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

Categories: Top 10

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

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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.

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Photo by Troy Fields
Baby octopus at Vinoteca Poscol.
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.

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


Location Info

Venue

Map

Charivari Restaurant

2521 Bagby St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Aldo's Cucina Italiana - CLOSED

18450 Interstate 45 S., Shenandoah, TX

Category: Restaurant

Masraff's

1753 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Music

Aldo's Cucina Italiana - CLOSED

18450 Interstate 45 S., Shenandoah, TX

Category: Restaurant

Hawthorn - CLOSED

3200 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Hubbell & Hudson

24 Waterway Ave., Spring, TX

Category: Restaurant

Giacomo's Cibo e Vino

3215 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Brenner's on the Bayou

1 Birdsall St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Vinoteca Poscol

1609 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Spindletop At the Hyatt Regency

1200 Louisiana, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Mark's American Cuisine

1658 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Bistro Provence

13616 Memorial Dr., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse

1510 Texas St., Houston, TX

Category: Music

Uchi

904 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Bistro Alex

800 W. Sam Houston Parkway, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Philippe

1800 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Rainbow Lodge

2011 Ella Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
13 comments
dustin.kalman
dustin.kalman

Side note: I remember when Dream Merchant had a location in Sharpstown mall, as well as the current Mark's location. 

Jantzen288
Jantzen288

The Spindletop? Granted, most Valentine's dates don't involve small children who might explore the room, but ladies with extraordinarily small feet and those who favor excessively flowing garb might beware of the floor/building crevice that nearly swallowed a young'n.

Lucrece Borrego
Lucrece Borrego

Or you could just come to our UnValentine's Day party. None of the romance, all of the beer.

Salvie
Salvie

I think Sparrow and Provisions are pretty romantic as well. They're both sexy and upscale, while not being uptight.  They're great places to take someone you've just recently started dating. Provisions does tend to get fairly loud though...

Monterosso
Monterosso

Rainbow Lodge has grounds you can actually walk before or after a meal....so it gets my vote!

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

I'll assume the bathrooms at these establishments are suitable for banging.

chatalain
chatalain

@Paula Murphy  I believe they've been demolishing Backstreet Cafe, turning it into the Bob Lanier Mayoral Library, according to World Net Daily and the Drudge Report.

Nojusticenopiece
Nojusticenopiece

@Bruce_Are haha nice Bruce. I don't get how Vinoteca is on this list. How is a loud restaurant with tables crammed in every inch of space considered romantic? Maybe it's just me, but being able to hear the conversation of every table around me isn't the type of dining intimacy I'm looking for.

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