Sure, everyone thinks Valentine's Day is just about love. But it turns out that St. Valentine is also the patron saint of bee keepers who often had roosters hanging around him (at least that's how it's shown in iconographic images). On top of that, Feb. 14 is also the ancient pagan holiday of Lupercalia, a celebration of fertility where people would often sacrifice a goat.
From this, Custom House Tavern chef Perry Hendrix is crafting a four-course meal ($44 a person) that pays homage to Valentinus and Lupercalia, where each course will somehow tie in either honey, rooster (sort of) or goat. The menu, which will be served Feb. 11-14 alongside the restaurant's regular menu, will feature items like soft-boiled egg, coq au vin, braised goat shoulder and hay honey parfait for dessert.
Custom House Tavern's Feast for St. Valentine:
· 1st Course: Soft boiled farm egg with heirloom grits, crispy duck & herbs (a symbol of Lupercalian fertility)
· 2nd Course: Seared sea scallop with ‘coq au vin’ (for Valentine’s rooster iconography)
· 3rd Course: Smoked & braised goat shoulder with burnt flour pappardalle, roasted winter squash and handmade ricotta (for the Lupercalian sacrifice)
· Dessert: Hay-honey parfait with soy gastrique, lime and crisp chocolate (for Valentine, the patron saint of bee keepers)
Custom House [Photo: Forbes Travel Guide]