For some folks, Valentine’s Day means donning their Sunday best and chowing down on gourmet grub, while others anticipate a fun-filled self-love excursion. Whether celebrating with family, partners or pals, Feb. 14 is a holiday of affection, so grab all your loved ones or celebrate the single life because here is a rundown for the weekend.
For the fanciful sort, area wineries and experimental eateries alike offer plentiful excuses to look jazzy and bask in romance for the heart-felt holiday.
Throughout February, Bluestone Vineyards offers wine and chocolate tastings, which include eight wines and chocolates from Warfels Sweet Shoppe for $15. Because the event is offered daily, with extended hours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, it is suitable for a solo experience or large affair to fit the itinerary.
CrossKeys Vineyard is hosting events throughout the weekend to ensure everyone can celebrate the love-lustered holiday. As a head start, CrossKeys is commemorating Galentine’s Day on Thursday for women to show appreciation for their friends with a flight of wine and sweets galore. The flight includes four 1-ounce pours of wines of choice and an assortment of cookies, truffles and brownies ready for icing and toppings at the ladies’ decorating delight.
“Everyone is tired of seeing the typical Valentine’s Day, so we made a gag on it so all the girls bring out your friends and enjoy yourself just because,” said Saam Bakhtiar, director of operations.
Friday’s five-course dinner is one of CrossKeys’ nicest events each year, according to Bakhtiar, and includes a bottle of wine per couple, live music from Jimmy-O and gratuity. Tickets are $180 per couple and must be purchased in advance. Sunday is the winery’s most casual offering for the weekend with an a la carte brunch from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and live music from Kelly May Brown from 1 to 4 p.m.
Food.Bar.Food is back with another culinary adventure dinner for Galentine’s Day on Thursday. For $50 per person, individuals can book a 30-minute reservation between 5 and 9 p.m. Taking inspiration from famed poets Pablo Neruda, Rumi and Victor Hugo, each menu offering is a homage to Chile, Persia or France.
Mashita and Three Notch’d Valley Collab House have partnered again for the fifth year to wage that dinner at a brewery can be refined.
This year offers a five-course meal with beer pairings. Friday night’s menu starts with crab cakes paired with Vienna Pale Ale, followed by a maitake juk to compliment a barrel-aged berry sour, a duck breast salad accompanying Indian pale ale Minute Man and the main course of bay scallops with spinach gnocchi playing off pale ale Green Terrors. For dessert, a mini key lime cheesecake will partner with Citrus Habanero Pale Ale. Tickets can be purchased by calling (540) 217-5939.
Owner of Mashita Mikey Reisenberg said the dining experience created in celebration of events offers a unique spin of local favorites to further commemorate the talent and abilities in Harrisonburg.
“In a lot of ways, it gives people like us the ability to play with what we do and what we as artisans are able to create; something we’d be interested in participating in. It’s a really nice way for us to collaborate,” Reisenberg said. “Embrace the idea that events are a time to do something special.”
Gray Jay Provisions is serving a three-course menu for $50 per person from 5:30 to 9 p.m. and asks reservations be made in advance by emailing email@example.com or calling (540) 217-2494 with party size and time slot request. Appetizer options include tomato soup, mesclun salad or mussels. Guests can select pork confit with polenta cake, chicken breast with sweet potato, steamed hake with pumpkin or tempeh with winter veggies for their entree. Dessert is a choice of creme brulee, chocolate hazelnut tart or apple streusel.
To those with a palate for something more casual and exploratory for Valentine’s Day, various interactive projects are being offered for couples this week.
White Oak Lavender Farm and The Purple Wolf Tasting Room are celebrating “Valenwines” with wine and watercolor classes, a mindfulness bar with meditation and live music from Ebony Nicole from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Brothers Craft Brewing is celebrating Friday from 4 to 11 p.m. with a viewing of “When Harry Met Sally,” plus dinner from Flavor Savor BBQ and popcorn from PrePOPsterous. On Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m., the taproom is hosting a sip and style afternoon in partnership with Sawdust Queens for couples to exercise some creativity by choosing custom designs and learning to use vinyl stencils to build an original wooden decor set.
Cooter’s in Luray has planned a night of dinner and dance for Friday with live music from Cooter’s Garage Band featuring Ben Jones, who played Cooter Davenport in “The Dukes of Hazzard.” Dinner is a buffet-style selection of baked ziti, rolls, salad and cheesecake served from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person purchased in advance online or in-person and will increase to $25 on Friday. Photo packages from the evening will also be available for $20.
Valley Pike Farm Market is also celebrating Galentine’s Day for the second year in a row from 4 to close with an informal invitation for ladies to sip wine flights of local rose and enjoy house-made chocolate-covered strawberries.
Marketing director Sidney Johnson said Galentine’s Day is a great occasion to enjoy a casual night of pampering and explore the region’s luxury products.
“It’s really just another excuse to get out with your girlfriends and have a wine flight and enjoy each other’s company amidst Valentine’s Day week,” Johnson said. “We just want to provide a space for that.”
If all your friends are booked up and you are taking on the week alone, fear not. Join others alone this holiday at Old Hill Cider, which is celebrating Single Awareness Day on Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. For $30, the cidery is selling swag bags with snacks, cider and merchandise.