The Main Attraction: Dessert Dates

Skip the box of chocolate and opt for local sweets this Valentine’s Day.
Yum!'s signature Patti Cake and twin red velvet cupcakes are perfect for you and your valentine.

Valentine’s Day is one of the only days of the year when eating chocolate throughout the day is acceptable, and even encouraged. But instead of relying on that trusty box of chocolates to satisfy your loved one’s sweet tooth this year, take them to a St. Louis Park eatery for a treat on your date, no matter what time of day. These restaurants and bakeries are making delicious sweets around the clock, so why not eat dessert for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Opt for a homemade pan di cioccolato from Honey & Rye (and impress your date even more by learning how to pronounce the name in Italian) or a sweet Patti Cake from Yum! Kitchen and Bakery. From rich chocolate desserts to light baked breads, these eateries have something for every sweet tooth this Valentine’s Day.

(Honey and Rye's chocolate dream cake-for-two is "a mini version of our chocolate dream, which is chocolate cake with Swiss chocolate buttercream, ganache and chocolate curls," says shop manager Kate Sharp.)

Honey & Rye

The glow of morning sunlight can be as romantic as a candle-lit meal, and a local bakery is just the place to spend your morning with the ones you love. With a name as sweet as its baked goods, Honey & Rye produces treats using as many local ingredients as possible. “Honey & Rye is a great place to kick off Valentine’s Day with a coffee and pastry date, whether it’s for two or the whole family,” says shop manager Kate Sharp.

On display this Valentine’s Day are a trio of delicious chocolate baked items. The pan di cioccolato is not your everyday loaf. “At one time a weekly special, we now reserve this bread for special occasions,” Sharp says. “It starts with our sourdough, which is folded with cocoa and studded with dark-chocolate chunks.” Sharp recommends trying this loaf with peanut butter or using it to make French toast for a cozy breakfast at home.

The chocolate babka is brioche with a bittersweet chocolate swirl. “It’s just the right amount of sweet and rich, perfect with coffee in the morning,” Sharp says. This bread is beautiful and delicious, which is a dynamic combination for a romantic occasion. Completing the trio is the chocolate dream cake-for-two. “It’s a mini version of our chocolate dream, which is chocolate cake with Swiss chocolate buttercream, ganache and chocolate curls,” says Sharp.

“Before leaving, grab a baguette for dinner, cake for two, and one of our two chocolate loaves for breakfast the next morning,” Sharp says. Whether you are making a quick stop to grab a treat on your way to work, or you have time to enjoy the morning, Honey & Rye’s warmth and charm will brighten your Valentine’s Day.

Mill Valley Kitchen

(Go three-for-two with Mill Valley Kitchen's maple panna cotta mini dessert and gluten-free brownies (two slices per order!)).

A trip for two to San Francisco may not be on the calendar this year, but at Mill Valley Kitchen, you can impress your date with California-inspired fine dining right here in St. Louis Park. With light cuisine that doesn’t skimp on flavor, a meal at Mill Valley is balanced and won’t weigh you down before the most important course on Valentine’s Day—dessert.

With gluten-free, vegan, and even mini dessert options, Mill Valley’s menu ensures that everyone can have a sweet evening this Valentine’s Day. Manager Michael Djerf highlights the maple panna cotta and the gluten-free chocolate brownie. Served in a dainty glass and sprinkled with black salt, the panna cotta is sure to impress even the toughest food critic with its creamy, sweet and salty flavor.

While the panna cotta is guaranteed to shine, Djerf claims that the chocolate brownie is a true show-stopper. “It is every chocolate lover’s absolute dream—there is a crunchy chocolate layer, and a gooey fudge layer,” Djerf explains. “It is my personal favorite, and it’s the only food item I have driven here, after hours, to have.” With two slices, it is a great dessert to share with someone you love—because sharing chocolate is only possible with someone you truly love.

“Mill Valley is super-cozy, intimate, and beautiful,” Djerf says, explaining why the restaurant is a destination date spot for more than just the chocolate brownie. “Historians have written that Mill Valley is the best restaurant for Valentine’s dates,” Djerf teases. While it may not be in the history books, Mill Valley’s beautiful setting does ensure a lovely evening will be in the books this Valentine’s Day.

Yum! Kitchen and Bakery

If a lunch date is on your agenda, venture down Minnetonka Boulevard and make a stop at Yum! for lunch and a Patti Cake. Casual and family-friendly, Yum! is a neighborhood favorite that is hard to miss. Located directly off Minnetonka Boulevard, this bright eatery is bustling with people at any time of day.

While the atmosphere is more light and fun than intimate and romantic, Yum! owner Patti Soskin attests that Valentine’s Day is one of their busiest days of the year. “We are known for our sweets and it’s a fun place to get something you know will be special,” Soskin says. Upon entering the restaurant, it is clear that there is a following of people there for the food, and for the community.

While Yum! is a great spot for a full meal, their sweets are not to be missed. “We are known for our Patti Cake,” Soskin says. “Our raspberry Patti Cups are Patti Cake with raspberry mousse.” If a Patti Cake doesn’t strike your fancy, you can find red velvet cupcakes, heart-shaped challah bread, and personalized heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies that are freshly baked and ready to be packaged and gifted – or eaten in the car on the way home. “With the personalized heart-shaped cookies you can be creative and clever,” Soskin says. Valentine’s Day is a great day to be together, and Yum!’s welcoming environment makes gathering together as delightful as their baked treats.