Seven His and Hers Recommendations for Valentine's Day: A Box of Chocolates and a Box of Cigars
Some of the selections aren't surprising, according to Lee. "Obvious choices are the fine selections from Godiva, Lindt and Ghiradelli, but we thought we'd suggest some exotic chocolate indulgences you might not be aware of." He continues, "Chocolatiers can now be reached from anywhere around the globe. Our advisers did an exhaustive search, and the choices prove it was well worth it."
Let's start with eight chocolate recommendations that are sure to make your evening fantastic.
Seven drawers of the most exquisite chocolates, displayed in a hand-crafted box with its own temperature and humidity gauges ($825)
According to Lee: "Buy this for your lady and maybe she will let you store your cigars in it after she's done."
2. MarieBelle's Luxury Collection of 100 Ganaches
Packed in a big red Cien Box, perfect for storing cherished possessions after the delicious chocolates have been devoured ($260)
According to Lee: "MarieBelle's chocolates are true works of art, almost too good to eat."
3. The Boîte Maison
An elegant and refined presentation, displaying the entire assortment in a gold-lined single-layer box ($198)
According to Lee: "We suggest the 2.15 lb box so you can share. Micaëla is delightful in a warm cognac."
4. Milk Chocolate Truffle Heart Box
An edible container, made of creamy milk chocolate. Inside are 17 large, delicious assorted truffles ($95)
According to Lee: "Spectacular as a gift or great for a party. If you have the opportunity, add the Gourmet PB&J."
5. Custom Grande Box
40 chocolates with up to eight flavors of your choice. Gluten free; Egg free; Alcohol Free. Contains Dairy ($70)
According to Lee: "Romanicos is a proud supporter of Chocolates for Autism."
6. Limited Edition Pink Vanilla Buttercream Cupcakes
Sublime little cakes with a luscious center of Godiva chocolate ganache. Offered by the half dozen. Sure to delight youngsters while sending adults into a state of chocolate bliss ($28)
7. Valentine Signature Collection Cupcakes
A mix of chocolate and vanilla cakes with cream cheese or chocolate frosting and fillings of cream cheese, chocolate or raspberry preserves ($27)
According to Lee: "My private addiction on Santa Monica Blvd in Beverly Hills."
And, now for the cigars ...
1. Presidente Chateau CH from GrayCliff Cigars
Graycliff is one of the most exclusive boutique cigar brands the world has ever known. Rolled in Nassau at the Caribbean's first 5-Star-restaurant. ($385)
"The best place to enjoy Graycliff is there in the Bahamas, by Dolphin Cay at Atlantis." suggests Lee. "Of course, that really would make Valentines Day complete."
2. Reserve 10th Anniversary Champagne from Tabacalera Perdomo
Tabacalera Perdomo's award winning cigars are made with attractive Connecticut wrappers that impart a symphony of complex flavors including almond, coffee and cocoa with a smooth, silky finish. ($140)
3. Cusano 18 Toro Maduro from Cusano Cigar
Cusano 18 Braided Maduro Toro cigars are a well-balanced blend of Dominican Piloto Cuban long-fillers enhanced by 18-yr-aged Dominican Oro/Seco leaves capped in a zesty Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper. ($100)
4. Tatuaje Cabinet Tainos Corojo Churchill from Tatuaje Cigar Co.
Tatuaje Taino is loaded with 100% pure Nicaraguan flavor, triple-capped with oily Corojo '99 wrappers for extra body and soul. A spicy, full-flavored feast that's best savored when smoked ever so slowly. ($300)
"Enjoying a Tatuaje is similar to hanging out at the Golden Globes with Robert Downey Jr., Bradley Cooper and Mike Tyson," says Lee. "It's so cool!"
5. CAO LX2 Toro Natural (10pk) from CAO International
CAO Lx2 Toro Natural cigars (Ligero-times-two) Dominican and Nicaraguan ligero long filler tobaccos are encased in an Honduran binder leaf, then seamlessly rolled in a luscious Nicaraguan wrapper. ($70.)
"Drive BFF in X5 to LAX. Hop G5 to LV. Smoke LX2 at MGM 54," says Lee.
6. OPUS X Perfecion #2 Natural Torpedo (1 cigar) from Arturo Fuente
Fuente OpusX is one of the rarest cigars in the world. It is elusive to almost every enthusiast because of its limited production. If you can find a box, it's worth the investment. ($25)
"If your lover appears with a box of these for Valentine's Day, you should appreciate the tenacity and cunning it took to achieve such a feat," chuckles Lee.
7. Aniversario Belicoso Sumatra (1 cigar) from Romeo Y Julietta
The Aniversario is a robust addition to this classic marquee. This particular cigar is a blend of rich Peruvian, Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers secured by a Connecticut broadleaf binder and finished with a silky, sun-grown Ecuadorian-Sumatran wrapper. ($10)
"William Shakespeare himself couldn't have created a finer symphony in smoke. Perfect for lovers to enjoy with a bite of truffle," Lee says.