The dinner reservation is the pinnacle of Valentine’s Day duties. For the boyfriend, husband or hopeful friend who is still at a loss for where to reserve their romantic evening in the DFW, these five restaurants cover a wide range of Valentines Day options from extravagant to a more intimate ambiance.
Piola is an Italian cuisine cottage located semi-secretly in a neighborhood in the cultural district of Fort Worth. Run by Chef Bobby Albanese, Piola serves a wide range of favorites like their warm goat cheese salad, eggplant parmigiano, cappuccino crusted pork tenderloin and stuffed chicken marsala. Diners can also from over 70 different wines, which they can sip indoors along exposed brick walls and molded ceiling fixtures, outdoors in Piola’s garden seating or cozied up next to their freestanding fireplace. Piola is open Monday-Friday 11am-2pm for lunch and Monday-Saturday 5pm-10pm for dinner. Prices range from their $5.95 bruschetta to their $21.95 grilled salmon.
Right down the street on West 7th sits Saint-Emilion, an enticing French cottage run by Chef Bernard Tronche. With barely 12 tables, guests of Saint-Emilion enjoy an intimate atmosphere as well as the classic French cuisine that comprise the three course “prix fixe” Menu Classique or a la carte options. The Menu Classique ($45) begins with hors d’oeuvres including: French onion soup with melted Gruyère, duck pâté with pistachios, and filet mignon tartare. The Plats de Resistance includes: roasted duck brushed with honey on top of fresh spinach tossed with orange sections of Xéres vinaigrette, boneless lamb loin with a concassé of tomato min, shallot, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Couples can end their meal with a number of dessert options, such as raspberry tarte, crème brulee and brandy ice. Saint-Emilion is open Tuesday-Thursday from 5:30-9pm, Friday-Saturday reservations are available each half hour from 6-9pm (except at 7:30), and closed Sunday and Monday. Prices range from their $5.00 salade d’endives to their $39 sole de douvres amandine.
Located in Inwood Village, Rise N*1 is the signature salon de soufflé. This French bistro’s entrée soufflés include Jambon and Gruyere, smoked salmon, truffle infused mushroom, herb and spice sausage, and sun-dried tomato and pesto Chevre. But leave room for their dessert soufflés such as chocolate, Grand Marnier, bread budding, hazelnut, strawberry and more. If it turns out that your date doesn’t enjoy the surprise of a soufflé, don’t worry. Rise also serves a range of other French favorites including: Chariot de Fromages (international cheese cart), salad nicoise, seared ahi tuna steak, and Parisian Jambon sandwich. After dinner grab a glass of champagne and snuggle up with your date next to the patio fireplace or get cozy in their in-house library. Prices range from their $8 soupe a l’oignon gratinee to their $29 steak and pomme de terre. Rise is open Monday-Thursday 11am-10pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-11pm and Sunday 11am-9pm.
Arcodoro & Pomodoro
If you’ve ever passed by the Crescent Hotel in downtown Dallas and noticed an unmistakable (delicious) aroma, it’s probably from Arcodoro & Pomodoro. Chef Efisio Farris’ award winning “Ultimate Ravioli” is only one of the options among his carpaccios, risottos, baked whole fish and suckling pig. You can spend your whole evening moving through Arcodoro & Pomodoro’s six different extravagant rooms. Begin in the Doro Bar, sipping one of Farris’ signature family wines while relaxing in an almost living room like open atmosphere. Next you have the choice of the main dining room or opting for one of Arcodoro & Pomodoro’s three private dining rooms. The main dining room is adorned with top of the line linens, china, flatware and crystal and easily accommodates 90 people. The “H” room and Table 300 are prepared to handle larger parties, but if you want to spoil your date with extra space look into reserving The Chefs Table. This round table seats up to six and is located right outside the wine room. The name doesn’t lie; those who reserve The Chefs Table get to experience having Arcodoro & Pomodoro’s executive chef prepare a personalized ten-course meal. Arcodoro & Pomodoro’s is open Monday-Wednesday 5pm-10pm, Thursday-Saturday 5pm-11pm and is closed on Sunday.
Our last recommendation has a bit of history behind it. Local, run by Chef Tracy Miller, boasts of an upscale modern American menu; however, the building is old school American. Local is housed in The Boyd Hotel, which is landmarked as one of the oldest standing hotels in Dallas with visitors from legends like Bonnie and Clyde, and jazz musician Huddie “Ledbelly” Ledbetter. Miller got her hands on the building in 1998 and with the help of interior designer Alice Cottrell, created a contemporary restaurant without losing the hotel’s old world charm. Patrons have the choice between a seven-course chef’s tasting menu, which reflects a sample of what Local offers: the evening’s soup, fried yellow tomato salad, pan-seared lobster cake, seared Hudson Valley foie gras, tangelo glazed king salmon, grilled farm-raised filet mignon and banana pudding. The seven petite courses will cost you $70, $100 if you choose the complementing wine pairings. If you don’t think you can make it through seven courses Local also has an ever-changing menu of “short orders” like their balsamic roasted candy striped beets or three-cheese scratch ravioli and “tall orders” like their burgundy pasture beef burger basket and hazelnut-mustard crusted halibut. Local is open Tuesday-Saturday 5:30pm-10pm.