I don’t like the people that say, “Valentine’s Day is just a Hallmark holiday. I just stay home with my boyfriend and eat leftovers. Whatever.”
Losers eat leftovers. Winners go out to fancy restaurants, eat like kings and make out.
(1) The Fig Tree
Pro Tip: Watch for an engagement. You’ll likely see an engagement (or at least a couple that just got engaged), which will be entertaining. When I was dating my wife, I told her, “I just booked a reservation for us at Fig Tree on Friday.” She said she knew immediately that I would ask her to marry me that afternoon. Correct.
(2) Alexander Michael’s
Pro Tip: No reservations, so get there early (or just drink and wait). Al Mike’s is the most underrated restaurant in Charlotte. People in the know love this place. I love that the owner turned down Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives when they asked to film a show there. It’s authentic. It’s cozy.
(3) Beef’N Bottle
Pro Tip: Ask to sit in their inside wooden booths. Inside is much more romantic than the outside. Also, I respect the way they bring out your salad. Old school.
Pro Tip: Order the pasta. Bruce Moffett’s first restaurant. His baby. It’s intimate. Already booked solid for Valentine’s Day.
(5) Good Food on Montford
Pro Tip: Make sure to get the Steamed Buns as one of your small plates. They’re tasty. Underrated cocktail program. Also, they’re breaking their no-reservation policy and taking reservations on Valentine’s Day only (you have to call them 704-525-0881).
(6) Soul Gastrolounge
Pro Tip: Drink their cocktails. Love the lounge feel. If you’re waiting and it’s slammed, go downstairs for a drink.
Pro Tip: Prosecco on tap. Stagioni is doing a four course $75 prix fixe menu on both Saturday and Sunday of Valentine’s Day weekend. Intimate bar (in separate room), but you could also grab a margarita from RuRu’s or a bottle of wine from Bond Street Wines before or after dinner (both within 100 yards of the restaurant).
(8) Carpe Diem
Pro Tip: Grab a drink at the bar tables in the back corner. Oh, and get the Fried Chicken – it’s the best dish in Charlotte.
(9) Crepe Cellar
Pro Tip: Don’t sit at the tables that connect. Love the feel of this NoDa restaurant.
Pro Tip: Order the BBQ octopus. Small, but cool bar area. Also next to Passion8 and Carpe Diem, so could always combo these for a full dinner and drink date night.