If you are looking for some outside-the-chocolate-box ideas for Valentine’s Day, we have you covered. From rugby tournaments to scavenger hunts, there are many ways to be creative this Valentine’s weekend. Many local restaurants are providing special menus with all the aphrodisiacs and sweet treats to create the perfect mood. If you want to keep it traditional with roses and chocolates, check out local chocolatiers Ethel M and Max Brenner, both of which have special Valentine’s collections.
Alternative Valentine’s Day ideas:
Thursday, Feb. 10:
• Blind Date at Haze: Calling all singles! Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Haze wants to set you up. Ladies: Be one of the first 200 females in the club to receive a heart-shaped lock. Gentlemen: Score a lock combination, and start firing away the pick-up lines. The first couple to crack the code wins “the ultimate dream date” or $5,000.
• Saturday, Feb. 12
• Dump Your Ex’s Stuff Drive: This Valentine’s Day, turn your ill will into Goodwill by getting rid of your ex’s stuff and donating it to Goodwill. 98.5 KLUC will be on hand at the Albertsons at 95 and Craig Road from 7 until 9 a.m. to help collect donations. Visit www.sngoodwill.org for additional donation locations.
• Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt: Las Vegas Strip Search presents a Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt. Couples start at and return to B.B. King’s Blues Club at The Mirage. Explore The Strip gathering scavenger hunt items in the hopes of winning prizes, including dinner for two at B.B. King’s and two tickets to Love. The entry fee is $50 per couple.
• Valentine’s Day shopping event: St. John at The Forum Shops invites shoppers to check out the exclusive Red Haute Collection from the upcoming Spring 2011 collection. Those who spend $1,000 receive an exclusive St. John icon key chain. Enjoy live music, complimentary cocktails and light fare.
• Valentine’s Day fashion show: Altered Nation Designs and Flockflockflock are hosting their third Couture Community Challenge fashion show and raffle to benefit the Children’s Heart Foundation of Nevada. The show includes local designers and artists such as Susan Tosches-Deneau, Jennifer Henry, Stephanie Rapp, Cari Byers, Ermelinda Manos, Jasmine Brim and Robin Barcus-Slonina. Each participant has been challenged to use real Valentine’s cards, candies and decorations to create garments. There is a $5 suggested donation at the door, and raffle tickets will be for sale for $1 each or 15 for $10. Beer, wine and food will be available for purchase.
• Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man tries to put you in a “chocolate mood” year-round, but especially on Valentine’s Day. Pick up one of the festive gift sets, including the massage oil and truffle, the Love Me/Love Me Not Bonbons and the I Love You Favorites at The Forum Shops.
• Kill Cupid Anti-Valentine’s Day: Forget the pink hearts and the red roses. McFadden’s knows how much love stinks, and this Valentine’s Day they aren’t afraid to show with the “Kill Cupid Anti-Valentine’s Day” bash. The bluesy pop duo Red Abbey will perform from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m., and the featured cocktail of the evening, Love Stinks, will be offered all night for $3. Guests can start off the anti-Valentine’s Day celebration with a $15 open bar from 8 to 10 p.m. and continue the unlimited drinking from 10 p.m. until midnight for $15 for ladies and $25 for guys.
• Valentine’s Day at Sammy's Woodfired Pizza: Get in touch with your domestic side this Valentine’s Day and show your lover you can actually cook, not just order, pizza. Sammy's Woodfired Pizza will be selling pizza kits starting at $5. The kits include freshly made pizza dough, homemade tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and herbs. There’s also a gluten-free option. The kits are available at all five area locations.
• Couples and Singles Mingle at Blue Martini: Celebrate Valentine’s Day early and help a good cause. Blue Martini is hosting a Couples and Singles Mingle event to benefit the American Heart Association. Ladies who wear red receive a glass of champagne, and those who donate $5 to AHA receive a raffle ticket to win a Coach handbag, jewelry and more.
• Holly Madison at Tryst: America’s favorite Girl Next Door and Peepshow star Holly Madison host a Valentine’s Day Affair at Tryst at the Wynn.
Sunday, February 13:
Laughter Hours Valentine's comedy show: Butterscotch Entertainment presents a "For Lovers and Others" Valentine's Day package at Laughter Hours at Foundation Room. This week's featured comics are Brandt Tobler, Booya, Louie Muhammad, Gooch and Spence. The special package includes VIP seating, a bottle of Perrier Jouet Champagne and a box of chocolates.
Monday, Feb. 14:
• Valentine’s Day shopping party: Come celebrate Valentine’s Day with Harper’s Bazaar at the reopening of French Connection’s Las Vegas flagship store at The Miracle Mile Shops. Enjoy a live DJ and shop Harper’s “Editor Picks” from the Spring 2011 collection. All shoppers receive 20 percent off everything storewide.
• Couples special at Minus5: Don’t get cold feet. Tell your significant other how you really feel this Valentine’s Day at Minus5 Ice Bar, where couples can enjoy the holiday special with fur coats and a champagne toast for $50. The special is valid at both Minus5 locations.
• DJ duel: Rhumbar presents a female DJ duel featuring DJ Soxxi and DJ Mika Gold, who will fight to the musical finish on the romantic Strip-side patio. Couples can cuddle up with passionate date packages for two featuring Rhumbar Snuggies and belly-warming S’mooches and S’mores cocktails.
• My Bloody Valentine 3D screening: Leave it to the Sci Fi Center to combine a screening of My Bloody Valentine 3D with a children’s book drive. Bring a new or gently used book to donate to Spread the Word Nevada, an organization that distributes books to children in the Valley.
• Bulldog Kissing Booth at The Soggy Dog: If you’ve never been kissed, now is your chance. The Soggy Dog dog wash in Henderson welcomes the Las Vegas Bulldog Club and their kissing booth. Beautiful bulldogs will be doling out smooches and helping to raise funds to support bulldog rescue in Southern Nevada. Show some love to your pup on Valentine’s Day with a wash and blueberry facial.
• Valentine Zombie Walk: Just when you thought you have seen it all. Join your fellow undead for a walk down Fremont Street. Start at The Plaza and follow the crowd to Vanguard Lounge, where all drinks will be half off for those in zombie gear.
• USA Sevens Rugby at Sam Boyd Stadium: The HSBC Sevens World Series is returning to Las Vegas, so if your idea of a great Valentine’s is watching sweaty men grunt their way across a field, then this is the event for you!
• Valentine’s Day Cruises at Lake Las Vegas: The Village at Lake Las Vegas puts a unique spin on Valentine’s Day. Couples are encouraged to board the La Contessa for the annual Valentine’s Day Cruise along Lake Las Vegas starting at 6 p.m. Then at 7:30 p.m., a Non-Valentine’s Day Cruise will set sail. This singles mixer will include a complementary glass of champagne and a cash bar for additional beverages. For reservations, call 568-8965. After the cruise, dine at one of The Village restaurants. Sunset and Vines and Bernard’s Bistro are offering special menus.
• “Love Is in the Air” zip-line rides: Flightlinez and Fremont Street Experience present “Love Is in the Air,” a unique way for couples and newlyweds to commemorate their wedding day and share their love with the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation. For a minimal fee benefiting NCCF, anyone can take a ride down the zip-line through downtown.Brides and grooms who show up to the zipline in their gowns and tuxes can ride for free on the 14th.
Community Valentine’s Day events:
Friday, Feb. 11
• Night at the Museum: Despicable Me: Parents who want a few hours to themselves will have that chance when Springs Preserve hosts the kids-only “Night at the Museum- Despicable Me.” Parents can drop off their kids at Springs Preserve for a safe night of entertainment, including a screening of Despicable Me, various kid-friendly group activities, snacks and a pizza dinner.
Saturday, Feb. 12
• The 14 Days of Love Film Festival: Join the Barrick Museum in counting down to Valentine’s Day by viewing 10 highly acclaimed romantic films.
• Las Vegas Philharmonic: Las Vegas Philharmonic presents the Rising Star Valentine’s Concert conducted by rising star Alexander Prior, a graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory who has two masters in composition and conducting.
Monday, Feb. 14:
• From Love Letters to Mobile Phones: University Forum Lecture Series presents Professor Laura M. Ahearn, Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University. This Valentine’s Day speaker explores the aspirational ideology of love in a Nepalese village.
• St. Valentine’s Day Dance at Charleston Heights Arts Center: Enjoy a big band dance with music by The Gene White Octet. Tickets are available at 229-6383.
Special Valentine’s Day menus:
• Beso’s special menu created by Chef Matt Piekarski includes amuse bouche followed by country terrine served with a spiced date chutney and toasted bread. The main course offers two favorites: filet mignon with shrimp accompanied by roasted baby fennel and cippolini onions, confit fingerling potatoes and peppercorn jus. For dessert, it’s a hazelnut chocolate cake paired with cherry ice cream and a signature garnish.
• The District at Green Valley Ranch offers several Valentine’s Day events. Presidio’s “Celebrate Love” Valentine’s Day special includes a three-course meal and a glass of champagne for $39 per person. Reservations are required; call 320-8100.
• Those who wish Cupid would have an archery accident and prefer the “Love Stinks” atmosphere can enjoy a shot and a beer for $8 and $2 Jell-O shots at Al’s Garage.
• Valentine’s diners at Hank’s Fine Steaks & Martinis can enjoy an a la carte menu including items such as kushi oysters with dandelion mignonette paired with a Belvedere Bloody Mary, seared scallops with popcorn beurre blanc and blood orange syrup, yellow fin carpaccio, seared Wagyu with trumpet mushrooms, pea tendrils, king crab souffle and port shallot reduction. White Chocolate Lovers Cups are for dessert.
• Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar presents a menu for two available Feb. 11-14 in addition to Fleming’s regular a la carte menu. Fleming’s is couples dining during Valentine’s weekend a $25 Fleming’s Dining Card to use toward a future dinner.
• Koi Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood offers a menu to heighten the senses including lobster velvet soup, heart-shaped sushi roll, screaming orgasm roll and surf & turf featuring grilled Kobe sirloin steak and half lobster tail drizzled with Yuzu butter sauce, served on a bed of shishito mashed potatoes. The menu will be offered Friday through Monday, and locals will receive a 15 percent discount. A complimentary glass of sparkling wine or champagne will be served on Valentine's Day.
• Strip House offers a Valentine’s Day menu Friday through Monday featuring a warm goat cheese salad, a 14-ounce bone-in filet and a rack of lamb with mint jelly, plus a chocolate fondue served with orange-scented pound cake, bananas, brownies, marshmallows and almond biscotti.
• Michael Mina at Bellagio is offering a six-course menu showcasing lobster pot pie, among others, for $125 per person. A wine pairing is available for an additional $65 per person.
• Chef Kerry Simon hosts a Singles Soiree at Simon at Palms Place featuring mini crispy crab cakes, crispy sesame rice with spicy tuna, Parma prosciutto-wrapped dates, crispy rock shrimp with a sweet chili sauce, truffled mac and cheese tarts and red velvet brownies. Prize giveaways include gift cards to Sunset Tan, Drift Spa and Hammam and the Palms. Muster up the courage to take a swing at the heart-shaped pinata.
• Yard House at Town Square will be serving up Kung Pao calamari and shrimp ceviche to start, followed by entrees such as pan roasted halibut, lobster mac and cheese and grilled rib eye. For dessert, there’s s’more brownies paired with a Youngberry Chocolate Brew, Lost Lover cocktail, Love Letter sparkling cocktail and Shaggatini martini.
• Bar + Bistro Downtown at the Arts Factory celebrates Valentine's Day starting with a choice of roasted tomato soup or the B+B salad, followed by pan seared scallops. Main course choices include spiced sea bass or New York steak pavi. For dessert, a warm chocolate ganache cake served with a glass of Prosecco. The menu is $40 per person. Call 202-6060 for reservations.
• Texas de Brazil is offering specialty cocktails to accompany their 60-item gourmet salad area and a meat parade of beef, pork, lamb, sausage and chicken. Cocktails include the Brazilian Rose, Brazilian Kiss, Raspberry Cream Dream, Espresso Delight Martini and Milky Way Martini.
• If you can’t go to Italy for Valentine’s Day, you can get a taste of Tuscany at Brio, which features Northern Italian cuisine. The Valentine’s Day menu includes primavera formaggio, beef medallions with black pepper shrimp and a fresh catch with lobster and shrimp salad. For dessert, house-made seasonal creme brulee, butterscotch pecan bread pudding and raspberry mascarpone cheesecake.
• For $55, couples at Cabo Wabo may choose from a variety of appetizers, entrees and desserts, including ahi tuna ceviche, grilled chicken tostadita salad and Cadillac cheese nachitos for starters. Entree choices include lobster enchiladas, a Baja surf & turf and a carne asada. For dessert, a warmed chocolate brownie sundae and the trio flan with coconut, vanilla and sweet potato. All Valentine’s Day meals are paired with two Waboritas. Call 385-2226 for reservations.
• Via Brasil Steakhouse is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a special menu and live jazz from Friday through Monday. In addition to the regular fixed-price “Rodizio” menu of more than 16 meats, including chicken, pork and fish, plus the salad bar of more than 30 hot and cold dishes, the restaurant is serving oysters on the half shell and shrimp cocktail. Call 804-1400 for reservations.
• Morels Executive Chef J.L. Carrera at Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro at the Palazzo has created a Valentine’s Day menu. Aside from the regular menu, guests can enjoy Truffle Tagliatelle featuring a bounty of shrimp served with pasta and truffles. The menu also includes heart-shaped ravioli packed with ricotta and spinach.
• Executive Chef Eric Klein has created a six-course menu for Valentine’s Day at Spago. Dinner begins with an amuse of Russian golden Oscetra caviar, followed by tuna carpaccio and tartare, then choices of chilled Maine lobster “A La Gargouillou” and American USDA Prime beef tenderloin. Desert is a trio of chocolate tasting bites. The menu is available for $100 per guest. Call 369-6300 for reservations.
• CUT at the Palazzo is offering Maine diver scallop sashimi, Fuji and honey crisp apple salad and Dungeness crab & Carolina shrimp Louis cocktail. Entrees include USDA Prime bone-in rib eye aged 21 days, braised Snake River Farm’s beef short rib and Maine lobster pot pie. Call 607-6300 for reservations.
• Trattoria del Lupo at Mandalay Bay celebrates with a menu including blue crab salad followed by a sun choke agnolotti with Maine lobster and black truffle caviar and then red wine-braised Osso Buco with creamy polenta and horseradish cream. For dessert, the Decadent Chocolate Pudding for two with vanilla bean ice cream and Valrhona chocolate filling. This tasting menu is $55 per person. Call 740-5522 for reservations.
• Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina is offer a three-course tasting menu. Start things off with a choice of roasted tomato-piquillo pepper soup, warm goat cheese and Tuscan olive oil or citrus marinated baby beet salad. The next course offers saffron orzo risotto with mussels, shrimp and Manila clams or mesquite grilled Colorado lamb sirloin. For dessert, the Decadent Chocolate Pudding Cake served with vanilla bean ice cream and Valrhona chocolate filling. This tasting menu is $45 per person. Call 238-1000 for reservations.
• Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill’s menu features a choice of yellow fin tuna Sashimi or D’Anjou pear salad for starters. Next, grilled prime beef tenderloin or pan roasted loup de mer. Finish the meal with “Hot Date” cake with preserved apricot, sticky toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream or glazed exotic fruit Chocolate Torte with passion fruit creme, banana marmalade and raspberry sorbet. This menu is $55 per person. Call 891-3000 for reservations.
• DJT, the signature restaurant at Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a six-course meal, starting with a sparkling passion fruit aperitif and sour Cherrie compote, followed by Manhattan clam chowder, a crostini with prosciutto, figs and mint and saffron risotto with zucchini blossoms and crunchy chicken spring roll. Entrees will be served family style and include Chateaubriand with miniature double baked potato and vegetable pot-au-feu, sauce bearnaise, spice-coated rack of lamb and pan seared duck breast and duck confit. Dessert options include chocolate-covered strawberries and New York cheesecake with fresh raspberries. Dinner is 5 to 10 p.m. and $130 for two guests. Call 982-0000 for reservations.
• All three locations of Hash House a Go Go will feature specials Friday through Monday. Brunch menu items include drink specials like the Tangerine Kiss, Pink Teddy, Champagne Super Nova, Blueberry Mocha, Butterscotch Latte and Spicy BLT Mary, plus the golden raspberry pancake, sage fried chicken quesadilla, mahi mahi and all-blue crab cake and a sweet strawberry cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream for dessert. Dinner options include a spicy BLT Mary with jalapeno bacon and pan tostado, a mixed grill featuring bison, boneless ribeye and Maple Leaf Farms duck breast on garlic mashed potatoes with barbecue cream and a 14-oz. porterhouse served with bacon cheddar mashed potatoes and sauteed wild mushrooms. Dessert options include chocolate pecan bread pudding and peanut butter banana cheesecake.
• Lovebirds can enjoy shots of Tequila Rose strawberry cream liqueur at T&T. After a tequila toast, move on to desserts like T&T’s Morenita Sundae featuring a warm chocolate brownie topped with homemade vanilla ice cream and caramel glaze. The Valentine’s Day special is priced at $14. A special Valentine’s Day offer also will be available to Twitter followers. Retweet T&T’s Valentine’s Day special @tacosandtequila and show your mobile device to receive a complimentary dessert with the purchase of two entrees Feb. 14.
• This Valentine’s Day, guests at Alize can begin with an amuse bouche of Belon oyster with Oscetra caviar, followed by a choice of roasted king crab, Fuji apple and fresh Perigord truffle or Andre’s foie gras terrine with duck confit, toasted brioche and endive marmalade. The second course is a choice of arugula and citrus marinated hearts of palm salad with apricot confiture or seared diver scallops. Main course choices include macadamia crusted northern halibut, roasted free-range chicken, sauteed filet of beef or a veal loin chop. For dessert, choose from passion fruit and milk chocolate Bavarian terrine or fresh long stem strawberries with chocolate fondue and shortbread cookies or salted honey-milk caramel cake with crispy almond praline. The price is $125 per person. Call 951-7000 for reservations.
• PBR Rock Bar & Grill at Miracle Mile Shops invites lovebirds to “Get Some Mac On” with PBR’s Doritos-crusted mac and cheese. Also, the “Smokin’ Hot” smoked chicken gumbo or finger-licking Memphis-style BBQ pork ribs. Dessert options include Belgian waffle hot fudge banana sundae or the drunken peach cobbler.
• The Valentine’s feast at d. vino includes burrata and marinated tomatoes, heart-shaped ravioli stuffed with lobster, a roasted rib eye for two with foie gras-truffle potato croquets and asparagus, plus an espresso and chocolate tart sprinkled with sparkly sugar diamonds for dessert.
• Dos Caminos has created a “Dia De Los Enamorados” menu. The menu featuring Habanero Lobster Bisque as a starter and Mar y Tierra or Cocoa Dusted Long Island Duck as an entree is available Feb. 12-14.
• Bradley Ogden at Caesars Palace offers a menu featuring sun choke soup, slow-roasted salmon potato cake, quail and waffles, butter-poached lobster lemon rosemary gnocchi, bison tenderloin and for dessert, a choice of red velvet cheesecake or German chocolate mousse.
• Morton’s the Steakhouse offers a Valentine’s dinner for two through Valentine’s weekend, with its signature three-course steak and seafood experience. Guests can start with either a traditional Caesar salad or Morton’s signature salad. The second course includes two single cut, USDA prime-aged filets and a choice of two of the following: broiled sea scallops and colossal shrimp Alexander, jumbo lump crab cake, one signature potato to share or one fresh vegetable to share. Couples can pair the dinner with a pre-selected bottle of wine for an additional $45. For dessert, enjoy Morton's Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake, key lime pie or creme brulee.
• The three-course menu at Marche Bacchus includes a choice of saffron and shellfish salad or duck breast salad, followed by a choice of grilled salmon, roasted bluenose bass, rack of lamb or filet mignon. Dessert is a strawberry trios laitages gateau.
• Fix at Bellagio starts off its Valentine’s Day menu with Oscetra caviar short stack, blue fin Toro tasting, followed by a second course of lobster bisque or smoked salmon. Entree choices include truffled chicken, shellfish tasting, filet mignon wellington or surf and turf for two. Dessert is a berry trifle for two.
• Union at Aria offers the Valentine’s Cherry Menu for Two featuring a first-course choice of tuna carpaccio or melon and burrata cheese salad, a second course of lobster risotto carbonara and an entree selection of roasted chicken “coq au vin,” Union signature steak frites, seafood paella or lamb pappardelle pasta.
• Stack at The Mirage presents a menu of champagne paired with yellowtail and caviar to start, then a choice of apple tart or fig and burrata cheese salad as a first course. The second course is a Main lobster risotto followed by a choice of steak frites, organic chicken or butter-roasted salmon.
• Brand Steakhouse and Lounge offers a Valentine’s Day menu featuring a choice of beef carpaccio or velvety white bean soup to start, followed by a second course of butter lettuce salad. The entree selection includes a 12-hour prime rib, roasted chicken or a 1.5 lb. stuffed Maine lobster. For dessert, the “ultimate strawberry tasting” including lemon poppy seed strawberry short cake or warm strawberry rhubarb cobbler.
• Social House at Crystals at CityCenter is offering Love and Hate menus. Each menu features a six-course prix-fixe dinner for $85 per person. The Love menu includes edamame, sudachi butter-poached lobster, salmon Wasabi creme roll and a Nutella chocolate chip push pop for dessert. The Hate menu includes crispy phyllo oysters, grilled truffle crusted lobster, crispy unagi roll and a blood orange creamsicle push pop for dessert.
• Chef Mark LoRusso is serve a six-course tasting menu at Botero at Encore featuring Maine lobster salad, ricotta cannelloni with duck ragu, plus a tasting of desserts from Pastry Chef Sara Steele. The price is $110 per person.
• Enjoy the Aphrodisiac Menu at The Country Club at Wynn, including dishes such as chilled oysters on the half shell with cucumber ginger granite and chocolate fondue for two with berries, pineapple, vanilla macaroons and port-macerated figs. The dishes are available as a multi-course meal and also can be ordered a la carte. The cost is $95 per person.
• Chef Theo Schoenegger is offering a four-course “Sinatra Seduction” menu at Sinatra at Encore that includes lobster-filled ravioli with sweet wine and saffron clam broth, honey-glazed Colorado lamb with bell pepper timbale and a symphony of chocolate and banana for dessert. Each couple also receives a long-stemmed red rose and a copy of Frank Sinatra’s Seduction CD. The cost is $198 per person.
• Chef Kim Canteenwalla’s three-course Valentine’s Day menu at Society Cafe includes petite filet mignon with potato and bacon hash and a classic iced shellfish platter of Alaskan king crab, Kumamoto oysters and poached tiger shrimp. An XXXL chocolate cake covered in dark and white chocolate shavings will be served for dessert. The cost is $120 per couple.