Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Where to Take Her for Valentine's Day

A week from today is the holiday that all men and all single girls everywhere despise. It is, however, the day that all girls in relationships love. Because it forces their men to step up to the plate and be romantic. So, sorry guys, you have to suck it up.

As someone who was completely spoiled on Valentine's Day for years, I know how great it can be.

There was the year that he flew me to NYC and we went ice skating in Rockefeller Center and to a Broadway play. There was the year he took me to a little cozy bed and breakfast in the mountains of Vermont and had champagne waiting in room. There was the year he took me to Montreal and we wined and dined our way through the entire city.
Yes, I know most men don't go above and beyond like my ex boyfriend did. Hell, these days a simple "Happy Valentine's Day" text would impress me. Oh, how my standards have gone down. But, I digress.

Anywho, based on my experience being on the receiving end of some pretty friggin' romantic gestures on Valentine's Day, I think I'm the perfect person to offer advice to all you men out there trying to impress your girls.

Below are three date ideas for Valentine's Day. Do any one of them and she will be putty in your hands. And by putty, I mean she will take you home at the end of the night and sport a little Victoria's Secret number for you. See, when you look at it that way, it's a win-win for all parties involved!

Ice Skating at the Sculpture Garden followed by dinner at Rasika

I dated someone not too long ago who told me that a good date is always in two parts. He was right. I think one of the best ways to celebrate Valentine's Day would be to take advantage of the city we live in by taking her ice skating at the National Sculpture Garden. It's pretty inexpensive. $3 for rentals and $8 for admission, and boom, for $22 you've just totally impressed her. Now, as for your skating abilities? I can't help with that. That's up to you.
National Sculpture Garden Ice Rink
After you ice skate and hold hands and work up an appetite, walk up to Rasika at 6th and D Street. Rasika is by far one of the most romantic spots in downtown D.C. You can read my review here. Order cocktails. Share plates. Eat chocolate desserts. Tell her how much she means to you. Yada Yada Yada.

Lounge in the Tabard Inn

Dinner at Urbana followed by drinks and dessert at Tabard Inn

Tell her to meet you in Dupont Circle. But don't tell her where you are taking her. Then walk down P Street hand in hand to Urbana for dinner. Urbana, located in the Hotel Palomar, is uber cozy and uber romantic. Not to mention delicious.

The menu is northern Italian with influences from the south of France. And there are over 90 wines by the glass to choose from. The dining room is modern but intimate and at times feels like you are in a cozy wine cellar and a modern DC restaurant all at once. When you make reservations, request one of the half circle booths. Urbana is also featuring a special Valentine's Day menu that looks amazing.

After dinner, walk back up to the circle, down Connecticut Avenue, and take a left onto N Street to the Tabard Inn. This is where she will become putty. The Tabard Inn is everything a place should be for after dinner drinks. It's cozy with overstuffed couches and chairs. A fireplace and dim lighting. It's quaint with period pieces hanging on the wall. It's romantic because it is this little inn tucked right into the middle of the bustling Dupont Circle. And the cocktails? The cocktails are great. Order drinks and split a chocolate dessert. Then walk out and have the doorman hail you a cab so you can get home and naked stat.

Exterior of Volt in downtown historic Frederick
A Romantic Trip to Frederick, MD: Hiking and Dinner at Volt (will probably need to do this on the weekend either before or after Valentine's Day)

You know what doesn't get much more romantic? A trip out of town. Or as Bridget Jones would say, "a mini break!"

First off, do not tell her where you are going. Just tell her to pack hiking clothes and a fancy dinner outfit. Start off your Valentine's Day trip with hiking one of the many trails in and around historic Frederick, Maryland or in close by Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. I think hiking can be one of the most relaxing and romantic things a couple can do. Turn off the cell phones, get a good work out, make out in the middle of the wilderness. All good things.

Then, after the hike, check into a hotel for the evening. Frederick has extremely low rates on everything from traditional hotels to small bed and breakfasts. Check out the Frederick Tourism website for options. Take her to dinner at Volt. While I've never been, I hear that it is simply amazing. Executive Chef Bryan Voltaggio, a native of Frederick, believes in the farm-to-table commitment so the food is guaranteed to be local and fresh. In addition, Volt is in an old mansion. Does it get much more romantic than that?

I hope these three ideas help you plan a romantic evening for two!


  1. Sadly, I'm right there with you. If I get a Happy Valentine's Day text from anyone other than my mom it might be a good day. I'll just treat myself to a cupcake and try to remember that it's just another Tuesday. Great ideas though!

  2. This was a great post! Super helpful for those romantic days.

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