We Love Love: Valentine's Day Ideas Around Washington, DC

by Jessica Wolfrom, EdibleDC

There may be a shortage of Necco Sweethearts this year, but Valentine’s Day around the District is shaping up to be just as sweet. Whether you are planning a romantic weekend away, gearing up for a Galentine’s day, or sulking in solitude, we got you.  

Here are fourteen of our favorites to celebrate the day:

Iron Gates’s Tunnel of Love
Enter the Tunnel of Love at Iron Gate’s annual Valentine’s Day pop-up. This year’s theme channels your inner-teenybopper with TigerBeat pullout posters and cutouts of pop heartthrobs.

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At the Bar, Nick Farrell is shaking up pop-inspired cocktails like “I Love You Like a Fat Kid Loves Cake,” (50 Cent), a mixture of vanilla infused whiskey, cacao, rinomato and lemon. Chef Tony Chittum’s food gets the same synthy treatment, featuring dishes like “But You Need Someone to Spice It Up,” (Maroon 5 and Cardi B.) featuring grilled white stone oysters, goat’s milk butter, Calabrian chili and pickled shallot.

Salamander Resort and Spa Valentines Day Dinner at Harriman’s: Love can be a wild ride, but Salamander Resort and Spa is the perfect retreat for couples looking to spend Valentines Day outside the District. Executive Chef Ryan Arensdorf will be serving up a five-course dinner and Pastry Chef Jason Reaves will be concocting something extra sweet to mark the occasion.

Transformer’s Heartbreakers Ball at the Line Hotel
It’s going down on V-Day at the Line Hotel and they have the red mylar balloons to prove it. Show your love by shopping for original artwork by the emerging artists of Transformers DC, or send a “love line” across the airwaves at the hotel’s Full Service Radio. If it’s music that pulls your heartstrings, then look no further. DJ sets by Transformer's Victoria Reis & husband Brian Baker (Bad Religion, Dag Nasty, Minor Threat, Beach Rats & Fake Names), and Full Service Radio's Jack Inslee, will be spinning records while you sip, snack and shimmy in the name of love.

Brookland’s Finest’s Salty and Bitter Happy Hour
Not in the mood for love? Brookland’s Finest co-owners John Solomon (Solly) and Tony Tomelden, are hosting a salty + bitter happy hour for the heartbroken and the heartthrobs. They will be serving up salty snacks like crispy brussels sprout chips, pretzel bites and hand-cut fries. Drown your sorrows in a bowl of salted caramel ice cream and wash it all down with their selection of bitter brews (or booze).

Pizza Paradiso’s ‘Mix Tapes and Mix Taps’
In honor of Valentine’s Day, Pizzeria Paradiso Dupont Circle is hosting its second annual ‘Mix Tapes and Mix Taps’ featuring 13 drafts from 13 different independent breweries. Beverage Director Drew McCormick has worked with each brewery to select a song to go along with their draft option, and the mixtape will be available on Spotify. Breweries involved include Stone Brewing, Stillwater, Ocelot, Ardent, Diamondback and Singlecut. Pizzeria Paradiso’s Dupont location is 2003 P Street NW.

Cardi B Comes to Buttercream Bakeshop this Valentine's Day
They say the best things in life come with sugar and spice. This Valentines Day, Tiffany McIssac, is turning up the heat with her debut of Cardi B-Rownies, featuring six of Cardi B's most memorable quotes atop gluten-free brownies. And now, indulging just got even sweeter -- two dollars from every box purchased will be donated to the World Central Kitchen. Now that’s love, OKURRRRR.

Astro Doughnuts Valentines Day Mini Boxes
Nothing says love like a dozen mini doughnuts. Astro Doughnuts is rolling out new seasonal flavors this month, just in time for you to order in and have a rom-com marathon in your pj's. Oh yeah, and they have fried chicken, too.

Photo by Reema Desai

Photo by Reema Desai

Date Night at Dirty Habit
Executive Chef Kyoo Eom won't put a damper on date night at Dirty Habit with a pre-fixe menu. Here, you can order a la carte. He’s offering entrees like duck two ways (roasted duck breast and crispy duck leg ravioli), as well as other global fare, like braised short ribs with house-made kimchi. Not sure what to pair with kimchi? Not to worry. Beverage Manager Drew Hairston will be sure to pour you and your significant other something special.

Red Fox Inn and Tavern
Toast your loved one at the historic Red Fox Inn & Tavern, because Virginia is for lovers, after all. Established in 1728, this charming Inn sits in the center of Middleburg and boasts a long history of hospitality. To celebrate their heritage, this Hunt Country Inn is offering a five-course Game & Seafood Feast.

Goodstone Inn and Restaurant
Another romantic getaway in Middleburg, let Goodstone’s Wine Director, Stephen Elhafdi, shower you and your loved one in champagne this Valentines Day. The award-winning restaurant at the Goodstone Inn is serving a special four-course tasting menu paired with expansive views of their Virginia property.  

Don’t forget the Roses at American Plant
A rose is not just a rose, especially on Valentines Day. To make sure you aren’t caught empty-handed, American Plant is offering long stem roses and other Valentines-inspired bouquets to help you telegraph your love botanically. We also love all their collections of succulents, air plants and potted orchids, you can find something botanically unique at Am Plant to charm a lover with discerning tastes.

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Dine in with help from Dawson’s Market
For those who’d rather dine-in on Valentine’s day, Rockville’s Dawson’s Market is taking the daunting out of date night. They’re offering locally sourced, pre-made meals for every diet, satisfying vegans, pescetarians, carnivores and locavores alike. Orders must be placed by February 9th.

City Winery’s Week of Love
Why spend a singular day celebrating love when you can party the whole week?

City Winery’s Week of Love has something special in store for couples, gal-pals, bromances and everything in between. From February 12-17th, City Winery is offering a three-course pre-fixe meal and wine pairing in its Barrel Room Restaurant & Wine Bar. On February 13th, Galentine’s Day gets into full swing with a class exploring how to pair wine and chocolate. And guys, don’t worry -- the class is offered again and open to everyone on Valentine’s Day.

Celebrate Love at the Watergate
If details aren’t your thing, fear not. The Watergate has your romantic getaway (or staycation) all mapped out. Stay in their luxe suites and relax over a five-course Valentine's Dinner for two at Kingbird Restaurant. If privacy is what you’re after, then they have that covered, too. Igloos! Yes. Igloos. Slip into seclusion with your loved one and sip sparkling wine in an exclusive “seduction igloo.” It will surely be a night to remember.


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Jessica is a freelance writer covering food, wine, farming and the environment in and around Washington D.C. She's also a graduate student at Georgetown University, getting her masters in journalism. When she's not in school, you can likely find her sipping on something sparkling somewhere in the District. @jessicawolfrom