Locale Profile: Creative Valentine’s Day Pairings

I recently read an article about this season’s “The Bachelor,” and one of the contestants (probably named Lauren) was asked her favorite holiday. She answered New Year’s Eve, to which the author wrote, “This person is a serial killer: no one actually likes New Year’s Eve.”

I think the same could be said of Valentine’s Day.

No matter which camp you fall into — single or committed, Valentine’s Day lover or serial killer — we’ve got some romantic pairings to make this month full of bliss. Here are some things to look for this February.

IMG_35018D2384E3-1The Burgundian: Coffee and Waffles: To quote my friend Sheri on the first night we ever tried a Burgundian waffle: “You know the waffles are the best when you’re checking for wedding rings on the makers.”

We were so possessed with feelings that we actually checked for a wedding band on owner Shane Matlock (verdict: married) and then fell in love with his company’s one-of-a-kind liege waffles.

In case you’re wondering, a liege (Lee-ehj) waffle is a dough-based, yeast-risen waffle — the same as you’d find on a cobblestone street in Belgium. And, in fact, I’ve been to Belgium, and these are better. They’re denser and fluffier than our typical “Belgian waffles,” likely because they are not simply pancake mix pressed in a waffle iron. Pearl sugars are mixed into the dough, and when the waffle is cooked, they caramelize on the outside of the waffle, making it both buttery and sweet. And this is before adding any toppings!

The Burgundian Waffle Specials come in both sweet and savory, beer-infused and chocolate-infused, his and hers, all love at first bite. If you don’t have a man or woman in your life, you don’t need one — you simply need a waffle. And if you do have a significant other, show them your affection by introducing them to this mouth orgasm. As of now, this company has been popping up around RI at venues like Bayberry Beer Hall, PVDonuts, local breweries (the Guild, Ragged Island, Revival, The Bucket), and local markets such as the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market and Hope & Main’s Meet Your Maker. But the owners’ dream is to convert a British double decker bus into a restaurant on wheels. You can help make this dream a reality by checking out their kickstarter campaign. If someone donated enough money to name a waffle after me, I’d marry ‘em. Just saying.

I do warn you, though: once you go Burgundian (ie, “someone who loves food and drink in both quality and quantity”), you don’t go back. Burgundian: or find them on Facebook!

IMG_6095RiffRaff Bookstore and Bar: A bookstore + bar is itself a most perfect union, and it allows for a great Valentine’s Day adventure. You can:

  • Impress a new flame by showing off your literary acumen over a few drinks. (This predominately works if you’re dating a socialist based on the books I saw, but if you’re into obscure finds, this is the place to go.)
  • Do something other than a $100 candlelit dinner with your long-term S.O. Bonus: you can buy each other books, then sit on a couch and read together in silence.
  • Get out of the house for a drink even if you’re flying solo because no one will judge you for reading a book at a bar. Besides, the easiest pick-up line of all time is, “What are you reading?” so these books can be your wingman.

Half of RiffRaff is a small, brightly lit bookstore with a unique selection of merchandise (please see note above) while the other half has dark teal walls, a bar and a smattering of community and high-top tables. Choose from coffee or tea, wine or beer, spiked hot cider or expertly crafted cocktails, even straight absinthe. Ernest Hemingway would surely be proud. RiffRaff: 60 Valley St #107A, PVD

pvd dinner sharePVD Dinner Share: As Blue Apron and Hello Fresh gain momentum across the country, PVD Dinner Share has them beat. This local company supports our community by providing farm-to-table meals, with both single and couple plans available. Nothing says love like treating yourself or your partner to a week’s worth of freshly made, healthy food that neither of you has to cook, but you can still enjoy while in pajamas with Netflix.

I met with founder and chef Craig Jones who gave me an inside look at his operations.

Members can choose either three dinners per week or four (with four or six side dishes, respectively). He’s able to cater to gluten-free diets, and most meals are vegetarian. An example dinner would be Rhode Island vegetable curry with langwater tomatoes, ginger, Narragansett grilling cheese and chickpeas served with brown rice; side dish: roast beets with pomegranate molasses. Menus are sent out each week so members can choose their plan, and I was drooling over each dinner he showed me.

Aside from being healthy and environmentally conscious (fun fact: all food containers are recyclable!), Jones is also concerned with creating community. Members are added to a meet-up group that gathers once a month to drink and dine together, and not only do they enjoy each other’s company, they also discuss outreach ideas. Jones is always looking for ways to incorporate giving back, whether it’s to the Amos House (where he currently runs his business) or chipping in a few bucks to help a family in need.

With PVD Dinner Shares, you can spend more time on the things you love and less time on preparing food — but space is limited. And here’s a gift for you: mention this Motif article and save 10% for the month of February.

Post Script: If you still hate the idea of Valentine’s Day, you’re in luck! February 14 happens to fall on Ash Wednesday this year. The antithesis of red and pink balloons, heart-shaped candy boxes and greeting cards bursting with glitter is — perhaps — remembering that you are but dust and to dust you shall return. See you at 7pm at church.