It’s the zero hour before Valentine’s Day. If you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume you’re still at a loss for what to do with your beloved. Don’t worry, we’ve got you. Here are a few sample Valentine’s game plans, complete with food, drink, and entertainment ideas to make your date night as special and lovely as the one you share it with. Even if that someone is yourself.
This date hits all the high points of what a classic Valentine’s Day should be. Maybe your date is the love of your life and you want to treat them to a night of grown-up romance. Or maybe they’re really attractive and you need them to see how classy you are. Whatever the reason, here’s a game plan for when you need to pull out all the stops.
It all starts with a sit-down dinner. Kristi Maier already outlined some of the best date night restaurants in Greensboro and Winston-Salem. Other great options include Green Valley Grill, next door to the O. Henry Hotel at 622 Green Valley Road. The Grill’s menu features heavenly Chef’s Specials like a roasted half duck with lavender pear compote and oak-fired filet topped with caramelized onion and parmesan-pancetta cream. La Rue Elm (403 North Elm St., Greensboro) is offering a five course Valentine’s Day menu for $75 per person, including a cheese course. It doesn’t get much classier than that. Bear in mind that these restaurants require reservations, and if you’re just now making Valentine’s plans, you might be out of luck. Fortunately, we have a backup plan: a wine bar.
Wine bars are like conventional bars’ more mature cousins, and are just right for setting a romantic scene on Valentine’s night. Head to one after dinner. Or skip dinner entirely and go straight there. Act like it’s a fun, spontaneous idea in no way related to your lack of reservation-making foresight. Tasting Room (901 S. Chapman St.) is holding a live jazz show with Joey Barnes and David Fox the night of the 14th. Fine wine, good music, and best of all, no reservations needed.
Valentine’s Day heats up at Summerfield Farms as they partner with 1618 On Location for an exclusive February 14 dinner with a special appearance by country music singer Stephanie Quayle. A few seats remain for the dinner and entertainment as of Monday morning.
The dinner will be held at the rustic and romantic Barn at Summerfield Farms. The evening starts with champagne, followed by a three-course dinner with wine pairings. Quayle will cap off the evening by sharing some of her top songs including “Drinking with Dolly” which debuted nationally on Fox News’ ‘Fox & Friends.’
Tickets are $120 per person plus tax and gratuity. Seatings begin at 6 p.m. Reservations are required. A few seats are still left for this heart-warming occasion. Email Lauren Donohue for reservations, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 336.698.6698.
This one is for folks who want to keep their Valentine’s outing light and fun. Maybe it’s a first date and you’re trying to be low pressure. Or maybe you were the only single folks in your office and you’re spending Valentine’s together because hey, it works in the movies. We’re not here to judge. We just want you to have the most easy going night possible.
For dinner, drop the formality of white tablecloth restaurants in favor of a good burger and beer. Hops Burger Bar is a safe bet for both. They have two locations in Greensboro (2138 Lawndale Dr. and 2419 Spring Garden St.), both with casual atmospheres and tasty menu offerings. Grab seats at the bar to avoid the awkward date-y feeling of sitting across from each other. Side by side seating also means you don’t have to make eye contact as you destroy a North Carolinian burger complete with a messy egg, bacon, and fried green tomato.
Hops boasts a pretty good selection of craft beers, but if you want even more options, stop by Joymongers Brewing Company at 576 N. Eugene St. for some small batch brews and foot-tap-inducing live music provided by the Piedmont Old Time Society. The group’s twangin’ bluegrass jam sessions are soulful without being too romantic.
If you’re dating someone who likes to remind you that Valentine’s Day was invented to sell greeting cards, but you still feel the need to do something special around Feb. 14, this date’s for you.
Skip the crowded restaurants for a bite at one of Greensboro’s many food trucks. Ghassan’s on the Go makes a mean lamb gyro, but there are plenty more trucks and stands around the city, serving everything from tacos to barbecue to pizza.
Whatever you choose, you can eat while you stroll over to Fainting Goat Spirits Distillery at 115 W. Lewis St. You’ll need something in your stomach before you sample their lines of gin, whiskey, and vodka, all of which are made from USDA organic grains grown here in North Carolina.
As for entertainment, shy away from paper hearts in favor of something more anatomically correct. On Sunday, Feb. 12. The Blind Tiger (1819 Spring Garden St.) will host a showing of The Walking Dead’s mid-season premiere on their huge screen, complete with drink specials and snacks. If your date is less fond of dropping the undead and more fond of dropping the bass, check back on Feb. 15 for The Blind Tiger’s Twiztid hip hop show, featuring Blaze Ya Dead Homie, Boondox, Lex the Hexmaster, and more. Neither of these events takes place on Valentine’s Day, but that’s kind of the point.
Dancing With Myself
Whether by accident or design, you may find yourself flying solo on the one night of the year designed to make you feel awful about being alone. Here are some ideas to soften the blow and help you do you.
Avoid the stereotype of the lonely, drunk single at a bar full of couples by treating yourself to something healthy. Try Vida pour Tea at 412 State St. for a variety of vegan sweets, coffees, and teas. Further indulge in a relaxing massage or spa treatment from A to Zen Massage, which is just down the road at 523 State St. They are currently running a Valentine’s Day package featuring a 60-minute massage, salt sauna and ion foot bath for $99. Getting pampered while saving money is a surefire recipe for self-love.
YES! Weekly’s online calendar also has tons of great ideas for planning your entertainment this Valentine’s Day.
Mia Osborn is a Greensboro-based freelance writer who hails from Birmingham, Alabama.