If it's been a while since you've been out to gorge on the goodness of Historic Tanglewood Ordinary Restaurant, here are some incentives: a Valentine's dinner with music from Albafeire on Feb. 13, and menu additions of pot roast and meatloaf on Friday and Saturday nights. The Southern foods, family-style servings, log-house character and 24-year hospitality of proprietors Anne and Jim Hardwick make this a satisfyingly back-in-time dining experience. 2210 River Road West, Maidens. 556-3284. ordinary.com.
Almost Karneval: Part circus, part street party, all pre-Lenten craziness, Capital Ale House celebrates Karneval downtown Feb. 5-16. Music by Souler Coaster, Bio Ritmo, the Continentals, C. J. Chenier and others comes with food and drink specials and more than a few toasts. Look for legislators and lobbyists in the fray. capitalalehouse.com.
Chez at dinner or later: One of downtown's sparklers, Chez Foushee, announces a pre-Valentine's menu Feb. 13, three courses including appetizers, beef or seafood and duo dessert, with seatings at 6 or 8 p.m. Another suave option is the midnight menu of specialty cocktails, appetizers and desserts. Reservations and details at 648-3225. 203 N. Foushee St. chezfoushee.com.
Romance in the Fan: Over at Avenue 805, celebrate Valentine's Day all week with selections from a three-course menu for $45 per couple, plus tax and tip. 805 N. Davis Ave. 353-2505. www.avenue805.net.
Lewis Ginter: Employee-owned catering company Meriwether Godsey, which feeds the Obama girls at Sidwell Friends School as well as students and politicos in Richmond, is going strong at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. See its Web site for special Valentine's Tea House dinners and brunches Feb. 13-14. www.lewisginter.org.
Virginia Biological Farming Conference: Feb. 19-20. Learn more and register at http://vabg.org.
To Style: Having read that Mezzanine had been named Style Weekly's Restaurant of the Year for 2009 … we ate there last night. Perhaps the place has changed hands? Our server was lackadaisical when not being condescending; every cooked dish was extremely salty without being particularly tasty; and the “attractive waitstaff” seem to have been judged solely by their cleavage. Sorry, I think you blew it on this one.
— Laurie Crammond