We get it. Valentine's Day is a contentious holiday. While some see it as the perfect opportunity to show their affection, for others it's simply consumerism masquerading as romance.
If you belong to the latter group, we suggest you pause for a second and think of February 14 as a day where it's acceptable, nay -- encouraged, to indulge in the most decadent sweets. And voilà -- suddenly it's a day worth looking forward to. Yes, the forces of consumption are still at play, but does it really matter when something tastes that delicious?
So whether you're romantically involved or single, a cynic or a believer, Short Order has curated a list of five spots to buy festive treats for Valentine's Day. Go ahead, enjoy; we dare you.
The seasons dictate the flavors at Hugo & Victor, a sophisticated French pastry shop located inside South Beach's fashionable boutique, The Webster. For Valentine's Day, they're offering several themed goodies, including pralines in a limited edition red box resembling a notebook, and featuring an excerpt from a love letter written by Victor Hugo ($32). These desserts don't compromise on substance or style, and we're definitely keeping the packaging for decoration.
For those who like to think outside the box, head to Romanicos in Coral Gables for the Miami Sushi Box ($36). Tropical fruits, chocolate, and crispy rice are used to mimic the appearance of various types of sushi, but there's nothing savory about this edible art. Traditionalists, however, can pick-up a Valentine's Day themed box of Alejandra Bigai's famous hand-rolled truffles ($34.99-$110).
If you prefer your sweets with a side of kink, then Schakolad's chocolate handcuffs with "prisoner" written on one, and "of love" on the other, might be right up your alley. Those feeling particularly "spirited" can also purchase chocolate covered teddy bears, flowers, and even a champagne bottle with two glasses. Schakolad is a franchise with a location in South Beach, but rest assured their chocolates are made fresh daily on site.
They can't put a ring on it, but for V-Day, Buttercream's daily selection of incredibly moist cupcake flavors can be festooned with cut-out hearts, hearts that say "love", and teddy bears. Created by husband and wife Jose F. Cuellar and Kristine Graulich (how apropos), in 2008, this Coral Gables boutique focuses on childhood favorites like red velvet, vanilla Oreo and chocolate peanut butter ($2.75 each). Whether you're shopping for yourself, your lover, a friend, or the little ones in your life -- you can't go wrong with Buttercream.
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With a location in Brickell and Coral Gables, Atelier Monnier makes it easy for those in the 305 to get a little taste of France. Their colourful boxes of assorted macarons (starting at $14.80), are très, très chic, though it's hardly an easy choice considering they also make artisanal pastries, cakes, hand crafted chocolates, ice creams and more.
Follow Valeria Nekhim on Twitter @ValeriaNekhim