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Heartful Helpings
As of press time, the following restaurants had announced Valentine's dinner celebrations. Dinner in the historic Blue Room (529-4848) at The Fairmont Hotel (123 Baronne St.) includes four courses, a bottle of Champagne and entertainment by the Al Belletto Big Jazz Band; $68 per person. Dinner in The Sazerac Bar & Grill (529-4733) includes three courses, a bottle of sparkling wine and entertainment by Harry Connick Sr.; $55 per person. As part of its February chocolate festival, Charley G's (111 Veterans Memorial Blvd., 837-6408) has three-course Valentine's menus; entree choice determines price. Foodies Kitchen (720 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 837-9695; 7457 St. Charles Ave., 865-8646) is preparing a la carte dishes, desserts and full meals to take home. Hard Rock Cafe (418 N. Peters St., 504-529-5617) is throwing a Dinner with Elvis; $60 per couple includes food, an open bar for two hours and the entertainment of an Elvis impersonator. Elvis geeks can pay $100 for the My Elvis Package. Midi South of France's (614 Canal St., 525-6500) Chef Philippe Pinon is offering a three-course menu for $45 per person; live piano music and roses. Muriel's (801 Chartres St., 568-1885) Love Sonnet Soiree is a six-course wine dinner with a performance by the Shakespeare Festival Troupe of Tulane University; $150 per person. The Veranda (444 St. Charles Ave., 585-4383) is throwing a three-course Lover's Feast for $42 per person.

My Favorite Things
Here, in random order, is my fairly unconventional top-10 list of places I would like to eat on Valentine's Day. Champagne and candlelight not guaranteed.

La Crepe Nanou. There's something undeniably sexy about the dim ambience and the moules frites.

Casamento's. I know of no better place to impress someone who only has eyes for oysters.

Nine Roses. For an interactive dining experience, order cook-and-roll-yourself spring rolls.

Gautreau's. I've had magical meals here even with my parents.

Laurentino's. Few activities are sweeter than sharing a carafe of sangria and a table full of tapas.

Rene Bistro. Because the French are charming, and so are Rene's snails baked with pesto.

Adolfo's. This second-story restaurant would be cozy even if you couldn't watch Adolfo preparing your food in his tiny kitchen.

Taquero's. You can taste the chef's affection for Mexican cooking in shredded lamb rellenos, chicken enchiladas mole poblano and ceviche.

Gabrielle. Greg and Mary Sonnier fell in love as apprentices on sausage duty at K-Paul's. Gabrielle is a continuation of that love story; order the sausages.

Victor's. Request a curtained booth.


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