Valentine’s Day ideas
Every year on Valentine’s Day, couples try to make the Feb. 14 holiday special, romantic and fun.
Traditions usually involve going out to dinner, exchanging gifts and indulging in some kind of chocolaty dessert. The problem is all of these things cost money, a luxury many college students don’t have.
So when ignoring Valentine’s Day isn’t an option, what’s a penniless individual to do?
Thankfully, there are plenty of options. As Boulder maintains a hefty student population, many restaurants around town offer menus with bearable prices. Consider Trattoria on Pearl, which is located on the east end of the pedestrian mall.
They’re offering two prix fixe menus – four courses for $45 per person and six courses for $55 per person- plus their regular menu that contains entrées that are reasonably priced and tasty.
Plus the festivities at Trattoria don’t end at the meal.
“We’re having a guitarist and a harp playing that day. I like to decorate the restaurant with balloons and cheery things. We’ll get some roses for the girls when they arrive,” said Guillermo Casarrubias, the owner of Trattoria.
For another inexpensive Valentine’s experience, try the Mountain Sun Pub and Brewery at 1535 Pearl St. They serve delicious burgers, quality beer and a laid-back atmosphere, all without cleaning out the wallet. Most items on the dinner menu are in the $6 range.
Another lovely option – and an even less expensive one – is to create a romantic evening. All that’s required is an empty home, a few candles and a couple aphrodisiacs to get the sparks flying.
Finally, for those who have been saving up for Valentine’s Day or simply want to indulge on the special day, there are plenty of options. While an abundance of restaurants in downtown Boulder offer special prix fix menus for Valentine’s Day, consider a brief getaway to the outskirts of town. The Greenbriar Inn is a beautiful restaurant up north on the way to Lyons. Called a “hidden treasure” by the Zagat Survey, Greenbriar has been known since 1967 for classic food and an elegant atmosphere.
“We’ve matched the wines to different courses on our prix fixe menu ($55/person) and it’s a very romantic place. A nice drive out in the country,” said Tom Bockes, Greenbriar’s marketing director.
For those looking to dine close to the mountains, Flagstaff House is worth looking into, where one should be prepared to spend and to be dazzled. As the winner of a number of prestigious awards, this family-owned restaurant is one every Boulder resident must try at least once. Why not go on Valentine’s Day?
“We like to offer our complete menu, where entrees range from $29 to $48 and higher,” said Scott Monette, Flagstaff House’s general manager. “Chef Mark Monette always runs special appetizers and desserts for two, for around $14 per person.”
With Valentine’s Day coming up quickly, it is important to make reservations as quickly as possible. For those who do not receive reservations in time, there is no need to worry.
Some restaurants, such as Trattoria, are prepared for such situations.
The restaurant will have the same menu on Feb. 13, 14, 15 and 16 Cassarubias said.
So, if Valentine’s night proves to be too busy, don’t eliminate one of its neighboring evenings for dinner.
Gifts are also a big part of the holiday night. Keep in mind not all gifts have to bought.
Instead, consider planning a low-budget yet special evening together.
Another avenue to go down when deciding on a gift is sentimentality.
“I’m giving him a very cute secret gift that he doesn’t know about,” said Skyler Gamble, a senior international affairs major.
What gifts should be avoided? The usual ones, such as chocolates, teddy bears or boxers decorated with hearts. If it has potential to sit in the discount bin the second Valentine’s Day is over, steer clear.
“Those gifts are so cliché;” Gamble said. “The only reason to give those gifts is to give a gift with a heart on it. It doesn’t show you thought about it.”
Valentine’s Day can be stressful since there’s so much pressure to conduct a perfect evening. With dinner and with gifts, don’t be afraid to go out on a limb and try something original. Anyone can buy a few heart-shaped chocolates and call it a day. Thinking of something unique and meaningful is the best way to show the person he or she is important.
For dinner, if all the tables for two in Boulder are filled, don’t get discouraged. What really matters is spending time with that special someone.
Valentine’s Day menu for two
Menu ideas courtesy of Evie Duncan
Pear, Walnut and Bleu Cheese Salad
1 cup lightly packed rinsed watercress sprigs
2 cups rinsed pieces butter lettuce, ripped into bite sized pieces
1 small firm-ripe pear, core removed, and cut into thin slices
candied walnuts (see instructions below)
shallow dressing (see instructions below)
1/8 cup crumbled bleu cheese