Valentine’s Dinner Spots

The best places around campus to take that special someone on a romantic date

Valentine’s Day is approaching, which means a slew of restaurants will be accepting reservations for couples seeking romantic dinners. Out of all the restaurants that exist within the Dallas and Richardson areas, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly which is the ideal setting for your evening. I have a few recommendations for restaurants that I was impressed with, and they happen to have special Valentine’s Day menus to celebrate the holiday.

Seasons 52 is located at the Shops at Legacy and at the NorthPark Center, so it is pretty close to UTD. The unique thing about this restaurant is the core menu changes four times a year for every season. I have been to both locations and was very impressed with the service. The servers were always smiling and friendly, the setting is sophisticated with a hint of casual and the food is high quality. Seasons 52 is also offering a Valentine’s Day menu — although it has not been released yet. There are a variety of different menus, including normal lunch and dinner options, a lactose and dairy-sensitive list, a sodium-friendly assortment, gluten-conscious choices and a vegetarian and vegan menu. The restaurant also offers a wine menu. My favorite dishes there are the variety of flatbreads they offer — which make great appetizers — as well as the oak-grilled filet mignon.

Brio Tuscan Grille in Watters Creek boasts upscale, yet laidback, Italian cuisine and is not far away from UTD. The servers bring out amazing bread and butter before you order. The atmosphere is very sophisticated, with dim lighting and beautiful interior decorating, which is perfect for any date. The service is excellent and out of all the times I have been there, I’ve never been disappointed. One of my favorite menu items to order at Brio is its chopped salad and its Ravioli di Bello — Brio’s mushroom ravioli.

For all the meat lovers out there, Texas de Brazil is my recommendation. There is one close to UTD in Addison — about 21 minutes away. The restaurant has a salad bar that includes soups and appetizers. You are also given a card with a green side and a red side. When you flip the card to the green side, servers with various meats come to your table asking if you would like some. The restaurant is great for indecisive people, because you don’t have to stick to just one dish. There are many different options coming to and from your table to please every kind of meat lover.

The Cheesecake Factory is always going to be a classic. I recommend this place because the interior design is just magnificent. The food is really delicious and they have a light menu. Of course, the place is famous for their vast majority of cheesecakes, so that would make a perfect ending to a date. There is a location in Allen just 20 minutes away, so it is close and convenient. The bread and butter they bring out at the beginning is always amazing, and their shrimp and chicken gumbo, Cajun chicken littles and fish tacos are some of my favorite dishes there.

Maggiano’s Little Italy is located in NorthPark Center. It is a beautiful Italian restaurant with a lunch, dinner, dessert, family-style and beverage menu. It also has banquet halls on the top floor where people can host private events. I thought the food was amazing when I went, and they have released a Valentine’s Day menu that will be available from Feb. 10 to 16. The cost is $79 for two people and includes dishes like lobster ravioli, stuffed mushroom appetizers and chopped side salads. The menu also offers two different types of wines and various dessert options.

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