Houston's 10 Most Romantic Restaurants: Start Planning Your Valentine's Day Dinner Now

What's more romantic than civic pride? MARRY ME, HOUSTON.
What's more romantic than civic pride? MARRY ME, HOUSTON.
Photo by Austin Knight

In case you hadn't heard, Valentine's Day falls on a Thursday this year. And in next week's print edition, our own Christina Uticone will have a round-up of all the Valentine's Day dinner deals and special menus you can shake a dozen roses at. This is not that round-up.

There are 10 types of people in this world: Those who understand binary and those who don't. No...wait. There are two types of people in this world: Those who take his or her partner out to eat on Valentine's Day and those who wait for the mad crush of romance to end before venturing back out to nice restaurants. This year, that means restaurant dining rooms both the weekend prior to and the weekend after Valentine's Day will likely be saturated with flower-bearing suitors. And cheers to them!

I, however, would rather have a special dinner with a special friend on a night when it's a bit calmer -- but that doesn't mean I don't want that special dinner to be romantic. Our guide to Houston's 10 most romantic restaurants lets you choose your own adventure, however. Most of the restaurants on this list are offering special Valentine's Day menus, but you can wine and dine a date here any night of the week and still give them a romantic evening.

Don't like the selections below? Check out last year's list of recommended spots; it's still as romantic as ever.

Honorable mention:

Mockingbird Bistro, Charivari, Jasper's, Masraff's, Aldo's Cucina Italiana, Hawthorn, Hubbell & Hudson Bistro and Giacomo's Cibo e Vino.

Houston's 10 Most Romantic Restaurants: Start Planning Your Valentine's Day Dinner Now
Photo courtesy of Brenner's on the Bayou

10. Brenner's on the Bayou

That view. This is the former site of The Rainbow Lodge and while I was sad to see that restaurant move (personal bias: my parents were married there 22 years ago tomorrow), I'm glad that Brenner's has kept up the beautiful landscaping and bayou vistas that define this location. The menu is a people-pleaser, too, in case your date is picky: great steaks mingle with comfort classics like Wiener schnitzel, giant pork chops and fried chicken with grits.

Baby octopus at Vinoteca Poscol.
Baby octopus at Vinoteca Poscol.
Photo by Troy Fields

9. Vinoteca Poscol

This is how you do romance on a budget. Vinoteca Poscol is, to me, the more romantic of Marco Wiles' three restaurants -- and not only because it's affordable (and not just during happy hour). The two-roomed space in a low-slung strip center looks a bit weary from the outside, but inside it's as if you've been transported to a dusky Italian cafe rich with ruggedly Continental charm. The tapas-sized portions of encourage sharing of dishes such as roasted beets or baby octopus, while the wine list features a selection for every palate and price point.

Spindletop's crab-and-avocado dome is a perfect appetizer for two.
Spindletop's crab-and-avocado dome is a perfect appetizer for two.
Photo by Anamaris Cousins Price

8. Spindletop

Before you scoff at a "rotating restaurant" making it onto this list, answer this question: Have you ever eaten at Spindletop? The food is legit. And so are the views onto the city 34 stories below, which you can take in slowly over the course of an evening as the floor of the restaurant pirouettes so subtly that you can barely detect any movement. Some people may find rotating restaurants out-of-date or cheesy; I'm not among them. I love gazing on this beautiful, maddening city of ours -- and I love doing it while the sun sets, over a bottle of wine and a seared red snapper topped with a crawfish spinach béchamel. Plus, if you get too full and/or intoxicated (BY THE VIEWS) to drive home, you can crash in a plush room at the Hyatt Regency below.



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