Who doesn't like a nice gift as an expression of love?
This Valetine's Day, trade the tired last-minute card and flowers and surprise your favorite foodie with a heartfelt gift of delectables instead.
The following ten best finds will spark some real-life romance and keep the flame burning.
Chocolate Bonbons at Exquisito Chocolates2606 SW Eighth St., Miami
A box of chocolates is a classic V-Day gift, but Exquisito Chocolates in Little Havana is kicking things up a notch by offering a special selection of sweets with local flavors and Latin twists. "We're Like Two Cocoa Beans in a Pod" — a bonbon collection including heart-shaped candies made from signature cocoa — offers six love-themed flavors available in sets of three pieces for $10, 12 pieces for $36, and a heart-shaped box with 23 pieces for $68.
Chocolate Heels at Hoffman’s ChocolatesVarious locations
Flowers are hardly a cliché if they're one dozen mild and dark chocolate roses wrapped in red foil and sold in a glass vase with a Valentine's Day balloon ($69.95). And for the fashionista, Hoffman's Chocolates offers a chocolate high-heeled shoe in a decorative box shaped like a designer purse ($34.95). Other V-Day options include chocolate-covered strawberries, sold in one-pound boxes (eight to 12 strawberries per box, $29.95), and heart-shaped boxes filled with milk and dark chocolates, ranging from a half-pound to seven pounds ($19.95 and up). For chocolate-covered strawberries, orders must be placed online before 3 p.m. two days before the pickup date.
Full-Spectrum CBD Tincture From Veritas Farm
Keep things mellow with a gift of CBD tinctures from Veritas Farm. The fast-acting products full-spectrum hemp oil extracted from the flowers and leaves of hemp plants grown on the company's Colorado farm. A few drops added to food and drinks is the perfect way to relieve tension or get a mood boost. Choose from peppermint, watermelon, citrus, strawberry, and unflavored. Prices start at $39.99. The tinctures are available online and at Winn-Dixie stores throughout South Florida.
Grazing Boards by Beauty & the Board954-906-1711
Remind your favorite foodies they're loved by giving them Beauty & the Board's delectable display of goodies. Wake them up to a "Miami Board," which comes with a selection of four or five cheeses, three kinds of charcuterie, rosemary crackers, dried fruit, figs, green olives, fresh fruit, and sweet and savory dips. If your beloved is vegetarian, go for the "Berries & Brie" option, a meat-free board that offers a variety of cheeses, a seasonal berry blend, apple slices, figs, crackers, a medley of glazed mixed nuts, truffled Marcona almonds, pomegranate seed garnish, and a jar of honey. Prices range from $140 to $185. Orders must be placed a minimum of 48 hours in advance. Pickup is available in Fort Lauderdale and Aventura. Local delivery costs $25.
Pastelitos by Vicky BakeryVarious locations and online
Nothing says Valentine's Day in Miami like the scent of freshly baked pastelitos. Luckily, Vicky Bakery now offers shipping of its signature pastries to the contiguous 48 states, so you can gift your long-distance love a dozen or two pastelitos filled with guayaba, queso, guayaba and queso, or an assortment of all three flavors. Orders can be placed online, and the pastries will arrive frozen on dry ice within 48 hours of ordering and come with instructions on how to bake them. Prices start at $19.99 for a box of one dozen, and shipping ranges from $10 to $50, with a two-box minimum. If your Valentine lives in South Florida, the bakery can make a special holiday platter of pastelitos and croquetas for a very Miami celebration.
Chefs Michael from Pink Pie and Max Santiago from Batch Cookie Co. have created a limited-edition Bae Box, filled with four special treats and house-made honey-caramel popcorn. Priced at $26, the Valentine's Day box includes Pink Pie's miniature confections in two flavors: smoked chocolate bourbon, decorated with marshmallow hearts, and Ruby Rose, made with rose shortbread crust, ruby chocolate rose ganache, and rose essence meringue. Batch cookies come in two varieties: Chocolate Strawberry, filled with passionfruit caramel and topped with chocolate gold strawberry, and Champagne Orange, made with a sugar-free lime cookie topped with champagne glaze and candied blood orange zest. The box is available for preorder and will be available at both shops Thursday, February 13, through Saturday, February 15.
Jenny Hales' Red Velvet CookiesSakaya Kitchen and other locations
3401 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Jenny Hales is known for her work alongside her husband, chef Richard Hales, at their restaurants Society BBQ, Blackbrick Chinese, Sakaya Kitchen, and Bird + Bone. For Valentine's Day, she's baking homemade red velvet cookies. They're soft and chewy, and their red hue and delicate wrapping make them all the more gift-able. Cookies will be available to pick up at Society BBQ and Sakaya Kitchen in batches of five for $6. To place an order, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rosé Wine by La Fête du Rosélafeterose.com
Want to set the mood for a romantic evening? La Fête du Rosé — French for "the rosé party" — isn't the typical pink bubbly. Produced by Donae Burston's Miami-based company in conjunction with Domaine Bertaud Belieu, believed to be the oldest vineyard in St. Tropez, this pesticide-free, blush-colored wine is made of 8 percent Grenache, 14 percent Mourvèdre, and 6 percent Syrah grapes, with delectable notes of dried fruits, bonbon, and hazelnut. Plus, a portion of proceeds from the sale of each bottle will be donated to programs that send underserved and underrepresented young people on unique travel experiences. Find 750 ml bottles for $23.99 in Miami Beach at Azul Spirits & Wines (1414 20th St., Miami Beach) and Gulf Liquors (1681 Alton Rd.) and in South Miami at Sunset Corners (8701 SW 72nd St.).
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Sushi-Making Class at Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market5241 NW 87th Ave., Doral
Skip the traditional Valentine's Day restaurant meal and spend an afternoon making your favorite sushi together. In Doral, Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market's chefs teach couples tips and techniques in a private space or at the bar. You also get to take home special items and recipes. Classes, which are available Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., cost $65 per person plus $85 for an optional sake tasting. To book, email email@example.com or call 757-613-0761.
Cooper's Hawk Wine Club Gift MembershipVarious locations
You've exchanged I-love-yous countless times over bottles of wine, but what if you could make your favorite pours an even more interesting part of your life together? Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant offers a wine club gift membership that is a total romance game-changer. Your favorite oenophile will have access to award-winning wines and opportunities to explore unique vintages locally and through events nationwide, and you, of course, can always tag along. Prices start at $56.99.