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4 date night ideas for Valentine's Day
It's Feb. 14, if you forgot
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Glassware and other table settings at Novella’s Italian Restaurant & Bar in Gainesville. - photo by David Barnes

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, fellows, and chances are some of you have forgotten to do something special — but we’ve got you covered with last-minute ideas.

Wednesday isn’t the best day for a date night, but to help you make the best of it, we have a few recommendations from around Gainesville, Hall County and parts northward.

Dinner at Novella’s

If you’re looking for a literally cheesy Italian date night, head down to Gainesville’s newest restaurant on Washington Street near the square.

Novella’s Italian Restaurant & Bar is offering a special menu for Valentine’s Day on Wednesday, with a four appetizers, a soup, four entrees and two desserts you won’t find there any other day of the year.

We’re not going to list all of the items here, but you could start with a charcuterie and cheese plate and lobster bisque, then dig into some espresso-rubbed filet mignon and panna cotta with fresh raspberries (which is a dessert, per Google).

Reservations can be made at 470-252-5505.

Wine and dine at Sweet Acre Farms

Hall County’s lone winery is coming through in a pinch with an event on Feb. 16 called Moonstruck: An Evening of Love.

While Novella’s is bringing cheese on a plate, Sweet Acre Farms will be filling the air with it through some classic Valentine’s Day names: They’ll have a Table of Temptation (cheeses, light hors d’oeuvres and a chocolate fountain) and some Lover’s Sangria available for for ticket-holders next week.

North Carolina singer-songwriter Austin Coleman and his wife are set to perform at the winery for the event.

Individual tickets are $35 and couple’s tickets are $65. If you’re on your own and wondering why you’d want to hit an event like this, you can (for a bit of extra cost) upgrade to a bottomless wine slushy ticket at the event.

Wine and dine (again!) at Montaluce

If you’d like to do something a little special and get out of Hall County, consider heading up to Montaluce Winery and Restaurant near Dahlonega.

Montaluce is hosting a Valentine’s Day Winemakers Dinner on the holiday itself. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., winemaker Craig Boyd and chef Chris Matson will walk you through a five-course dinner and wine pairing — talking about the philosophies and inspirations for their crafts behind the scenes at Montaluce.

If this is starting to sound pricey, it is: Tickets are $130 each — but that price covers an all-inclusive dinner (think oysters, rack of lamb and braised oxtails) and wine pairing with Montaluce wines.

If you can’t make it on Wednesday, the restaurant and winery is offering a sweetheart’s menu on the two weekends bookending Valentine’s Day. Those menus are $80 per couple for a three-course meal or $125 per couple with wine included.

Take a sick day

This might be our favorite option: Stay home.

Take the day on Wednesday (or Friday) and spend some time with your significant other at home or take him or her some place you’ve wanted to see or talked about visiting — just make sure it’s not near work. Whether you’re a young couple or long-timers, without a doubt there’s something you don’t know about your partner or something new you can do together.

If you’re giving a night in a try this year instead of a night out, don’t forget to still come through with some flowers or whatever suits you best (so long as it’s edible).
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