Date Night Tips From the J-Squared Team

By Jared Bowen

Well it is just about time for that most divisive of holidays: Valentine’s Day. Whether you are a dedicated lovebird or an avowed naysayer, there is plenty to do this weekend, and on the big day itself this Monday. Joining us with some date-night tips, gift ideas, and an update on their foray into the passionate world of the Argentine Tango are our resident insiders, J squared: Jan Saragoni and Jared Bowen.
Jan SaragoniJan's List
Valentine’s Day Dinner at Meritage, Boston Harbor Hotel, 2/14
Chef Daniel Bruce offers a menu of five decadent courses, paired with wine and served in the romantic ambiance of Meritage, overlooking Boston Harbor. Pan Seared Atlantic Halibut with Gingered Jasmine Rice and Lobster, Mint Roasted Rack of Baby Lamb with Creamy Golden Potatoes and Wild Mushrooms, and Smokey Pommes d’Amour Soup with Fennel Pollen Laced Sautéed Shrimp. $145 per person

Gargoyles on The Square, Somerville, 2/14
This Monday a special three course meal for $50 per person. Appetizers include Gold -Crusted Foie Gras, Louisiana Grilled Oysters and Veal with Black Truffles. entrees include Pork Tenderloin Wellington and Mushroom Crusted Lamb Loin. Dessert is Turtle Cream Pie or Passion Fruit Cheesecake.  

Bacco’s Wine & Cheese, Champagne Tasting, Saint James Ave., Boston, 2/11, 4-7pm
The event is free! Bottles range from $17 dollars to $90 and they’re all delicious!
1.  Roederer Estate Brut
2.  Sharffenberger Brut
3. Laurent Perrier Brut
4. Laurent Perrier Brut ROSE

Cocoa Pod Chocolates
Available at Beacon Hill Chocolates on Charles Street and Gallery 55. Main St. in Natick.
Smash Cake
Brigitte Browney, owner of Cocoa Pod Chocolates in Natick, is the creator of  “smash cake,” which is chocolate shaped like a giant cupcake filled with sweets. It comes with a wooden mallet so you smash it to pieces, like a piñata.  The smash cake made its food channel debut last fall on Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa.”

Seductive Subversions: Women Pop Artists at Tufts Art Gallery
This is a fantastic International survey of female Pop artists working between the years of 1958 and 1968. Runs through April 3.
Edward Gorey “Elegant Enigma’s” Boston Athenaeum
Edward Gorey, need I say more? Rund through June 4.

Chad & Jeremy (not kidding!), Shalin Liu Perfromance Center, Main St. Rockport, 2/10
Bill Cosby, Boston Symphony Hall, Feb. 19. Two Shows, 5pm and 8pm
Jared Bowen Jared's List
Mass Ave., Cambridge
This is my one new restaurant to try. The name may be pedestrian, but terrific the food is terrific.

Conversations: Photography From the Bank of America Collection at the MFA
This new exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts assembles works to initiate “conversations” in pairs and in sequenced pieces around themes including portraits, landscapes, street photography and abstraction. Familiar artists featured include Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Edward Weston, Paul Strand, Walker Evans, cindy Sherman and more.

Rachel Perry Welty 24/7 at the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
Boston contemporary artist RPW looks at consumerism, narcissism, trauma, privacy and more in this fascinating new show.

UnderScore Fridays at Boston Symphony Orchestra, 2/11
Concertgoers have the opportunity to hear directly from the conductor about the program and attend a complimentary post-concert reception with the evening’s guest artists. This Friday is a Haydn and Sibelius program. The Haydn Symphony No. 59 in A Major (“Fire”) has never been performed at the BSO.

Mortified—Doomed Valentines Show at Coolidge Corner Theatre, 2/14, 7:30pm
This “special love-themed event” features ordinary adults reading diary entries, lyrics, poems, letters and more that they composed when they were teens in love.

Argentine Tango, New England Tango Academy
J2 is joined by the super talented and even superer sexy cast of instructors Fernanda, William and Christina as they embark on dance domination with their first tango lesson. What have they learned thus far? Jan has trouble pivoting and Jared is reluctant to make love to the shoulder blade. J2 is off to a rocky—but promising—start.
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