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Gone are the days when a simple hand-written card, a soft cuddly teddy bear with large red coloured heart or a simple secret ice cream date would signify Valentine's Day. If there has been one celebration, which has become immensely popular to an extent even to create political intrusions, it is Valentine's day.
What started with simple Archies cards (Archies and Hallmark were market leaders) has now gone into diamonds, staycation, shopping bonanza, food and restaurant deals to even gifting fitness gym memberships! Perhaps there is no business venture which does not want to ride the wave of Valentine's day.
Food and love are two four-letter words, which are indeed inseparably tied, and no wonder preparing food for someone is considered as one of the most coveted acts of love. But, if like me you cannot cook even to save your life, then you can do the next best thing - take your date for a brilliant meal, as no restaurant in Kolkata is leaving any stone unturned to make your Valentine's day a perfect beginning for a love filled year ahead.
Taj Bengal offers some exotic welcome drinks and a romantic evening by the pool, with an option of a personalised Gazebo, with a heart-shaped cake and a bottle of sparkling wine. While the Mediterranean food spot, Souk, is offering a special chef-curated menu, which will include avocado zaalouk, asparagus makhli, aleppo lamb kabab, rose petal ice cream, chocolate cigara and much more. Threesixtythree°, the newly opened all day dining of The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata has a special Valentine day dinner, where there will be Californian red grape filled with herb cheese, burrata and asparagus, edamame and cilantro pistau, Merlot based lamb shank and others. The dinner priced at Rs 2500 per head will also have a complimentary welcome drink.
ITC Sonar has created special floating tea pavilions on their exotic lily pond. Made out of wood and glass, these reflect the timeless spirit of the hotel. The four-course meal with a bottle of champagne is priced at Rs 5000 plus taxes for a couple. Romantic Cabanas laid out especially on the Eden Pavilion lawns beside the lily pool features food straight out of the grill such as the kababs, grilled seafood and vegetables with unlimited pours of premium beverages. Priced at Rs 25000 plus taxes per couple, this is one offer which is luxuriously romantic. In case outdoor is a concern, then Eden Pavilion offers a special romantic buffet comprising of avocado parfait, asparagus and saffron risotto hearts at Rs 2499 plus taxes per couple. Peshawari will offer the robust flavours from North West Frontier in the form of a special set menu at Rs 7000 plus taxes with unlimited premium beverages. Pan Asian and West View Bar & Grill also has a special chef-curated menu and unlimited pour of select premium beverages at Rs 7000 plus taxes per couple.
Hyatt Regency, Kolkata calls out everyone to "Eat with your heart". It is love at first sight at Waterside Café as you can dig into some smoked chicken with sweet chutney, prawn cocktail and sushi and the likes. It is priced at Rs 2100 plus taxes for the non-alcoholic ones and 2400 plus taxes for alcoholic ones. If it is a sit-down candlelight dinner as your preference, then head over to Guchhi. Exotic options of vegetarian and non-vegetarian are eagerly awaiting to greet the couples. Some gulabi paneer roll in tomato, aloo gulistani, murg makhaika rub and herb crusted murgh badami roll, ending with some strawberry phirni, rose kulfi and beetroot halwa is bound to delight.
Novotel Hotel and Residences is offering a Royal Valentine's evening by the pool, where there will be a private cabana for each couple with Valentine decoration, and a chef-curated menu which will include gol gappa shots, Bengal royale and kosha mangsho pie to name a few. This will be priced at Rs. 15000 per couple. The Studio-The Pan Asian Gallery for Novotel and The Square, the all day dining has got special food, Valentine's cocktail and Valentine's special dessert so that the celebration becomes huge.
Coming to the standalone restaurants - Coastal Macha, the coastal seafood joint has two new special love beverages in the form of strawberry heart sparkler and filter coffee chocolate blast/shake. Bon Appetit, the café will have some special pizzas and also a whole range of desserts based on strawberry and various food pairing. The Tipsy Bull, the gastropub at Alipore will have a special menu, which will have hearty, cheesy pops, cupid tequila and robin's nest. Sanjha Chulha, the bypass dhaba will start a dessert festival from 14th, which will include red velvet gulab jamun cheesecake, mishti doi cigar and much more. Pour House near Salt Lake RDB Cinemas has special food and mocktails and The Factory Outlet starts a special promotion on The Bubbly tales of TFO, which will have some amazing cocktails on offer such as the mimosa, French 75, berry bellini, blueberry with Cointreau and few more.
The list can be endless, and this is an effort to help someone take an informed decision, however, if the unplanned meeting, client escalation, flat tyre, jeopardises the plan, then at least carry a rose back home. At times basic and simple works the most.
A true blue Kolkata foodie, Anindya loves cooking and eating his Kosha Mangsho. Anindya weaves stories around food as he believes exceptional food is an emotional experience. Previously a restauranter, now a passionate photographer and traveller, he runs a successful blog called Pikturenama and contributes to other publications.