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

Categories: Top 10

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Photo by Jeff Balke
The atmosphere at Mark's isn't nearly as reverent as its structure would suggest.
7. Mark's American Cuisine

If dining under the Gothic arches of an old converted church that's rich with history (it used to be the Dream Merchant; remember that hot mess?) doesn't sound romantic to you, well, don't eat here, I guess. More room for the rest of us. The choir area has been converted into a second-story dining loft, which is my favorite spot for taking in the well-oiled machine that is Mark's floor and watching meticulously plated dishes parade out of the kitchen that's tucked behind the former altar. Mark's gets a small black mark (no pun intended), however, for an incident that occurred during my last birthday dinner there, in which the waiter rudely snatched and snapped my menu closed in my face after I told him I was too full for dessert. "Well, you're just missing out," he told me snidely before turning on his heel. I probably was, but...tone it down a bit, guys.

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Bistro Provence doesn't take reservations, so arrive early if you don't want to wait.
6. Bistro Provence

Can't afford a vacation to Provence? Jean-Philippe and Genevieve Guy's precious Memorial bistro is the next best thing. And I am not just saying this because I once picked up a smoking hot waiter here in my early 20s. There is something intensely European about this jewel of a spot: perhaps its small kitchen with a roaring, wood-fired oven or its rustic seating with cozy tables or the sensation of being pleasantly removed from the hectic, traffic-filled urban streets for an evening. Or perhaps it's all of these, with an added dose of plush foies de canard or delicate poussin rôti to really drive the point home.

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Photo courtesy of Bistro Alex
5. Bistro Alex

Some people may put Brennan's on this list, but I tend to think of the grande dame as more of a special occasion spot to celebrate birthdays, intimate bridal showers, promotions or the like. It's gorgeous and refined, but has never smacked of romance to me. Instead, I prefer Brennan's little sister -- Bistro Alex -- on the second floor of the Hotel Sorella in CityCentre. It's intimate and sexy, while still offering the same dazzling Creole cuisine for which Brennan's is known. As an added bonus, you can shimmy over to Monnalisa afterwards for a drink or two by the open fire pit inside the stunning bar, or lounge pool-side and take in the view.

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Ushering your date into V&A's grand foyer doesn't hurt your chances one bit.
4. Vic & Anthony's

Let me be specific: The dining rooms at Vic & Anthony's are more apropos -- in my opinion -- for dinner with clients or a big, blow-out birthday celebration. Where the romance is at in this temple of steak is its dimly-lit bar, which is full of dark corners for (in the immortal words of that skank from Love Actually) "doing dark deeds." A pianist coaxes out old standards from the baby grand in one of those corners, and it's closest to him that I like to sit. You can order the full menu in the bar, but I prefer to keep it simple by sharing a dozen oysters, a split of champagne and a rosy porterhouse for two.


Location Info

Mockingbird Bistro Wine Bar

1985 Welch St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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 Bistro

24 Waterway Ave., The Woodlands, 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 - CLOSED

1800 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Rainbow Lodge

2011 Ella Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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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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