Last minute saves for Valentine’s Day dinner

February 14, 2014 

Well, you’ve really done it this time. Not only did you forget to get reservations for Valentine’s Day, you forgot to get reservations for a Valentine’s day that falls on a Friday. We’re going to have to get creative.

OPTION ONE: Plan a progressive dinner in your favorite city’s downtown -- my favorites being downtown Macon, Perry and Forsyth. Park your car and walk right in to the bar area of any restaurant for your first course. If your date enjoys it, go ahead and order dinner. If not, announce that it’s time to move on to your next location and sit at the bar there, too.

In Macon, I’d start at Lemongrass for a Thai appetizer, then the Rookery for a lovely dinner, maybe Market City Cafe for their crazy good banana pudding, then after-dinner drinks at the elegant Dovetail above the Rookery. Bonus: you get to sit snugly close to your date and you walk off some calories between courses.

OPTION TWO: Take it home. Good to Go has a special tonight perfect for the planning challenged. For $75, you get four choices of appetizer, a choice of two salads, six choices for your entree with bread and a choice of three desserts. I would have the antipasto platter, field greens salad, bourbon glazed salmon and chocolate dipped strawberries, but you can go to their Facebook page to decide for yourself. Each package serves two and can even be delivered at an additional charge -- no planning ahead required.

OPTION THREE: Put a rose between your teeth, turn up some spicy Latin music on the car stereo, and drive to Macon’s Little Mexico, Pio Nono Avenue. From the Salvadoran Los Trios No. 2 just below the Rocky Creek Bridge to Tacos Dos Amigos in the Roses plaza, the authenticity will transport you to a Spanish-speaking land of love. Bring a nice tablecloth, maybe a battery operated candle or two, and you have saved the day.

OPTION FOUR: Only available with a few hours notice. Tonight, Fountain of Juice is featuring a New York Strip with poivre sauce, gouda mashed potatoes and broccolini for $18 per person, with pickup available at either their Mercer or Vineville locations. Special Valentine’s desserts are available, too.

Alternatively, call Fresh Market a few hours ahead of time and they’ll get your choice of filet mignon and/or sea bass ready for you to pick up. For $49.99 for two, that also gets you salad, asparagus, chocolate-dipped strawberries and even a dozen roses.

OPTION FIVE: Choose a restaurant no one else will think of. This one is a bit risky, because you can’t read everyone’s minds, but it’s just crazy enough to work. Try somewhere small and ethnic, like Pho Saigon on Riverside Drive or the excellent Papouli’s on Tom Hill Sr. Boulevard.

Or maybe customize your choice to your date’s tastes, like Metropolis Greek and Indian on Riverside Drive for someone who loves to travel or Nu-Way Weiners for a real local experience. The thought is sure to be appreciated as long as you can get a table.

Special thanks to B.H. for her help with this piece. One night + five options = date saved.

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