Love it or hate it, Valentine’s day is almost here. And for those of you in a relationship that often means high expectations, shelling out some serious cash and a lot of stress. Luckily, we have the ultimate date guide for any budget, and every spot on the list is right on the square here in the good ol’ little D.
Barley & Board
Nothing impresses a lady quite like a man who knows how to pick a restaurant with great atmosphere, a nearly endless drinks list and a fantastic American-fare menu. Lucky for you, Barely & Board encompasses all three. This is a fairly new restaurant located on the corner of Oak St. downtown, and since opening has gotten nothing but rave reviews.
For those looking for a nicer dinner with items on the menu that you can actually pronounce (French cuisine is not our forte), Barely & Board may be the perfect spot. Be aware: eating at such a fine establishment comes with a decent price tag. Plates range from $15-$29, and you will probably need a reservation. To take a look at the menu and book your table, visit their website.
West Oak Coffee Bar
Next up is somewhere equally as impressive (and a bit more expensive) to have V-Day dinner. Most don’t envision dinner at a coffee shop as their dream date, but West Oak is offering a special prix-fixed menu for the night of February 14th. Seating is offered at either 5:30 or 8:00 p.m. and it’s probably a good idea to call and reserve your spot ASAP. So what could a coffee shop possibly offer (at $40 per plate) as a Valentine’s dinner? You just might be surprised. The menu is as follows:
Brie en croute and crostini with rosemary honey
Sweet potato bisque
Filet mignon with crab and caper salad, mashed potatoes and asparagus
Goat cheese and dill-stuffed zucchini with braised tomatoes and asparagus
If this limited-edition menu tastes anything like their normal sandwich and pastry fare, you’re in for a serious treat, and the price will absolutely be worth it.
Flatlanders Taco Comany
Last, but certainly not the least of our dinner recommendations, is the deliciously authentic food truck turned brick-and-mortar taco shop. Flatlanders is a little walk off the square and is really easy to miss if you don’t keep your eyes peeled. Once inside, however, it hosts a really unique dining space. There are several rooms to dine in, including some tucked away in the back of the building and a cute, intimate patio space. For couples wanting more of a low-key, relaxed date, this is definitely your new go-to spot. The tacos range from $2 to $4 a piece, making this an incredibly affordable option. The menu is also refreshingly unique, offering tacos featuring tofu, portobello and even cactus. We highly recommend the avocado taco—it is incredibly fresh, and (for a vegetarian taco) has a lot of substance. Be sure to visit their website to find the address (which you’ll probably need to navigate) and the full menu.
Painting with a Twist
Even if your art skills are so unrefined that you can’t master a stick figure, Painting With a Twist will make you feel like a modern day Picasso. This place is perfect for couples looking to go do something a little more adventurous. Painting with a Twist is essentially a two to three hour art class. They provide you with all the materials and teach you step-by-step how to create the particular painting the class is featuring that day. Pricing ranges from $35-$45 depending on the length of the class you choose. For Valentine’s Day, the studio is offering appropriately themed classes from either 1-3, 4-6 or 7-9 p.m. The event calendar shows you what each time slot will be painting, and provides a link to the page where you can register.
Recycled Books & Beth Marie’s
You’re not really a true Dentonite until you’ve visited two of the city’s staples. Recycled Bookstore (for those of you living under a rock, or new to the town) is an old opera house turned book-lovers fantasy. It houses old books, records and cd’s from floor to ceiling. This place is seriously packed. There is even a room in the back where you will have to check your backpacks and large purses to see some of their oldest and rarest books. If your boo is a book or music lover of any kind, this could make for a magical date experience.
After exploring the many nooks and crannies of Recycled Books, you must stop by Beth Marie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Shop. Your search for the most decadent, incredible creamy treat stops here. For real. Beth Marie’s offers an expansive menu, and you can’t go wrong ordering any item on it. Once you’ve deliberated for a few hours and ordered your sweet treat, you have to take a seat at one of the adorably eclectic tables and enjoy your surroundings. The old-world charm here is the second best part.
Happy Valentines Day!
Now that we’ve totally and absolutely alleviated your decision-making stresses, enjoy what the day is really about: you, your loved one and chocolate. Lots and lots and lots of chocolate.
Photos by: Abby Pfaff