Are you a rookie at this whole Valentine’s Day thing? Or maybe you’re just broke, or perhaps you’re bored with the whole “let’s go out and drop a couple of Benjamins on an expensive dinner and drink so much wine we pass out before we do the nasty” routine. Yeah, I know the drill.

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This year, unlike years past when we’ve pretty much done a whole lot of nothing, my husband and I are teaming up with our supper club pals to have a French dinner, children included. We’re planning a sexy French menu with some fun chocolate stuff thrown in for the kids. Yeah, it might not sound sexy to you, but not having to find a babysitter on Valentine’s Day or having to battle the SEWE crowds for a table somewhere downtown is pretty damn hot when you’re married with kids.

So, what are your plans? A ton of restaurants have already announced their special prix-fixe menus, and if that’s what you want to do, you better call and make reservations now.

For those looking for alternatives, we guarantee you’ll have time for the nasty if you do one of the following:

On Monday night, go to Charleston Cooks! and make your sweetie his/her very own box of chocolates. At this participatory class, Peter Waters of Chocolate Perfection will be showing you how to mold chocolate and make a rich five-minute chocolate cake. You’ll leave here with a box of hearts that you made yourself covered in 24kt gold. And, my favorite, you’ll make edible chocolate body paint and lip gloss and take home a jar of chocolate milk bath salts. Now that’s hot.

Or, you could let Coco cater your V-day night. Coco’s Cafe in Mt. Pleasant now has a “Coco’s Comes to You” service that brings the best of the restaurant right into your dining room. No shopping, no cooking, no cleanup. They’ll prepare a gourmet French meal, pair it with wine, and serve it to you. I totally dig the “not having to clean up” part.

Ted’s Butcherblock also has a cool alternative option with a sensual four-course menu — grilled country pâté, jumbo lump crab, duck, basil-encrusted lamb. This one requires that you place your order by noon on Friday and pick up anytime after 4 p.m. on Saturday. Great option for noncooks with limited budget.

UPDATE: A new option surfaced this week, and today — Wed. Feb. 11 by 3 p.m. — is the last chance to order this seductive V-Day meal from Cru Catering. For $55 per person, you’ll get Apple Smoked Bacon Wrapped Shrimp-stuffed Chipotle Cream Cheese and Spicy Slaw, Baby Arugula Salad, Thai Beef Wellington, Garlic Green Beans and Carrots, Wasabi Mashed Potatoes, and Grand Marnier Strawberry Shortcake with Raspberry Puree. Not exactly a cheap alternative, but it could be pretty cozy for you and your sweetheart, especially if you live within a seven-mile radius of Cru, cause they’ll deliver it to you.

And if you’re single or just a hater, you could attend a couple of anti-vday parties.

Mellow Mushroom’s been rocking an “F-Cupid” party for eight years now, and this year’s should be pretty cool with its Friday 13th/My Bloody Valentine twist. DJ Rocky Horror will be spinning dirty-sexy house music while slasher flicks provide background visuals. Red Bull and Zwack, a potent Hungarian liqueur, will be providing complimentary cocktails too. It’s free and starts at 10 p.m.

And finally, at the Vue at Ripley Point they’ll be hosting a “Shred Your Ex Valentine’s Day Party.” It’s $40 and starts at 9 p.m. with music from Quiana Parler.

Surely, with one of these suggestions you’ll find yourself getting lucky somehow somewhere.


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