Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Valentines Day arrives this weekend with a wintry mix of obligation and indifference. If you’re one of those romantics who find it necessary to venture outdoors and try to look handsome/beautiful for a  significant other during days there’s a forecast high of 19 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of -4 (this is not a joke), here are some suggestions on ways to pass the time between shivers. Prices range from free to I-can-afford-to-live-in-Cambridge:




The Longy School of Music of Bard College’s two orchestras, The Longy Conservatory Orchestra and Sistema Side by Side Orchestra, will perform a free concert called “From Longy with Love” under the direction of Sean Wang with selections including Schumann’s Symphony No. 1, Op. 38, “Spring”; “Step Up!” by Jeremy Van Buskirk, of Longy’s composition faculty; and Oscar Navarro’s Clarinet Concerto No. 2. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at First Church in Cambridge, 11 Garden St., Harvard Square.

“Night Moves” features comedians telling their funniest true sex stories, part of Kevin Quigley’s storytelling show “Wild Memory Nation.” The comedians include Kenice Mobley, Gary Petersen, Jordan Handren-Seavey, Dan Strom, Adam Finne and Marissa Kennedy. It takes place from 11 p.m. to midnight Saturday at ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St., Central Square. Tickets are $12.




East Cambridge’s Bambara Kitchen & Bar has Valentines Day-themed brunch specials for Saturday and Sunday, including Red Velvet Pancakes for $12, Pink Mimosas for $9 and a shareable breakfast spread with bacon, sausage, three eggs, a waffle, toast, breakfast potatoes and fruit for $22. It offers a half-dozen oysters and two sets of pared rosé flights for two from 11 a.m. to close Sunday for $30.

Beat Brasserie in Harvard Square starts its “Three Days of Heart Beats” à la carte menu on Friday, but all the specials are offered Sunday as a prix fixe dinner menu is $55 per person, including appetizers such as Bison Bolognese, “Fall-off-The-Bone” Baby Back Pork Ribs and Lobster Chowder; main courses such as the Aged New York Strip Steak, Sea Bass Puttanesca and Roasted Wild Salmon Bowl Azteca; and a dessert choice of Strawberry Shortcake; Blueberry, Lemon, Yogurt & Granola Cheesecake, and Flourless Chocolate Torte. Beat Brasserie, which has live music, is at 13 Brattle St., Harvard Square.  Call (617) 499-0001.

Cafe ArtScience has two prix-fixe dinner options added to regular menu over the weekend. Saturday brings a three-course prix fixe meal for two for $180, including an assortment of chilled shellfish, Chateaubriand a la Rossini with Pommes Anna, Perigueux Truffle and Wilted Spinach, and a choice of desserts including a Valrhona Dark Chocolate Souffle for two and Aerated Cheesecake with Mezcal Pearls, Macadamia and Smoked Pineapple Sorbet. Sunday brings a five-course prix fixe menu for $85 per person, with highlights including Japanese Wagyu Crudo with Fried Oyster, XO Aioli and Nori Vinaigrette; Mushroom Veloute with Parmigiano Custard, Truffle and Hazelnut Bread Crumbs; Maine Diver Scallops and Spanish Prawn with Yellow Eye Bean Tortellini, Perigueux Truffles and Ham Consommé; and Raspberry Rose Mille Feuille with Frosted Almonds, Devonshire Cream and Satsuma Tangerine Sorbet. There are optional beverage pairings with each for an added price. Cafe ArtScience is at Le Laboratoire Cambridge, 650 E. Kendall St., Kendall Square.

Rialto has a four-course Valentines weekend menu for $90 (replacing the regular menu) exclusive of tax, beverage and gratuity. The entrées include Branzino of pan-roasted striped bass, romesco, charred scallion, broccoli rabe and crispy squid; Aragosta of poached lobster on brioche, braised fennel, blood orange and red wine butter; Maiale alla Pizzaiola of grilled pork tenderloin, braised pork belly, slow roasted tomatoes, burrata and fried herbs; Anatra of seared duck breast, Pedro Ximénez cherries, toasted freekeh, sage pesto and radicchio; or Bistecca of seared beef tenderloin, shimeji mushrooms, potato purée and crispy parsnips. The meal is from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Rialto, 1 Bennett St., Harvard Square. Call (617) 661-5050 for reservations.




UnReal, which makes less guilt-inducing versions of popular candy products, is selling limited edition Valentines-themed tins and bags of its red candy coated milk chocolate “gems” (think of M&Ms made with organic cacao and dairy, no artificial ingredients, and colored with beetroot juice) or dark-chocolate peanut butter cups at the Whole Foods Cambridge stores at Fresh Pond, Alewife Brook Pkwy and River Street. The candies are $5 or $10. Buying a “double dozen” roses and a tin of its “Unreal Love” branded candies is $30.