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; Forget about that tired old heart-shaped box of chocolates from the drugstore. If your beloved (or whoever you're trying to get with on Valentine's Day) has any taste, those stale-ass nuggets of wax and preservatives won't score you points (and if you're single at the moment, you should treat yourself to the quality goods). Here's a bit of cacao counsel to save you from Cupid-themed cliché.


; Global Chocolate (955 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park; 407-681-3500) stocks a rosewater chocolate truffle — a clever combination of those V.D. classics, chocolate and roses. Made by Danish confectioner Knipschildt Chocolatier, the Antoinette is heart-shaped, filled with rosewater dark-chocolate ganache and covered in marbled white chocolate.

;; Whole Foods (1989 Aloma Ave., Winter Park; 407-673-8788) is the sole distributor of this year's special-edition Chocolove bar: dark Belgian chocolate with chipotle and ancho chilis and dried cherries, with a love poem inscribed on the inside of the wrapper. Spicy-hot and romantic.

;; That old standby for molded-chocolate novelties, Schakolad (various locations;, has a variety of heart-shaped fare, but their most inventive offering is a pair of white-and-milk-chocolate handcuffs. Careful: What seems sexy to you might send a different message (trapped? possessive?) to your sweetie.


;; If you're planning to go out and not just sit home scarfing chocolate, a piece of advice: Eat light. The problem with the big romantic dinner date is that after you enjoy that luscious four-course special menu, you can end up, let's say, too stuffed to jump. To avoid postprandial bloat, head to the Enzian Theater for the 9:30 show, a special screening of Four-Eyed Monsters. Described as a "contemporary take on the perennial boy-meets-girl story" by the Village Voice, the film tells a visually inventive tale of two loners and their eccentric courtship through letters, drawings, e-mail, text messages and making videos for each other — but no talking. (See the trailer at


; Yes, Enzian chef Josh Oakley is planning all sorts of couple-centric culinary adventure: a pair of prix-fixe dinners with wine, as well as various "desserts for two." But the movie's 85-minute running time will give you time to digest, along with some food for thought.


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