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News and notes from the San Antonio food scene

Francesca’s at Sunset, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, has compiled a lovers’ menu for Valentine’s Day. The puya-laced Mexican rose soup might tempt your palate with golden and candy-striped beet pico, while the mulato-espresso demiglace on the El Rey cocoa-corn crusted lamb could take you by the hand and lead you to dessert. You’ll kiss the evening goodnight with royal chocolate and raspberry charm. And if you’re looking for more, the hibiscus-chile sauces and raspberry-punch cream will take you upstairs. The menu is available 5-10 p.m. for $95 per person. Info: 558-6500, Ext. 2253.

Whisk away your valentine to the Turquoise Turkish Grill, 11220 Perrin Beitel, for a different level of spice. A violin serenade starts a four-course meal including lamb shank or salmon, wine and Firin Sutlac, baked rice pudding, or baklava. Info or reservations: 946-3070.

On Sunday, February 12, from 6-10 p.m., Club Cohiba in the Havana River Walk Inn, 1015 Navarro, hosts a couples evening. Two glasses of Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne and light hors d’oeuvres begin the night; a Godiva Martini garnished with a truffle, and strawberries dipped in Godiva chocolate follow. One glass of Warre’s Otima 10-year tawny port is served with Stilton cheese and walnuts, along with a Godiva “Seduce Him” truffle to close the evening. Limited seating, $99 per couple. Reservations: 222-2008.

Love is in the air, even at Dick’s Last Resort. From February 10-14, the River Walk eatery is offering Cupid’s Cocktails and the Smoocher’s Special: six jumbo shrimp and two crab cakes.

Aphrodisiacs abound at Pesca On The River in the Watermark Hotel, 212 W. Crockett. The Atlantic swordfish sashimi, yellowfin tuna, or mahi-mahi ceviche could seduce your tastebuds and your valentine. The crispy-skin striped bass with calamari-asparagus seaweed salad and buckwheat noodles in a gingered sweet-chili basil broth might seal the deal. Reservations: 396-5817.

Although there is no national holiday to celebrate the ambrosial treasure of chocolate, the Botanical Garden, 555 Funston, is hosting Chocolate Day, Saturday, February 11, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Events include a lesson on chocolate plants, “make ’n’ take” art activities, samples of exotic fruits, and chocolate trees and mint plants. The Student Chef de Cuisine Association from St. Philip’s College will prepare the chocolate while the Mwendo percussion group performs. Info: 829-5360.

Visit Texas Roadhouse, 2893 Cinema Ride or 13830 I-35 North, to register for the Texas Roadhouse/Willie Nelson Prize Package. Winners receive dinner for two and his new release Nacogdoches, and can meet the legendary country star and at the Roadhouse Wednesday, February 15, at 10 p.m. You must be 21 to enter the contest.

Compiled by Francesca Camillo

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