Finding an affordable, sensible and creative way to say “I care about you in ways that cannot be expressed with a card and chocolate candies” around Valentine’s Day weekend can be difficult, so NW Playlist has compiled some of the best Valentine’s Day plans in the Manayunk area. Valentine’s Day-related festivities can seem more like a rip off than a romantic escape with that special someone. At least that’s the way Gemelli beverage manager David Howard sees it. “Usually, everyone grits their teeth and gets taken for a ride,” Howard says. Gemelli won’t have any special menu to mark the occasion aside from their usual fare – gamey Italian dishes with French and Spanish influences, but Howard has concocted a few drinks that should set the mood right for those who want to indulge at the restaurant for its first Valentine’s Day since relocating to Main Street in Manayunk last spring. Their house pour and rose prosecco are available for $33 a bottle, while Howard has imported an Austrian sparkling Pfarrplatz wine from Vienna for $65. Howard says its dry, yeasty flavor goes especially well with food. They’ll also have vintage champagne for $99 a pop. Coinciding with Manayunk on Ice’s icy drinks contest, Howard has created a pyrite rum-based Manhattan with fresh orange, vermouth and bitters. From Saturday through Tuesday, the drink special will be g’indochine, which Howards says is an Asian inspired gin drink infused with lemon grass and lime, with pickled and spiced cumquats and tonic water.
If you care to throw in some spice for this weekend – at least, you and your date’s taste buds – Laxmi’s Indian Grille on Main Street is serving a fixed price meal for $29.99 on Tuesday. Chicken tikka bhyrani – a sort of barbecued Indian version of Spanish paella, will be one of the specials, and the restaurant’s fixed price menu includes appetizers, desserts and complimentary wine. Winnie’s LeBus on Main Street is also serving seafood angelica with crab meat, lobster and wheat pasta and surf and turf with shrimp and steak on Tuesday night. Maybe you’ve taken care of food and drink, but what about the rest of the body? Art+Science Salon and Spa on Main Street offers custom massage oils with a purchase of a couple’s massage. And for those who want to get physical with their partners in public, the Society Hill Dance Academy invites you to partake in tango and rumba partner dance classes for $40 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the group’s Center City location.