Crossroads Culinary Center hosts sit-down Valentine's Day dinner

The Spectrum

Couples who are looking for a romantic dinner for Valentine's Day may not have to leave campus.

Culinary Crossroads Center (C3), located in Ellicott Complex's Red Jacket Quad, is transforming a private room into a grand and elegant eatery for students this Friday. Complete with table linens, flowers and candles, UB Campus Dining & Shops (CDS) is hosting a special dinner for Valentine's Day. Other eateries around campus will offer Valentine's specialties, as well.

This Friday is C3's first time holding a sit-down style event. Reservations will be split between two times - 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. - with enough space for 80 students.

Lauren Brantley, the general manager of C3, recalls having a similar event for Valentine's Day when she attended UB.

"Years ago, when I was a student, they used to do a special dinner over at the Center for Tomorrow," Brantley said. "But I think it kind of fell off because students didn't really know where the Center for Tomorrow was, so now we're trying to do something different in the dining halls."

Dining at C3 for Valentine's Day can save students the struggle of finding a restaurant off campus, especially for those who don't own a car. Students who are attending the event can bypass the normal C3 line through a special entrance set up.

For a double meal swipe, or $29, patrons can indulge in a four-course meal accompanied with live music by two violinists. Dinner will include an appetizer, salad, main entr?(c)e and dessert.

The appetizer is a roasted garlic bruschetta, consists of Roma tomatoes, red onions, roasted garlic and fresh basil topped with Parmesan-Romano cheese and drizzled with a balsamic glaze. It will be followed by a fresh mixed-greens salad and the choice of one of two entr?(c)es - a petite filet served with grilled asparagus, sweet potato with honey butter and a cheesy cheddar biscuit, or a vegetarian stuffed portabella mushroom served with grilled asparagus.

UB's on-campus bakery will provide dessert - a lava cake served with ice cream and a chocolate drizzle.

The event organizers have been advertising the event for approximately two weeks through the table tents, posters and web posts.

Darren Chung, a freshman biomedical science major, isn't planning on attending the event but said it's a great idea.

"If you are a couple, it's convenient because you save time and money by being able to use your meal plan," Chung said.

Some students aren't as impressed.

Atul Dilawri, a freshman pharmacy major, said he considered going to C3 for Valentine's Day but was discouraged by the lack of menu options.

"C3 is known for having the most variety out of all dining halls, but there weren't many choices when it came to the premier entr?(c)e for this Friday's event," Dilawri said.

CDS has other events around campus for the holiday. Goodyear's Main Street Market Dining Center and Governors Dining Center are holding a Decadent Chocolate Night, where students can enjoy chocolate dipping stations with various options to make sweet concoctions. Perks and Campus Tees are offering heart-shaped cookie cakes.

Incredibull Pizza has a "sweetheart deal," which includes a one-topping large pizza, 10 boneless wings and five assorted Valentine's Day cookies.

C3 hopes to increase the number of events it hosts for students.

"This coming semester, you guys will definitely see a push at C3 for some crazy special events," Brantley said. "This is the first semester we're going to do Cinco de Mayo ... normally school is out of session by that time, but [this year] we'll be going all out for that."

In April, C3 plans to host a Roman Night in conjunction with the classics department.