Here are a few of the retailers and restaurants and special events we think you'll love as much as we do, as as much as NUVO readers do. Looking for flowers, chocolates, candles or wine? We've got you covered. Want a dinner and date that neither one of you are likely to soon forget? Trust us, we've gathered quite the variety from which you can choose.
In each category, we've given you the winner's from the 2008 NUVO Best of Indy awards, as well as a few editor and staff favorites that we can't get enough of.
All we ask in return is that you share the love and, where applicable, show these and other local retailers, restauranteurs, artists and artisans a little Valentine love of your own this week.
Best of Indy: Local Shopping
The Chocolate Cafe
South Bend Chocolate Co.
20 N. Meridian St.
A chocolate lover's paradise just steps away from Monument Circle! It's great place to sit with that special someone and enjoy a cup of gourmet chocolate coffee and the city view. With a wide array of gift options, it's also a great place to find the perfect gift for the chocolate lover in your life.
Cirilla's (formerly Priscilla's)
New name, same grown-up attitude. With six locations around town, the city's most popular adult gift store is sure to have a wide array of choices that both whisper and and scream, "I love you!" (Locations: 1140 N. State Road 135, Greenwood; 41 N. Post Road; 8601 N. Michigan Road; 6971 W. Washington St.; 6711 E. 82nd St.; 3810 N. High School Road).
1300 E. 86th St.
The favorite choice for guys who want designer fashion, or at least something apart from the monotonous mall options. Frankey's isn't too posh or too polished for the guy's guy; but they are trendy enough to satisfy the metrosexual fashion maven as well.
G. Thrapp Jewelers
5609 N. Illinois St.
If you're still shopping for the perfect ring as a Valentine's gift, you probably won't have time to take advantage of the custom design services G. Thrapp offers. Lucky for you, they have several designer lines from around the world available for you to chose from. A neighborhood jeweler with superb customer service and selection.
Kahn's Fine Wine and Spirits
5341 N. Keystone Ave.
With more than 100 red grape wine varieties, an impressive selection of beers (many of them local) and excellent gift basket options (pre-arranged or build your own), Kahn's can solve the gift dilemma with style and exquisite taste. Excellent selection and service account for its Best of Indy designation by NUVO readers.
6038 E 82nd St
Reminding us through their catchy slogan, "couples that play together, stay together," Lover's Lane is the newest in the adult retail market in Indy. The midwest mini-chain, with locations additional locations in Chicago and Detroit offers everything that falls under the romantic, intimate and sexy pseudonyms.
842 Broad Ripple Ave.
This small boutique makes it easy to compile an entire wardrobe in one trip without making too big a dent in the wallet. Same is true when you just need that one perfect outfit for a very special night. Trendy, comfortable and affordable: the shopping trifecta!
1134 E. 54th St.
Now in a new location, Posh Petals remains NUVO readers' favorite neighborhood florist. Whether it's the cooler full of lush colors and ripe blooms, or the arrangements that seem to defy gravity or the simple beauty of a bouquet of daisies — Posh Petals excels in quality and convenience.
Silver/At Home in the City
434 Massachusetts Ave.
There's never enough room to sing the praises of the store so great its got two names — Silver in the City and At Home in the City are a Massachusetts Ave. staple, and the perfect place to find the perfect gift for him, her or you. And did we mention the extensive collection of eco-friendly gifts?!
Best of Indy: Local Dining
Bistro de Paris
15 W. Main St.. Carmel
Want a Parisian valentine experience but can't afford the plane ticket? Carmel's Bistro de Paris offers jumbo lump crab cakes with sweet savory island butter, yucca mash and plantains inspire on the dinner menu; brunch includes a creative array of omelets and, of course, crepes. Quelle romantique.
1043 S. Virginia Ave.
Wine lovers and lovers in general will be happy with the special Valentine's menu Deano's is offering. With a regularly updated stock of about 130 wines, and a great food menu, delicious doesn't even begin to cover it.
1 S. Capitol Ave.
What could be more romantic than a rotating view of the skyline? Don't listen to those who rail about the carpet or wood paneling - it's nostalgic. The food is delicious, too. A lavish four-course Valentine's dinner be served for $180 per couple on Saturday for those who've made advance reservations.
12901 Old Meridian St.
The over 30-year-old Carmel staple recently reopened, along with more-casual Deeter's, with much of the same kitchen staff. Which means more impeccably executed French classics (Chateaubriand bouquetiere!), and other delightful European touches like wienerschnitzel.
Goose the Market
2503 N. Delaware St.
Thinking about doing the romantic dinner thing at home, but not sure where to start? Head over to Goose the Market. Odds are Chris and Molly have everything you need. With a fresh array of meats and cheeses, as well as the perfect locally made ice cream to top it off, Goose also has fresh flowers and a basement loaded with premium import or craft beer, as well as an excellent wine selection.
1043 Virginia Ave.
Great new Fountain Square eatery offering delicious Italian favorites at reasonable prices. Traditional tastes abound here, complimented by the handmade and fresh dishes that moke the mouth water. Voted best new restaurant of 2008 by NUVO readers.
Traders Point Creamery
9101 Moore Road, Zionsville
For a truly local food experience, enjoy the special candlelit four-course Valentine's dinner at Trader's Point Loft Restaurant. Farm-fresh isn't a gimmick here, neither are terms like organic and homegrown. Just make sure to save room for the decadent tiramisu we know is coming for dessert.
1031 E. 54th St.
What could be better than fresh sauces? Inventive antipasti. Try the artichoke fritters with a lemon aioli if you like sour. The romantic ambiance is abundant. Voted best Italian restaurant in Indy by NUVO readers a gazillion times, including 2008.
5650 E. 86th St.
Yes, it's a chain. But every year you romantics choose the Melting Pot as your favorite local romantic dinner option. Try for a reservation in one of the secluded seating areas for couples and a menu that includes starters like champagne Swiss cheese, a main course of lobster tail, and white chocolate with a raspberry heart fondue for dessert.
5694 N. Meridian St.
Chef Dan Dunville takes finer dining classics like potpie and spaghetti carbonara and enlivens them with, say, lobster. A special martini list furthers the elegant American theme. This is local dining that feels like home (if your home came with a world-class chef).
1464 W. 86th St.
Who would think to put rich pancetta vinaigrette on a mild fish like tilapia? Oakleys Bistro. This is just the tip of the iceberg of earthy favorites here. Chef/proprietor Steve Oakley is a talented chef who has been in the food business for a while, and a James Beard award nominee.
6929 E. 10th St.
New sushi spot in Irvington's former Ponderosa steakhouse shows its excitement with rolls like the tasty Afghanistan, which the menu describes as eel and avocado pieces "erupting" with spicy shrimp tempura and masago. Lots to try on this menu. Tatami rooms available.
7690 E. 96th St.
Though beloved chef Karl Benko left this Fisher's establishment last year (and has recently helped open Pikk's Tavern and Adobo downtown), the food at Peterson's remains inspired and perfect for a romantic dinner for two. Expertly prepared American cuisine comes in the form of jumbo Gulf shrimp, a foie gras and Maine lobster tart, and Amish chicken made interesting by pancetta and basil.
888 Massachusetts Ave.
A seasonal menu that incorporates as many locally grown items as possible, fresh-from-the-farm veggies and fruits dominate Chef Regina Mehallick's weekly changing menu. Dinner puts the spotlight on sexy proteins and inventive, fresh desserts. You'll rarely get the same meal twice here, and you'll never be disappointed with the chef's specialties.
SI Restaurant and Lounge
725 Massachusetts Ave.
Executive Chef Jake Brenchley was plucked from the Bloomington location to kick-start Scholar's Inn to its new incarnation, SI. Boy are we lucky for that. The braised short beef rib is a great example of Brenchley's knack for layering flavors.
St. Elmo Steak House
127 S. Illinois St.
Every year NUVO readers heap tons of Best of Indy praise upon St. Elmo. Voted best steak house, best upscale restaurant and best wait staff in 2008, we agree that this is a low-risk high-reward choice for an excellent Valentine's dinner. For those who like it spicy, don't miss the legendary shrimp cocktail!
5363 N. College Ave
We feel the love at Yats no matter what day of the year it is. But if you're looking to share a little love without going broke, come to where NUVO readers know they can get the city's best soul food and cheap eats. Other locations: 659 Massachusetts Ave., 8352 E. 96th St. and in Greenwood at 1280 US Highway 31 N.
543 Indiana Ave.
A place designed for slow, communal dining; plates are brought at staggered times so you'll have time to share and finish before new, hot plates arrive. Some must-tries include mahi-mahi "tacos" in an Asian inspired tempura shell and Medjool dates stuffed with sausage and wrapped with bacon.