Try getting a reservation to your favorite fine-dining restaurant right now for Valentine's Day night. Just try. You probably can't, right? It's the season of love, so everyone has booked up every imaginable Valentine's Day dinner slot. But that's fine. That means you and your honey bunny are available to try a different type of food adventure. I polled the Cooking Light staff (and a few of our significant others) for fun non-restaurant foodie dates you can enjoy together this Valentine's Day.
1. Brewery tour and beer tasting. Do the two of you spend hours discussing beer notes and plan day trips just to drink at up-and-coming breweries? Plan a Saturday or Sunday afternoon excursion to a new brewery or call your favorite hometown place and see if you can request a special private tour for just the two of you. Next, head to your local home-brew store (if you have one and state laws don't prohibit home brewing) and pick up a DIY kit to make your own sweet potion.
2. Distillery or winery tour and tasting. While we're on the drinking train of thought, a distillery or winery is always a great choice if your sweetheart is sweet on a particular type of booze or loves a glass of pinot almost as much as she loves you. Local distilleries and up-start wineries are popping up all over the country as more beverage entrepreneurs are pursing their boozy dreams. Call and request a private tour, or sign up for a group tasting.
3. Sur La Table Cooking Classes. Do you have one of these kitchen retailers nearby? Check out the in-store class options for your local store. The classes vary widely, from a how-to for French macarons to pizza and calzone workshops. They can be pricey ($30-1000 per person), but you're getting hands-on attention, a delicious meal, and quality constructive time with your boo.
3. Sushi rolling classes. Sushi is one of those things I always thought I'd just leave to the professionals, but after rolling my own at a friend's house a few years ago, I've come to love hosting my own sushi parties and teaching others the art of the perfect roll. Call your favorite local sushi spot and ask if they'd offer a one-on-one class for the two of you. Also, check with your local community college. This time of year, "continuing education" classes are popping up left and right, and many local chefs offer one-off special courses.
4. Cake decorating classes. Guys, hear me out here! I know you're thinking, "Cake decorating?! Come on! I'm a dude." I know. I was met with the same skepticism from a few men when I suggested including it in this list. But I've been to several cake decorating classes, and guys have been at each one. Turns out, men make great cake decorators. Their attention to detail helps them zone in and make some exquisitely decorated cakes while their ladies cover their layered cakes in pink puffy hearts of frosting. It's hilarious to see the differences, and you get to leave with two delicious cakes at the end.
5. Fondue night. It's interactive, it's creative, and it's fun! What more could you want? You can have an appetizer course (cheese), main course (hot oil), and dessert (chocolate). Fondue kits are relatively inexpensive, and you won't have to buy as much food as you might if you were grilling out. Patiently waiting for your food to cook in the fondue helps you fill up faster.
6. Explore new food trucks. While the pricey multi-star restaurants are hopping, head on over to the bargain city that is a food truck mecca. Start at one truck and decide on a dish to try together. Move to another truck, get another dish, and enjoy that one together, too. Work your way around the trucks until you've tried all the ones you've never had before (or until your buttons are threatening to pop). Then, find the ice cream truck, grab a cone, and give the evening a sweet finish.
More Valentine's Day Ideas for Two: