Love means getting creative for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is typically riddled with enough cliches to leave Cupid powerless to work his charms. The standard-issue romantic dinner, heart-shaped box of chocolates and bundle of roses are arguably wilting when it comes to creativity.

Our love letter to you isn’t dolled up with sweet nothings, but rather several ideas to help make your Valentine’s Day more unique than the ones before.

BREAKFAST INSTEAD OF DINNER

Start the day right with a breakfast at a place that brings a little of the romance of Paris to metro Atlanta.

Douceur de France in Marietta and Roswell are operated by a couple of French transplants and offer properly made French pastries, omelets, crepes, quiche and their take on French toast (le pain perdu or lost bread), which the couple had never heard of until arriving on these shores.

Both locations open for breakfast at 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Roswell: 1173 Alpharetta St., 770-650-1173. Marietta: 277 S. Marietta Parkway, 770-425-5050. www.douceurdefrance.com.

LUNCHTIME RENDEZVOUS

A romantic lunch at Bone’s Restaurant, the sizzling and swanky Buckhead steakhouse, is one way to skip the holiday dinner onslaught. Try reserving a spot near the wine gallery, an intimate and romantic corridor with eight tables. The staff is willing to lend a hand to make lunch special. If you want to decorate the table, they’ll help you find a florist. Proposing marriage? They’ll commiserate with you to enhance the surprise. Of course, they’re known for steaks, including the popular 8-ounce filet. Or you can simply go casual with a steak sandwich and a bowl of French onion soup.

11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays for lunch. Bone’s Restaurant, 3130 Piedmont Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-237-2663, www.bonesrestaurant.com.

TAKEOUT THAT’S A KNOCKOUT

Star Provisions, the foodie haven with both gifts and gourmet groceries, is offering a special takeaway meal for the occasion. You can bring the same culinary savvy of its legendary sister restaurants, including Bacchanalia, to your own table. The Valentine’s Day Dinner for Two package comes loaded with foodie delights including lobster bisque, lobster salad, a choice of halibut or beef tenderloin, and other additional thoughtful eats and sweets. Orders must be placed by 5 p.m. Feb. 12.

10 a.m.-midnight Mondays-Saturdays. $140. Star Provisions, 1198 Howell Mill Road N.W., Atlanta. 404-365-0410, Ext. 130, www.starprovisions.com.

SERIOUS CHOCOLATE

Don’t even think about ducking into a drugstore for a generic box of chocolates. Go for something more discerning like the luxurious and artful creations found at the Chocolaterie located at the Avenue Forsyth. The sweetness that’s in season includes 17 different heart-shaped truffles hand-painted in chocolate. Think traditional dark, milk chocolate and the various flavors of the house. The latter includes cherry cheesecake, Key lime pie, mint chocolate chip and more. Their other Valentine’s Day special is a custom combination of truffles in a glass bangle box, which can double as a jewelry box once the treats are wiped out.

10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; noon-6 p.m. Sundays. The Chocolaterie, 410 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 4126, Cumming. 678-513-2700, www.thechocolaterie.com.

GARDEN PARTY

Instead of bringing home flowers, immerse your lover in a plethora of petals by visiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Its “Valentines in the Garden” event offers quite an arrangement from dancing to walking among the flora. Peruse the tropical conservatories or bask in the scent of orchids. The event is the only nighttime viewing of “Orchid Daze: Surreal Beauty,” the Botanical Garden’s ode to its noted collection of species orchids. Nosh on food samples courtesy of local caterers, or grab a meal at MetroFresh in the Garden, the on-site restaurant, which will be decorated for the occasion. Tip back libations at the cash bar. Other amenities include perfume making, a photo booth and an ice bar. On the way out the door, grab a free long-stem rose while they last.

7-11 p.m. Feb. 14. $30 per person; $25 for members. Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-876-5859, www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org.

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