Valentine’s Day is extra special when you treat your sweetie to something out of the heart-shaped box. As we live in a community where creativity is in surplus, patronize something locally owned. Whether you go for a special cake, unusual confection, or scoop of something refreshing, stay nearby.
Stork’s Café is more than a place to grab coffee. Peter Dekaj started as a pastry chef in 1987 before he opened Stork’s in the late 1990s. A favorite treat at Stork’s is Mom’s Fudge Chocolate cake. Three layers of chocolate cake are covered with a rich fudge icing.
The Chambord Mousse is another unique treat. Indulge in two layers of chocolate cake, filled with devil’s chocolate mousse topped with French chocolate butter cream. The raspberry marmalade imparts a delicious berry accent. If you decide to order a cake for home, be sure to give at least forty-eight hours notice. After all, you want Stork’s to deliver.
Opened since 1947, and with two locations in South Florida, Jimmie’s Chocolate and Café is a local institution. The chocolatiers say this year they’re offering more pre-packed Valentine’s Day boxes than ever. However, you can customize a gift box with an assortment of bonbons and truffles.
Even their heart-shaped boxes are unusual. They have everything from traditional brocade to black satin and faux leopard, for the wild at heart. The café will be offering brunch this year on Sunday, in addition to dinner paired with wine.
While all that glitters is not gold, all that’s sweet is not mere candy! At the very end of Wilton Drive you’ll find The Gelato Station. This creamy Italian variant ice cream has a lower fat content than its American cugino. When I studied in Italy, in 1999, gelato was uncommon stateside.
While gelaterias are more common now, purveyors maintain Italian artisanal traditions. The Gelato Station products are made on-site, with flavors more daring than Baskin Robbins. Guy LeHous moved his business here from Miami in 2005. He offers a rotating menu of more than 175 flavors of gelato and sorbetto. For Valentine’s Day he promises flavors that will delight even those not pierced by Cupid’s arrow. As in Florence customers are allowed to sample before choosing. Coconut, rice pudding, pistachio, amaretto, caramel, and chocolate are divine. In terms of the sorbetti the pineapple basil was savory and sweet. After you have your valentine dinner treat yourself to something more decadent yet healthier than typical ice cream.
Or, take some home.
Owner Antonio Dumas of “To the Moon” Marketplace explained why he chose Ralph Kramden’s idle threat to his wife as his shop’s title. “My parents are named Ralph and Alice, we lived in Brooklyn,” he said with a smile. Fittingly, the tiny shop takes you to another planet of delights.
One rack holds American confections produced since the early 19th century. Another holds Nutella, Ritter Sport, and other European treats ordered directly from Europe. They are not tailored for American tastes.
In terms of unusual “pieces” in his collection, there are handmade truffles from the Kohler company. Yes, as in faucet. The company owns a Wisconsin resort and takes advantage of the state’s dairy by making jewel-like candies. Given the broad variety of products at To the Moon Marketplace the owner will gladly customize a basket for you. He also offers some aphrodisiacs not found at “straight” candy stores. Just stop in and see what he can facilitate.
We here at South Florida Gay New wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day. Please keep it local! However, if you don’t have plans and want to squire out a newly arrived—and single—chap to dinner just contact the office and ask for Sebastian.