Localicious: Spice Up Your Love Life with Flavorful Local Cuisine

For most of the 20 years we’ve been together, hubby and I have been parents. One reason I think we’ve made it this far is that rich or poor, we’ve made it a priority to go out occasionally for dinner or drinks without the kids. I’m lucky to work a day job with a steady pool of college students available as sitters, plus the grandparents live nearby.

Both I and my husband have holiday birthdays that also coincide with two of the biggest date nights of the year: New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. These evenings have definitely required a strategy for procuring sitters and venues … here’s my sage advice:

Since Cupid is lurking around the corner, schedule your sitter now (and have a backup). Recruit a trusted teen that is not yet dating (a sitter with his or her own transportation is a bonus).  It helps to sweeten the deal with an extra hourly buck or two for “holiday pay.”

Don’t wait to make Valentine’s Day reservations! Since this isn’t your average night out, and may be your first night out in a while, make it nice. I suggest two classy venues featuring California cuisine with a regional flair, offering meat, seafood and vegetarian options. Both restaurants are within the same price range (starters average $10 and main courses $20-30) and their menus are available online.

Moonstone Bistro in Redding

Moonstone Bistro in Redding features free range, organic and locally grown menu items, and proprietors Tanya and Ché Stedman take pride in offering unique, seasonal cocktails as well as an outstanding wine list. This year, Moonstone celebrates love with a special Valentine’s Day menu on February 14th, and a winemaker’s dinner later in the month featuring Kirk Venge of Venge Vineyards.

“Our restaurant is small, but has different seating for individual preferences,” says Tanya. “Our booths are cozy and good for conversations, our banquette tables are perfect for couples, and our bar overlooks our very busy open kitchen, so you get dinner and a show!”

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Moonstone Bistro
3425 Placer St., Redding.
http://www.moonstonebistro.com;
(530) 241-3663.
Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and for Sunday Brunch.

Red Tavern in Chico

Red Tavern has offered upscale cuisine in Chico for nearly 15 years, and is known for its use of organic and local produce. We spent our 5th anniversary there and loved it. New owners Mike and Kelly Vadney have kept things much the same, and in addition to new menu items they offer an array of special cocktails and an eclectic wine bar.

What makes Red Tavern unique is not just its local organic haute cuisine, but also its beautiful patio, gorgeously lit at night, that offers two unique outdoor activities: a bocce ball court and a fire pit where guests can roast s’mores when the weather’s nice.

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Red Tavern
1250 The Esplanade, Chico.
http://www.redtavern.com;
(530) 894-3463.
Open Monday through Saturday starting 5:00pm.

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Give Your Sweetheart Something Sweet & Special, & Support Art For Children

The Oven Bakery in Mount Shasta is preparing “Tarts for the Arts,” a month-long fundraiser that benefits the Siskiyou Arts Bus, a mobile art program for children.

For a $25 tax-deductible donation your Tarts for the Arts box will include:
1 Lemon, 2 Chocolate & 2 Berry tarts–Five tasty 4″ tarts in all, AND your box will be adorned with a small piece of locally made children’s art making it a perfect gift.  3 delivery dates available: Place your order by February 6 for delivery on February 11 or February 13,  or by February 22 for delivery by February 25. Pick up is only available in Mount Shasta. Please order soon!
Call Andrea at (530) 239-4320 or Pam at (530) 859-2309 today!

The Oven Bakery
214 N. Mt. Shasta Blvd, Mt Shasta.
http://www.theoven-bakery.com;
(530) 926-0960.
Call for hours.

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Localicious is a new monthly column celebrating food in the North State. If you would like to suggest a food-related business or organization, email us at localicious@northstateparent.com

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Desiree Gonzalez
About Desiree Gonzalez

Desiree Gonzalez is an author and a mother of two in Chico.

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