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Posted at 3:39 PM ET, 01/29/2007

I Heart Dinner

By Erin

Heart-shaped cookie molds, pink candy and stuffed animals that serenade with lovey songs. Valentine's Day is over two weeks away, but aisles of Valentine's merchandise have been calling -- or singing -- to us for months already. Many area restaurants are getting creative in the kitchen in hopes of luring in happy couples, but there are also ideas for how to enjoy the night without a lover.

Oyamel, Jose Andres's colorful tribute to Mexican cuisine, opens on Feb. 12 in its new Chinatown location with three nights of charity dinners culminating on Valentine's Day. For $75 per person -- excluding tax, gratuity and liquor -- guests can order unlimited items from the a la carte menu with proceeds benefiting a different organization each evening. That means as many tacos, tamales and small plates as you can stomach. The first evening benefits Aid to Artisans, an organization that supports artisan groups around the world. The next night's proceeds will fund research for Duchene Muscular Dystrophy research at Children's National Medical Center. On Valentine's Day, funds will benefit the Many Hats Institute, which improves the quality of life for children around the world. A restaurant's grand reopening and amazing food for a good cause? Splurge on a few signature margaritas and it sounds like a lot to love or at least a lot to take your mind off love.

While couples around town dress up for a fancy feast, singles can revel in a meal of greasy, messy anti-date foods. Hunker down with a juicy burger, fries and a shake at Elevation Burger or cuddle up to a beer with your onion-topped super grilled cheese at Stoney's. Palena's cafe area will be reduced to bar seats and a few tables in the front window on Valentine's Day, but a fries platter and what is arguably the District's best burger are reason enough to crowd in. Crispy tacos at Taqueria Poblano and heaping helpings of curry from Heritage India are other odes to the single life.

If you're just looking to indulge with a sweet cap, Buzz has a dessert sampler for $20 or $32 with wine pairings. The sampler includes honey panna cotta with basil syrup, flourless chocolate cake with passion fruit coulis and an almond tartlet.

Where and how do you plan to hail the Hallmark holiday?

--Erin

By Erin  | January 29, 2007; 3:39 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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Comments

Who has the best chocolate desserts in DC?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

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