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The Hot Plate: Lover-ly Specials in Town

Is the prospect of sitting home alone on Valentine’s Day bumming you out? Lucky for you and all single Washingtonians, this city has a host of events designed specifically with lonely hearts in mind.

[IMGCAP(1)]Are you someone’s better half? Don’t worry — Hot Plate has you covered, too. From spa packages for singles to romantic meals for two, Valentine’s Day in D.C. will be anything but boring.


British gastropub Againn (1099 New York Ave. NW) is hosting an Anti-Valentine’s Day Celebration on Saturday. The restaurant will feature a three-course prix fixe dinner from 5:30 to 10 p.m.

“Not everyone has a Valentine or wants to participate in Valentine’s Day, so instead of hiding at home, we hope to create a haven where one can easily escape roses, Cupid and heart-shaped chocolates,” General Manager Kate Killoran says.

The dinner will be priced at $39 per person and does not include beverages, tax or tip. The menu will include celery root soup with Stilton mousse and grated apples, Tamworth pork with 10-hour roasted shoulder and spotted dick — a pudding containing dried fruit.

“There is nothing romantic about ordering the cock-a-leekie followed by spotted dick,” Killoran says.

Co Co. Sala

Chocolate haven Co Co. Sala (929 F St. NW) is also getting in on the anti-Valentine’s Day movement with a special spa package designed just for singles. The restaurant is teaming up with Red Door Spas on Wednesday for an evening of pampering that will include anti-dehydration eye treatments, antioxidant citrus manicures and anti-aging hand treatments. The event will also feature chocolate, cupcakes and chocolate-covered strawberries in addition to flutes of Sex Brut Rose Champagne. The event will run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and costs $85 per person.

M Bar

Then there are the places for those who want to embrace the spirit of Valentine’s Day. Looking to get sweets for your sweet or a tasty treat for yourself? M Bar (1143 New Hampshire Ave. NW) at the Renaissance Washington Hotel is hosting a “make whoopie” pie class on Saturday. Executive Chef John Therres will teach those in attendance how to make the perfect heart-shaped whoopie pie — a chocolate cake sandwich filled with cream — and how to make hand-dipped chocolate-covered strawberries. Drink specials will be offered during the $15 class, and those who are looking for an overnight escape can bundle the class with a room at the Renaissance. Rates for Valentine’s weekend begin at $179 per room.


Keeping with the learning theme, CulinAerie (1131 14th St. NW) is offering a class all about chocolate and wine pairings. Instructor Amanda Weaver-Page will teach the group of up to 16 students about six wines that pair well with chocolate. The class will be held on Friday night for $75 per person.

Café Atlantico

Chef José Andrés will be blending celebrations this weekend at Café Atlantico (405 Eighth St. NW). In addition to offering a Valentine’s Day-friendly menu, the restaurant will also be celebrating the Brazilian carnival.

Head chef Terri Cutrino will be offering a six-course menu that will take customers on a “culinary tour of Brazil.” The dinner will be offered on Sunday at $85 per person. The meal will feature a hearts of palm salad, traditional Brazilian seafood stew and other tasty treats.


Zola (800 F St. NW) and the International Spy Museum have teamed up to offer a special Valentine’s Day package. For $100 per couple, customers can buy the Love a Spy package, which includes dinner at the restaurant, late-night access to the museum’s special role-playing experience Operation Spy and entry to the museum’s permanent collection. Operation Spy puts customers in the role of spy by using live-action video and special effects. Dinner will include an oyster course and a Champagne toast in addition to a Love Potion Z cocktail.

CommonWealth Gastropub

While CommonWealth’s (1400 Irving St. NW) food may be hit-or-miss, there’s no question that the bar is one of the best in town for beer lovers. Owner and Executive Chef Jamie Leeds will be rolling out five specialty beers for Valentine’s Day. The offerings include the Two-Hearted Pale Ale, Chocolate Stout and My Bloody Valentine. Drinkers can also order the Cupid’s Flight featuring four 5-ounce pours of the special beers for $12.


If you and your lover enjoy a good public display of affection you may want to reserve a table at CityZen (1330 Maryland Ave. SE). Chef Eric Ziebold will be offering decadent cuisine in the restaurant’s lounge, which is being dubbed the “Sin Den” in honor of Valentine’s Day. Private cabana-style sitting areas will feature mood lighting, sheer drapes and intimate-sized portions designed specifically so that couples can feed each other. The special menu, priced at $350 per couple, will include lobster with citrus relish and Rappahannock River oysters. The Sin Den will be available Friday through Sunday.

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