"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." Virginia Woolf

You might think a heart-shaped pizza with heart-shaped pepperonis is only in your dreams, but dreams are what Valentine’s Day in Carpinteria are made of. It won’t be on the menu, but locals know that on Thursday, Feb. 14, Giovanni’s owner Shawn Noormand will take special requests for the lovers’ pie. Noormand is hoping for a busy night—a filled restaurant and a spike in deliveries, “A lot of women call in to order pizzas for their significant others stuck at work,” said Noormand. Now, that’s amore!

For finer dining of Italian fare, Giannfranco’s Trattoria will have a special Valentine’s menu including a complimentary prosecco for the couple, shrimp scampi, an 18 oz porter house steak and butternut squash raviolis in sage brown butter sauce. Chef Giovanni “Gio” Sherwyn will also serve a salad with baby roasted tomatoes on the vine, fresh burrata and pesto. “The flavors are erotic,” said Chef Gio, “for example, tomatoes on the vine are sensual, the colors red with green are appealing, it’s something for the eyes to pick up and enjoy.” For dessert, Giannfranco’s will have 20 different offerings, including the scrumptious date-night favorite, the tiramisu—not too sweet, fluffy, light and moist. 

Amorous foodies will find themselves at home at Corktree Cellars Wine Bar & Bistro where they can enjoy house favorites like “Love Me Tenders” (seasoned chicken tenders) and “Little Bites of Heaven” (bacon wrapped andouille sausage, secret sauce & gorgonzola crumbles) with perfectly paired wine offerings. Corktree’s cozy dining experience has made it an all-year favorite among the tender hearted.

Teddy’s by the Sea will have a sweetheart dinner offering of steak and lobster on Valentine’s Day. For libations, Teddy’s love potion is the Spicy Guava Margarita, an aphrodisiac mixology of serrano chili-infused tequila, fresh guava puree, agave, lime juice and a tajin rim. 

Forgo the candle-lit dinner or simply get an early start on Valentine’s festivities with breakfast mimosas at Jack’s Bistro or have a midday rendezvous at Fosters Freeze to share a milkshake with your honey.

As sweet is love, so are the desserts handcrafted in Carpinteria. The Food Liaison will feature an assortment of Valentine’s-inspired desserts by Pastry Chef Heather Giacone—Blood Orange Panna Cotta, Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes and Strawberry Hazelnut Flourless Chocolate Cake, to name a few. Delicious cupcakes and coffees will be at the counter as always at Crushcakes, but order ahead if you want the devilishly good Dozen Roses (12 red velvet cupcakes each with a frosted red rosette), the Love Box (four cupcakes each with a valentine message), dark and white chocolate-dipped strawberriesor the “conversation heart” sugar cookies.  

Carpinteria’s family-owned Robitaille’s Fine Candies has stocked the shelves with heart-shaped boxes filled with handmade chocolates, truffles and candies, and mint cellos and chocolate roses. Grab a gift for your guy or gal or stroll arm-in-arm to the fudge counter for a final sumptuous palette pleaser.  

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