If the big screen has taught us anything, it's that romantic meals can happen almost anywhere. Remember those two dogs sharing spaghetti in an alley? You don’t have to go all white tablecloth and pull out all the stops for a truly romantic evening. Romantic dinners can take place in intimate sushi dens, street cafes, and even hidden gems in strip malls. Whether celebrating an anniversary, enjoying a couple's staycation or venturing out for a non-virtual first date, the city is home to plenty of romantic spots with killer food and drinks. We’ve picked out a few of our favorite spots for you and your boo - some tried & true, some brand new. For that great partner, though, you’re on your own.
Shiny & New: Ouzi Mediterranean Grill
Chic, Cheery Space for Inventive Mediterranean FareWater Street | 5250 N O'Connor Rd | 972.803.3324
With white bistro chairs, dark wood accents and a filigreed gold ceiling, Ouzi oozes charm. And there’s definitely something magical about dining beneath the warm electric glow of sparkling chandeliers. Weather permitting, the waterfront fountain view might just woo you to the patio to share a Mediterranean pie or try something exotic. Either way, if you want to stray from the usual and try something new, Ouzi is the spot for you and your boo.
Tried & True: The Ranch at Las Colinas
Quintessential Texas, Irving Institution857 W John Carpenter Fwy | 972.506.7262
For a true taste of Texas, head to The Ranch at Las Colinas. The Ranch is boisterous and fun, rustic and romantic - a Texas-sized space that feels intimate and cozy. One dining room features high tops bathed in the glow of chandeliers or you can opt for a dimly-lit booth tucked away in a corner.
Each decadent dish on the menu is handcrafted with locally sourced, farm-to-fork ingredients. Start with the Texas Meat & Cheese Board, indulge in a garlic stuffed filet, and finish with a basket of ah-mazing fried pies with fillings like banana pudding, red velvet and oreo.
After dinner, two-step on over to the patio where the best up-and-coming Texas artists play live for you in The Pavilion — the most intimate venue this side of the Rio Grande.
Date night at the Ranch at Las Colinas is not just a meal, it is an experience.
Rustic-Luxe Ambiance, Bold-Texan Fare4150 N MacArthur Blvd | 972.717.2420
Food and drink have long been an integral part of the allure of the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas. Case in point: The resort has employed a master sommelier – one of only 236 in the world – since 2002. And twenty-year veteran, Executive Chef Christof Syre - ah-mazing! When you book date night at their signature LAW restaurant, you can look forward to an over-the-top culinary experience in a totally unpretentious, yet chic atmosphere.
Sit side by side with your love in a high-backed leather booth or request a table for two by the floor to ceiling windows with a cozy view of a roaring fire underneath a sea of floating lanterns. For a shared experience at LAW, link arms and share the 48-oz Long-bone Tomahawk for Two. But don’t skip dessert! The adorably presented s’mores, toasted tableside, are a must.
Open to Rave Reviews: Edoko Omakase
Intimate, Chef-driven Japanese Newcomer1030 W John Carpenter Fwy | 972.600.8626
If you’re feeling like your dating game is stale, the world-class sushi at Edoko Omakase makes for a fun, shareable meal for two. You can order a la carte, but where’s the spontaneity in that? Kick things up a notch and ask for the Omakase tasting, a multicourse meal during which the customers leave the menu up to the kitchen staff. It’s a very intimate experience, but also an interactive one where you get to know the chefs.
The tasting is a sensory-filled experience and can be likened to an artistic performance, where the chef showcases creativity and innovation in the selection of dishes. At Edoko, Chef Keunsik Lee’s Omakase is beautifully executed. Anticipation, suspense and surprise shared with your date is a fun and new way to connect. And when your food is an artfully prepared culinary bouquet of sushi, isn’t it romantic?
Place your trust in the Chef and his team, and this will be a meal that can never be duplicated or forgotten. You might want to share a cup or glass of sake with the chefs as a thank you gesture.
Irving has fallen in love with Edoko Omakase, so call ahead to reserve seats at the sushi bar, or patio if you prefer, for a dining experience unlike any other in town.
New & Notable: Pacific Table
Pacific Northwest Seafood Eatery with a Modern VibeWater Street | 5238 N O’Connor Blvd | 972.957.7620
This west coast inspired eatery puts impeccable seafood dishes into a setting that's anything but stuffy, which makes it perfect for a get-to-know-you date night without the pretense of fine dining. The backdrop of Lake Carolyn bordered by tree-lined sidewalks, and a big Texas sky is nearly irresistible. Snag a table on the Pacific Table patio near the firepit for an even better vibe. A stroll around the lake makes for an excellent post-dinner excursion.
Order the oysters flown in daily from the east and the west, because, well, oysters.
Toyota Music Factory Newcomer: Mercy
Seductive Wine Bar & LoungeToyota Music Factory | 340 W. Las Colinas Blvd | 469.351.0222
Uncork that lovin’ feelin’ and let the love flow like fine wine at Mercy offering more than 300 bottles of vino to choose from. Make it more memorable by asking the sommelier to guide you and your date through an amazing experience tasting great wines of the world.
At Mercy, you can enjoy the fab fall Texas weather on the patio while noshing on crab cakes, pomme frites, flatbreads and cheese plates or try a food & wine pairing with French/Italian cuisine in the cozy, warm, inviting ambiance indoors. ‘No one could look as good as you, mercy.’
Every romantic night needs a soundtrack and this Toyota Music Factory spot accomplishes that with live music by various local artists every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night.
Book any one of these Irving gems for a blind date, a first impression date, the all-important getting-to-know-you third date, an anniversary date, the rekindle-the-flame date or a staycation date. Even if you don't get the rose, don't feel the spark, don't find your true love, don't reignite that flame ... you'll still discover a new place where you can step up the fun factor, devour a scrumptious meal and well, take your next date.