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Love Stuck

Not that we can't celebrate them year-round, but baker Heather Glissman reminds you that it's National Sticky Bun Day on Feb. 21, and that her business, Grammy O's Sticky Buns, is the logical nexus of flavor, commerce and gratuitous food holidays. Check out the gooey traditional Pennsylvania goodness of pecan-topped or plain sticky buns, made fresh to order and delivered locally, just in time for whatever.

Valentine's Day is one time when getting out of the kitchen and into other rooms is a time-honored strategy for romance. Some local food companies want to make that a little easier, to wit:

Tastebuds, at 4023 MacArthur Ave. in North Side, offers a takeout dinner for two for $40.54, including a terrine or torte appetizer to share; two entrees such as petite filet Oscar, Cornish hen or seafood crepe with sides; and chocolate bread pudding with strawberries for dessert. Order by Feb. 11. 261-6544.

Mosaic Café & Catering in the River Road Shopping Center offers a "take-home helper" for Valentine's with choices of four appetizers; six soups or salads; entrees, including beef short ribs, pecan-crusted chicken, braised pork shanks or roasted monkfish, with rolls; a choice of two sides each; and one of four chocolaty desserts. $69.95 for two, $135.95 for four. Order by Feb. 12. 288-7482.

Crusty's Pizza in the Fan, its name notwithstanding, celebrates Valentine's with its second annual pizza delivery serenade. $20 gets a two-love-song performance by professional musicians; pizzas are extra with a $10 minimum. Feb. 14-17. 475-7272.

For those who won't be staying in for dinner, do your date a favor and make a reservation. (Valentine's remains one of the busiest nights for restaurants and is a potential logjam without some prior notice.) At The Dining Room at The Berkeley Hotel, chef Michael Hall offers a menu that includes petite beef Wellington appetizer, broccoli reggiano-parmigiano bisque with grilled lobster, almond-crusted veal scaloppine and Grand Marnier chocolate mousse cake in a dark-chocolate hat box, among other treasures. 780-1300.

At Virginia Crossings Resort, the long Valentine's weekend includes several dinner options and a champagne brunch. One dinner includes soup, shared seafood appetizers, entrees ranging from lamb and beef to salmon and pasta, and chocolate decadence for two. Just under $100 for two, tax and gratuity extra. Other nights include a chophouse buffet and a seafood buffet, all with live music and a rose for m'lady. 727-1480.

Dinner for two at Strawberry Street Café is set at $59.95, including soups or Caesar salad, choice of lobster ravioli, chicken fontina or beef Wellington, and dessert. 353-6860.

Manakin Grill in Goochland serves a three-course dinner for Valentine's with a choice of large and small plates, seafood to beef, $45 per person. Reservations by phone only, 784-0544. See the menu at

Keeping Kosher

What's not to love about the fabulously enlarged Carole and Marcus Weinstein Jewish Community Center (even the name is longer) and its Nosh Café? Espresso drinks, fruit smoothies, bagels, wraps and tuna, sweets and a salad -- all preparations are supervised by the Va'ad Hakashruth of Richmond. And check the prices — a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is $1.09. The café is owned by Margie Zapata and is open weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Saturdays, and open Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 5403 Monument Ave. 285-6500, ext. 8114.

Wine Dominion

You've seen the national media push to promote Virginia wines. You know that Travel & Leisure magazine has called Virginia one of the "newest ready-for-primetime wine regions from around the world." You feel compelled to learn, sample and buy in to the one-fell-swoop action of the first annual Virginia Wine Expo, coming to the Greater Richmond Convention Center Feb. 16-17. Tickets get you unlimited wine tastings from dozens of state wineries, a commemorative crystal wineglass, food samples from restaurants and purveyors, celebrity chef demonstrations and a chance at swanky door prizes like a Cartier watch. $25 in advance, $35 at the door. Part of the proceeds benefit VCU Massey Cancer Center.

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