Every year at this time, I usually pop up in a rant against Valentine's Day. Long story short, we should love every day. Not because the calendar says so.

I get it, though - it's complicated. Not quite that simple. You must abide by the cultural norms and overwhelm. Fair enough. With that in mind, here are some Savannah greatest hits to sweeten up the next couple of weeks:

Chocolat by Adam Turoni

It has been a couple of years since Savannah's chocolate master delivered up something unique and divine for your valentine. He tells me he just doesn't decide to do something two weeks out. He draws inspiration from the strangest of places. He may have an idea in July that would work for Valentine's Day. He may not. This year, he does.

Included this year among his huge assortment of always handmade goodness is a chocolate rose in a personal gift box. Inside of that rose? A fresh strawberry. They come in boxes of one or two and are meant to be eaten fairly quickly. So, no, not a good idea to buy it Saturday and hold it until Wednesday. They are being made in-house every day through Valentine's Day.

Find Adam and all of his wonderfulness in two locations in downtown Savannah: 323 Broughton St. and 236 Bull St. Or see it all at chocolatat.com.

San Valentino Dinner with Frali

I am big fan of something different. Zag when the others zig. You can find some great eats that way.

A lot of restaurants in the area are offering specials of some sort for Valentine's Day, but this one is a great value. Frali Gourmet, 217 W. Liberty St., is offering a five-course meal on Feb. 14 for $55. Their handmade pastas are great and served in a lot of the restaurants you visit downtown. They had me at veal-stuffed tortellini with butter and sage. Oh my. Reservations are required. Learn more at fraligourmet.com or call 912-234-4644. See the full menu on Facebook.

De Colores Cookies y Mas Pop-Up

If you caught our episode on holiday sweets just before Christmas, then you met three local women working in their homes and creating some fantastic sweets along the way. One of them is Ely Rooney, a very talented young lady making eye-popping cookies.

On occasion, she visits with our friends at Capital Bee Company, 421 E. Broughton St. She will be there again from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 13. Yes, the day before you need to have something under the tree. So what better reason to stop in? Grab some honey for your honey and snag some fabulous cookies, as well. A one-stop shop is the best kind. More info at capitalbeecompany.com and decolorescookies.com.

Bella Napoli San Valentine's Dinner

Bella Napoli Italian Bistro, 18 E. State St., is that under-the-radar spot that the downtown crowd knows about and unsuspecting tourists happen upon. They do a nice job there.

They are offering a San Valentine's four-course package for $79 per couple. That includes a complimentary glass of bubbly or wine and features a choice from two of their desserts. Bella Napoli is brought to you by the same group behind Wilmington Island's Little Italy and Cuoco Pazzo on Abercorn Street in the Victorian District. More info at bellanapolibistro.com.

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

I bet you think I am crazy, right? Mrs. Wilkes? For Valentine's Day? It's all in how you package it.

The reality is most locals don't visit all that often because of the long lines. I was there this week and there were about 20 people in line. A 15- to 20-minute wait.

They just re-opened for the season. Now is your chance to eat it and like it without the longer-than-long waits. How do I tie this in to Valentine's Day? Have your significant other take an afternoon off from work if you can. Take your love to Mrs. Wilkes, 107 W. Jones St., then have a pedi-cab waiting for you outside for the ride to Leopold's, 212 E. Broughton St., for a second dessert. Best $65 (including lunch and Leopold's) you might ever spend on Valentine's Day. More info at mrswilkes.com.

Now who's the romantic? Thank me the next time you see me.

See you on TV,



Savannah's newest Mexican concept, El Coyote, is nearing an opening date. Expect it to open shortly after Feb. 20. Read all about it and The Wyld Oyster Bar going into the space formerly occupied by The Florence at eatitandlikeit.com.

If you are at all interested in the story behind the sustainability of seafood in our area and more importantly, what is being done about it, make plans to watch a locally produced documentary "Shifting Baselines" at 7 p.m. Feb. 10 at Trustees Theater, 216 E. Broughton St. It's part of the Gray's Reef Film Festival. The film is a little over an hour long and worth your time. There will be a Q&A with the filmmakers afterward.

Join us for the 11th annual Hilton Head Seafood Festival coming Feb. 19-25. It's island-wide and a fantastic time in all kinds of price ranges. Find tickets and event information at hiltonheadseafoodfestival.com.

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