Yep. It’s that time of year when I have to ‘man-up’ and write about romance. Actually, it might be more appropriate to say, ‘un-man-up.’ Alas, I am a girl who falls more on the Lady Macbeth end of the spectrum (the “unsex me” part, not the murder and cover-up part) than that of any Jane Austen heroine. For me, a typical romantic evening would consist of stabbing a Cowboy Cut Steak while drinking beer in a Man-Cave and hoping a hockey game breaks out in the middle of a fight I’m watching…Well, that is, it would be if I was willing to subject myself to a ‘romantic evening.’
However, I respect and honor the desire of more romantically-inclined people to celebrate their love and to acknowledge holidays that celebrate romance.
Okay. And I have to admit, I am big on the ‘our song’ thing. No big surprise, since I basically have a ‘soundtrack’ to ‘my life’ too big to fit on iTunes filed away in my head. I live in Motown. Is it any surprise I love music??!!
And, yes, Little Dog, who is named after a Zeppelin tune, and I ‘have a song.’ Actually, more than one. So, maybe she hides under the bed whenever she hears any of them come on (Little Dog is not into slow-dancing. And I respect Little Dog for this.) However, I am also quicker than she is, so occasionally slow-dancing-with-the-dog happens. Don’t judge me—I get enough of that from Little Dog. And, given my love of music, ‘occasionally’ may mean ‘more often’ than I am comfortable admitting in writing….
Alright, so it should be obvious that anyone who comes home and sings out to her dog a Jay-Z style-shout-out of “Can I get a woof-woof?” loves and lives for music. [And, before you give a shout-out to the ASPCA, Little Dog has only heard the radio-edit version of that song.]
But now I’ve been going on like a Celine Dione song…so, before this blog sinks like the Titanic, I’ll get to the point. Romance. And more specifically, Valentine’s Day in Detroit…and how to celebrate both.
It’s not just for me that a huge part of romance is its musical accompaniment. So, I’ve created a list of Valentine’s Day—or any romantic evening—venues based on your romance’s musical soundtrack.
And, given that we are in Detroit, I have to start with a great Motown love song…
What better way to start Valentine’s Day than to show your Valentine ‘How Sweet it Is to Be Loved by You’ with Very Berry French Toast and Red Velvet Pancakes at the Hudson Café! “Stop and thank” your “baby” for with a brunch that’s “just like jelly…just like honey to the bee”!
And while everyone is gearing up for ‘fireworks’ on Valentine’s Day night, if you want “want the skyrockets to last all day” while you “work up an appetite,” make your ‘Afternoon [a] Delight’ at Detroit Beer Company with a pint of Simcoe Long Play. Yep. This American Pale Ale, a “precursor to the India Pale Ale” and the “longer playing of the two (less alcohol, yet still hoppy and flavorful)” highlights passionfruit (and what could be more appropriate for Valentine’s Day than passion-fruit) along with the Simcoe Hope variety citrus and pine aromas. [Okay, and to save me money on therapy, can we all just agree that this song is about a 4th of July afternoon spent fishing in the woods. Please….]
So, after a long play, a great morning and afternoon with your Valentine, ‘Escape’ to Selden Standard for a delicious dinner. You’re not “tired of your lady” (or your lover), and you’re definitely not tired of this Valentine’s Day venue – the recently opened Selden Standard, like your love, has already earned a “taste of champagne” by winning Restaurant of the Year from the Detroit Free Press. Get to know your lover all over again while discovering a new love—the delicious fare and incredible service at Selden Standard. Share memories while you share small plates, like Oysters on the Half-Shell with Mignonette Sauce. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, but, hello!, I’m recommending you start with this dish because you love “the feel of the ocean.” Heat your romance up with other shareables from their Wood-Fired Oven, and relish their Pork Shoulder Confit with Spätzle and Cabbage and served with a culinary relish, Apple Mostarda. Pair this with a Weihenstephaner Pilsner. Why? The obvious answer is that because, like Spätzle, it’s German; but truthfully, it’s just my favorite beer (you remember that whole romance in the man-cave thing I have going on right?) But, enough about me and back to you, since you’ve ‘escaped’ together to celebrate your love of ‘Piña Coladas’ (a cocktail made with Pineapple, Cream of Coconut and Rum), end dinner with “the love that you’ve looked for” with an appropriate Valentine’s Day Dessert and share their Pineapple Coconut Sundae with Toasted Coconut, Rum, and Caramel…
Or, you could ‘jazz’ up your Valentine’s Day as you and your lover celebrate the ‘First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ at another new restaurant in Downtown Detroit, Wright & Company. Roberta Flack, Gold-Disc winning Jazz and R&B artist, is the perfect accompaniment to the culinary artistry of the Chefs as you try small plates of new delicacies with your partner. These gold disc options are like “endless skies,” but I recommend setting the stage for the evening with a Warm Date (well, actually Dates, plural), served with Smoked Bacon, Gorgonzola and Almonds. You can also get a little ‘misty’ (Clint Eastwood featured this tune on the soundtrack of Play Misty for Me), by loading up on the Horseradish and Chimichurri Sauce that is served with the Seared Teres Major. And, while you may “not fill the earth” with their Charcuterie and Cheese Platter with Pickled Onions and Orange Marmalade, you will definitely get your fill…and want to come back (and ‘play it again’ at) Wright & Company!
But if Valentine’s Day is “the day,” when “bells will ring, and the sun will shine”—in other words, if you see your love ‘Going to the Chapel’—then you need to head to Fountain Bistro in Campus Martius Park, where along with four-courses, you can celebrate the fact that you’re “gonna get married” by the Reverend John Lambrecht, who will make sure you and your Valentine can tell everyone you’re going to “love until the end of time” and will “never be lonely anymore.” Yes. You can show your loved one you don’t have any ‘reservations’ about him or her by making a reservation for dinner that is topped off with a complimentary wedding ceremony!
And, while Neil Diamond’s name suggests the rock that people associate with romance, you don’t want to be that guy—you know, the one who gets told ‘You Don’t Bring Me Flowers’ anymore… So, make sure your Valentine knows you can’t ‘wait to love’ him or her before you ‘come through the door at the end of the day’ by stopping at Blumz and getting your Valentine a beautiful bouquet.
And you definitely don’t want to take a dive like Iggy—shout-out to our home-state boy!—who is sometimes credited with popularizing the stage-dive while in concert with The Stooges in Detroit! So, tell your loved one, “I can’t let you go, all my life you’re haunting me, I loved you so” with ‘Candy’ that shows your loved one you’re sweet on them from Sanders, the Fine Chocolate and Confectionary Shop originally opened by the German-born Frederick Sanders Schmidt on June 17, 1875 at Woodward and Gratiot Avenues in downtown Detroit. Yep. Life is like a box of chocolates, and reasons to love where you live, when history happens right outside the door of your Downtown Detroit Loft!
And, back to “How Sweet it Is to Be Loved by You,” while you could plan to start Valentine’s Day at the Hudson Café (which is in the first floor of my building), if you have an incredible Valentine’s Day, you could also end it there with Brunch on Saturday morning….
Alright. Speaking of sweet ways to end things, I’ll end this blog on the same ‘note’ I end every day that I return to my ‘man-cave.’ Even if it’s been ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’ “when I get home to” my Little Dog [even though she definitely doesn’t work like one] and my true Valentine—the city I love, everything “makes me feel alright.”
And, when it comes down to it, that, is the beauty and romance of living in a Downtown Detroit loft…
Happy Valentine’s Day to the city I love and all the people who Live, Work, and Play here!