Originally created 02/04/03

Valentine's Day dinner is a phone call or mouse click away



It's that romantic time of year again -- the time when couples plan to celebrate the day of love.

There are a few things that almost always come standard on Valentine's Day. There's the flowers. There's the chocolates. And there's the romantic dinner.

But to keep it exciting, some local restaurants are offering specials for the holiday.

You can even have the food of world-famous chefs brought to you.

The folks at fiveleaf.com have come up with an interesting take on the traditional dinner for two.

At the Web site, you can order entrees and appetizers from seven world-renowned chefs, including Daniel Boulud, Charlie Trotter and Antoine Westermann, and have the dishes delivered to your home. Don't worry. They come packed in dry ice and with complete cooking and presentation instructions. There's even a suggested wine list included.

The new take on romance will cost you, though. Appetizers cost around $15-$18, and entrees are even more. For example, the grilled salmon entree with French green lentils from chef Gerard Bertholon (trained in France and Italy), will set you back about $30.

And if you're a procrastinator, forget it.

The site charges an extra $24 for overnight shipping. Regular shipping for an order up to $90 will cost you about $15.

Locally, Very Vera offers casseroles and baked goods for pick-up. The shop is still finalizing it's Valentine's Day menu, which will include more cakes and confections than meals. Casseroles-to-order start at $44.

Another option is being offered by several area restaurants.

The Partridge Inn is even making it a month-long event.

During February you can pick any night and enjoy one of three packages.

There's the $59-per-couple package, which includes dinner at the P.I. Bar and Grill. For $10 more, a couple can enjoy a night at Bambu, the hotel's French-Asian fusion restaurant, and a menu that includes chicken Wellington with truffle butter sauce.

For $70, two can stay overnight at the hotel and receive a $10 credit at the Bar and Grill. You'll also get a bottle of champagne in your room and complementary keepsake champagne flutes. You also can help yourself to a grand continental breakfast buffet the next day. Upgrades are available in increments of $20.

Not to be outdone. The Radisson Riverfront Hotel Augusta is offering it's guests a $200 Valentine's package that includes a room for the night, complete with champagne, chocolate-dipped strawberries, a candlelight dinner, a midnight chocolate buffet, fresh flowers and breakfast in the morning.

Augustino's, inside the Radisson, also is offering a $69-per-couple dinner package.

A SPECIAL NIGHT

RADISSON RIVERFRONT HOTEL AUGUSTA VALENTINE'S DAY PACKAGE: Overnight stay, champagne, chocolate-dipped strawberries, dinner for two, midnight chocolate buffet, fresh flowers and breakfast; $200; 722-8900.

AUGUSTINOS (inside the Radisson Riverfront Hotel Augusta): Dinner for two; $69; 823-6521.

THE PATRIDGE INN: Various Sweetheart packages, $79, available for upgrades in increments of $20; 737-8888.

BAMBU ON HICKMAN (lower level of The Partridge Inn): Special menu includes appetizers, entrees and desserts; $69 per couple; 312-7777.

VERY VERA: Casseroles-to-order beginning at $44. Valentine's menu will include cakes and other confections. Available for Augusta pick-up only; 860-3492 or veryvera.com.

FIVELEAF.COM: Site offers entrees and appetizers from world-renowned chefs, beginning at $14.99 for appetizers and $25 for entrees.

Reach Jennifer Hilliard at (706) 823-3223 or jennifer.hilliard@augustachronicle.com.