Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day: This week’s restaurant news

SMALL BITES

File photo. File photo.

What do you do when you’re faced with Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day in a single week? And how will your liver and stomach react after dueling back-to-back Restaurant Weeks? Here are your choices:

a) Stay home and cook.
b) Order take-out and keep it simple.
c) Dress up in costume to go out and eat and drink some more.

The answer? For a true Southerner, it’s obviously C. Here are a few ways to celebrate.

Devils Backbone Brewery is hosting a Mardi Gras-themed costume party on Tuesday, February 12, for those who aren’t feeling especially romantic. It’s also the perfect opportunity for those choosing to beat the Valentine’s Day crowds while satisfying their craft beer craving. If you’re confident enough to don a costume, the brewery will reward you with a gift. Plus, you’ll find a just-added cigar and whiskey lounge. What could be more (less?) romantic than that?

For those seeking quality bubbles on February 13 beginning at 7pm, head down the road to Blue Mountain Brewery, where you can enjoy a civilized and mouthwatering Valentine’s Day beer dinner led by brewmaster Taylor Smack. Each of the five courses will be paired with a thoughtfully chosen specialty beer.

If you and your beloved prefer a casual pizza dinner, you can have that too. The brewery will serve up heart-shaped pizza pies on Valentine’s Day. For more information, e-mail events@bluemountainbrewery.com.

For a truly special Valentine’s dinner, we recommend visiting Chef James Harris at Zynodoa in Staunton. He’s created an innovative farm-sourced tasting menu with wine pairing options not to be overlooked. His distinctive menu spans from raw oysters to smoked trout to skewered lamb kebobs. The restaurant has also created a unique cocktail, aptly named eat.drink.love, to commemorate the evening. Dinner is $65 per person, plus $32 with wine pairings. Make reservations by calling (540) 885-7775.

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