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Greensboro’s ten best date restaurants

by Amy Kingsley

Solaris

125 Summit Ave.; 336.378.0198

This trendy downtown tapas restaurant may be the ultimate dating spot. It’s got everything ‘— live jazz on Friday and Saturday nights, a cocktail bar that serves delicious concoctions, a modern design with artsy flair and exquisite food that requires an intimate communication between diners. Waiter Christian Fimilio believes that ‘“if your date and you can’t agree on what to share, you probably shouldn’t be together.’” Choose among seafood tapas like the orange marinated tilapia and the crab cakes, or stir-fried sesame ribeye and the Solaris buffalo legs from the meat menu. Solaris will offer Valentine’s dinner specials that include dessert and champagne.

Café D’Arte

620 W. Dolley Madison Road.; (336) 856-1477

Italy’… the land of romance and the setting at Café D’Arte, a restaurant whose intimate European ambiance draws many first-daters. It could be the live jazz, it could be the portions big enough for a couple to share, or maybe it’s the creative spins on traditional dishes such as the Italian shrimp and grits. Whatever it is, Café D’Arte is so conducive to romance that one couple, after having their first date there a few summers ago, got married and celebrated their post-matrimonial dinner in the restaurant.

Revival Grill

604 Milner Drive; 336.297.0950

The restaurant’s theme is ‘“a culinary awakening’”: a traditional selection of entrées, such as lobster tails and filet mignon, refreshed by careful detail to sauces, spices and presentation. The low-lit, sophisticated restaurant takes pride in its wine selection, which includes over 100 imported bottles and 150 domestics. In the winter a fire is lit next to the bar in one of its dining rooms, perfect for a close chat and glass of wine with your partner.

Melting Pot

2924 Battleground Ave.; 336.545.6233

Originally the Swiss’ way of dealing with leftovers, fondue is now a high-end dining experience. The three-course dinner starts off with apples, veggies and bread, moves on to the entrée, anything from lobster tails to pork tenderloin ‘— but let’s just skip to the dessert’… pound cake and cheesecake chunks, brownies, marshmallows, bananas, and strawberries dipped into a pot of melted chocolate, the ultimate aphrodisiac. No worries about impressing your date with fancy table manners ‘— it’s hard to blunder with one utensil (but watch the Costanza double-dip).

Alexander Devereux’s Fine Dining and Dancing

2800 High Point Road.; 336.632.0088

Owner Alvis Fewell describes the place as an upscale restaurant with a laid-back atmosphere. Bring a date on Friday to enjoy a soul food buffet: fried chicken, mac and cheese, collard greens and yams top the list. Try the Creole-style jambalaya or the Cajun catfish to kick it up a notch, then kick back your heels, toast a glass of champagne, and jive to the live jazz band there every Friday and Saturday night.

Liberty Oak

100 W. Washington St.; 336.273.7057

A Greensboro classic, Liberty Oak comes off as upscale and down-home at the same time. Their contemporary American cuisine is fresh and colorful, as are the surroundings ‘— owner Walter Fancourt covers the walls with his own folksy, quirky paintings. Fancourt doesn’t want the atmosphere to be intimidating, so he accompanies the white tablecloths and soft lighting with rock and roll music. ‘“We want the place to be fun,’” he muses. The restaurant specializes in fish and pastas dishes, perfect for a casual yet impressive lunch date.

Green’s Supper Club

4735 US Highway 29 N., 336.621.3444

What’s classier than a traditional dinner and dancing date? For a guaranteed romantic night slip on your dancing shoes ‘— the more sparkly and shiny the better ‘— and waltz down to the Supper Club. First, have a prime-rib dinner in a candlelit room or enjoy a fine seafood dinner at the oyster bar, then swing your date over to the dance floor and show off your twinkle toes. Or if you sing better than you move, the Supper Club has karaoke a few times a week. Careful, first-daters.

Ganache Restaurant and Bakery

403 N Elm St.; 336.230.2253

After having been introduced at a Dining for Friends party a few years back, Ganache’s decadent chocolate mousse cake and I have never truly been apart. The love affair has continued through the years although I’ve been tempted away by the Oreo cake, the Key lime pie, raspberry cream cake and the macaroons. And, oh yeah, they serve food too. Described as continental fare with an Asian influence, entrées include the Thai chicken satay skewers and the Bourbon Street ribeye. On a summer night woo your date under the stars on Ganache’s elegant roof patio.

Southern Lights

105 Smyres Place; 336.379.9414

For another casual date destination, Southern Lights offers a Charleston influenced, low-country menu in a homey atmosphere. Manager Jason Sumners admits that the restaurant’s small scale packed with regulars can get noisy at times, but all the better to get closer to your date. Local artists’ creations, all for sale, spot the wall ‘— this month Tracy Marshall’s art is on display. Nightly dinner items include sesame-encrusted Gulf shrimp and other popular sea fare: salmon, grouper, mahi and tilapia.

223 South Elm

223 S. Elm St.; 336.272.3331

223 South Elm calls its concept ‘“an innovative Southern cuisine based on French cooking.’” The menu comes straight from the Bayou; true Southern dishes upgraded using French sauces created in the house by Chef Jason Jones. The building and interior express a refined Southern hospitality, an upscale yet relaxed atmosphere with an attentive staff, great food and even live music (see story p. 36) to put guests at ease. Entrées include Southern delicacies such as buttermilk soaked cornmeal fried catfish, seared jumbo sea scallops, and lump crab and goat cheese stuffed trout.

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