Share the Love: The Best Foods to Share on a Date #datenight

You’ve put together a dashing outfit, carefully chosen a restaurant, and requested the most romantic table in the place. To pull off the perfect date night, though, you need to order wisely. Sharing the right dish with your sweetie can help create a memorable meal and give you something to reminiscence over on future evenings out. Here are 17 of the best foods to share on a date.

Arnaud’s, New Orleans, Louisiana
Your date is guaranteed to heat up with the arrival of the bananas foster. Rich with butter and cinnamon, then liberally doused with dark rum and banana liqueur, the bananas are ablaze to create a show-stopping dessert.

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Barton G. The Restaurant, Los Angeles, California
Here’s a decadently nostalgic way to kick off a romantic meal: Lobster pop tarts. Maine-sourced clawboys are pocketed inside phyllo pastry with Gruyere and a Pernod mornay sauce accompanied by Tabasco hollandaise and tarragon aioli for dipping. [Photo by Christina Peters]

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Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen, Healdsburg, California
Caviar is one of the most extravagant aphrodisiacs in the world, but it’s worth every penny. These black pearls come from California white sturgeon and are accompanied by egg yolks and whites, chopped shallots, crème fraîche, lemon, and brioche toast points. Even if you don’t get lucky, you’ll still enjoy this indulgence.

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Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, Tysons Corner, Virginia
This towering tribute to the bounty of the sea includes Maine lobster, eight shrimp, eight oysters, and jumbo lump crab. Try not to clash claws with your dining partner as you zero in on your favorites.

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Fig & Olive, Washington, D.C.
Get down to the meat of the matter with this 36-ounce Painted Hills Farm bone-in ribeye with a jus reduction béarnaise. It’s served tableside with roasted micro potatoes and your choice of two sides, such as golden beets, and sautéed kale and shallots. Then you can tear into it like a politer, less-oiled-up version of Khaleesi and Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones.

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FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Not to be cheesy, but fondue is classic date fare. This version boasts five kinds of fromage and comes topped with tomato-basil relish. Dip in the triangles of grilled flatbread, while you get cozy with your dining companion. And, yes, it’s totally fine if you feed each other bites. In fact, it’s encouraged.

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Food, Wine & Co., Bethesda, Maryland
There are fewer phrases that make our hearts thrum more than “chocolate soufflé bread pudding.” You order this decadent dessert for two at the beginning of the meal, because it takes half an hour to bake. The molten core is half dark chocolate and half milk chocolate, and it’s finished off with a warm cognac sauce.

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J&G Grill, Bal Harbour, Florida
The über-luxe black truffle is an A-list aphrodisiac. Here the fancy fungi are showcased atop a thin crust pizza with Fontina cheese and locally grown organic greens. Now that’s amore!

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OpenTable Reviews Reveal #DinersChoice Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America — with Slideshow

As diners around the world prepare to celebrate love and loved ones on Valentine’s Day, we are pleased to honor the 2015 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

From restaurants serving shareable dishes to those showcasing seasonal delights, the complete list includes award winners in 31 states and Washington, D.C., such as Canlis in Seattle, La Grenouille in New York, and Red Fish Grill in Miami. California has the greatest number of winners with 15, followed by New York, Texas, and Virginia with eight each, and Arizona, Florida, and North Carolina with seven apiece, and Nevada with five. Colorado, Hawaii, and Illinois each have four, and Indiana, Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania all have three. Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Washington, respectively, have two award winners. Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C., are also represented.

Cheese continues to please diners, with fondue restaurants making a solid showing for the sixth consecutive year. American, French, and Italian cuisines are also popular.

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Aren’t They Romantic? Meet Diners Megan + Drew

winners1Today, we notified the winners of our Valentine’s Day Romantic Dining Stories Giveaway. They were selected at random, but every entrant had a touching tale to tell. First up, Megan (and Drew, too!).

Name: Megan K.

Romantic dining partner: Fiancé Drew.

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois, by way of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Fun fact: They’re getting married on March 15, 2014.

A night to remember: “Having dated my then-boyfriend (now fiancé) for six years, the element of surprise dates and gifts were long behind us after living together for a few years. On a random, chilly late winter weekend, my boyfriend told me to pack an overnight bag with a nice change of clothes for a weekend get away. We took the el from the Addison redline down to Chicago where he had me walk blocks out of my way to arrive at the Drake Hotel. We changed and caught a cab, and he instructed the driver to drop us off at Dearborn and Ontario. We walked into the Melting Pot and had a wonderfully romantic dinner over fondue. This started the beginning of our restaurant exploration and seeking out new and exciting restaurants together.”

Melted cheese seems to melt hearts. Are you big fans of fondue? Continue Reading

OpenTable Diner Reviews Reveal Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in the U.S.

What’s your recipe for romantic dining? A fireside table? Fine wine? Or the right dining companion?

As we look forward to the romance of Valentine’s Day, we are pleased to announce the 2013 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in the United States. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 15,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The list of winners, which includes Canlis in Seattle, Madrona Manor in Healdsburg, Calif., and White Barn Inn in Kennebunk, Maine, spans 32 states. California restaurants earned 16 spots on the list, followed by Hawaii with 10 winners and Florida with eight. Virginia boasts seven winning restaurants, trailed by Ohio and Texas with six honorees apiece. Nevada, New York, and Tennessee all have five winning restaurants, while Arizona and Utah have four each. Colorado restaurants earned three spots, as did those in Illinois, Indiana, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Oregon, and Washington restaurants are also included, among others.

Cheese pleases, as fondue, especially that which is served at nationwide The Melting Pot restaurants, proved extremely popular for the fourth year in a row. American regional fare accounted for almost half the spots on the list. French cuisine was also well represented. Other popular cuisines included Italian, European/continental, and seafood.Continue Reading