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Table Talk for February 12

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Valentine’s Day: A Few of Our Favorite Things
Dinner reservations and a bouquet of roses are so, well, predictable. Mix it up this year by surprising your sweetie with a few of our go-to goodies.

Website: Top of the Town and Burning Barbecue Questions
We want to hear about your favorite restaurants, dishes, and secreted-away spots. Starting on Friday, you can log onto 5280‘s 2008 Top of the Town ballot and make your vote count. Voting is simple and when you register you can revisit your ballot (for you indecisive types) February 15 through March 31, 2008. www.5280.com
While your grill may currently be covered in frost, backyard-barbecue season will be here before you know it. And, come warm weather, you’ll be wondering which new grill to invest in, which last-minute marinades are best, and whether or not to use hickory chips. Send us these and other grilling questions to [email protected]. We’ll ask Steven Raichlen, celeb grilling guru (and author of The Barbecue Bible and host of PBS’s Barbecue University), your best questions and run his answers in the June issue. Submit your questions by Friday, February 22. Bonus: Raichlen is teaching a three-day, three-night interactive grilling course at the historic Broadmoor in Colorado Springs June 1–4 and June 4–7. The weekend doesn’t come cheap: Packages start at 2,428. www.broadmoor.com

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Recipe: One Hot Martini
If you don’t already have dinner reservations for Valentine’s Day, consider wooing your honey at home. Kick off the evening with a sultry Line of Fire martini, designed by celebrity mixologist Alex Ott. Or, head out to Mynt Mojito Lounge, and ask the bartender to shake one up instead. 1424 Market St., 303-825-6968
Line of Fire Martini

Rim martini glasses with cayenne pepper. Dip the glass rim in grenadine, then immediately dip into a plate filled with sugar. In a shaker, combine OLO with pineapple juice, watermelon liqueur, a splash of grenadine, and ice; shake vigorously. Strain mixture into rimmed martini glasses. Garnish with chile peppers, watermelon slices, or cherries.

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