Table Talk

Table Talk: February 7–13

This week: Traza is finally open, Valentine's Day dinner ideas, foodie activities, sweet treats and more.

by Katie Pollock Estes

Feb 07 2023 at 8 a.m.

Super bowl party food spread
Photo courtesy Shutterstock

Traza is Finally Open!

This week, the long-awaited Traza is open taking dining reservations. They’ve also shared their menu on their website, and whoa it looks good. There’s crispy sea bass with cauliflower puree and asparagus cream; a burrata salad with tomato, Spanish sausage, caper oil and more; a tomahawk steak with red pepper sauce and chimichurri and lots more. You can click here to read more about Traza, from the owners of Catrina’s Modern Mexican. For now, Traza is reservation-only at least through February, with the possibility of some limited walk-ins later (we’ll keep you posted!). They’re also planning something special for Valentine’s Day, but they didn’t have details ready yet at press time. Keep your eyes peeled!

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Special Dinners for Your Special Someone

There are so many incredible multi-course prix fixe menus and Valentine’s-centric meals this year. We love how many restaurants are offering something super-special for the ultimate date night.

Big Cedar Lodge

There’s a lot going on at Big Cedar Lodge. If a gourmet meal is what you’re after, you can make reservations to taste the special five-course Valentine’s Day menus at The Worman House Bistro, the five-course menu at Osage Restaurant at Top of the Rock, or the four-course menu at Devil’s Pool Restaurant.

Char Steakhouse & Oyster Bar

Char’s special Valentine’s Day menu features everybody’s favorite aphrodisiac: oysters. They are featured among upgrade options on the special four-course menu, which also includes Chilean sea bass, four steak options, prime beef carpaccio, Caesar salad and more. Oh, and there’s dessert, of course, like the decadent chocolate mousse. Call for reservations.

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

The Valentine’s Day Wine & Dine at Canyon Grill Restaurant features a five-course meal, wine pairings and “a crackling fire and the breathtaking view of Indian Cliff Falls.” Sounds delightful!


For the cheese-lover in your life, reserve a spot for the Cheesy Candlelight Dinner at Druff’s on February 14. The menu includes an appetizer, sandwiches, soups and dessert. Reservations required.

The Finley

They’re celebrating Valentine’s Day early on Saturday, February 11 at The Finley. The special meal is a four-course prix fixe menu that looks incredible. Options include an appetizer called Wontons Three Ways (seared sesame tuna and avocado, pork belly and pickled carrot, and pulled duck with lingonberry), smoked prime rib, grilled salmon, brownie parfaits with fresh berries and blackberry liqueur, and more. Reservations are required.

Fire & Ice Restaurant & Bar

From February 10 through February 14, Fire & Ice is offering a special four-course meal that includes either wine or beer. Menu options feature grilled mahi oahu, French Quarter beef medallions, fried spinach, caesar salad, Basque cheesecake and more. Reservations are recommended.

Harvest Restaurant

During Valentine's Weekend at Harvest, you can get a luxurious four-course prix fixe meal, with the option to add wine pairings if you want. They’ll even make adjustments for vegetarian diets if you let them know in advance. At press time, seatings were sold out for February 14 but were still available for February 10, 11 and 13.

Level 2 Steakhouse

The Romantic Dinner for Two at Level 2 Steakhouse is available from February 10 through 14, and it features shrimp cocktail, salad, filet mignon, lobster tail, three sides of your choice and strawberry cheesecake for dessert.

MaMa Jean’s Natural Market

The Vegan Valentine Dinner menu at MaMa Jean’s is entirely vegan and gluten-free. Each single-person meal (which should be ordered in advance and picked up from the East Sunshine location) includes vegan seitan steak, drunken noodles, miso roasted carrots, chili garlic mushrooms, a vegan chocolate brownie, and ganache cups topped with chocolate-covered strawberries.

St. Michael’s Restaurant and Italian Catering

For folks who want to celebrate the holiday at home with the whole fam, St. Michael’s Restaurant and Italian Catering is offering Valentine’s Day take-home meals to feed four to five people. You choose a pasta (Rigatoni in tomato cream sauce, gnocchi in mushroom-sage sauce, or cheese lasagna) and also get meatballs, salad, bread and a mini cake. There are tons of mini cake options, including the famous banana cake, lemon-blueberry cake, and a Valentine’s Day special strawberry cake. Call in advance to reserve catering.

The Order

The five-course Valentine’s Day meal at The Order at Hotel Vandivort was designed by James Beard–nominated chef Calvin Davis. Wine pairings are optional. They describe the event as “an atmospheric dinner with live music accompaniment and the freshest flavors in town.” Be sure to make a reservation.

The Pie Safe

This Carthage bakery is hosting a Galentine Tea event. Grab your favorite friends and enjoy tea sandwiches, desserts, coffee and a nice selection of teas. You can reserve a spot on February 8–11 and 15–18.

The Royal

During the A Foxy Valentine event at The Royal, Dylan Fox is on hand as guest bartender. The evening features exclusive cocktails, a special food menu and music on vinyl. Make reservations for this Saturday, February 11 event.

The Vineyard Market

You get a romantic four-course meal with French wine pairings at The Vineyard Market’s Valentine's Wine Dinner on February 14 at 5 p.m. The menu looks delish and includes salad, salmon, ribeye, filet mignon and crème brûlée and chocolate ganache for dessert. And for the ultimate romantic dinner details, there will be candlelight and rose petals. Reservations required.

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Foodie Activities for Love Birds and Besties

If you’re more interested in a food-centric activity or date night than a romantic dinner with a special menu, don’t fret. Plenty of 417-land spots are offering tasty activities perfect for date night or fun treats for those wanting to celebrate Galentine’s Day.

4 by 4 Brewing

The Mom Walk Collective and 4 by 4 Brewing are joining up for a Galentine’s Mama’s Night Out event. There will be tasty eats (Charcuterie from Lavish Grazing? Yes, please!) and great drinks on hand, along with lots of vendors offering photo ops, pop-up shops, spa services, fresh flowers and more.

Big Cedar Lodge

At the Galentine’s Day Celebration on February 10, groups of girlfriends can make and decorate candy bars, build a charcuterie board, burn a design into a walnut charcuterie board and sip some while you do it. On February 14, couples can do the same (chocolate, charcuterie, wood burning) at the Valentine’s Date Night.

Banter Brewing Co.

The Brews, Boards and Banter event on February 14 features ingredients from Dining by Design to make a charcuterie board (the usuals: meats, nuts, cheeses, antipasto) plus a sugar cooking decorating kit and a hand-thrown platter that you get to keep. Guests also get a bottle of wine to take home—or to drink while they’re there. Plus, there’s live instrumental music to set the scene. Reserve a spot in advance for this event that’s meant for couples and friend groups alike.

Cellar + Plate

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples; it’s for besties too! Grab your fave, and reserve a spot at the Cellar + Plate Galentine’s Day Celebration on Sunday, February 12. It includes snacks, photo ops and mimosas—with the option to add some spa moments like pedicures from Dharma Day Spa and cryofacials from Below Zero Cryospa.

Mother’s Brewing Company & Brown Derby Wine Center

The Beer & Cheese Lover’s Event at Mother’s Brewing Co. in partnership with Brown Derby is another great chance to build your own charcuterie. The February 14 event features a crash course in charcuterie—what to put on the board, how to make it beautiful—plus suggestions for pairing Mother’s beer with meats and cheeses. Your ticket comes with a flight of Mother’s beer, and for $15 extra you can take the board home with you.

Treats for Your Sweetie

If the gift you’re planning for your Valentine includes some special little snacks and treats, you’re in luck. There are some truly delightful sweets out there perfect for this love-filled holiday.

Askinosie Chocolate has a special limited-edition Valentine's Kit Date Night In-a-Box that includes five chocolate bars: (White) Chocolate Covered Strawberry Bar, Cranberry Sauce White Chocolate Bar, Red Raspberry Dark Chocolate CollaBARation Bar, Fruit Punch Dark Chocolate Bar, and Peppermint Dark Chocolate Bar. You also get a tasting card and a flavor wheel, so you can compare notes about your favorites.

Keeping with the berry theme, make sure you order some chocolate-covered strawberries. You can pre-order dark- white- and milk-chocolate dipped berries from Bon Bon’s Candy House. They were sold out for February 13 and 14 pick-up, but you could still order berries for February 11 pickup at press time. Shelby’s Strawberries has a variety of Valentine’s-themed strawberries, like strawberry-crumble cheesecake-stuffed berries, chocolate-covered berries that spell out “I love you,” strawberries decorated to look like Conversation Hearts, and more.

If your Valentine likes more savory flavors alongside their sweets, try a charcuterie box. Lavish Grazing is selling heart-shaped charcuterie boxes, and Forage Charcuterie is serving charcuterie in heart-shaped acacia wood bowls.

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Super Bowl Snackies

Whether you’re hosting a Super Bowl party at your house or bringing a dish to someone else’s shindig, you’ll want to make sure you have plans for plenty of salty, sweet, indulgent and shareable goodies. 

• Snack Storage: Impress your guests with a D.I.Y. mini football stadium with compartments for all your favorite snacks, drinks and dips.

• Chili Three Ways: Read up on three great chili recipes, including a traditional take, a chili verde and a ribeye chili.

• Pizza For Every Taste Bud: Whip up a whole bunch of little homemade pizzas to feed your crowd using these four tasty recipes.

• Dip it Real Good: There are so many delicious things you can dip in homemade Guinness fondue. We recommend soft pretzels for the ultimate game day fondue, though.

• Get Your Veggies: Whip up some artichoke dip and pretend it’s a healthy choice since it has spinach in it. You can even dunk a carrot in it.

• Hummus’s Cousin: Speaking of veggies, this Tuscan chickpea spread recipe features chickpeas, chunky tomatoes and lots of herbs.

• Spice it Up: I have just three words for you. Buffalo. Chicken. Dip.

• Sweeten the Deal: Serve up a dessert that’ll make everybody swoon. We’re obsessed with these delightful rocky road bars.

• Shake a Leg: We promise you’ll be everybody’s favorite person if you serve this recipe for perfect-every-time fried chicken at your Super Bowl party.