Date night

  • Food--Valentine's Day desserts photographed on Friday, January 30, 2004. --Yalonda M. James/staff

With sunsets over the water and streets lined with wrought iron and ivy, Charleston is pretty much as romantic as it gets. But February 14th calls for something extra-special for couples, even if you have a couple of cranky kids at home. Tear out this guide to Valentine’s Day in the Lowcountry and stick it under your sweetheart’s keyboard for the best results.

Dine

Here’s a three-course recipe for sweet night out: Mustard Seed in Mount Pleasant (1036 Chuck Dawley Blvd.) is serving a dinner filled with desire-inspired options such as oysters, pink peppercorn filet mignon and a pear champagne bisque. Check out dinewithsal.com for the full menu.

With low lighting and cuisine that’s made with amore, West Ashley’s Al Di La (25 Magnolia Road) is the ultimate dinner spot for couples. Order two glasses of Prosecco and toast to your night out on the town. Call 843- 571-2321 for reservations.

Summerville’s Accent on Wine (132 S. Main St.) is hosting an evening called “Tasting Our love of Beers, Wines and Food,” which pairs three beer or wine samples with bites of some of their favorite foods, for $15 per person. The dessert will, of course, be chocolate.

Downtown’s bistro La Fourchette (432 King St.) is a no-brainer for those who want to whisper j’taime over a bowl of mussels or any number of other classic French dishes. It’s in the middle of the action of King Street, but still feels tucked away.

Do

Rockin’ out can be romantic, when it’s just the two of you stepping out for the evening. Rascal Flatts is performing with country trio The Band Perry at the North Charleston Coliseum on Feb. 14. Tickets start at $51.

True connoisseurs might delight in learning the craft of making their own confections. Christophe Artisan Chocolatier-Patissier is holding a pre-Valentine’s Day class Feb. 5 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., where students will learn to temper, mold, fill and paint chocolate and truffles. To sweeten the deal, everyone goes home with a chocolate heart filled with candy, and additional truffles. The class costs $95 per person.

Shake it up with some salsa dancing at Southend Brewery & Smokehouse downtown. Couples get down (or at least attempt it) to the sounds of Latin Groove Charleston, and do Merengue, Bachata, hip-hop and more for just $5 per person.

Charleston has plenty of idyllic locales for strolling à deux. The Gateway Walk downtown shows off some of the city’s more delightful, tucked-away gardens. To stretch the time alone, follow it up with some cheese and a glass of wine at the cozy Bin 152. The Caw Caw Nature and History Interpretive Center sets a true Lowcountry backdrop for pairs who love meandering through the great outdoors. The six miles of trails (don’t panic, you can take shorter walks) wind through forests and former rice fields. Note: They close at 5 p.m., so ditch out of work early or go the weekend before to take in the views. Other favorites include Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island or a visit to the Angel Oak.

If time away from the kiddos means indulging more culture than Dora can offer, The Footlight Players are putting on a production of Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Our Town.” It’s a classic depiction of a New Hampshire town set in the early twentieth century. Tickets are $15.

Dessert

Charleston isn’t exactly cold this time of year, but it’s still nice to curl up by the fire with some caffe corretto and dessert. Haypenny Confections is a Charleston candy company that whips up marshmallows in nifty flavors, like cookies and cream or toasted coconut. Order online and Haypenny will have pick-up locations around town in time for Cupid’s big day. Bring home a pack of graham crackers and a bar of chocolate for a cute way to show your affection is s’more than a lot.

If chocolate is a must for your sweetie, Tasty Image in Mount Pleasant creates customized boxes, including pictures and personalized messages. Plus, a box of truffles with a picture of you and your sweetheart ensures something will last long after the chocolates are gone, and you won’t have to break into the kids’ arts and crafts supplies.

Enrobed in chocolate and then doused in red or pink sprinkles, the truffles at Brown’s Court Bakery are filled with cake-y goodness. At a buck a pop and in flavors like red velvet or Chambord, they’re a tempting bite, especially for those who are looking for something beyond the standard box.

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