SPONSORED Valentine’s Day gets a bad rap, and sometimes for good reason. Maybe it is a highly commercial holiday, but the idea of taking a day to celebrate love, the sweetest thing of all, is actually rather charming. The gripe with Valentine’s Day is that it's the single most hectic day of the year to go out to eat. Restaurants pull out all the stops for this special evening, and the menus always look, well, amazing. Unfortunately, if you don't plan way in advance, you’ve probably already missed the boat by a good two weeks on getting a reservation anywhere. What to do . . . ?
All hope is not lost. In fact, you’re in luck! For the Surdyk’s gang, Valentine’s Day is perhaps the most exciting time of year. There's fabulous prepared foods and they really step up the game for this holiday. Each year they offer a three-course meal, prepared and packaged with love (and helpful reheating instructions), all ready to take home to your loved one. This year, the menu items are pretty incredible. First course options include a coddled egg with truffle cream and Berkshire prosciutto, house-made duck rillettes with crudités, and cornichons, and a snapper and scallop ceviche made with lemongrass, chiles, and a touch of sweet coconut milk. Choose from lobster spaghetti en papillote with brandy and cream, beef short ribs, or the decadent duck breast au poivre for your entrée. To finish it all off, there's a dark chocolate hazelnut cake, a raspberry mascarpone trifle, or, of course, a plate of three perfect cheeses with honey and berries.
Lucky in love but not so hot in the kitchen? Fear not. Each item on the menu comes almost entirely ready to go. Just follow basic instructions for reheating and plating–the guide even includes hand-sketched drawings of each dish. If you can read, your dinner really will look and taste like it came straight out of a restaurant kitchen. And it just keeps getting easier. Included is a list of wine pairings for each course and a 10 percent off coupon for wine purchases. Drink as much wine as you want, there’s no need to drive home when you’re already there! Skip the restaurant madness this year and treat your sweetie to a romantic night in for two. With a little help from Surdyk’s, your Valentine’s Day will go off without a hitch. Check out Surdyk's menu and be sure to order soon to guarantee availability of all menu items. And don’t forget the flowers and chocolates. There are plenty of those, too. –Emily Dunne, @surdykscheese