V-Day Cooking Classes - Taste of Meridian - Mai Thai Lunch Buffet 

An Open Letter to Lovers

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

The love in your life does not want roses for Valentine's Day. Nor does he or she want the heart-shaped cardboard box full of icky-sweet chocolates. And, yes, it's fun to get all gussied up and shell out the equivalent of your car payment on a restaurant dinner and a bottle of wine, but wait until some random (and unexpected) Thursday next month to do it. Instead of fighting for a dinner reservation on Valentine's Day, getting piss-poor service, overblowing your budget and then being rushed out for the next round of seating, get cooking. Here's how:

On Tues., Feb. 12, Chef Jon Mortimer hosts a Pleasing Your Valentine (sorry, all advice is restricted to food matters) cooking class, with an easy and elegant four-course menu that includes an elegant prawn cocktail for two, romaine hearts, roasted beef loin for two and a chocolate lovers torte for dessert. Class is $40, at 6 p.m., Franco Latino, 775 S. Rivershore Lane, Eagle. To register, call 208-938-2850. For more information, visit FrancoLatino.com.

If ethnic food is more your cup of tea, Life's Kitchen hosts a class on how to create a five-course Moroccan meal for you and your Valentine on Wed., Feb. 13. Class is $50 per person at 6:30 p.m. For information or to register, e-mail rouchelle@lifeskitchen.org or call 208-331-0199. Life's Kitchen, 1025 S. Capitol Blvd.

Or, skip the meal and get right to dessert. Mon., Feb. 11, Salmon River Foods/Dream Chocolates' chocolatier Amanda Thompson will teach a class on how to make truffles. Class is at $35 at 6:30 p.m., Easy Cookin', 7121 W. Overland Rd., 208-375-4590.

Sincerely,

Cookin' Cupid

Bottomless Pad Thai

Name one thing better than a steaming bowl of Tom Kah Gai followed up by some thick Massaman. All-you-can-eat Tom Kah Gai and Massaman. Yep, you glutton, you, all you can eat. As of Feb. 4, Indian food no longer has the monopoly on the curry lunch buffet. Mai Thai in Eagle will start offering a lunch buffet for those short on time (as well as those who are super hungry or just completely indecisive) on Monday. The regular menu will still be available, but $9.95 gets a diner the buffet 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Sorry, Boise downtowners, Eagle location only.

Mai Thai, 78 Eagle River St., 208-938-THAI.

Taste This

There was a day when a "taste of Meridian" would have been a glass of milk and plate of fingersteaks. Those days, apparently, are gone. Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd will deliver her state of the city address (yadda, yadda—"unmitigated tumorlike growth"—yadda, yadda—"strip mall takeover"—yadda, yadda). The incentive for sitting through the mayor's big talk? The Taste of Meridian to follow. The buffet-style reception features mostly locals, with grinds from the recently opened Rick's Press Room, the infamous rib house Andrew's Rib Shack, Idaho's only eponymous pizza purveyor Idaho Pizza Company, Sa-Wad-Dee Thai, Me Time Coffeehouse and BW's officially favorite Polish restaurant My Caffe. Edible Arrangements and Carino's Italian Grill will also be there representing Meridian's love affair with all things corporate.

Fri., Feb 6, 4 p.m, $10, Meridian Middle School, 1507 W. 8th St. For information or to buy tickets, call 208-884-2468 Ext., 204.

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