Have a Heart: Valentine’s Day Philadelphia is One Week Away – a Best Of What To Do

Valentine’s Day is a time for love. Maybe it’s a day for sharing love with a partner, or female friends a la Galentines’s Day). Maybe, it’s just a day where you can love yourself more fully without the kinky connotation that comes with that idea. If nothing else on Valentine’s Day – or Valentine’s Weekend – you’re putting aside any shared bitchiness, and placing romance and all of its totems first. Unless, however, bitchiness is on your coupling’s to-do list, then, have at it.

That said it is a week away, Valentine’s Day, and if you’re going to practice couple’s romance or self love, now is the time to do it. So, here’s my list of the Best Of what to do and where to go for it. And I’m not giving you any prices to go on – are you seriously doing Valentine’s Day by the pound?

Caviar and more at Lacroix at The Rittenhouse Hotel

Executive Chef Eric Leveillee is featuring a six-course tasting menu from the Valentine’s Weekend on through the big day where you can expect a new potatoes-filled risotto with kaluga caviar, king salmon sashimi with buttermilk and baerii caviar, wagyu au poivre, a champagne toast and a petite dessert buffet. I like that nearly everything on Lacroix’s menu features caviar Big ups to the roe.

Lacroix at the Rittenhouse, 210 W Rittenhouse Square, Rittenhouse Hotel, Philadelphia, PA

The one-two punch of flowers and chocolates at Creations By Coppola and Favors & Flavors

Late in the game as it is getting, you’re going to need all the help, proximity and ease of motion you can get your hands on to make V-Day special. Neighboring shoppes along the East Passyunk District Creations By Coppola can customize any floral arrangement no matter how elaborate (or just a Grab & Go bouquets ready for in-store pick-up) while Favors and Flavors mere doors away traffics in decadent deserts such as chocolate covered strawberries and fruit towers. Do this, slow poke.

Creations By Coppola, 1724 E Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

Favors and Flavors (1827 E Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

Love-a-Go-Go at the Trestle Inn

connie love

The Trestle Inn in the Eraserhood is bracing for two events, one drink special and the return of one of its beloved dancers. On February 10,  the T-Inn’s Shine a Little Love Valentine’s Happy Hour Dance Party features DJ Hardbargain and The Slinky Vagabond spinning vinyl-only 1970s dance floor classics, some heavy Go Go by Denver patriate Connie Love, and the Valentine’s drink special “the S&M”- a Negroni Sbagliato accompanied by a chocolate-covered Maraschino cherry. Dag, On February 11, SATURNIA – The Valentine’s Edition shows off its all vinyl disco dance party touching on love-themed disco  from The Sound of Trestle (TSOT) DJs lil’ dave and Hardbargain, Go Go by Trestle Specials Connie Love and Lucy Diamonds.

The Trestle Inn, 339 N 11th St, 11th and Callowhill Street, Philadelphia, PA

Cantina La Martina’s Taco Tuesday

Kensington’s Cantina La Martina is looking to serve the lover in you in a home setting and offers its “For the Love of Tacos” takeout box for two (on one, be honest) featuring six tacos (2 chicken, 2 shrimp, 2 carne asada), chips, salsa, guacamole, rice, and beans. Plus, each meal sold means another CLM donation towards the 100 free meals in the Sunday Love Project free grocery store in Kensington on February 15 to help feed those needy community members in the area.

Cantina La Martina, 2800 D Street, Philadelphia, PA

Lincoln Mill Haunted House’s Valentine’s Candlelight-Only Tour in Manayunk

Viktors Valentine

Love and fear go together like death and taxes. On February 11, the house that horror built, Lincoln Mill, will pop open its big heavy doors for Viktor’s Valentine: A Dark Love Story, a V-Weekend event featuring candlelight-only tours through an all-blackout experience deep within the hidden chamber and rooms of the old Manayunk mill – with over 30 actors living out the interactive, romance-themed fright-fest featuring Viktor, the Freddie Kruger to this particular Main Street nightmare.

Lincoln Mill, 4100 Main Street, Manayunk, PA

Say Cheese at Jet Wine Bar

Is there ever a thing as too much cheese? Well, yes, if you’re lactose intolerant or trying not to have a heart attack. That said, for those sturdy and healthy types, Jet Wine Bar is hosting a “Valentine’s Day is Cheesy” featuring mega-sized cheese boards, phyllo-wrapped brie, homemade mozzarella sticks, a dessert course and other non-cheese arrangements  paired with a flight of three different wines. Live it up.

Jet Wine Bar, 1525 South Street, Philadelphia, PA

Not Yet Rated: An Improvised Rom-Com at Plays & Players

Isn’t love itself an improvisation? Why not live it through someone else’s eyes, namely the Crossroads Comedy Theater people who, on February 9 through 11, host a live in the making showcase, Not Yet Rated: An Improvised Rom-Com!. Pick a classic trope of romantic comedies and move to the next level.

Plays & Players Theatre Skinner Studio, 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, PA

Fork It

Ellen Yin’s dark and dusky Fork in Old City is going for an option-filled, prix-fixe dinner menu featuring everything from seared sea scallops and potato leek soup to whole wheat Miche with butternut squash baba ganoush and shatta to seared duck breast confit to oysters on the half shell to Perrystead Intergalactic Cheese Crisps with porridge bread and date jam. Many options. This isn’t even counting desserts such as pear frangipane tart with creme fraiche, and chocolate mousse. Can I play for three people?

Fork, 306 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA

Boyz II Men at The Met Philadelphia

Maybe “Motownphilly” isn’t sexy, but on Saturday, February 11, Philly’s harmony-heavy R&B heroes BOyz II Men thrill the audience with amorous tracks (“I’ll Make Love To You”) and tender tunes for the lover in you (“On Bended Knee”).

The Met Philadelphia, 858 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA

Amelie’s Bark Shop goes to the dogs

If  you can’t love your dog on Valentine’s Day, get off of this page. Now. Because I love dogs – my dog in particular – and always figure out a way of celebrating them. Apparently, Amelie’s is selling a Happy Hour Rosé Crusherz, “soft and silly” chew toy in the shape of a wine bottle, as well as a Hearts Sweater to keep your puppy warm. Don’t be a punk. Buy your dog a present.

Amelie’s Bark Shop, (1600 E Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia PA

Tipsy History: A Love Story at the Betsy Ross House

Is it weird to drink and act romantic at the seat of history? Enjoy a complimentary “love potion” as a young Betsy Ross actor tells a story of how her romantic, illicit marriage upended the entirety of Philly’s 1776-era Quaker community. Shocking. Tipsy History (Feb 10 and 11) wraps up with a tour of the Betsy Ross House, the birthplace of the American flag. Love of country is also nice, sometimes. Try fucking while wrapped in a flag too.

Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA

Valentine’s Day with Joe Zimmerman at Helium Comedy Club

We know stand-up comedian Joe Zimmerman from Buzzfeed praise and Comedy Central’s “John Oliver’s New York Stand-up Show,” but really, the idea of getting romantic accoutrements such as chocolate, strawberries and glasses of champagne handed to you at Helium just sounds fun. As well it should.

Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom Street, Philadelphia PA

Art in the Age’s Lovers’ Libations Workshop

Drink your way through Valentine’s Day happy hour as Art in the Age offers a Lovers’ Libations Workshop at 5 p.m. (is that what we’re calling a booze marathon, no? A workshop? I have done SO MANY WORKSHOPS). Art in the Age cocktail specialist Lee Noble hosts an interactive cocktail demo and answers question you won’t remember the answer to as they teach the skill behind a Cupid’s Arrow filled with The Pathfinder Hemp and Root, floral gin, chilled hibiscus tea, Bittermen’s Burlesque Bitters, and topped with sparkling rosé. Cheese and charcuterie will be provided by From Marjorie, but seriously, keep drinking. Love looks better that way sometimes.

Art in the Age, 116 N. 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA

An acrobatic Valentine’s with Circadium School of Contemporary Circus’ Heartstrings


If you’re looking for a uniquely physicalized way into Valentine’s weekend, look no further than February 10’s Heartstrings event from Philly’s Circadium School of Contemporary Circus. The first state-licensed higher education program for circus in the United States will host local, national and international circus artists, students and graduates sharing their circus interpretations of love, romantic comedy, and the emotion and confusion of Valentine’s Day. Prepare to be flipped as acrobatics, aerials, juggling and equilibristics skills combine with dance, theatre, storytelling and spoken word – all with proceeds benefitting the Circadium Students’ Foreign Exchange Fund.

Circadium School of Contemporary Circus, 6452 Greene Street, Philadelphia, PA

Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti Presents Valentine’s by Candlelight

positano coast

This sounds shimmeringly romantic – a one-night-only Valentine’s Day affair with oyster and champagne pairings, mozzarella, bresaola, grilled artichokes and olives, and Aldo’s Seafood Harvest for Two with oysters, top neck clams, shrimp cocktail and seafood salad. By candlelight alone? Breathless.

Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti, 212 Walnut St {2nd floor}, Philadelphia, PA

Fire & Ice: a Valentine’s Pop-up at Assembly Rooftop Lounge


Provocative  the Logan Hotel’s rooftop cocktail bar and lounge is hosting a week of its Fire & Ice pop up in celebration of Valentine’s Day (through February 18) featuring an Ice Bar, flaming cocktails, Make Your Own S’Mores Boards and Baked Alaska (WHOA!) with tabletop stoves, fire pits and blankets to go with specialty vodka cocktail such as the Love Me (Bar)tender, Drunk in Love and Friends with Benefits. And have a Fire and Ice Shot of Joaquin’s Blackberry Brandy, Bailey’s, Kahlua, Wray & Nephew Overproof Jamaican Rum, served aflame on me. Not literally, but you get the point.

Assembly Rooftop Lounge, 1840 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA

1225 Raw and Leda’s Cocktail Lounge get married


For Valentine’s Day, downtown’s sushi/sashimi palace 1225 Raw and Leda’s Cocktail Lounge* work together for three alluring cocktails – the vodka-heavy A Ballad to Aphrodite, the Mezacal/tequila blend No Love for Eris and a bourbon-y Pain of Oizys to go with its Okonomi.

1225 Raw, 1224 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

Sweets for my Sweet at Franklin Fountain/Shane’s Confectionary

heart cake

The brotherly team at Front & Market’s double-trouble sweet shops offer heart shaped chocolate boxes, and chocolate dipped strawberries in ethically sourced house chocolate with berries from Wish Farms at Shane’s. All this while Franklin Fountain presents a frozen Strawberry Ice Cream cake layered with Gluten Free Chambord Raspberry Chocolate Cake and topped with dark chocolate ganache. Yikes.

The Franklin Fountain, 116 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA

Shane Confectionery, 110 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA

Warm in February with Cuba Libre

salted caramel cake

My favorite towering Cuban menu in Old City heats up the chilliest month with Vieras Salteadas’ Pan seared sesame crusted sea scallops, grilled filet mignon with lump blue crab cake, and a Salted Caramel Cake for two of sponge with dulce de leche buttercream and warm spiced rum and cinnamon syrup vanilla bean ice cream. OMG.

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, 10 S. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA

    • A.D. Amarosi's Headshot

      A.D. Amorosi is an award-winning journalist who, along with working for the Philadelphia Weekly, writes regularly for Variety, Jazz Times, Flood and Wax Poetics, and hosts and co-produces his own SoundCloud-charting radio show, Theater in the Round for Pacifica National Public Radio station WPPM 106.5 FM and WPPM.org.

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