PHOENIX - Sometimes deciding where to go eat on a date is more stressful than the date itself.
Will it be too fancy or too casual? Will it have a wide enough menu that your date will be able to pick something he or she likes?
With this roundup we tried to mix comfortable environments, palatable menus and affordability. We did not pick the most expensive fine-dining restaurants in the Valley, although there is no arguing that most offer a romantic and intimate setting. (Perhaps, we'll tackle that in a future list.)
Instead, we went for places that you'll be able to actually talk with your significant other and laugh without being drowned out by loud noises or shushed for being too loud.
Scroll down to check out some perfect date-night places (in no particular order):
Postino WineCafe has established itself as a comfortable and trendy dining destination in the Valley. Each of its locations are built within historical and renovated buildings that possess their own unique touches. The Arcadia location is built within an old post office, while the Highland location used to be a bank. The bruschetta and meat-and-cheese boards are delicious, and definitely check out their wine and beer specials.
Pomo Pizzeria is an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria, from how the food is cooked to the ingredients used. The downtown location is quaint and provides an open view of the pizza oven and chefs at work. It's minutes from ASU’s downtown campus and the Roosevelt Row Arts District, creating the perfect atmosphere for a casual date night (and the pizza is delicious).
IF YOU GO:
Five Valley locations, including downtown Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale www.pomopizzeria.com
North Italia is part of the Sam Fox Restaurant concept. It’s an Italian restaurant meant to feel like an Italian tavern. It focuses on made-from-scratch and handmade pizza and pasta. It also serves small plates, brushetta and salads.
Steak 44 is an upscale steakhouse in central Phoenix. The entryway features a wall of cleavers, which pays homage to the building’s former tenant, Cork & Cleaver. The interior has multiple dining rooms to give visitors unique experiences. There are private dining suites, open spaces that overlook the kitchen, and a beautifully-detailed bar area with several high tops. The menu features small, medium and large cut steaks, veal, lamb and chicken.
Pomelo is an American fare restaurant and one of the newest to the Valley, opening in 2016. It was built on an old citrus farm and the restaurant was built around a 1920s farmhouse. The lounge still has the original fireplaces and ceilings, but has been updated with a modern look—leather tuft seats and dark-wood tables. During the cooler months, the patio provides a view of the greenspace. And dessert is right next door at ice cream shop Splurge.
The Yard (Culinary Dropout, Barrior Urbano, Little Cleo's)
If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind eating experience, you'll like the group of independent restaurants collectively known as The Yard, a Sam Fox concept. It features a large covered outdoor area that has lounge seating, along with outdoor games like cornhole. It's upscale enough to go out for date night, but also casual enough if you want to grab a drink with friends.
Hanny’s was built in 1947 and was originally a large department store. It closed in 1986 and shortly after became a training ground for firefighters. Now, it's home to Hanny’s Restaurant and serves cocktails, pizza, sandwiches, and salads in a comfortable environment. Do not forget to check out the open elevator shaft.
Vintage 95 is housed within Chandler’s original post office in the heart of the city. The inside has exposed brick, wine bottles along the walls and a beautiful patio for the cooler months. It’s an intimate space without the sometimes stuffiness that comes with high-end fine dining. The menu is American fare with a twist.
Dominick’s Steakhouse has received plenty of recognition from Valley media for its food and service. Prime steaks are obviously a highlight of the menu. They also have fresh fish, a raw bar, and other meats. The interior is beautiful with various rooms, including a wine cellar. Head to the rooftop for a spectacular dining experience with the sky and a pool.
Quiessence restaurant is located in the back of The Farm at South Mountain, an oasis that takes you just slightly outside the typical desert landscape. You can dine either on the farmhouse patio or out on the lawn beneath the Valley sky. The menu is made up of local ingredients from the farm and other local businesses.
Christopher’s Crush is a French restaurant in Phoenix that has received numerous accolades from Valley publications. It is led by James Beard award-winning Chef Christopher Gross and the menu “blends classic French dishes with a modern flare for the American taste.” The dining rooms are light with oranges, whites and browns. A perfect date night for good food and a way to expand your palate.