Your guide to last-minute Valentine's Day dining

Categories: Valentine's Day

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Flickr / sloanpix

It's that time of year when love is in the air and we're blinded by the glare of red and pink hearts wherever we look. Yup, Cupid is back and Valentine's Day is right around the corner. If you're celebrating single-style this year, no big deal and no pressure. But if you're attached, you'd best be picking out the cheesiest Hallmark card, digging out your nicest tie or pair of heels, and hitting up the town for a delicious dinner for two.

If you've done all of the above and are still stumped about where to get your dine on, we're here to help. We've found five fabulous ways to celebrate the holiday of love.


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White Castle celebrates 20 years of Valentine's Day dinners in the Twin Cities

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courtesy White Castle
Love is in the air. And the distinctive smell of White Castle sliders.
Lonely hearts without dinner plans tonight might be tempted to eat their feelings with a White Castle Crave Case.

But if they show up at Castle doors between 5 and 8 p.m., they'll get turned away. This year marks the 20th anniversary of area Castles serving dinner for lovebirds, which means shutting down counters and converting their front rooms into restaurants, complete with menus and cheesecake-on-a-stick for dessert.

"Everyone comes," says Leisa Karl, White Castle's area training coordinator. "We have couples who met at White Castle. This year we have a 20th wedding anniversary and a 51st anniversary. We have families; we have new joiners to the Crave family; we have people who have been coming for 20 years."

See also:
White Castle packs 'em in for Valentine's Day [VIDEO]
Last-minute Valentine's Day reservations
Top 5: Most low-brow Valentine's Day dinners

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Last-minute Valentine's Day reservations

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Chocolates and candlelight: You still have time to make Valentine's reservations

Time is running out to make that special Valentine's Day dinner reservation (here are some of our ideas for celebrating on the cheap), but a number of time slots are still available at romantic restaurants, even for the most chronic of procrastinators. 

Here are a few suggestions of places to call or click, still open as of 12 p.m., February 13.

See also:

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Steak Bouquet: the perfect gift for your carnivorous valentine

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T-bone steaks: naturally heart-shaped
​We've heard of Edible Arrangements, but this one takes the cake, er...steak. 

The lifestyle blog Hungeree posted the photo below of a beef bouquet, created by British butcher Anthony Bowness of Quality Standard Beef and Lamb. Bowness, who, by his own admission, eschews sweets and sappy cards, said he got the idea when he sincerely thought about what he would like as a Valentine's Day gift and, being a man who is very dedicated to his craft, thought meat was the obvious answer.


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Coastal Seafoods has last-minute Valentine's Day dinner ingredients

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Yael Grauer
Jakob Erickson demonstrates how to shuck oysters.
​If you'd rather dine in than eat out on Valentine's Day--or simply forgot to make reservations--join the crowd. Coastal Seafoods estimates that sales double or triple around the holiday as eager customers rush in to purchase seafood for that special someone. Crab and lobster are big sellers, but oysters also top the list. I went in to buy the mid-Atlantic staple for an appetizer in tonight's big meal. Here's what I learned.


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15 Twin Cities restaurants with last-minute Valentine's Day reservations

Categories: Valentine's Day
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Kara Buckner
Sea Change still has oysters for your Valentine
​If you left making dinner plans until the very last minute, you're in luck. Some romantic spots around the Twin Cities still have available reservations for tomorrow, and a few are even within the coveted 6:30 to 7:30 range. The list below is up to date as of 12:30 p.m. on February 13. 


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Top 5 restaurant breakups

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Universal Pictures
If Jennifer Aniston were Tim McKee, then who would Vince Vaughn be?
Valentine's Day is a celebration of love. But then, it's hard not to think about relationships that have gone sour.

Let's open up a box of chocolates and take a stroll down memory lane of top five Twin Cities restaurant breakups.

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5 wines for Valentine's night in

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Folie à Deux Wines
Wine can determine fun and sexy, or sweet and romantic
Cooking at home for Valentine's Day? It's not a bad idea, considering it's one of the busiest and thus potentially nightmarish days for restaurants. Even if you aren't a master chef, a well-chosen bottle of wine can make your Valentine's Day meal something to remember.

Here are five wines to create the perfect Valentine's night in.









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Top 5 least romantic local eateries


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Photo from MN150Years.org
"You're the one who said to order the scampi!"
Yesterday, we shared our list of the 10 dishes to avoid ordering on your Valentine's dates,   from stinky garlic to messy barbecue, ugly oysters to wings that zing--too much and in the wrong places. But some restaurants should just be avoided altogether, no matter what's on the menu. Let us share our list of the five local dining spots that we feel can only lead to heartbreak--or even worse, heartburn.  


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Valentine's Day specials: 5 neighborhood restaurants for romance

Categories: Valentine's Day

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Share the love with your Valentine this year.
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, the stress of trying to impress your one-and-only may be making you wish for Cupid to hit the road this year.  But don't fret. The calendar has done you a favor this year: With Valentine's Day falling on Monday, you can reasonably justify making Valentine's reservations any time from Friday through Monday. If you consider off-peak dining hours, you're reasonably sure to find a spot. To help in your quest, here are five romantic Twin Cities neighborhood spots you might not have thought of, many with special V-day menus, and all guaranteed to bring back that loving feeling.

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