I have to admit that I used to be one of the V Day haters. As a young and lonely bartender, I used to gather the fellows for an after-work celebration of C. U. P. I. D. (Clueless Useless People In Denial). Yeah, pretty bitter. But being in the industry means that you either work the holiday or sacrifice your sweetie to it, knowing it's one of the biggest money days of the year. So having never celebrated it formally, I find myself in the non-traditionalist camp, offering you ideas that don't include a reservation that you probably can't get anyway.
Do a little jazz night at Jitters under the Times Bar. No reservations, which is the way a jazz club should be, and no cover for this Saturday night's performance. The menu is noshy and perfect for light eating and heavy drinking.
Three Rivers Park District still has room left in its Candlelight and Chocolate event. Take a walk through the winter woods lit by candlelight, and enjoy a big cracklin' fire while sampling chocolates.
If you're single and funky, check out VD09 at the Northrup King Building in NE Mpls. Part warehouse party, part multi-media event, it looks like a crazy time . . . what with all the free chocolates and booze. And people in furry costumes.
Grab a Dome Dog, and take a spin with your honey . . . it's Rollerdome season! Hey, it's warm and dry in there.
If you're kicking yourself for not getting a reservation, why not convince your sweetie that you had a better master plan all along: bar hop. Instead of one restaurant, make it a progressive sampling of some of the best bar menus in the city: La Belle Vie, Vincent, Chambers, Nick and Eddie, Porter + Frye.
Give her the world. Go to Midtown Global Market and make up your own global tasting menu.
Gather the friends, single/married/otherwise, and just celebrate love and generosity by taking in the endless barrage of dim sum at Jun Bo. I'm pretty sure you'll have no trouble getting a table there.
And if you're staying in and cooking for your lovey, might I suggest steak salad. Simple and easy, steak for him, salad for her, no one's too full for any recreational activities that might result. Enjoy.