Sure, love is in the air, but can you eat it? No. That’s why we invented sugary Valentine’s treats like these!
Fancy flowers and frilly cards are nice, but we all know the best way to someone’s heart: through the pancreas. Here are seven ideas for an unforgettably sweet gesture on Valentine’s Day.
Make a reservation at Sweets Raku: Dessert takes center-stage at this offshoot of acclaimed Japanese restaurant Raku. Helmed by pastry chef Mio Ogasawara, the desserts here are colorful and inventive, bringing the kind of experimental form you’d previously only find on the Strip to this cozy Chinatown outlet. Order the Mars, for example, and they’ll pour burning brandy over an unassuming red chocolate dome to reveal the layers of yuzu mousse, fruit, hazelnut wafer, and caramel beneath. Pair your sweets with a dessert wine and opt for counter seating for a front-seat view of the open kitchen. (5040 W. Spring Mountain Road #3, raku-sweets.com)
Take a tour and tasting at Ethel M: For chocolate aficionados who want an in-depth look at their favorite sweet, head to Henderson for a tour of gourmet chocolate brand Ethel M’s headquarters. Level up with a chocolate tasting class that covers the production of chocolate and the nuances of chocolate flavors. For those 21 and over, a chocolate and wine pairing class is also available. After all, it’s said the reason Mr. Mars opened Ethel M. in Nevada is because of our fair state’s lax laws regarding booze in chocolate. (2 Cactus Garden Drive, ethelm.com)
Indulge in over-the-top confections at Sweet Factory: With a flagship store at the Fashion Show Mall, Sweet Factory is itself a confection of a space, with plush booths, carnivalesque lighting, and views of the Strip. You’ll be able to order decadent milkshakes (named “insane milkshakes” on the menu) like the Caramel Sugar Daddy Cheesecake, garnished with a slice of cheesecake, candy, and a rainbow lollipop. Adults will want to head upstairs to the chocolate lounge for chocolate martinis, spiked milkshakes, and chocolate and wine pairings. (Fashion Show Mall, sweetfactory.com)
Learn how to make French pastries: If you’re ready to bring your sugar addiction home, learn how to make classic French desserts in a cooking class hosted by Sur la Table. Throughout February, they offer courses on croissants, éclairs, and macarons — take the class with your sweetheart, or learn something new to impress a special someone. (Downtown Summerlin and Fashion Show Mall, surlatable.com)
Put together a vintage gift basket of old-timey treats: If you’re looking for something more unique than a heart-shaped box of chocolates, put together a gift basket of your own. For loved ones with a penchant for vintage goods, you can stock up on classic candies and sodas at Rocket Fizz. They also sell novelty flavors and hard-to-find brands, not just classic ones, so you can always pop in a bacon, PB & J, or sweet corn soda for some off-kilter fun. (9410 W. Sahara Ave. #120, rocketfizz.com)
Share an Instagram-worthy sugardose at Creamberry: Hey, if you’re in it for the ’gram, own it, we say. And you won’t find many desserts to sugar-shock your Insta-feed more than the cotton candy ice cream burrito at Creamberry. Your choice of ice cream is covered in the toppings of your choice, then wrapped in a layer of rainbow-colored cotton candy. Slice that baby in half and you’ve got a colorful, decadent dessert to share. (7965 S. Rainbow Blvd. #140, 702-863-2385)
Load up on a buffet of sweets: Sometimes you just want your cake and ice cream and caramel apples too, okay? Lucky for you, U-Swirl Frozen Yogurt and Rocky Mountain Chocolates have partnered up in a venue that serves 15 varieties of serve-yourself frozen yogurt and a bevy of chocolate-dipped treats: Think gourmet chocolate and caramel-coated apples, chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate-covered bananas, chocolate-covered cheesecake … you get the picture. If you manage to try one of everything, let us know. (7660 W. Cheyenne Ave. #126, 702-912-0900)