A Guy's Guide to Valentine's Day

Last year, Galaxy Chocolates in Sultan had a moderately busy day on Valentine's Day until about 3:30 p.m. Then the store was completely jammed with so many people trying to get gifts for loved ones that the store couldn't serve them all.
All but about three of the last-minute shoppers were guys.
So for men (and the occasional woman) who wait until the last second to pick up that Valentine's Day gift, here is a print-and-keep guide to restaurants, florists, jewelry stores and candy shops with special offers for the romantic holiday.
Tear it out, fold it up and stick it in your wallet, so that when it's 3:30 on Valentine's Day and you are beginning to panic, you can pull off a gift that will make it look like you planned it out weeks ahead.
Dinner and flowers at Adam's Bistro
Adam's Bistro in Monroe has prepared a special menu for the holiday, and is also offering, in conjunction with Monroe's Flowers by Karen, an opportunity to have a special floral arrangement waiting on the table when you arrive.
The $50 four-course fixed menu meal (see menu below) has an optional $25 wine pairing, and there is a vegetarian option available for those who request it.
Reservations are highly recommended, said Jeromi Quincy, lead line cook and marketing manager at the restaurant, but last-minute tables have been found before, Adam said.
In order to have flowers on the table when you arrive, call Flowers by Karen at (360) 794-7110 ahead of time and have her help you select a nice arrangement (Adam suggests avoiding arrangements so large that they overwhelm the table). She will deliver it to the restaurant ahead of time, and they'll have it waiting on the table when you arrive.
Prime rib and lobster at Prospector's Steak and Ale in Gold Bar
Once again, Prospector's will offer a prime rib and lobster dinner, price to be determined by market value that day, followed by karaoke. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. and music starts at 8 p.m. Call ahead for reservations at (360) 799-2461.
Flowers and chocolates
For an unusual and striking floral arrangement, visit Flowers by Karen at www.flowersbykarenonline.com, or at the shop at 16117 171st. Ave. S.E. in Monroe. Karen has striking arrangements starting at about $40, and she delivers all the way up the Sky Valley to Gold Bar.
Floral arrangements from Karen stand out, as they often include unusual elements such as wide, dramatic leaves or wire worked into the shapes of hearts.
"I'm the custom girl," said Karen. "You call me, you get something awesome."
This year, along with teaming up with Adam's Bistro to arrange flowers with dinner, Karen is also teaming up with Galaxy Chocolates of Sultan to make it possible to get both locally-made gourmet chocolates and flowers, all in the same place. Score!
Candy stores

Galaxy Chocolates in Sultan and Sweet Indulgence in Monroe are both offering an array of special Valentine's candy.
"I plan on doing heart-shaped stuff and champagne truffles, merlot truffles, champagne caramel and some baskets," said Galaxy Chocolates owner Kathryne Paz.
She is also offering candy baskets ranging from $39.95 up to about $89.99.
Galaxy Chocolate is at 501 Main. St. in Sultan, call (360) 863-6265.
Sweet Indulgence in Monroe also will have a selection of holiday sweets. Sweet Indulgence is at 19555 U.S. 2, right next door to Ben Franklin. Call (360) 805-1440.
At Monroe Jewelers, open in Monroe for 30 years now, you can get something beautiful without breaking the bank.
"We have really affordable jewelry, under $100; really pretty, in silver, some with gemstones, and lots of heart-shaped things," said Gabrielle Bradley at Monroe Jewelers.
Find Monroe Jewelers in the strip mall between Ben Franklin and Safeway, right next to Sweet Indulgence, which makes for one-stop Valentine's Day shopping.
With all these options, you can't fail to make someone important feel special on Valentine's Day.
Adam's Bistro Valentine's Day menu-á
Trio of Appetizers:
Herb and Cheese Gougers with a smoked chicken and cream cheese filling
Braised Pork Belly accompanied by a preserved apricot chutney and white bean puree
Confit Pacific Albacore served in an endive "boat" with blood orange and a harissa aioli
The meal comes with a choice of soup or salad.-á
Soup option:
Carrot Ginger Soup with a toasted almond and carrot fritter
Salad option:-á
Roasted Beet Salad with endive and arugula, pickled red onion, candied walnuts, feta cheese then dressed with tarragon vinaigrette
Entrees include your choice of:-á
Sauteed Local Fish (based on availability), potato gnocchi, baby bok choy, toasted hazelnuts, roasted fennel and leeks, with an orange miso nage
Grilled Filet Mignon with sauteed rapini, bacon, chili flake, whipped potatoes, caramelized mushrooms, and a creamy mushroom ragout
"Death by Chocolate" with figs and port wine.
To finish the experience there will be dark chocolate and lavender truffles
These beautiful pieces of jewelry (above and below) are moderately priced at Monroe Jewelers, and perfect for the holiday. Photo courtesy of Monroe Jewelers


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