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Gelato-filled hearts and other Valentine's Day treats; tortilla soup from Vivo

Staff Writer
Austin 360

Uniquely Austin sweets for sweethearts

• Red, pink and white sweet treats abound in Austin dessert shops this week. At both locations of Teo Gelato (500 W. Canyon Ridge Road and 1206 W. 38th St.), you'll find heart-shaped sugar cookies filled with chocolate, strawberry or vanilla gelato (below, $5.95). Amy's Ice Creams is churning out chocolate-covered strawberries by the dozen ($16). Pre-order at www.amysicecreams.com and pick up starting Friday.

• Holy Cacao (1311 S. First St. in the South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery. 851-2253, www.theholycacao.com ) is selling two specialty cake balls: Devil (cherry-filled devil's food cake dipped in dark chocolate) and Angel (strawberry-laced angel food cake covered in white chocolate). Both cost $2.25 each or 3 for $6.

• If you can't make it to Paris this Valentine's Day, Luxe Sweets is bringing one of the city's most treasured treats to Austin. Unlike coconut-filled macaroons, French macarons ($22.50 for a dozen or ) are bright sweets made with meringue, cookie and buttercream or ganache. Luxe Sweet's pastries, which include biscotti, cookies, fudge and brownies, are available online or at shops including Royal Blue Grocery, Halcyon, Spider House Cafe, Garden District Coffee House and Dolce Vita. 241-1544, www.luxesweets.com

- Addie Broyles

Restaurant recipe: Vivo's Chicken Tortilla Soup

3 chicken breasts

Canola oil for sautéeing

3 cups chopped tomatoes

3 cups chopped onions

8 serrano peppers, chopped

11/2 bunches cilantro, chopped

24 oz. chicken stock

3 cloves garlic, minced

Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

fried corn tortilla strips

Sliced avocado

In a 5-gallon pot, bring 4 gallons of water to a boil. Add chicken breasts and simmer for about 40 minutes (chicken should be fully cooked).

In separate pan, coat bottom with thin layer of canola oil and heat. Sauté tomatoes, onions and serranos until cooked through (onions should be clear). Add cilantro and sauté until just wilted.

Add sautéed veggies and chicken stock to pot. Add 3 cloves of minced garlic.

Cook for another 15-20 minutes. Chicken should shred easily at this point.

Dish into serving bowls. Add tortilla strips, Monterey Jack cheese and sliced avocado just before serving.

- Vivo (2015 Manor Road, 482-0300; 12233 RM 620, Suite 105. 331-4660; www.vivo-austin.com )

match smokes, treats and drinks with lesson

Learn how to pair cigars, chocolate and port at Viva Chocolato on Valentine's Day. Enjoy Quinta du Noval port, a cigar from Fumée Cigar Lounge in Cedar Park and chocolates from Viva Chocolato, which is in the Domain next to Macy's. Tickets for couple cost $40 ($45 at the door) or $20 for singles. For information and tickets, www.fumeecigars.com .

- A.B.

Openings, closings and coming soon

• Closing (and coming soon): Thai Tara restaurant at 601 W. Sixth St. Replacing the longtime Thai restaurant will be a new project from Mulberry owners Michael Polombo and Zack Northcutt. Northcutt, who will be in charge of the kitchens at both locations, says they will be starting almost from scratch to create an as-yet-unnamed "modern American tavern with British influences." They are hoping to open the new restaurant by September.

• Open: Chi'Lantro BBQ, a Korean-Mexican fusion trailer that posts its location on Twitter @chilantrobbq and Facebook. www.chilantrobbq.com .

• Open: Kung Fu Saloon, a `barcade' with vintage arcade games, Skee-Ball and a full bar at 510 Rio Grande St. 469-0901, www.kungfusaloon.com .

• Open: Quattro Gatti, an Italian restaurant at 908 Congress Ave. 476-3131.

• Open: ThunderCloud Subs, the 25th Austin location of the sandwich shop. 360 Nueces St., Suite 80. 472-7827, www.thundercloud.com .

• Open: New India, serving Indian food in the space adjacent to Eva B's. 2407 S. Congress Ave., Suite A2. 445-9727, www.newindia.us .

• Closed: Geaux Burger, a sports bar at 9070 Research Blvd., Suite 303.

• Closing: The Café Mundi location at 1704 E. Fifth St. On Facebook, Mundi says, 'It is our deepest regret to announce the closing of Café Mundi. The final day will be Sunday, March 21 ... at this location. We do not see this as an end, but as a new beginning.' Stay tuned.

• Coming soon: Antonelli's Cheese Shop, slated to open Thursday at 4220 Duval St. www.antonellischeese.com .

On the trailer-sampling trail with 200 friends

Last weekend, more than 200 people participated in a tour, organized by Addie Broyles and Jodi Bart of Tasty Touring, of some of Austin's newest and most buzzed-about trailers. Watch highlights of the event in a video on austin360.com/food .