Roses? Check. Chocolates? Check. Reservations….
Valentine’s Day is around the corner, Houston. While there’s still plenty of time to get your hands on the other essentials, pretty soon the day will come when all restaurants will be booked and you’ll be forced to improvise. If you’re looking for somewhere sultry to dine out or have a drink this season, these local romantic restaurants in Houston set the table as well as the mood.
If you’re looking for a taste of Spanish cuisine, with the sight, sound, and feel of Madrilenian nightlife, MAD Houston is your ticket. Make no mistake, while the glittering display of its design is a treat for the eyes, MAD Houston is first and foremost a destination for dining. Their impressive menu expands with an assortment of fine Catalan cuisine with modern twists on traditional dishes and a keen eye for presentation.
Escape to the woods this sweet season without leaving the city limits at Houston’s Rainbow Lodge. Tucked along the banks of the bayou, the Rainbow Lodge is an elegant restaurant located in a historic cabin. Its menu features upscale American fare inspired by lodge lifestyle, including wild game and seafood. Entrees range from $25 – $57, sides not included.
Travel to the ambrosia-laden land of India here in Houston at Musaafer in the Galleria. Following the elevator entrance, one is immediately floored by the beauty of the interior. The interplay of colors, textures, patterns, lighting and glass fixtures, and elegant artifacts makes for a positively stunning atmosphere – and we haven’t even started on the cuisine! Its 100 day journey-inspired menu blends regional flavors, spices, and dishes from across India, and is sure to wow your tastebuds. Be apprised, prices are a little steep, but if you’ve got the funds, you won’t be disappointed with investing in this truly unique gastronomic experience.
“Uchi” in Japanese translates to “house” – which is very appropriate for the cozy warm atmosphere inside the award-winning restaurant’s location on Westheimer. Fitted with gorgeous wooden fixtures, sleek contemporary furniture, and ornamental touches, its ambiance is second only to its top-tier menu. Editor’s recommendation: opt for the chef’s recommendation.
Opened in 1967 as a sister restaurant to the renowned Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, Brennan’s of Houston has made quite the name for itself as a premier dining destination for creole cuisine. Its signature dishes include the Pecan Crusted Fish, Turtle Soup, and tableside-prepared flaming Café Brulot. For dessert, and you should save room for dessert, we recommend their original Bananas Foster. Plus, it wine program is award-winning, carrying over 800 bottles from around the globe.
Turner’s is for those who romanticize or are otherwise nostalgic for the bygone era of New York restaurants. Swank in unscrupulous detail, the sultry, dimly-lit restaurant feels like an easy fit for a backdrop of a Scorcese film. Its elegant atmosphere, complimented by live piano, sets the scene for its American and continental dining experience. Chilled King Crab Legs, Steak Tartare & Foie Gras Torchon, and Wagyu Skirt Steak populate the menu. The restaurant’s selections also include Wood Grilled Octopus, a TX Wagyu hot dog, as well as a cultivated array of Caviar. As for its prices, well, they are also very New York.
7. Le Jardinier
Opened this past year in the Museum of Fine Arts, Le Jardinier is as much an artful expression of creativity as it is a bastion of French cuisine. Encased in vibrant artwork from local artist, Trent Hancock, and tall windows that look out upon the Cullen Sculpture Garden, the restaurant offers a joyful as well as serene atmosphere in which to dine. A Michelin-star-born concept in New York, Le Jardinier utilizes seasonal ingredients to masterfully cultivate an array of nature-inspired dishes. Present dinner a la carte dinner options include: Chestnut & Rocotta Agnolotti with wild mushrooms and toasted hazelnuts ($32); Carolina Gold Rice Risotto with pumpkin squash, royal trumpettes, and mimolette ($34); and New York Strip Au Jus, with potato gratin, and broccolini ($48).
The award-winning restaurant in Downtown, Houston, is a steakhouse staple for a reason. Housed in a two-story building, its interior features gorgeous marble and red granite floors accented by South African panga panga wood. Its distinctions not only amount to its menu, featuring the best in prime rib, seafood, and more, but also its extensive wine program as seen here, in this 97-page document.
Nobie’s is a restaurant for music lovers. Patrons here, in a cozy, intimate atmosphere, can enjoy a welcome mix of vinyl from Chef and Owner Martin Stayer’s personal collection. Just like the records rotate, so does its menu. Its staple, however, is the tried and true Nonna’s Pasta – handmade tagliatelle with robust bolognese and parmesan. Nobie’s libation menu is reeling, with wines of every color as well as spirits that will make you fall in love all over again. Plates here range on the more affordable side of things, with most ranging from $14 – $36; special plates run from $36 – $57.
After a year-long hiatus, Rosalie Italian Soul has reopened at the C. Baldwin Hotel under the new culinary leadership of Top Chef Masters’ winner, Chef Chris Cosentino. The lush and lavish 145-seat restaurant offers a stunning atmosphere by which to enjoy their contemporary, upscale take on tradition Italian “‘immigrant cuisine’ that put Italian-American food on the map”.
Menu items include pizza, pasta, main courses, and “big stuff” with prices that won’t break the bank unless you want them to.