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Top 10 Most Romantic Restaurants in Houston

Of course this place is on the list, but this year, it's not number one...
Of course this place is on the list, but this year, it's not number one...
Photo courtesy Rainbow Lodge

It's that time of year again, Houston! Love is in the air!

No wait, that's just the smell of the refineries surrounding our fair city. No matter. This year, Valentine's Day falls on a Friday, which means couples will be out in force all weekend jockeying each other for prime seats at one of the many local restaurants featuring three-day Valentine's Day specials.

For those of us who would rather not be surrounded by teens on first Valentine's Day outings at restaurants their parents are paying for or sit near that one couple from the gym whose PDA is out of control, the holiday is a day to stay in and nurse a bottle of wine with our cat someone we love. But once the crowds go home and the lovey-dovey feelings and gestures subside (until the next February 14), that's when I want to go out. All of the romance, none of the kissy crowds.

So grab your special someone (though please note that cats aren't allowed at any dining establishments) and check out some of Houston's most romantic restaurants, sure to recreate that lovin' feeling any day of the year.

Honorable mention: Mark's American Cuisine, Kris Bistro, Osteria Mazzantini, Kiran's, Frank's Americana Revival.

The backyard at Backstreet Cafe houses one of Houston's nicest patios.
The backyard at Backstreet Cafe houses one of Houston's nicest patios.
Photo from VoicePlaces

10. Backstreet Cafe Hugo Ortega and Tracy Vaught's "New American Bistro" is a great date spot not only because the diverse menu featuring everything from southern classics to re-imagined Italian dishes is so well-executed, but also because of the gorgeous outdoor seating area, which is reminiscent of a New Orleans patio. There are tall trees whose branches hang languidly over white cloth-covered tables and vine-covered trellises lit with soft spotlights to create a romantic and intimate atmosphere.

Get something hot and spicy or cool and seductive at Peruvian Latin Bites.
Get something hot and spicy or cool and seductive at Peruvian Latin Bites.
Photo by Troy Fields

9. Latin Bites I once ate at Latin Bites with my mother, and somehow the food, service and décor managed to make even that meal feel like a date (though a weird one). The small, intricate appetizers are ideal for sharing, while a few pisco sours -- the national drink of Peru -- will get you a little loosened up. Many tables seat only two, so there's no room for any third wheels who want to tag along. The atmosphere is very sleek and modern, but the food is all beautiful interpretations of classic Peruvian dishes. No need for a whole vacation. Just spend an evening at Latin Bites.

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