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Restaurants and stores prepare sweet romance
Area businesses planning Valentine's Day treats and menus
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A variety of chocolates sits in displays Tuesday at Liberty Candy Co. in Flowery Branch. Liberty Candy Co. offers a variety of specialty candy and packaging types for customers. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Liberty Candy Company

Where: 5518 Main St., Flowery Branch

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday

More info: www.liberty-candy-company.com; 770-965-5577

 

Antebellum Restaurant

Where: 5510 Church St., Flowery Branch

Hours: 5-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and 5-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday

More info: www.antebellumrestaurant.com; 770-965-8100

 

Green’s Tavern

Where: 4856 Hog Mountain Road, Flowery Branch

Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

More info: www.greenstavern.com; 770-965-0115

 

Avocados

Where: 109 Bradford St., Gainesville

Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday

More info: www.avocadoseats.com; 770-532-0001

Valentine’s Day is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get. It could be a sparkling piece of jewelry, a selection of candy, a giant stuffed white bear or a romantic date night.

Fortunately, many local restaurants and businesses have unique Valentine’s dinners or edible gifts to help celebrate the sweet holiday.

Flowery Branch’s Liberty Candy Co. has created an array of pink-themed chocolates and candies to trump the traditional box of chocolates. Their new artisan collection features chocolates decorated in new, exciting flavors such as curry chocolate, white Russian truffle, bourbon walnut praline and honey sesame seed along with favorites like champagne and salted caramel.

“We do fortune cookies, lollies, small truffle boxes and tins of macarons in berry, raspberry and vanilla flavors,” Liberty owner Karen Ching said. “Our artisan reserve chocolates are new and all hand-painted.”

Liberty also has heart-shaped confections with sweet sayings on them, pink lollipops, pink and red white chocolate dipped marshmallows, Oreos and more. It even has a selection of treats for people with nut or gluten allergies along with sugar-free options. Liberty can also take allergy-specific special orders.

“We do every kind of special diet for no upcharge,” Ching said. “We take special orders year-round for everything from vegan to chocolate allergies. We have other pink candies, a jellybean mixture, mints or any other pink or red assortments for gift packages.”

The small business offers free gift wrapping.

Liberty makes chocolate-covered strawberries and “hot” fudge as well for Valentine’s preorders.

“Our hot fudge is a great men’s gift,” Ching said. “It has jalapeno, chili and chipotle in the chocolate with some cayenne sprinkled on top.”

To preorder any Valentine’s Day packages, call 770-965-5577.

For Antebellum restaurant owner and chef Nicholas St. Clair, however, Valentine’s Day isn’t about the colored candies. To him and wife Alison, it’s about creating food filled with love for a romantic evening.

“I like to think that we do our special dinners very well,” chef St. Clair said. “I think they’re one of the reasons we were recently voted one of the top 100 restaurants in the nation.”

Their creativity still allows them to infuse traditional colors such as red and pink along with some of the sweet chocolate flavor into the savory dinners.

“I think of roses,” St. Clair said. “I’ve done a rose ice cream before. I also use chocolate, champagne and caviar.

“For me, I just try to make it special for the couples,” he continued. “I will play off those flavor combinations. I like to think that all of our dinners are special, but when you come to a prix fixe dinner, you get to have the six courses, and it’s a special treat.”

This year’s menu features Antebellum’s twist on Atlantic salmon, quail, cream of celery soup, chocolate molten cake and truffles from neighboring Liberty.

The restaurant is selling tickets for the prix fixe seating for Friday and Saturday nights. The cost is $85 per person, which includes the six-course meal, tax and gratuity. Any additional items or beverages are an additional charge.

For more information about Antebellum’s Valentine’s Day meal, visit www.antebellumrestaurant.com or call 770-965-8100.

Green’s Tavern in Flowery Branch has a more affordable prix fixe option at $30 per person, which includes a lobster appetizer, salad, three entree choices and seven side options.

The restaurant is also featuring some special Valentine’s Day drinks.

“We are making a milk chocolate Godiva martini and a white chocolate Godiva martini,” Kylie Slabiak said.

In Gainesville, Avocados is doing a fresh take on a prix fixe menu for Friday and Saturday night.

For $39.95 per person, couples get a choice of appetizer from oysters Rockefeller to pork belly with a citrus glaze. The second course is the entree with two sides, including a surf and turf trio, chicken breast, ribeye or grilled salmon. Sides include asparagus, macaroni and cheese, grilled zucchini and more. Dessert is an assorted plate with red velvet cake and cheesecake made by Albert Lunalover.

Avocados will also have live music for couples to dance the night away after dinner.

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