With Valentine's Day on a Monday this year, many couples are making more creative plans to celebrate. Restaurants are offering weekend-long deals, and many are offering special incentives like gift cards for Feb. 14 diners to entice people to dine out on a Monday. To get an idea of availability, visit opentable.com and peruse the offerings. Here are some of our favorite options, ranging from the traditional to the eccentric.
Spa Gregorie's is offering the chance to develop your massage technique repertoire for $15 per couple. Learn in class, then take your knowledge home. The class, from 7 to 8 p.m. Feb. 10, is hosted by the spa's Newport Beach location, 200 Newport Center Drive No. 100. To make a reservation, call (949) 644-6672 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put on a funny face
For a lighthearted evening, consider attending a comedy murder mystery dinner show at 7:30 p.m. Valentine's Day at the Wyndham Hotel, 3350 Avenue of the Arts, Costa Mesa. This year's show is set during the prohibition era of 1933, at Ruby West's illegal speakeasy. The PG-13 show is $75 plus meal tax for early bids, and includes a choice of entrée and dessert if ordered in advance; there also will be a bar (open at 7 p.m.), costume contest, prizes and a free bottle of champagne for every four seats booked together. Advance reservations are highly recommended; walk-ins will be accepted if there is room. Call (949) 509-9889 or visit BestComedyMurderMystery.com.
Remember giving and receiving candygrams in high school? If the person on your mind is a froyo fanatic, relive your glory days from Feb. 11 to 14 with Pinkberry's hand-delivered Swirly Gram gifties, complete with heart-shaped balloons.
Choose from Swirly Spree, a gift-wrapped Pinkberry gift card from any amount, or the $10 Cupid's Swirl and larger $20 Take Me Home yogurt delivery options, which come in three flavors: original, paired with toasted almonds, strawberries or dark chocolate crisps; blood orange, paired with blood orange pieces or waffle cookie; and chocolate, paired with brownie bites, raspberries or shaved milk chocolate.
Order online at pinkberry.com or at local stores, including those at Fashion Island, 941 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, or 7811 Edinger Ave. Suite 116, Huntington Beach.
Stop by Golden West College Theater's production of A.R. Gurney's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Love Letters" at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10, 11 and 12, or 2 p.m. Feb 13, at 15744 Golden West Street, Huntington Beach, to get a glimpse into the lives of two soulmates through the letters they exchanged over the course of several decades.
Two actors read the letters aloud. Each performance is directed and acted by a different student or faculty director and duo of actors.
Tickets are $7 general admission or $5 for students and seniors.
Where opposites attract
There's something for everybody in Rustica's Valentine's five-course tasting menu, which will be available Feb. 11 to 14 for $55 per guest, with optional wine pairings at $40 per guest. Choose from course selections like "Hot or Cold" — hot poached coastal oyster in white wine, or cold Cambridge House smoked salmon — or "Dry or Wet" — a dry 6-ounce petite filet or wet beer-braised Kobe short ribs.
For more information and reservations, call (949) 706-8282 or visit rusticafashionisland.com.
A night to remember
For a local escape, try the Balboa Bay Club & Resort's Valentine's Romance Package, starting at $295 per night. The package includes accommodations, champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries upon arrival, a $50 resort credit, breakfast in your guest room or in the First Cabin Restaurant, and complimentary valet parking.
If you just want to dine in the restaurant, a three-course prix fixe menu will be available the evening of Feb. 11, 12 and 13 for $59 per person, and a five-course prix fixe menu will be available for $75 per person the night of Feb. 14.
For more information or reservations, call the restaurant at (949) 630-4145 or the resort at (949) 645-5000, or visit balboabayclub.com.