The Best Date Night Restaurants in the Triangle

date night light

Looking for a new restaurant to take your sweetheart to on that special date night?  Here are our favorite restaurants in Durham and the Triangle with delicious food and that killer atmosphere that you and your date will love!  Don’t forget to get reservations if you plan on visiting on a holiday or a busy night of the week.

Durham

Durham North Carolina

JuJu 737 Ninth St. #210
$$ – Contemporary Asian tapas
Order several small plates to share with your date!  The Braised Beef Short Tip Won Tons are to die for, and try sitting on the patio if the weather allows.

Mothers & Sons Trattoria 107 W. Chapel Hill St.
$$ – Seasonal Italian cuisine specializing in homemade pasta
Come prepared to try the Primi and Secondi courses.  The Bombolotti cacio e pepe is simple pasta at its finest, and the swordfish will make your night!

Nana’s 2514 University Dr.
$$$ – Southern Regional Cuisine with European influences
You won’t go wrong if you order the risotto with three types of mushrooms and truffle butter.  Nana’s Truffled Chicken Liver pate is another staple in this classic Durham restaurant.

Sushi Love 2812 Erwin Rd. #204
$$ – Sushi rolls and Japanese steak and seafood
You can buy one get one free sushi rolls every day at Sushi Love!  The Durham Cares roll and the Sunrise Lava Roll are delicious, and order their Asian Pear martini to go with your meal.

Vin Rouge 2010 Hillsborough Rd.
$$$ – Authentic French cuisine
There’s no place better in the Triangle to eat raw oysters or the hangar steak with blue cheese.  The bacon and gruyere macaroni and cheese is impeccable as well!

The Little Dipper 905 West Main St. #21A
$$$ – Local Full-Service Fondue
Try the Surf ‘n’ Turf entrée for two, which includes steak, lobster and ravioli.  Finish your night with the Mocha Amaretto fondue with marshmallows, strawberries and more!

Dos Perros 200 North Magnum St.
$$ – Upscale Mexican serving vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free cuisine
Start with the Plantain Fritters, and for dinner go with the Carnitas or Carne Asada!  Try the classic Top Shelf Margarita or mix things up with the spicy Hot Guava Margarita.

Raleighvalentines-dinner

18 Seaboard 18 Seaboard
$$$ – Contemporary Southern, Locally-Sourced Grill
The menu changes often, but try the Big Rock Yellowfish Tuna or the Black Angus filet mignon if they’re on the menu!  You can’t go wrong with the Crème Brûlée of the Day for dessert.

 

Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse 8551 Brier Creek Pkwy
$$ – Authentic Brazilian Steakhouse and Salad Bar
At this all-you-can-eat steakhouse, put your rock on green if you want more meat, and put it on red if you want to take a break.  Try the pork, lamb or steak, and the coconut flan for dessert!

The Pit 328 W. Davie St.
$ NC Whole-Hog, Pit-Cooked Barbeque
Order the pulled pork or ribs, if you know what’s good for you, and enjoy the complimentary hush puppies!  Try a local beer on tap to go with your meal.

Chapel Hill

Mint 504 W. Franklin St.
$$ – Contemporary Indian Cuisine
The portions at this restaurant are sizeable, and the garlic naan, tikki masala, or the chicken pasanda are to die for.  For dessert, try the delicious gulab jamun!

Lantern 423 W. Franklin St.
$$$ – Award-winning Locally-sourced Asian cuisine
While the menu changes frequently, the Poulet Rouge chicken and crispy whole black bass are worth ordering for dinner.  Try the warm chocolate cake for dessert or any of their amazing cocktails!

Carrboro & Pittsboro
valentines-day-2

Glass Half Full 106 S. Greensboro St., Carrboro
$$ – Contemporary American Kitchen & Wine bar
Start your meal with the charcuterie plate, and then order the duck confit or the crab mac and cheese.  Ask your server for recommendations for wine, or bring a bottle home with you from their shop!

Oakleaf 480 Hillsboro St., Pittsboro
$$$ – Sophisticated Farm to Table American Dining
The menu changes constantly, but order the steak or gnocchi if you can!  Ask the bartender for drink suggestions to go with your meal or try whichever crème brûlée is on the menu for dessert.

Cary & Apex

Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen 7307 Tryon Rd., Cary
$$ – Local Southern and American Cuisine
Start with the Voodoo Pig Bread, and order the catfish for dinner.  Make sure that you order a drink from their extensive wine and local beer list!

Little Hen 5160 Sunset Lake Rd., Apex
$$ – Modern Farm to table American dining
While the menu changes seasonally, the local cheese and meat plate appetizer is always a hit!  Try the locally-sourced pork for the main course and add one of their unique cocktails to your meal.

Sushi IWA 2026 Creekside Crossings Dr., Apex
$$ – Sushi Bar and Asian Restaurant
You can buy one get and one free sushi roll every day here, so check out the My Girl roll or any of the salmon rolls.  If you’re not interested in sushi, try the bacon fried rice or the Imperial Chicken dish!

So, which one of these fabulous local restaurants will you go to next?

Make Valentine’s Day Sweet Again

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and chances are you’re already being barraged with pink and red hearts and coma-inducing amounts of candy. You may be stressing over what to plan for your special someone, or maybe you’re single and dreading the prospect of a night in… alone.

Alright kids, take a deep breath – don’t stress! Valentine’s Day is about expressing your love to the special people in your life, and truth is, you don’t need to break the bank or even be in a romantic relationship to do that. We’ve scoured the web for inspiration and have even come up with some ideas of our own for making Valentine’s Day sweet again.

Sweet, Sweet Romance

Aphrodisiac Recipes from The Huffington Post

Aphrodisiac Recipes from The Huffington Post

  1. Tired of shelling out the big bucks every year for a fancy meal? Dine in and try your hand at one of these delicious aphrodisiac recipes, like “Asparagus Rolls With Prosciutto And Basil Ricotta Cheese” or “Warm Chocolate Cakes with Marscapone Cream.”
  2. Have a favorite local restaurant but it’s already booked up? Why not celebrate valentine’s day after valentine’s day? Seriously –  restaurants won’t be packed, and all the accompanying Valentine’s Day stuff in stores will be half off. You’ll just want to make sure that your partner is on board with this plan before hitting “execute”!
  3. Looking for a creative (and cheap!) alternative to the same old same old? Check out these fun ideas from The Daily Dish. We love #3 and #12 – let us know if you need help with #11!

Singles Unite 

Valentine-themed cocktails from Saveur

Valentine-themed cocktails from Saveur

Single ladies, and you single gents too,  let’s get real with this! Now is the time to ignore all those Hollywood stereotypes, because truth is, you do not need to be in a romantic relationship to be a whole person. Take this holiday as an opportunity to love the people around you, and don’t get bogged down by what pop culture says about romance.

  1. Throw a partay for your fellow single friends! Plan for ladies only or guys only, or make it a mixer. Have a chocolate theme and try out some of these savory chocolate recipes, or mix up some of these tasty Valentine-themed cocktails.
  2. If you’re really craving that night out on the town, plan a traditional date with a friend, or get a few friends together for a less-traditional group date.
  3. Destined for a night in? Raise your spirits with a good comedy like… Bridesmaids (R-rated!), Hot Fuzz, Mean Girls, The Producers (1968), Miss Congeniality, Starsky & Hutch,  The Devil Wears Prada,  Death at a Funeral, Bend it Like Beckham…

Family Fun

DIY Valentine's Day crafts from Woohome.

DIY Valentine’s Day crafts from Woohome.

Want to celebrate with the kiddos? Give the little people in your life some love!

  1. Make a fun treat together, like these tasty ice cream sandwiches.
  2. Try out some easy and fun Valentine’s Day crafts from these lists: 10 last minute crafts and 30 fun crafts for kids.
  3. Want holiday themed goodies but don’t want to over-dose your loved ones with sugar? Give these healthy (and fun!) recipes a try. The “Valentine’s Day Egg in the Basket” is adorable, and the “Blood Orange Margaritas” are a great way for the grownups to start the night.