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THE DISH: Cupid aims for stomach with Valentine's Day surprises

There are many ways to show you love this Valentine's Day but if you know what's good for you, the gesture will include something to eat. Here are a few ideas to express how much you care — with a little flair — this holiday.

BakoBox, which has been curating fun boxes highlighting local vendors since 2019, has its own Valentine's Day Date in a Box

Act quickly to pick up this box perfect for couples, that includes: a charcuterie board for two from Locale Farm to Table, two bottles of wine (red and white) from San Rucci Winery, Ecuadorian-imported dark chocolate from Royal Seed, a Do Not Disturb door hanger from The Designer Image, lover candle (that turns into massage oil) from MCXI Candles and couples bath bomb from Bloomwell Essentials.

Beyond the date night, the package includes vouchers for a couples sauna session, red light therapy and BioCharger from Happy Whole You and a couples photo shoot with Gwen Corona Photography. 

The entire collection is packaged with a Bako Gifts heart ornament and box lettering by Lemon Lettering Studio.

Valued at over $300, the Date in a Box is $95, available to order at Pickup will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Feb. 12 at Locale Farm to Table, 1727 18th St.

Venue Unknown and The Kitchen, along with its wine program Kitchen Pairings, are teaming for a week of Valentine's Day offerings.

From Feb. 10 to 14, The Kitchen will offer a four-course menu starting with a smoked salmon platter or vegetarian option of tomato “tuna,” along with choice of lobster or sweet potato bisque. The entree is a reverse-seared New York steak with truffle butter, spinach and vegetables, or root vegetable parcel entree for vegetarians. Dessert is Black Forest cake, along with a surprise.

The cost is $85 per person, with the option of pickup at The Kitchen, 1317 20th St., or delivery ($15).

Venue Unknown will up the ante with a date night that includes the aforementioned four-course meal along with Oleander + Palm taper candles, choice of sparkling rosé, red wine or nonalcoholic sparkling elderflower beverage and a small surprise.

Cost is $115 per person or $219 per couple. Pickup is at The Kitchen or have it delivered for $15.

A Valentine’s Day-themed gift-wrapped box with a half-dozen Franco Baked macarons and two splits of Prosecco can be added for $28 as well extra wine ($25 per bottle), roses ($60 for half-dozen, $120 for dozen) or a hand wrap of mixed flowers ($36-$46) from House of Flowers.

For either the date night or dinner, order by emailing with your selected date and package.

Those picking up their dinner package on Feb. 13 will also have a priority viewing space for a socially distanced performance from Bakersfield City Ballet in the parking lot at The Kitchen downtown. (There will also be an outdoor food and wine tasting for Pairings members that day.)

NV Catering wants you to enjoy Love at First Bite with its dinner package.

Diners start off with a chef-designed mini charcuterie box before enjoying what can be a romantic experience of preparing a meal together. The dinner kit comes with instructions on how to heat and serve a meal that begins with a butter bib salad with poached pears, watermelon radish and candied walnuts. The entree is 8-ounce New York steaks with a red wine reduction, served with a beurre blanc pasta bake and heirloom carrots and broccoli. The meal also includes chiffonade basil bread with garlic and sun-dried tomato

Dessert consists of mixed chocolate-covered strawberries with pipettes of Chambord liqueur.

Cost is $95 for the bundle, which serves two. Orders must be in 11:59 p.m. by Feb. 9 by ordering online at or by calling 679-3540. Times for pickup or delivery (within a certain range) are 3 to 6 p.m. Feb. 12, or noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 13 or 14 at 3301 Pegasus Drive, Suite 4

While we wait for our own authentic East Coast style-deli, we can enjoy the pop-up events that Chabad of Bakersfield brings to town. Just in time for Valentine's Day, the Chabad Jewish Community Center will host another Jewish Deli Night on Feb. 14. Preorder New York pastrami and corned beef sandwiches or smoked turkey or salami. The menu also includes kosher hot dogs, Coney Island square potato knishes, chicken matzo ball soup, chocolate rugelach and beverages including Dr. Brown's sodas.

All items must be preordered online at The event will be held at 4 p.m. Feb. 14 at the center, 6901 Ming Ave., with socially distanced patio dining or takeout. 

Funds raised from the Deli Night will go toward the educational programming at the Chabad Jewish Center. And what's more romantic than helping your community?

Speaking of good local causes, the Guild House will also offer a Valentine's Day Dinner for pickup. The volunteer-run restaurant benefits the Henrietta Weill Child Guidance Clinic, a private nonprofit mental health agency that serves local families.

The three-course meal starts with New England clam chowder and fresh-baked rolls with butter, followed by an entree of chicken cordon bleu with Irish mornay sauce served with three-grain rice and sauteed vegetables. For dessert, enjoy tuxedo chocolate cake and chocolate-covered strawberries.

Cost is $35 and dinners must be ordered by Feb. 12 by calling 345-5478. Pickup will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Guild House, 1905 18th St.

And for those whose canine companion is their true valentine, have we got the deal for you. Dog Gone Crazy Pet Salon has an adorable "Barkuterie" Board for the No. 1 dog (or dogs) in your life.

Curated by salon owner Whitney Caetano and fellow groomer Sabrina Chaidez, the package features an assortment of treats specially made for dogs including duck-wrapped sweet potato and peanut butter-filled pretzels. Local maker Yellow Truck Woodworks also created a custom dog-sized charcuterie board to lay the treats on. (That beats dropping a Snausages treat in their food bowl.)

To purchase, Venmo the payment ($40 per package) to Caetano's account (@Whitney-Caetano) with BARKUTERIE in the comments and how many you'd like to order.

The deadline to order and pay is by 5 p.m. Feb. 7. Boards can be picked up on Feb. 12 from 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the salon, 1316 19th St.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.