 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-520-6400). The newly opened Red Koi Thai & Sushi Lounge (317 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305-446-2690) will serve aphrodisiac-enhanced Asian cuisine and complimentary Passion en Fuegos cocktails to guests, and Sushi Samba (600 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; 305-673-5337) will cater to saints and sinners by offering contrasting cocktails. Naughty blends tequila, strawberries, watermelon, and muddled jalapeños, while Nice delivers the sweetness sans the spice. At Gaia Ristorante inside the Hilton Bentley Hotel (101 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-672-6624), the intoxicants will come at the end of a special Valentines menu. Dessert will include a strawberry rose martini, made with rose sugar, strawberry sorbet, and Prosecco. Maybe you want your V-Day to be about more than just getting tipsy. In that case, hit up Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables) for an under-the-stars jazz concert featuring Arturo Sandoval and Wendy Pedersen. You can BYO blanket and picnic basket or dine from the gardens various cafés. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. for this enchanted evening. Tickets cost $70; get them online at fairchildgarden.org. If you want to make it a weekend of romance, check out the Valentines Day + 1 fundraising night for Karen Peterson and Dancers at the Excello Dance Space (8700B SW 129th Ter., Miami; 305-298-5879; karenpetersondancers.org). The groundbreaking mixed-ability dance troupe will offer an unforgettable evening complete with dinner, wine, dance performances, dance lessons, and a silent auction. Tickets cost $25.
Sat., Feb. 14, 2009