Yeah, yeah, in theory you should have made a Valentine’s Day plan by now. But hey, it’s been a busy 2017 and sometimes life just gets crazy. Sure, it might have been nice to order something special for your Valentine a month in advance, but if you didn’t already reserve artisanal handmade-by-French-monks chocolates to be dropped off by doves or something, I have some last-minute foodie picks to pamper your beloved at the last second. Enjoy!
If you want to go classic box of chocolates, do the right thing and head to Gearharts. This Charlottesville-based company with a Richmond outpost also sells fabulous caramels, toffees, bars and drinking chocolates, but for Valentine’s Day go with the 16- or 32-piece assortment ($34/$36 and $58/$60 depending if you select the chocolates or they do) that includes a range of high-end flavors such as Earl Grey, Vanilla Bean Brulee, Tequila Lime, and Maple Pecan.
If you want the old-fashioned heart-shaped box, I suggest you head to Godiva. However, if I were receiving a gift from here, I’d want some of the indulgent dipped-in-store confections, such as dark-chocolate-dipped fresh strawberries and coconut macaroons.
Speaking of chocolate-dipped strawberries, I was in Wegmans today and saw an impressive selection of these babies ranging from simple chocolate-dipped varieties to berries dipped in extra chocolate shavings or sprinkles. Not to mention if you stop there you can also grab flowers, wine, and ingredients for a gourmet dinner without going anywhere else.
Want to give the gift of chocolate all year long? Check out Chocolates by Kelly’s Sweet Tooth Society. The membership gets your beloved chocolates quarterly ($50), every other month ($175) or every month ($350) alongside savings on additional products and other goodies throughout the year. What better gift than one that keeps you top of mind all year long?
I know, I know, not everyone is obsessed with chocolate. Some people like wine and cupcakes. And if you are a lazy gift giver, this is the perfect option for you. Branch + Vine is selling two ($49) or three ($59) bottles of wine alongside a half dozen Frostings cupcakes with free delivery in Richmond. Both options include one of my personal favorites, Can Xa Cava, a bubbly sparkling rose from Spain, alongside Santa Julia organic Tempranillo from Mendoza. The three-bottle option also includes a full-bodied Spanish Montastrell.
Looking to get something small and sweet for a friend, crush, or Galentine’s Day gift? Smart Cookie Kitchen Salted Nutella Bars are the single-serve treat I can’t get enough of. Half gooey soft chocolate-chip cookie, half salty Nutella brownie, they are extremely indulgent and dangerously addicting. Find them near the register at Shields Market, Stella’s Grocery, Kohlman’s Market, Union Market, and Little House Green Grocery.
Want to surprise your Valentine with breakfast in bed? Well, alongside Valentine’s Day sweets boxes and an array of themed pastries to grab and go, Whisk is now offering freezer-to-oven croissants. Stop by, pick some up, serve fresh from the oven on Valentine’s morning or next weekend because we all know carbs and butter are the real keys to true love.
For more baked goods on the sweet side, my last-minute go-to is always Shyndigz 2go & Market. The takeout-only outpost of the Richmond dessert restaurant is built for last-minute special sweets. Stop in for slices of elaborate layer cakes, cream pies, bars, and other indulgent freshly baked treats.
Of course, not all Valentines have a sweet tooth. For fans of savory I have two suggestions. First is Belmont Butchery. Yes, you can snag all the meat you need for an amazing dinner for two, but I’d also suggest calling ahead and asking the staff to pre-cut some charcuterie for you. Tell them your flavor preferences, how many people you are feeding, and let them take care of the rest. When you stop in the shop to pick up your order you can also snag some cheese and wine to complete the snack.
Or, head to Yellow Umbrella Provisions and go the seafood route. Fresh fish or shellfish can be rounded out with indulgent treats like truffle pate, crab dip, smoked bluefish spread, and freshly baked bread. Again, you can also snag some wine or champagne to pair with your picks.