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Chocolate cake, dark chocolate ganace, cherry ice cream, and brandied cherries.

Featured Article

Valentine's Day Recipes

A delicious, chocolatey alternative to venturing out into the wild for Valentine's Day.

Sometimes I love going out on the town and allowing someone else to take charge of my dining experience. Other times, I prefer to relax in the comfort of my home and serve my friends and family a meal that I have made, especially for them. Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity to give the gift of your time and effort to show those you love just how much they mean to you. 

If you prefer a romantic evening at home to a night on the town, we've got the perfect menu for you, plus recipes to help you turn up the date night heat in your kitchen. 

Charbroiled Oysters on the Half-Shell
garlic-parmesan butter

Ahi Tartare
avocado, soy cream, baby d's bee sting hot sauce, shaved white chocolate

Cocoa Cacio e Pepe
handmade noodles, vella dry jack, cracked pepper

Roasted Rack of Lamb
chocolate-raspberry wine glaze

Cake & Ice Cream
chocolate cake, ganache, cherry ice cream, and brandied cherries

Recently, my partner in culinary crime and co-chef Joel Bein and I invited members of the Historic District Lifestyle family over for a tutorial in Valentine's cooking, so that they may create a beautiful evening for themselves. 

On this particular evening, Craig Travis and his husband Joe Coffin (owner's of Craig's Curious Emporium) joined us to learn how to create a beautiful meal together at home. Contributing writer Marie Casimir came to pick up some new recipes to cook for her husband, Brad Cortright. Of course, our very own Account Manager Steve Richards was front and center to learn first hand how to re-create these dishes for his husband (and our fabulous publisher) Bobby Mathis.

While we don't have room to publish the entire menu's recipes in print, we will be sharing them on our Facebook page throughout the first week of February. Be sure to visit for step-by-step instructions on how to recreate our "Dip Me in Chocolate" Valentine menu. 

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Chocolate Raspberry Wine Glaze 


  • One 8-rib Rack of Lamb, Frenched 
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Sea Salt or Kosher Salt 
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 


1. Preheat an oven to 450°F.

2. Lightly season the lamb with salt.

3. In a large roasting pan, over high heat, warm the olive oil until almost smoking.

4. Add the rack of lamb and brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a carving board. 

5. Coat the seared lamb with the cocoa powder and set the rack, meat side up, in the roasting pan.

6. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the rack, away from the bone, registers 130°F for medium-rare, 15 to 20 minutes, or until done to your liking.  

While the lamb is roasting, prepare the sauce (below). 

When finished roasting, transfer the racks to a clean carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes before carving into double chops.

Chocolate Raspberry Wine Glaze 


  • ¾ cup Seedless Raspberry Jam 
  • 1 ½ cup dry red wine 
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder 
  • Salt, to taste 
  • 1 Tbsp cold butter 


1. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the wine.

2. Add the jam and stir to melt.

3. Add the cocoa powder and reduce the heat to low.

4. Allow to cook, occasionally stirring for 4-5 minutes.

5. Just before serving, stir in the butter just until melted into the sauce.

We very much hope that you will find inspiration and joy from our evening and that you will look for the rest of the recipes on our Facebook page.

  • Craig Travis, Joe Coffin, and chef Joel Bein discuss garnish techniques
  • Chef Joel Bein, Marie Casimir, Steve Richards and chef Amanda Simcoe prepare the first course.
  • Chef Joel Bein puts the finishing touch on the tuna tartare with some local hot sauce.
  • Ahi tuna tartare with avocado, local hot sauce, soy cream, and shaved white chocolate
  • Cocao Cacio e Pepe
  • Chocolate cake, dark chocolate ganace, cherry ice cream, and brandied cherries.
  • Roasted rack of lamb with chocolate-raspberry wine glaze.