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Pay attention lovebirds, Forest Park has everything you need to play Cupid on Feb. 14. No matter if you want to keep things supremely traditional or especially creative the artisans, bakers, tavern owners and restaurateurs on Madison Street have put passion into creating special products for the upcoming lovey-dovey holiday. Expect to be covered in kisses if you choose to gift any of these thoughtful Valentine’s Day treats to the loves in your life!

Keep things traditional and treat yourself or someone you care about to a box of artisan chocolates from La Maison de Bon Bon. The boutique chocolate shop, 7353 Madison St., is a tiny jewel box of a store with room for just a few shoppers at a time. In addition to the silky smooth original French Crème confections they have been whipping up since 1921, La Maison de Bon also offers traditional dark or milk chocolate assortments boasting pink, red and white decorations for Valentine’s Day. Additionally, the shop sells bottles of wine with a quartet of chocolates, house-made caramel, and chocolate dipping sauces, as well as vanilla butter creams, caramel coated popcorn, and peanut butter cups. How sweet is that?

Joe Sullivan, owner of Duffy’s Tavern, 7513 W. Madison St. in Forest Park, is bringing a creative cocktail twist to Valentine’s Day. The well-loved tavern is offering tasting of five whiskey and chocolate pairings in limited quantities and promises loads of delicious fun with every sip and sample. Each combination will allow bourbon connoisseurs and chocolate lovers to come together to experience some intriguing and powerful taste sensations.

Look for a French single malt to pair swimmingly with an intense dark chocolate to evoke the flavor of a cherry cordial and a powerful orange punch in another pair featuring a readily available whiskey. The tasting is designed to be shared and is available via curbside service and must be pre-ordered through Duffy’s website by Feb. 12 and will likely sell out.

“I’ve made heart shaped pizzas a special feature at Jimmy’s Place for Valentine’s Day this year,” said Jimmy Jodoin, owner of Jimmy’s Place, 7411 W. Madison St.

The Italian eatery serves up loads of classic dishes, but Jodoin is particularly proud of his pizza. Cooked in a 75-year-old pizza oven every pie, from crust to sauce, is crafted with house-made ingredients and topped with top quality cheeses, meats and veggies. There is no sugar in the sauce at Jimmy’s place, but their pizza is made with Alla Cucina tomatoes and a lot of heart. And now the Forest Park mainstay is putting a family spin on a traditionally romantic holiday by serving up 16-inch heart shaped pizzas on Valentine’s weekend. Simply request a heart shaped pie when placing your order — there is no additional charge for the festive shape.

Joana Fischer, head baker and owner of Twisted Cookie, 7401 Madison St., has an assortment of creative Valentine’s Day treats ready to go. You can taste the love in every bite of her red velvet heart-shaped sandwich cookies filled with fluffy cream cheese frosting.  

Twisted Cookie is also presenting generously sized cake sticks decorated to honor the holiday. Vanilla or chocolate cake slices are topped with decadent whipped chocolate ganache and dipped in a chocolate coating before being emblazoned with messages of love or sprinkled with red candy hearts. 

Double decker chocolate chip cookies large enough to feed several folks are stuffed with peanut butter whipped ganache making them an ideal finish to any family-friendly Valentine’s Day celebration. Pre-orders are encouraged at Twisted Cookie, though Fischer welcomes walk-in customers anytime.

Say cheers to love in Forest Park!

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