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Valentine’s Day Weekend: A procrastinator’s guide to 18 fool-proof dates

Sun Sentinel logoSun Sentinel 2/12/2020 By Ben Crandell, South Florida Sun Sentinel

The most remarkable moments in actor-comedian Patton Oswalt’s profound 2017 Netflix special “Annihilated” were spent lingering in the aftermath of the sudden death the year before of his wife, journalist Michelle McNamara.

Creating a public, performative expression of such deeply personal emotions was difficult, Oswalt would admit, but this section of the show — its weave of humanity, empathy, universal truths and big, perhaps cathartic, laughs — grounded it in something very real. The album version of “Annihilated” was nominated for a comedy Grammy Award.

Oswalt is back with a new set of emotions on his current tour, titled “I Love Everything.” His laser-guided cynicism is intact, but there’s more: He’s married again, to a woman who fills him with poetry. He doesn’t dwell on the specifics, according to reviewers, but this new love, so unexpected not long ago, has found him and lifted him.

The longtime character actor (“King of Queens,” “Parks and Recreation”) will be a centerpiece of Valentine’s Day Weekend performances at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets to his 8 p.m. Saturday show start at $30. Visit

Here are some other places that South Florida couples, singles, cynics and procrastinators will be gathering to celebrate or ignore romance this weekend:

Palm Beach County

Zipitios Valentine’s Day Formal at Grandview Public Market in West Palm Beach is what it sounds like: Prom for grownups. Beginning at 8 p.m. Friday, the 21+ affair will include DJs spinning a nostalgic party soundtrack, food from Zipitios and drinks from Bar Harbour. Attire is, yes, formal formal. Admission is $10 general admission; $30 to include all food and drinks (and a prom pic); $50 per couple, including all food and drinks (with prom pic). Visit

You like beer, but she/he doesn’t. How about a beer that doesn’t look or even taste like a beer? The Reef Room at Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach on Friday will debut Raspberry Flamingose, a pink, gose-style ale made with hibiscus and pink Himalayan sea salt, pink guava and fresh raspberries. The release party includes music from Steel Pan (5-8 p.m.) and food from Tucker Duke’s food truck (4-10 p.m.) Visit

Slip and Slap at Rex Baron in Boca Raton on Valentine’s Day is not the kinky affair you might be conjuring in your mind. The quirky post-apocalyptic themed restaurant will have a special Valentine’s menu all weekend, but Slip and Slap, performing 6-9:30 p.m., is the roots-music duo of guitarist Slip Mahoney and upright bass player Noah Hall of rockabilly ruffians Slip and the Spinouts. Visit,

Dog-friendly Lake Worth reggae-rockers Spred the Dub, longtime hosts of the annual Bark Back Benefit, will spread the love on Friday at 2:30 p.m., passing out toys to dogs and cats to kick off Valentine’s Adoption Weekend at Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League (3200 N. Military Trail in West Palm Beach). The Valentine’s Day appearance is part of a fundraising effort for Spred the Dub’s team in the rescue’s 19th annual Walk for the Animals fundraiser at Meyer Amphitheatre 9 a.m. Feb. 22. Visit Donors who give $14 to the team before Valentine’s Day will have a toy given to a shelter animal in their honor. During Valentine’s Adoption Weekend adoption fees are lowered to $14 (excluding a rabies tag fee for Palm Beach County residents) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Sunday. For more information, visit You can catch Spred the Dub Friday night at Crazy Uncle Mike’s in Boca Raton and Saturday at Mathews Brewing in Lake Worth. Visit

Friday brings the penultimate gathering in the free Lake Worth Bonfire series on the sand adjacent to the Lake Worth Casino Building and Beach Complex, where these family-friendly nightfall picnics are as romantic as you whatever you put in your cooler. Taking place from 6 to 10 p.m., this week’s event features classic rock from My Weekend Therapy. The series wraps up Feb. 28 with the People Upstairs. Visit

My wife has always had a soft spot for the old house that is the setting for Dada in downtown Delray Beach. It has a kind of unique, arty warmth to it. Dada will offer a three-course, prix-fixe dinner on Friday night. Price: $75. There are more than a dozen items on the menu, so take a look at

The free Art After Dark series, 5-10 p.m. Friday at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, will include a silent-disco mixer, a couples-drawing session in the galleries, a search for lust in the works in the museum’s collection, a recital of Debussy and Chopin by Kaleidoscope MusArt and a prix-fixe Valentine’s Day menu in the restaurant. Visit

The Tin Roof in downtown Delray Beach on Friday night will host Emo Your Heart Out: A Valentine’s Day to Remember, featuring all your favorite, heartbreakingly sad songs. Visit

The creators of some of the great love songs of all time will be in the spotlight during “Laser Beatles” at 7 p.m. Friday at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $10 in advance, $12 at the door (members $10). Also scheduled Friday night: “Laser Retro” (‘80s hits) at 8 p.m. and “Laser Vinyl” (classic rock) at 9 p.m. Visit

Broward County

Gulf Stream Brewing and 5150 Chocolate Co., the “bean to bar” chocolate factory in Delray Beach, will team up for a 7-10 p.m. Friday Beer and Chocolate Pairing — a marriage in five flights — at the Fort Lauderdale brewery. Cost: $26 per person. Visit,

The gruff dudes at the Laser Wolf in downtown Fort Lauderdale on Friday will go all romantic-like with a Valentine's Day Omakase featuring the cult-favorite work of Chef Takeshi Kamioka (of the Kaminari Ramen food truck). The dinner will have two seatings, 7-9 p.m. and 10 p.m.-midnight, each with five plates, five sakes, five beers and, as always, no jerks. Seats cost $100. Visit

The romantic dinner planned at downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Boathouse at the Riverside (behind the Riverside Hotel) features an elegantly prepared branzino and a red velvet cake dessert, but it’s the soothing, water’s edge New River view that’s the clincher. It will make up for all your transgressions. Dinner is $45 per couple. Visit

At the Round Up country-western nightclub in Davie, the Valentine’s & Galentine’s Day Party on Friday night includes free dessert and a free bottle of bubbly with the purchase of two entrees, plus free drinks for the ladies. Couldn’t hurt. Dinner reservation required:

Singles Awareness Day (a thing?) will be celebrated on Saturday at the Round Up, where free agents can identify themselves by wearing green, get a free drink at Cupid’s Bar, mingle in the singles’ area onstage and take part in lighthearted games throughout the night. The Sink or Swim special — all you can drink draft beer and cocktails for $30 — will be in full effect. Visit

The Anti-Valentine’s Day Social at Township in downtown Fort Lauderdale begins at 4 p.m. Friday, when the tavern is calling all the single ladies to gather for drinks. From the top, it’s Kill the Keg at 4 p.m. (free beer until it’s gone), a two-for-one happy hour 4-7 p.m. and free house cocktails, wine and beer for single women from 7 to 8 p.m. And then there is the matter of Township’s Bloody Mary Festival on Sunday, with Bloodies made from 15 brands of vodka, tequila and whiskey. Tickets cost $25 for general admission (unlimited samples 1-5 p.m.), $50 for VIP (noon access, a brunch spread and premium labels). Visit

The Valentine’s Day Speed Dating race takes place 7:30-10:30 p.m. Friday at Tarpon River Brewing in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Hosted by the efficient romantics at South Florida Speed Dating, the event is aimed at singles in their 30s and 40s, but who’s carding, right? Tickets cost $10. Visit or the Eventbrite page.

Anyone who attended the Yacht Rock Revue concert at Revolution Live last weekend knows this music is not (exclusively) the target of satire. It is genuinely beloved. At the Broward Center 8 p.m. Friday, the Yacht Rock Valentine’s Fling will gather some titans of the genre, including Ambrosia (“How Much I Feel”), Peter Beckett of Player (“Baby Come Back”), Stephen Bishop (“On and On”) and John Ford Coley (“I’d Really Love To See You Tonight”). Resistance is futile. Tickets start at $29. Visit


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