When you think of romantic restaurants, what comes to mind? Is it a cozy nook where you can share great food and craft cocktails? Does it include authentic French cuisine with a little Edith Piaf playing in the background? Perhaps you prefer an elegant dining room with hushed tones and plenty of candlelight? Or, maybe a rustic place with plenty of local drafts on tap will suit you and yours just fine, thank you very much. No worries. Whether it’s Valentine’s Day or just any day, here are some of our favorites.
The latest crown jewel from award-winning Chef Tim Byres and Turn the Tables Hospitality (Smoke, Bolsa, The Foundry, Chicken Scratch, and more) is The Theodore. Inspired by Teddy Roosevelt’s adventurous spirit, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy cocktails and appetizers before a movie or linger for a sumptuous dinner. Hand-painted constellation murals, vintage furniture, natural curiosities, and cozy, nook-like seating give The Theodore a refined, quirky air. The menu contains the sort of rustic/sophisticated and shareable twists we’ve come to expect (and love) from Chef Byres. Highlights include Sausage and Chervil Artisanal Toast, Crispy Chicken Thighs with Squash Mustard and Salted Cucumber, and the (vertical) Lamb Shank Pie in puff pastry. For dessert, don’t miss the sublime Grapefruit and Honey Baked Alaska. In good weather, enjoy the patio.
NorthPark Center (near Nordstrom)
8687 North Central Expressway, Dallas 75225
469.232.9771 | thetheodore.com
Though The Grape has been around for more than 40 years, there’s a reason (actually, several) why it remains a Dallas favorite. Let’s start with the Mushroom Soup, a must-have, and move right into, say, Cornmeal Fried Oysters and Crispy Duck Breast with Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Craving something less fancy? The Burger, topped with house- made peppered bacon and Vermont white cheddar, has been voted “Best in Texas” by Texas Monthly. Two dozen wines by the glass and a Monday through Friday Happy Hour with drink specials help make The Grape an after-work respite from the daily grind, and its romantic atmosphere keeps it at the top of everyone’s Date Night list.
2808 Greenville Avenue, Dallas 75206
214.828.1981 | thegraperestaurant.com
This light and spacious Louisiana-style eatery has plenty to offer. Not only is it smack-dab in the middle of one of Dallas’ hottest dining destinations for date night and more, the freshly prepared seafood is tough to beat. Whether you’ve got a hankering for Down Home Shrimp and Grits, Lobster Mac & Cheese or maybe something lighter like Seared Yellowfin Tuna with Wasabi, Ponzu and Ginger, Amberjax will not disappoint. Don’t like fishy things? No worries. They also offer delicious chicken and beef.
3011 Gulden Ln., Ste 107, Dallas, TX 75212
(469) 513-9088 | amberjax.net
Bonnie Ruth’s Bistro Français et Patisserie | Watters Creek
Can’t get to Paris? Then get to Bonnie Ruth’s, where you’ll enjoy classic French bistro cuisine, music, and a warm, inviting atmosphere. Menu favorites include Croque Monsieur with decadent béchamel sauce, Steak Frites (10 ounces of NY Strip, pan seared and served with red wine jus), and of course, Onion Soup Gratinée made with veal stock and caramelized onion and topped with melted Gruyere. Heavenly. The Thursday, Friday, and Sunday Date Night menu is an exceptional value at just $69 for two, including a bottle of house wine, one hors d’oeuvre, two delicious entrees (choose from Seafood Crepes, Duck Two Ways, Bone-In Pork Chops with Calvados, and more), dessert to share, and coffee. And don’t forget to swing by the adjacent patisserie to pick up some post-date deliciousness.
916 Garden Park Drive, Allen 75013
214.383.6777 | bonnieruthsallen.com
Located in the beautiful Grand Hotel & Ballroom in downtown McKinney, Rick’s is absolutely a date destination for lunch, cocktails, and dinner. Comfy leather couches, live music from local artists Thursday through Saturday, and handcrafted cocktails are just part of what makes Rick’s so popular, but it’s a chophouse, after all, and the real emphasis here is on the food. Mouthwatering steaks, juicy burgers, fresh seafood (including Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes served with Roasted Corn-Crawfish Bisque and Bacon-Wrapped Trout) along with classic, hearty salads, such as the Iceberg Wedge with Maytag Bleu Cheese Dressing, are just a few of the things you’ll love at Rick’s. And since you’ve already booked the sitter, why not include an overnight stay at the historic hotel?
107 North Kentucky, McKinney 75069
214.726.9251 | rickschophouse.com
Eight | 11 Place
If walking into eight|11 feels like you’ve stepped into a friend’s house in Austin, there’s a good reason for it: 1) it actually used to be a house, and 2) the chefs/owners are from the capital city. A classic, intimate interior with wood floors, plenty of candles, and Mason jar pendant lighting make this wine bar a very cozy place to unwind, or you can venture outside and share a table with fellow music lovers. Menu items include Salads, Bites (think Pimento Cheese Sliders), and house-made Flat Breads such as the Chorizo Hero with local goat cheese, red onion, cilantro, and roasted yellow peppers. This is the kind of place where you can kick back and enjoy the cool vibe while sipping on wines by the glass/bottle and local beers on tap.
7080 W Main Street, Frisco 75034
469.888.4037 | eight11place.com