2006_01_food_cheese.jpgNow that New Year's is behind us, the next Hallmark holiday on the horizon is Valentine's Day. Thoughts turn to romance, champagne and chocolates. Well, romance is fine, but Gothamist thinks that the whole "champagne and chocolates" concept needs a little updating.

Our suggestion? Cheese.

Think about it. What woman doesn't swoon at the sight of Manchego, La Tur, Humboldt Fog and Camembert?

That said, one of the best cheese plates in New York can be had at Chef Terrance Brennan's homage to all things fromage, Artisanal. And, Mario Batali's West Village enoteca and pizzeria Otto offers a cheese plate that sports truffle honey, just to take the food-gasm up a notch.

Or, instead of seeking dairy gratification at a restaurant, you could visit Murray's Cheese Shop and serve up a selection in the privacy of your own home.

And, as long as you're in private, why not thrown in the ultimate in female aphrodisiacs? Something from Toys in Babeland by chance? A bauble from Tiffany's? A pair of Jimmy Choo's? Nope, nope and nope.

There's only one thing on earth that a woman desires more than cheese: a bread basket.