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Celebrating Valentine’s Day at Le Basilic
By Michelle da Silva Richmond

As people around the world know, February spells “Romance,” and it’s traditionally the month for lovers – highlighted by Valentine’s Day on February 14.

And while there are many interesting legends about how this special holiday came about, most are linked to one of the Christian Church’s saints named Valentine.

One of theories has to do with an early Christian who made friends with many neighborhood children.  When the Romans imprisoned him because he refused to worship their gods, the children missed him so much that they tossed loving notes between the bars of his cell window. This may explain the modern-day tradition of exchanging messages on Valentine’s Day.

According to another legend, sometime in the 200s A.D. Roman Emperor Claudius II forbade young men to marry because he thought that single men made better soldiers. Allegedly, an Italian bishop named Valentine disobeyed the emperor’s order and performed secret marriages. When he was discovered, he was said to have been burned at the stake.

At some point, Pope Gelasius I designated February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day.

No matter how the holiday began, the modern world has frenetically embraced the “holiday,” and designated it a special day for love and friendship.

The Chic Setting

In honor of the occasion, Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun will be honoring Valentine’s Day with a special menu on February 14 at the award-winning, French specialty Basilic Restaurant.

The recipient – since 2007 – of the coveted AAA Five Diamond Award – unique cuisine, overseen by Celebrity Chef Henri Charvet, Maître Cuisinier de France and crafted by Executive Chef Sergio Zarate is showcased.

Drawn from the name of southern France’s delicate basil plant, Le Basilic offers an elegant avant-garde ambiance enhanced by soft piano music and attentive service and “haute cuisine.”

The checkerboard black and white marble floor, combined with art-deco clam-shell chairs, soft linens, shimmering candlelight and contemporary artwork lend a true French bistro feel, setting the stage for a memorable culinary experience.

Special Menu for a Special Day

Start your romantic Valentine’s Day meal with a starter featuring a trilogy of beef: tartare, carpaccio and bone marrow. Pasta lovers may want to follow that with a tasty pappardelle pasta with escargot, bathed in veal jus and cream.
Seafood lovers will enjoy orange and soy glazed sea bass in chicken stock accompanied by sautéed vegetables, while meat lovers will relish pistachio crusted loin of lamb with couscous, onion pearls and buttered figs.

The pièce de résistance – a decadent “deconstructed” tiramisu – offers a new twist to an old favorite. Petit fours and dreamy chocolates are added treats.

Pair your meal with a selection of fine wines and top it off with a rich coffee to seal the perfect finale to your romantic rendezvous.

Bon appétit!

The adult-only Le Basilic is open Monday – Saturday from 6:30 – 11:00 pm. The dress code is “casual elegant,” with no shorts or beachwear allowed. For more information or reservations, contact the Concierge at extension 3380.