Los Gatos businesses celebrate the season of love

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and the restaurants and shops of Los Gatos offer plenty of ways to honor their loved ones.

SideCar Modern Tavern will be celebrating Valentine’s Day all weekend with special menu items. The decor, innovative cocktails, and overall vibe make this a great place for happy hour and dinner. My husband loves the lamb shoulder sliders; I love crispy cauliflower. The menu changes every six weeks. 25 E. Main St. 408-399-5180, https://www.sidecar7.com

If you can’t make it to the City of Love, you can sample a bit of Paris at Epernay, a charming French bistro and champagne bar. Their Happy Hour features my favorite deviled eggs. I love steak tartare and foie gras. Embracing F. Scott Fitzgerald’s quote, “Too much of everything is bad, but too much champagne is right,” they offer a three-bubble tasting flight. And ask about their Champagne Society. Epernay French Bistro, 29 E. Main St., 408-827-4005, www.epernaylosgatos.com. Reservations suggested.

Los Gatos is home to “the cutest candy store”, Lolli & Pops. They have all the goodies you can imagine. A gift idea: retro sweets for those who remember Sky Bars and U-No chocolate bars. Or go international with delicacies from Mexico, Asia and Europe. Healthy options include gluten-free gummies, organic candy, and vegan chocolate bars. New just in time for Valentine’s Day: an assortment of chocolate covered strawberries, caramel covered apples and cheesecake bites. They even have a collection of cocktail candies. www.lolliandpops.com

Two Cranes makes beautifully handcrafted unusual chocolates right here in Los Gatos. French-trained chocolatier Michiko Marron-Kibbey and Ayaka B. Ito create confections with a nod to their Japanese heritage. Signature flavors including Vegan Matcha Almond with Yuzu and Milk Chocolate with Ginger, Sesame and Buckwheat. Plus, they offer meticulously constructed candies, shortbread, and caramels with flavors like miso and Japanese pepper. All products are herbal. They are attracting national attention and have been featured in “Food and Wine” and “The Michelin Guide”. Tip: order early. 15531 Union Ave, 408-340-5592, www.deuxcranes.com

Flowers are popular for all occasions, but order early for Valentine’s Day. Bunches is a wonderful little flower shop located at 12 N. Santa Cruz Ave., and delivery is available. 408-395-5451, www.buncheslosgatos.com.

Gaeta de Los Gatos Flowers in the New Town Shopping Center offers flowers, stuffed animals, balloons and gifts. 408-356-0442, www.gaetasflowers.com

If Valentine’s Day is a family event, an evening of pétanque and Italian cuisine at Campo Di Bocce is an outing for all ages. They offer indoor and outdoor dining and bocce in their newly renovated facilities. www.campodibocce.com

Register for the second annual Souper Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday. Game Day is the eve of Valentine’s Day. Orders will be delivered on February 13 and will include soups, homemade breads, homemade “Tennessee Cake” and wine for two to four people. Handmade items from the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, like bowls, napkin rings, tie-dye napkins and charcuterie boards, are also part of the package, which retails for $150. Profits benefit Arrowmont. Info: [email protected]

Mayor Rob Rennie was scheduled to cut the ribbon Jan. 27 at the tasting house. It is an unusual place, not a wine bar, not a restaurant, but a place to taste wines accompanied by small gourmet plates and cheeses. Fifty premium wines from around the world are offered by the glass. Next door is a tasting shop, with all sorts of cheeses and chocolates, homemade food items and gifts. 368, village lane, www.tastinghouse.com

As variants of COVID-19 continue to emerge, the Rotary Club of Los Gatos is hosting its second Virtual WineFest and Auction on January 29 at 5 p.m. This means you can enjoy four different premium Argentine wines and snacks at home, chosen by sommelier Joe Chiodo. Music from Lavender Fields will host the Zoom event. All proceeds are donated to the Los Gatos Rotary Charities Foundation. Proceeds from this year’s “Raise the Paddle” auction will go to Los Gatos House of Hope, Peninsula Food Runners and West Valley Community Services. Each kit is $150 at www.losgatosrotary.org.

If you have business or social news, let me know: [email protected]

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