Handmade Chocolate Truffles Add a Sweet Ending—or Beginning—to Valentine’s Day
SEATTLE, Wash.—(January 27, 2011)— Celebrating its 20th year in Madison Valley, Cafe Flora will play Cupid with a special vegetarian Valentine’s menu designed to ratchet up the romance level.
Cafe Flora’s culinary team has relied, and naturally so, on the bounty of the earth for inspiration in creating this year’s lovingly named dishes and amorous ingredients. Offered at $45 per person on Monday, February 14, from 5 to 9 p.m., this reservation-only, four-course, prix fixe Valentine’s Dinner Menu includes these love-inducing ingredients:
· Asparagus, once said to “stir up lust in man and woman,” was fed to bridegrooms in 19th-century France—three courses’ worth—on the eve of their nuptials.
· Regarded as symbols of fertility throughout antiquity, almonds and their seductive aroma were believed to arouse passion in females.
· Rich and creamy in texture and voluptuously feminine in shape, avocados were considered so libidinous that Spanish priests forbade people from eating them.
· Widely consumed throughout Asia and the Americas, chili peppers up the romance quotient by raising body temperature and bringing a healthy glow to the cheeks.
· Red wine heightens the senses while lowering inhibitions. Notes in the bouquet of certain red wines are even said to mimic male pheromones.
· Most people admit to having “great chemistry” with the world’s most popular confection, Chocolate, which contains the stimulant theobromine, similar to caffeine. This “food of the gods”—the darker the better—helps the brain produce serotonin, and is loaded with antioxidants.
The full Valentine’s Day menu featuring these ingredients can be found below.
Oysters may possess a long-cherished lusty reputation, but many plant-based foods, like asparagus, almonds and chocolate, are believed to evoke amore. “We’re celebrating our twentieth year in Madison Valley in 2011, so we wanted to do something really special for all our vegetarian and vegan Valentines out there,” says owner Nat Stratton-Clarke. “Everybody knows about the oyster, but we’ll be demonstrating that the likes of avocados and asparagus are well-versed in the art of seduction in their own right.”
If dinner weren’t enough, Cafe Flora’s housemade truffles, a Valentine’s Day tradition, will be available for purchase in the restaurant from February 7 – 14 at $2 each. Gluten-free and vegan, this year’s truffle flavors include raspberry and nibby gianduja, a traditional Italian confection flavored with hazelnut paste. The chocolate comes from Seattle’s own Theo Chocolate: Theo sources fair-trade, organic cocoa beans exclusively, which makes them a perfect partner in keeping with the restaurant’s philosophy.
Wonton Affection Canapé - topped with avocado butternut paté, drizzled with a trio of sauces: truffle aioli, cilantro sauce and chili oil.
Layers of Love – almond phyllo roulade stuffed with a mushroom-leek ragoût, grilled asparagus, bok choy, mushroom essence and a red wine-cherry sauce.
Citrus Kiss Salad – grapefruit, pea shoots, jicama and watercress, with a mango vinaigrette and beet essence.
Dessert (choice of)
Kumquat Wishes and Almond Dreams – almond génoise, brown-butter buttercream, marzipan, and kumquats macerated in Champagne.
Smoldering Chocolate and Raspberry Glances – devil’s food cake and molten Mexican chocolate with cacao crumble and raspberry gel.
Reservations can be made by calling (206) 325-9100.
Cafe Flora’s award-winning menu features modern and sophisticated vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free cuisine inspired by international culinary traditions and created with local, organic and sustainable ingredients. Voted one of Seattle Weekly’s “Favorite Restaurants 2006,” Cafe Flora was also awarded “Best Vegetarian Restaurant” by Seattle Magazine eight years running. In 2005 The Cafe Flora Cookbook was published with more than 250 house recipes. Located at 2901 East Madison, Cafe Flora serves dinner Sunday through Thursday 5 to 9:30 p.m. and Friday through Saturday 5 to 10 p.m. Breakfast and lunch are served weekdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (206) 325-9100 www.cafeflora.com.
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Happy Valentine’s Day!