How many ways does Valentine’s Day suck?
So many ways, but a biggie is that Valentine’s Day is for lovers, with its red roses and satin panties, and the holiday also happens to fall in the middle of February, one of the most soul-crushing times of year to look around and remember that you’re soul-crushingly single.
So pile the satin and flowers in the fire pit, grab a few mates, and storm on down to one of these alt-Valentine’s Day dates. Embrace the idea that Valentine’s Day, like love, is for everybody.
"All you can enjoy" dinner at PinkU
PinkU's no-pretense sushi and environment is perfect for a low-pressure outing or gathering. And how's this for low pressure: free-flowing champagne, beer, and sake with an all-you-can-enjoy dinner of spicy tuna on crispy rice and crispy shrimp on radish and rice for $35 per person.
Call for reservations: 612-747-5371
20 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis
"Braht Night" at GYST Fermentation Bar
Fermentation-loving GYST is not having any of that candy, candles, and dinner reservation garbage. Instead, they're throwing "Braht Night" [sic] where they'll serve local Gerhard's Brats topped with krauts and pickles by GYST, plus very unromantic pickled beet and egg potato salad, yogurt ranch dip, chips, plus drink specials.
No reservations required.
25 E. 26th St., Minneapolis
Valentine's Day at Milkjam is "Singles Awareness Day"
While annoying couples might split a sundae on V Day, you can head to Uptown's rock star ice cream shack Milkjam for black heart ice cream sandwiches, plus sweetheart candies reading "Ice Cream is Bae," and other thumb-your-nose-at-true-love messages.
While supplies last.
2743 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis
Galentine’s Day Wine & Painting Dinner at FireLake Minneapolis Downtown
On February 13, FireLake Downtown offers an alternative to Valentine’s Day with a Galentine’s Day Wine & Canvas event in their private dining room from 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Guests are invited to bring friends, family, or "special loved ones" for a night of painting and wine. The menu includes King crab and shrimp fondue, chicken and goat cheese pizza, half-priced wine by the bottle, cocktails, and even a gift bag.
Tickets are available for $35 and attendance is limited.
Reservations can be made here.
31 S. 7th St., Minneapolis
"Love is for everyone" at Black Dog
On the big day, singles, couples, and groups can head to the recently revamped Black Dog for specialty cocktails, a wine tasting from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. ($18), shareable menu items, live music by the Chris Olson Project, plus champagne and dessert.
Or you can avoid the 14th altogether and get the celebration in early. On February 12, the cafe is hosting a “hot and spicy” pop-up, featuring a global menu laced with a lot of chile and spice.
“Flavors and temps will build throughout the meal,” Black Dog promises. A full tasting menu, plus interludes of “cooling relief,” will go for $18. Drinks, tax, and gratuity not included. Two seatings, reservations recommended.
308 E. Prince St., St. Paul