Eat Your Heart Out This Valentine’s Day

heart shaped cookies
A plate of cookies in the shape of symbolic and anatomically correct hearts
Heart cookies from Amelia’s

They say the way to the heart is through the stomach. Here are 11 ways to show your significant other that you understand the assignment without breaking the bank.

Say it with sugar at Amelia’s (653 Virginia Ave., 317-686-1583; 1637 Nowland Ave., 317-686-1583). Pre-order a Heart Cookie Box with three anatomically correct hearts decorated with strawberry royal icing and three conversation hearts with black cocoa royal icing. Add champagne and caviar or other goodies from the bakery’s stocked shelves if you’re feeling bougie like that. The goods are available for pickup February 13–14, so you can surprise your lover with a sweet breakfast or treats all day. 

The historic Steer-In (5130 E. 10th St., 317-356-0996) continues its annual White Tablecloth Valentine’s Dinner with a heartwarming spread that includes “Wham Bham” Shrimp, French onion soup, prime rib, and crème bruleé. The menu is available after 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (along with the regular menu) for those celebrating early, but reservations for the holiday dinner service on Monday are suggested, because this is clearly the place to be.

People in a cafeGold Leaf Savory and Sweet (1901 E. 46th St., 317-600-3543) offers a homey dinner-party vibe every Monday night, and they are giving Valentine’s Day a little extra glitz with a la carte oysters, raclette, mead hot toddies, bubbles, beer, and wine. It’s come-as-you-are and first-come, first-served.

Love Handle (877 Massachusetts Ave., 317-384-1102) does not disappoint on this night of love. A plated dinner for two includes a wedge salad, fried shrimp, a 120-day dry-aged ribeye with mashed potatoes, and a bottle of Cava at the ready. It’s all of the classics, along with some ’90s throwback flicks on the screen to make retro hearts go pitter-patter.

Pittsboro might not be your first thought for a fine-dining destination. Think again, because the always-amazing Hoosier Roots (26 E. Main St., Pittsboro, 317-892-0071) is offering a Valentine’s Day four-course Surf and Turf dinner for $65 in its small, intimate dining room. Add wine pairings for $25 per guest. Courses include a grilled artichoke and field greens salad, seared sea scallops with mandarin orange beurre blanc and creamy herb polenta, filet mignon, and white-chocolate cheesecake with sour berry coulis.

If fresh-baked bread loaded with all the meats, cheeses, and old-school toppings is your idea of romance, bring someone you like a whole lot to Greiner’s Sub Shop (2126 Shelby St., 317-783-4136) to enjoy wine, spirits, and a candlelit three-course dinner special. Adorable heart-shaped treats for your special pooch will be available as well.

A man holding two pastries
AJ Feeney put his heart into the V-Day selections at his Books Bourbon & Bacon food truck.

In creating his Valentine’s Day menu, AJ Feeney of Books Bourbon & Bacon food truck asked some important philosophical, love-related questions. “What flavor best represents a life alone with cats?” “How do we get people to eat roses?” “What are the stages of a relationship?” and “What does a breakup taste like?” His answers, in the form of two $10 stuffed brown-butter brioche doughnut trios, include The Hearts & Bubbles Brioche Trio (red velvet brioche stuffed with cream cheese frosting, strawberries and non-alcoholic champagne pastry cream, and rosewater and raspberry pudding) and The Not Today Cupid (Black Bitter & Cold pitch-black activated charcoal brioche with chilled espresso cream, plain brioche filled with chocolate chip cookie dough, and a Thirty, Flirtini, and Thriving brioche filled with non-alcoholic Flirtini pastry cream). Similarly themed macarons are also available. Preorder now for February 13 and 14 pickup at the truck’s Broad Ripple kitchen location.

Circle City Sweets and Send a Friend Lasagna are teaming up on the gift that embodies love during pandemic times: a pan of hot lasagna and a heart-shaped chocolate cake delivered right to your better half’s door on February 13 or 14. They’re accepting orders until February 9.

If locally roasted coffee is your love language, Brownsburg breakfast hangout Best Friends Coffee & Bagels (1060 E. Main St., Brownsburg, 317-350-2185) is offering its picture-perfect flight of flavored cold brews and cold foams all month long. The oh-so-sweet flavors include Red Velvet, Salted Caramel, Cherry Cordial, and Chocolate-Covered Strawberry.

A painting of Anthony Bourdain watches over the cozy dining room.

Gallery Pastry (multiple locations) is a no-brainer if you’re going for the wow factor. Surprise your sweetie with all the glamorous and glorious things, including a Black Heart entremet, the ultimate dessert board, or a pack of chocolate-dipped strawberry macarons.

Chocolate is basically a requirement to accurately express your affection, so perhaps a visit to SoChatti Tasting Room (1125 E. Brookside Ave., 317-600-3776) is in order. It offers tastings and Heart Day–themed drop candy–making, along with a selection of wine and beer, starting February 1. Walk-ins are welcome during store hours, or you can book a tasting on their website.