Cheap dates and chocolate fill this first March Week in Food

Look like a high roller at the BLB's cheap date night
Look like a high roller at the BLB's cheap date night

A lot of weeks we see the same types of events (beer, wine, beer, wine), but March is breaking the mold with not only a decadent chocolate exhibition but a class about how to power your kitchen appliances with solar energy. Sounds like a promising start to the month.

3/5 It's been a while since we've sung the praises of the Bryant-Lake Bowl's cheap date night, so we're throwing it in the mix for this week. Why not take your nearest and dearest out for a romantic evening of two entrées, a bottle of wine or four beers (two apiece), and a game of bowling--all of which means plenty of icebreakers at a price that appeals to your inner cheapskate. The deal begins at 6 p.m. and will cost you a measly $28. Austerity indeed.

3/6 "Come check out some old stuff" might not be an enticing lure, but the Happy Gnome is betting you'll be intrigued when they delve into their cellars to retrieve some New Holland beers, as well as some draft Charkoota Rye '10 and Pilgrim's Dole '09 plus vintage bottles of Black Tulip. Diehards can also experience Blue Sunday Sour, a unique heritage-blended brew from their library of barrel-soured beers. The pours begin at 5 p.m., so sneak out of work early.

3/10 How cool does this sound: The Midtown Global Market is offering a "Build a Personal Solar Station" class Saturday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. If you've always wanted to find a simple way to go solar, this beginner class will teach you how to set up a personal solar station perfect for powering your kitchen appliances (or any other appliances for that matter). This simple nuts-and-bolts class promises to be free of complex jargon and will get you hooked up with the ability to provide reliable, clean energy to your home. The class costs $49 in advance or $60 at the door, and you can register by clicking here.

The sweetest, brownest treats in the land will be found in Bloomington on Sunday
The sweetest, brownest treats in the land will be found in Bloomington on Sunday

3/11 It's like the Food Network come to life at the 17th annual Taste of Chocolate at the Bloomington Center for the Arts Building, where chocolatiers will provide stunning edible masterpieces as part of a prestigious dessert competition that will also include live entertainment, a silent auction, chocolates to purchase, and a Grand Raffle. This year's participating chocolatiers include (among others) Groveland Confections, Droolin' Moose, St Croix Chocolate Company, and the Arts Institutes International Minnesota. The event runs from 12 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door and can be purchased by clicking here

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