St. Valentine: History or Hallmark?
By Executive Chef Paul Marks
The origin of Valentine’s Day is shrouded in mystery. There are a couple of theories surrounding the day, the oldest being that in ancient Roman times there was a fertility festival called Lupercalia. Young men and women lined up to be flogged to ensure fertility for the year. However, with the rise of Christianity, many of the ancient pagan holidays were transformed into ceremonies honoring Christian martyrs, hence St. Valentine.
The other prevailing theory is based on the decline of the Roman Empire. At one point, Emperor Claudius II ordered a ban on marriage for young men, believing that a married soldier was an imperfect soldier. Meanwhile, a Roman priest named Valentine continued to perform wedding ceremonies in secret until he was caught.
While waiting for his execution in prison, he befriended the daughter of one of the prison guards. Before he was dragged away to face the executioner, he penned a short note to the girl and signed it “From your Valentine.”
Whether the day is shrouded in deep mystery and history or simply a Hallmark holiday to you, it’s a great excuse to tell someone that you care about them.
With a collage of tastes, scents and colors, the tasting menu was designed to be shared. In addition, the entire Polaris dinner menu is available. Besides the Valentine’s tasting menu, we are trying something new this year with full “Romance on the Go” meal options. The team of chef’s at the Club is creating two complete meals to go, from appetizer to desert. Perfect for impressing your Valentine’s date, the gourmet meal will be prepared and pre-cooked with simple heating and plating instructions. You will also have the option to add a box of Lesley’s Chocolates, roses and a bottle of champagne with chocolate dipped strawberries. If you’re short on time, but want to have an intimate meal at home, try our “Romance on the Go” package.
For a fun pre- or post-date option, here are a couple of sophisticated drink recipes to share with your sweetheart.
2 ounces aged silver tequila such as
1 ounce white cream de cacao
1 ounce heavy whipping cream
½ ounce Chambord
White chocolate flakes for rimming
Fresh raspberries for garnish
To rim the martini glass, freeze a small block of white chocolate, place a cheese grater over a dish, grate chocolate on the finest side of the cheese grater. A microplane or zester also works well. Wet the edge of the martini glass and dip into the grated chocolate.
In a cocktail shaker fill half with ice, add all ingredients and shake for 15 seconds. Pour into chilled martini glass and garnish with raspberries.
1 ounce vodka
1 ounce amaretto
1 ounce peach liqueur
1 ounce fresh orange juice
1 ounce cranberry juice
In a cocktail shaker fill half with ice, add all ingredients and shake for 15 seconds. Strain into a glass with ice. Garnish with an orange wedge.
Have a delicious Valentine’s Day!