Yesterday, the hubs & I had our celebratory Valentine’s Day date as he was away on business during the week. We decided to go downtown to tour some chocolate shops, see the sights, and have Italian for dinner. All my favorite things!
It actually snowed in the morning though, so I was a little confused as to what to wear. The place we were going for dinner was quite fancy, so I wanted to look dressy. But looking dressy, cute, and staying warm all at the same time is kind of hard. This is the outfit I came up with to satisfy all three.
Not what I normally would have picked for Valentine’s Day, but it worked!
For the tour, we picked a part of town that had the most chocolate shops. The hubs had actually found a groupon-like deal where you could tour chocolate shops with a tour guide. So we kind of stole the idea. We both thought it would be more fun to explore the city and the chocolate ourselves.
Our first stop was Hotel Chocolat. The store was really fancy. The set-up reminded me of a high-end make-up store. There were SO many different choices here.
We ended up getting a big box of Valentine’s Day chocolates that were half-off. Cheaper chocolate is my kind of chocolate, because, believe me, this place was not cheap!
Our next stop was actually not on our itinerary, but I had seen this cupcake shop in a different part of town before, so I wanted to go in. We ended up getting some frosting shots from Sweet. Mine was vanilla, the hubs was cinnamon. Both very sweet indeed 😉
Next, we went to a little Swiss chocolate place called Teuscher Chocolatier that was kind of hard to find.
For some reason I had the a craving for peanut butter (you don’t need a reason to crave peanut butter, right?). I asked the guy working if they had anything peanut buttery, and he said the Swiss don’t have peanut butter! Apparently, all the chocolates in the shop were actually from Switzerland, which is really cool. But no peanut butter?! I die! We settled for some alcohol-infused truffles, as that’s what the Swiss are known for.
Before we knew it, it was dinner time. All our walking around really got my appetite going. As soon as we walked up to Da Vinci, I just knew it was going to be good. We were warmly greeted and seated before our reservation time no problem.
One of the coolest part of dinner was the menus. The menus lit up when you opened them! They were lit up from the back to illuminate the paper in front of it. It was perfect because the lighting was very low. It kind of startled and surprised me when I first opened it, though.
We started dinner with some really tasty bread, olive oil, and fresh humus.
We were both feeling pasta for the night. I ordered roasted butternut squash filled ravioli with butter sage sauce topped with macadamia nuts (yes, it was as amazing as it sounds) and the hubs ordered mushroom olive gnocchi.
This ravioli was by far the best pasta dish I’ve ever had.
Like – it was so good, I can’t even describe it. It was so flavorful, buttery, sweet, but savory. What’s funny though, is that as soon as I got the dish, I was like, “Oh, this isn’t that big…” but it was so rich, I didn’t even finish my plate.
We decided to skip dessert at Da Vinci, and I’m so glad we did because we got something very tasty later…
You didn’t think that’s all we did, did do? Oh, there’s more chocolate!
After dinner, we ventured to a place called Gourmet Boutique. It was actually in a shopping mall, so I didn’t think it’d be that great, but they had so many different kinds of chocolate. They had lots of foreign chocolate too. Their handmade chocolate case was also very impressive.
We ate the chocolate we got here right away, as I wanted a little pre-dessert dessert. I got a red velvet cupcake chocolate and the hubs got an espresso one. My chocolate was so pretty and Valentine’s Day-esque. It even had sparkles on it!
We went to another little shop called Truffles Fine Confectionary, where everything was giant-sized. I got a big chocolate covered-graham cracker, and the hubs got a chocolate-covered orange slice.
We even hit up good old Godiva because we have rewards cards with them. I didn’t realize this until last year, but Godiva has a rewards card that you can use to get free chocolate every month. Once a month, you can get a free truffle just from having this card – seriously, no strings attached. I got a birthday cake truffle & the hubs got key lime pie. Godiva has the most creative flavors!
We were about to call it a night, but we walked past Max Brenner’s for the second time (stopped in before dinner, but realized it wasn’t a chocolate shop). It’s a chocolate restaurant. They have a full dinner menu with non-chocolate food too, but a big part of their menu is chocolate-related things.
With it snowing at the time and the wind blowing in my face, the place was just screaming for me to go in and get a hot chocolate. So that’s just what we did.
Meet the richest, tastiest “Italian thick hot chocolate.”
Good is an understatement for this hot chocolate. It was literally like drinking warm, liquid chocolate. The mug looks a little strange, but Max Brenner’s had their own special “hug mug.” It’s meant so that you “hug” the mug with cupped hands and drink it from the little pointed spout end. Pretty adorable if you ask me.
After the hot chocolate, we were a little chocolate-ed out.
This is what we ended up with when the night was over.
Enough chocolate to last us a while! Although our date was a little belated, this was one of the best and tastiest date nights we’ve ever had. I hope you had a happy Valentine’s day & a great weekend!
Questions for you:
- Do you have a favorite kind of chocolate or chocolate shop?
- Would you rather go without chocolate or peanut butter?