by Nancy Stiles
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you're probably aware that Saturday is both Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras, making it ideal for both single and coupled people alike. There are many events for both somewhat dubious holidays. But if drinking hurricanes in 20 degree weather or overpaying for dinner with someone you barely like aren't your thing, there are plenty of other events in St. Louis this weekend. Continue on for our food-related recommendations.
Friday (Feb. 13):
In the spirit of the weekend, Flying Saucer will be release five local beers paired with chocolate. Come try O'Fallon Cherry Chocolate, O'Fallon King Louie, Charleville Vineyard Microbrewery Box of Chocolate, 4 Hands Brewery's Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk Stout and Lindemans Framboise. From 5 p.m. to close. Admission is free with beer available for purchase.
This new series kicks off tonight at the sleek Clayton restaurant. Local photographer Sarah-Marie Land and "woodworker-extraordinaire" Dave Stine will be showing their work. There will be complimentary appetizers and a wine tasting, plus a cash bar for beer and glasses of wine. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Saturday (Feb. 14):
Load up on carbs before all that drinking with an all-you-can eat breakfast featuring Strange Donuts. There will also be unlimited hurricanes and draft beer. The normal menu will be available beginning at 11, and $5 cover starts at 1 p.m. Live music all day. From 8 to 11 a.m. Tickets are $25 per person.
If you're looking to avoid the Soulard crowds and stay warm, come celebrate in the massive, covered beer garden. From 8 to 11 a.m., you can get a classic breakfast buffet and three draft beers for $25. After that, chef Travis Odle will be serving up New Orleans favorites like shrimp and grits, red beans and rice, lobster po' boys, saffron and crawfish risotto and more. From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Breakfast tickets are available here.
Ste. Genevieve's famous wine trail is well-traveled, but the vintners have a Valentine's Day twist in store. Ste. Genevieve Winery is offering its Dry Red Bolduc paired with bacon Sriracha s'mores. Charleville Winery is pairing its Dry Chauvin with mushroom strudel. At Chaumette, the Chaumette Mosaic, N.V. is paired with Indian winter spiced chicken with naan, avocado and tomato chutney. Twin Oaks Winery has its Sweet Traminette paired with a crushed pineapple, peach and gelatin dessert. Cave Vineyard is serving Cave Rock Red paired with chocolate dessert salami with almonds, walnuts and biscotti. Sand Creek Winery pairs Sand Creek Sweet Chardonel with homemade cream puffs filled with a rich vanilla custard and dusted with sugar. Visit any of these wineries Saturday or Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person; available here.
If you're looking to avoid the festivities, head to Olio for a night of rare sour beers. Beers like Prairie Funky Gold Amarillo, Freigeist Geisterzug and Panil Divina will be available, along with flights of amaro. From 5 p.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is free.
Sunday (Feb. 15):
Learn the ins-and-outs of butchery with Salume Beddu's Mark Sanfilippo in this two-day course. He'll be teaching basic butchery, curing techniques and sausage making. Cope Grass Farms' Harry Cope, who is providing the hogs, will be on hand to discuss sustainable farming. Comet Coffee will provide lunch and breakfast both days. Pork Shop results will be utilized in Monday's Nose to Tail hog dinner. Sunday and Monday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $425, available here.
Follow Nancy Stiles on Twitter: