Feb 9, 2024 - Food and Drink

Choose your own D.C. Valentine's Day adventure

A Chandon bottle and crab seafood tower

The Imperial's bottomless bubbles and half-price crab tower. Photo: courtesy of Julep PR

Edible flowers. "Aphrodisiac menus." There's a reason why people hate going out on Valentine's Day. But it's not all bad!

Why it matters: Bars, restaurants, and even cat cafés are thinking outside the chocolate box this year and offering fun Valentine's events and themes, whether you're single, coupled, or somewhere in between.

Be smart: VDay is Wednesday, which means things are happening all week and weekend.

Choose your own adventure! Whether you:

😼 Hate your ex: Two words: cat poop. Georgetown cat café Crumbs & Whiskers will "write the name of someone 'sh$tty'" on a litter box for a $5 donation, take a photo, and let the feline feces fly. It can be done online, but it's more fun to visit (no cat scat involved). Book Valentine's or Galantine's Day reservations.

💗 Love love: Uber-romantic Iron Gate in Dupont Circle brings back its festive "Tunnel of Love" pop-up bar (now through Feb. 18). We're talking "Lady and the Tramp" pasta, mezcal Aphrodite cocktails, and "The Shining" hallway-level red.

The "Tunnel of Love" pop-up bar at Iron Gate. Photo: courtesy LeadingDC
The "Tunnel of Love" pop-up bar at Iron Gate. Photo courtesy LeadingDC

🍾 Love partying: Luxe Dupont Circle nightclub Heist hosts a "singles party" on Thursday starting at 10pm with free bottles of Moët for the first 100 ladies. Who works on Fridays anyway?

💐 Turn up for Galentine's: We're torn between gathering the gals Feb. 17-18 for a "Greek Goddess brunch" at new Wharf hotspot Limani ($50 eats, $30 bottomless). Or, heading to Lulu's Wine Bar near U Street on Tuesday for a Bravo TV-themed "Quiz & Fizz Trivia Night" with free games, prizes, and drink discounts.

💁 Are happily single: Cranes in Penn Quarter is channeling at its bar the Japanese concept of "ohitorisama," a movement of solo enjoyment. A special menu is designed for one, plus happy hour specials all night.

🍷 In a situationship: St. Vincent Wine Bar in Park View is "celebrating love and human connection in all its forms" with arts and crafts (with prizes!), blind date bottle specials, and relationship advice from a certified life coach. And most important: half-price cheese and chocolate fondue.

🥂 Newly dating: Want to say 'I like you' but not '$200-dinner-I-like-you'? The Imperial in Adams Morgan is hosting a fun Valentine's Day happy hour with half-price seafood plateaus ($20-$38), including a "grand crab fest" tower, and bottomless bubbles for $40 for feeling fancy on a budget.

The Wildset Inn, books sit on a white bed next to a fireplace
VDay getaway at The Wildset. Photo courtesy of The Wildset

🔥 Seek heat: Thip Khao chef Seng Luangrath is throwing it back to 1989 at her new Arlington Ridge restaurant, Padaek, with a multi-course "Lao-American Love Story Dinner" that tells the love story between her and her husband of 35 years. Tickets are $89.

🥚 Defy definitions: You've heard of drag brunch – but what about Drama Queen Dinner? Miss Leggs Benedict heads to Lyle in Dupont Circle for a one-night-only show on Wednesday, starting at 7pm.

🏨 Need a romantic getaway: The lovely Wildset Hotel in St. Michaels is running a lengthy Valentine's promo for the Eastern Shore off-season (though there's still plenty to do). Book a two-night stay by Feb. 28 (code: "Mi Amour") for dates through March 15, and get a $100 food and beverage credit at Ruse restaurant (arguably the best in town) and 20% off any room.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Limani's brunch special is next weekend, not this weekend.

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