Date night spots with dim lighting and decent pricing.
When it comes to a romantic dinner, there’s a few staples that must be included. The first is an atmosphere that creates an ambience—something worth posting on your Insta story, you know? The second is a dinner menu that doesn’t include fries and chicken fingers—we’re after upscale here, not “night after Bulls” food. And the last, and perhaps most importantly, is a date.
As for the last part of finding a date, good luck my friends. May the Tinder swipes ever be in your favor. As for the rest of you scrambling around on Yelp looking for somewhere to take your boo? We got you covered.
Marcella’s | 615 N. High St.
This is the local equivalent to the Cheesecake Factory back home in terms of its trendiness; I’ve had a number of girls’ trips here as well as dates with my boyfriend. A fan favorite, Marcella’s has some super fresh pasta dishes, charcuterie-level of aesthetic appetizers, and fancy pizzas to share with your significant other. Don’t feel like you have to break your carefully curated American palette by coming here, just get a pizza and let it be the freshest, gooey-est, warmest pizza you’ve ever had. Not to mention the nonstop oncoming of bread, oil, and balsamic to the table. (All good date night places have complimentary bread). If you drink anything here, let it be Marcella’s white wine sangria. It’s so refreshing and sweet, so if you’re looking for a fancy alternative to the wine you convince yourself you like for the photo but don’t really want to finish, try this sangria. Salad and entree prices range between $8 and $22 depending on your preference for speciality, so ball out as much as you prefer to at this dim-lit, candle-table-topped Short North haven. — Madi Task
Tastings: Short North | 958 N. High St.
Not everyone is a wine drinker, but at Tasting’s in the Short North, they will put any wine hater to the test with their wide variety of vinos. They have everything from sparkling white wines to dry red wines, and your server will be more than happy to point you in the right direction if you are hesitant. Tastings also makes the experience more enjoyable by making every wine available through their self-serve kiosks. Simply pre-load your card with whatever amount you prefer (I recommend $35 for couples) and each pour is at a price-point which can range as low as $2.90 for a sample, or as high as $12 for a full pour of an upscale bottle. As for the food, it’s best you stop by between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. for Tasting’s happy hour where everything on the food menu is half-off, which includes artisan flatbreads for as low as $4.50. — Mitch Hooper
Fujiyama Steakhouse | 5755 Cleveland Ave.
Dim lighting, lowkey atmospheric tunes to set a romantic vibe, and some of the most delicious food in the entire city cooked right in front of your face? Count me all the way in. Dinner is served from 5-9 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, and you should be wowed all the way from start to finish. Every dinner comes with some wonderful soup, salad, and a few grilled shrimp, alongside whatever you order. My advice? Go for the Shogun Dinner (Hibachi steak and teriyaki chicken), fried rice, and grilled vegetables. Dishes are a little over $20 a person, but here’s a pro tip:Download Groupon, they’ll sell you a $30 voucher for $17. That way, you’ve got $13 more to spend on a couple daiquiris or an extra portion of fried rice. — TJ Neer
Feature photo by Brian Kaiser.