Ever since Monarch shuttered last Spring, former executive chef JOSH GALLIANO has been keeping busy with a variety of culinary projects around town. The foodie community has been waiting patiently to see where he would land on a more permanent basis, and now the wait is over: It's been announced that Galliano and restaurateurs NICK and AUDRA LUEDDE are teaming up to open The Libertine. The new restaurant reportedly is scheduled to debut in the former Chez Leon space in Clayton later this year, if all goes according to plan. We’re told Galliano’s menu will be divided into the three categories simply defined as ‘Vegetables’, ‘Meat’ and ‘Seafood,’ and there will also be plenty of craft cocktails, beers and wines available. The Libertine will serve dinner from 4:30 to 10 p.m. during the week and until 11 p.m. on the weekends, with lunch service slated to begin later in the year. We'll keep you posted as details emerge.

Looking for something unique to do on Valentine's Day? Here are a couple of hands-on options: The Ritz-Carlton is hosting a Valentine’s Day Cooking Class on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Held in the hotel’s kitchens, the event is a day of hands-on instruction and preparation of cuisine specifically designed for V-Day. After the class, participants and the Ritz-Carlton chefs will enjoy them for lunch in The Wine Room. The list of Valentine’s Day dishes includes carrot curry soup; fresh-made lemon infused prosciutto and mozzarella; and Beausoleil oyster with passion fruit sphere, among other delights. The cost of the class, which also includes breakfast, is $89 per person. Space is limited. An accommodations package with the cooking class also is available. For reservations or more information, call 719-1433.

On Thursday, Feb. 14, at 8 p.m., join Absolutli Goosed 's owner/mixologist ROBIN SCHUBERT for an intimate evening of spirit and cocktail exploration as she hosts a Valentine's Day Couples Mixology Class at the bar. She'll cover tasting and history of the base spirits and then lead guests through the process of making great cocktails at home. Couples also will enjoy a light food pairing and dessert as well as a complimentary gift bag. The cost is $35 per couple, and reservations can be made by calling 771-9300.

Tucanos Brazilian Grill is scheduled to make its Midwestern debut next month with a new location at 1520 S. Fifth St. in St. Charles, the chain's seventh restaurant nationwide. Tucanos features the traditional Brazilian grilling style, referred to as ‘churrasco,’ with specially seasoned or marinated meats and vegetables (about 20 varieties), grilled and then served hot off the skewers. More information can be found at tucanos.com.

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