Whether you view Valentine’s day as an obnoxious greeting card holiday or just another excuse to pamper your partner, one thing is certain: it’s almost defined as much by dessert as it is by love. Feel the flames of love — or maybe that’s just the heat from a spicy truffle? — this Valentine’s Day while snacking on sweet treats at these eight dessert destinations in and around Boston.
Please note that a number of Boston-area restaurants have resumed dine-in service, and the level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: For updated information on coronavirus cases in the area, please visit the Massachusetts coronavirus website.
Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.
For a boozy Italian dessert
Located in the Hotel Marlowe, Bambara’s bites fuse Mediterranean inspirations with New England favorites. The restaurant is offering two special Valentine’s Day desserts — a selection of chocolate truffles, and orange blossom panna cotta drizzled with orange liqueur and served with kumquats — as part of its Valentine’s Day dinner for two packages ($100 plus taxes and gratuity) from Friday, February 12 to Sunday, February 14.
For a taste of Paris
Paris Creperie has outposts in Brookline and the Seaport, and each are doing crepes that are simply *magnifique*. The Seaport location also has an excellent cocktail list curated by Boston cocktail legend Brother Cleve. A trip to the City of Lights may not be in the cards at the moment, but one can drink the Champs-Élysées (a cocktail made with Pineau des Charentes, lemon, chartreuse, white vermouth, honey syrup, and basil) while scarfing down crepes made with lemon curd or Beaujolais wine jelly.
For fruity waffles
This Chinatown spot focusses on Asian-inspired desserts — think shaved ice, waffles topped with whipped cream and fresh mango, taro-sprinkled soy pudding, mochi balls, papaya tofu pudding, and more. Sweet Kingdom also has a location — the original — in Allston.
Sweet Kingdom is open for takeout.
For rich red velvet
The desserts dreamed up by Big Heart Hospitality pastry chef Dee Steffen Chinn are nothing short of heavenly. Chinn crafts sweets with bold, creative flavors, and the desserts on offer from Big Heart this Valentine’s Day weekend are no exception: red velvet chocolate chip cookies; truffles inspired by the Kir Royale, a beloved French cocktail made with crème de cassis (black currant liqueur) and topped with champagne; and creamy mascarpone pudding served with boozy cherries.
Place orders online, and pick them up between Friday, February 12 and Sunday, February 14.
For another taste of Italy
While this South End Italian favorite is best known for its pasta, don’t skip the desserts. Mida’s tiramisu is topped off with a table-side shot of espresso during on-site dining service (for takeout, the shot is packed for diners to drizzle at home). House–made gelato flavors change daily, with wild fruit, olive oil, and salted caramel on rotation. Mida has also concocted a pair of specials for its Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu ($120 for two people, plus taxes and gratuity): passionfruit cheesecake, and a dark chocolate espresso brownie.
For something sweet and spicy
With a name like Sweet Tooth, you’d expect this Southie shop to deliver on its promise of sugary delights. It certainly does that, offering a host of cupcakes (try the carrot cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting), brownies, cheesecakes, and other goodies. Valentine’s Day is a good excuse to load up on Sweet Tooth’s truffles. Varieties include raspberry, mocha, orange liqueur, and the so-called Aztec, which adds a kick of heat to counterbalance the rich chocolate.
Sweet Tooth is open for in-store shopping, takeout, and delivery.
For a taste of soul food
Soleil is know for its Southern-inspired food like beef brisket, fried chicken, fried catfish, and po’ boys, but chef and owner Cheryl Straughter is also doing great desserts at her Nubian Square restaurant. Savor Soleil’s silky banana pudding, and generous slices of chocolate cake, carrot cake, and red velvet cake.
For a dessert to match the occasion
This Dorchester shop is dedicated to Vietnamese-inspired desserts, and it’s a love letter to anyone with a sweet tooth. Check out the ché Saigon, a Vietnamese fruit cocktail that features grass jelly, pandan jelly, young coconut, and coconut milk. It is pink, white, and red, and sort of resembles a Valentine’s Day card (only it’s actually a dessert, which is way better). The passion berry crepe is worth your coins too, and is made with passion fruit custard cream, berries, toasted almonds, and whipped cream.