By the time diners are settled into one of the Freight House's 200 seats, the folks in the kitchen will have been working for hours to prepare for one of the biggest nights in the restaurant business.
Valentine's Day rivals Christmas Eve and the night before Thanksgiving as one of the busiest nights of the year for the restaurant near Doylestown's train station.
This year, executive chef Joshua Homacki wanted to try something special. He crafted a menu loaded with love - literally.
"Everything on here is an aphrodisiac," he said one recent afternoon, while assembling ingredients in the kitchen. "We did some research on different ingredients, and then I started playing around to see what worked."
In the end, Homacki settled on some familiar ingredients - think oysters and chocolate - and some novel, including asparagus, banana, vanilla and honey.
Final selections for the Valentine's Day menu include a roasted asparagus salad with pistachio, goat cheese, and frisee, scallops with smoked banana and parsnip puree, charred avocado, and quinoa, and, for dessert, vanilla bean pudding with edible roses and mint.
"We try to be creative, but approachable," said Homacki, 29, who trained at Johnson & Wales University's well-known culinary arts program.
Homacki said he likes to buy from local farms and producers as much as possible, and he changes the menu for special events like holidays and according to what's in season.
And it looks like Homacki and general manager David Montague will be plenty busy for this holiday. Doylestown Patch users chose The Freight House as their favorite Valentine's Day destination in our poll this week.
For more information, call 215.340.1003 or www.thefreighthouse.net.