Being in love produces an abundance of hormones (such as norepinephrine, which, depending on your romantic status, could read as “no-repine-phrine”), and some of these hormones act as appetite suppressants. Nonetheless, there is a longstanding belief in the connection between food and love; one kind of appetite naturally leads to another, and love-hunger can sometimes be sated, if only for a while, with another kind of food.
In that spirit, the romantics at the Modern are celebrating this Valentine’s Day with a six-course, prix fixe dinner. In a shameless bid to make your evening more memorable, there will be noted aphrodisiacs served. And as always at the Modern, the menu features foraged ingredients and vegetables, herbs, seafood, meat, and dairy from local Idaho farms and Pacific Northwest purveyors.
There are many poems that describe the particular joy that comes with sharing a delicious meal with someone you love. To whet your appetite, consider Billy Collins’s poem of grateful love to his wife, “Osso Bucco,” which muses on his after-meal fullness of both heart and stomach, the “meat soft as the leg of an angel…” Li Young Lee compares persimmons to the scent of his loved one’s hair. And despite their reputation, “Oysters” by Seamus Heaney is, unexpectedly, an homage not to eros but to philias, to the love between friends: “Our shells clacked on the plates./My tongue was a filling estuary…/And there we were, toasting friendship,/Laying down a perfect memory…”
Toast your love and lay down your own perfect memory at the Modern this Valentine’s Day. There are two seatings that evening, at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. And in case you and your sweetie aren’t getting along great right now, remember that in his poem about food and farming, Wendell Berry reminds us to “love someone who doesn’t deserve it.”