Speaking off the toque: Joe Mannke, chef and owner of Rotisserie for Beef and Bird [2200 Wilcrest, (713)977-9524].
Q: Since your restaurant is frequently cited for its romantic atmosphere, what would be an extra-romantic dinner menu for St. Valentine's Day, the food equivalent of splitting a 100-milligram tablet of Viagra?
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A: That is an interesting question. Certainly, holidays such as Thanksgiving have certain foods, an entire menu really, associated with them. But I have never heard of a traditional St. Valentine's Day menu. The foods that particularly match the St. Valentine's Day mood on the menu? I think the appetizer of baked oysters [widely considered an aphrodisiac] would be a good start, or the smoked fish platter. The entrée could be our famous beef and bird, which is a roasted duck paired with a filet mignon, or maybe the fresh salmon en papillote. Finishing the dinner, I'd pick the chocolate Marquise and a flute of champagne. I would think [that would be a Viagra equivalent].