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The one word heard most around town this season? Frozen. And we’re not talking Disney.

For those of us not looking for new residences in Florida or the Cayman’s, there is another wonderfully warm idea to break up the next nine weeks of winter (sorry). It’s called Valentine’s Day. And, since the French still do romance better than anyone else, naturally our thoughts turn to La Panetière, Rye’s little corner of Provence. With parking!

This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday, which may not be ideal for everyone’s busy schedule. In that case, book the following Friday, Saturday, or Sunday (brunch) early. The same-old, same-old, fulfilling the club minimum, or binge-watching again at home do not qualify as romantic, in case you need a further hint. Prix Fixe menus are available for lunch and brunch.

Begin with something bubbly, champagne or prosecco, to set the mood. Then, transport yourself to the sunnier side of France, with langoustine tails, an Emmenthal cheese soufflé, or baked escargots. For the main course, owner Jacques Loupiac presents lobster casserole, Montauk monkfish, classic duck with Verjus sauce, and, since it is winter outside, saddle of venison.

A well-kept secret in town? Lunch at La Panetière, where you may want to linger into the afternoon over a Burgundy from Jacques’ deep cellar or dessert before calling Uber to take you home. Speaking of dessert: Caranoix of chocolate cake, Key lime chiffon pie, and a choice of Grand Marnier, pistachio or chocolate soufflé are guaranteed to warm her/his heart.


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