Love is in the Air: Date Night Restaurants in Metro Detroit

By: Amber Ogden | February 13, 2015

This weekend is Valentine’s Day, and you know what that means: restaurants will be packed to the gills, and if you didn’t make a reservation approximately two weeks ago, good luck getting a table anywhere!

However, if you’re looking to take your sweetheart out to a romantic meal tonight, or any other spontaneous day throughout the year, you have 364 opportunities to do so that do not fall on February 14. And who knows, you might even get lucky and snag yourself a reservation somewhere this late in the game!

The idea of romance truly is subjective, because some gal’s idea of a good time is spending a Saturday night at home with takeout food and Netflix. However, if you’re looking to woo your lady or fella, take him or her to one of the following restaurants in Metro Detroit that just oozes romantic ambiance:

Fiamma Grille, 380 S. Main St., Plymouth, is known for its upscale touch and sophisticated fare. What better time of the year to indulge? The menu begins with small plates, which should obviously be shared with your honey. Try the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake (with black bean and Michigan corn relish) or Bay Scallops and Lobster Mac n Cheese (topped with toasted Panko crumbs).

As for the entrees, there are plenty of steak, fish, seafood and pasta items to choose from. You and your date might enjoy the Piedmontese Filet Mignon (served with au gratin potatoes, green beans, cipollini onions and tomato marmalade), Norwegian Salmon (encrusted with dried mushrooms and drizzled with truffle oil) or Homemade Ravioli with Smoked Mozzarella and Roasted Red Pepper.

Lakes, 5500 Crooks Rd., Troy, is the perfect date spot for seafood lovers. The seafood is flown in daily from locations like Boston, Hawaii and Florida, and the veggies are produced from local farms. What’s more romantic than a fresh meal?

The menu includes appetizers like Lobster Potato Skins (packed with lobster claw meat, bacon and Swiss cheese), Smoked Salmon Flatbread (topped with goat cheese, capers, arugula and red onion) and Chilled Shrimp Cocktail.

As for the seafood options, all can be prepared a number of ways. You have your choice of grilled, broiled, sautéed, blackened or buttermilk fried. Try the Banana Leaf Steamed Teriyaki Salmon (served with jasmine rice, cauliflower, Asian slaw and soy and garlic chili sauce), Prosciutto Swordfish (accompanied with fingerling potatoes and cherry tomatoes) or Jumbo Shrimp and Sweet Potato Gnocchi (in a spicy tomato sauce). There are, of course, “landlovers” items on the menu, but you wouldn’t go to a Mexican restaurant and order a cheeseburger, now would you?

The RattleSnake Club, 300 River Place Dr., Detroit, has all sorts of accolades, including Award of Excellence from Wine Spectacular two years in a row (2013 and 2014), as well as winner of Diners’ Choice 2015 on OpenTable.com. If that doesn’t speak volumes, allow the menu to do the talking.

Starters include Crispy Michigan Brussels Sprouts (with Sriracha-honey drizzle and avocado aioli), as well as Barbecue Jumbo Gulf Shrimp (served with mango pepper salsa and sweet spicy barbecue sauce). Grilled Winter Vegetable Torte (a gluten free meal layered with Provolone and Asiago cheese, thyme crust, arugula and almond pesto), Grilled Rack of Michigan Lamb (served with garlicky cannellini bean puree) and a Surf and Turf Platter are just a few of your many options.

Keep in mind; it’s not a cheap establishment, so you probably don’t want to bring anyone here on a first date. However, you’re not cheesy enough to take anyone out for the first time on Valentine’s Day weekend and try and finagle a last minute reservation, are you?

Pacific Rim, 114 W. Liberty St., Ann Arbor, is a Pan-Asian restaurant with a wonderful ambiance. Note that while the restaurant is offering a special five-course meal for Valentine’s Day, the regular restaurant menu will not be available on Saturday. However, keep the following choices in mind for a pre- or post-Valentine’s Day date when romance is what you seek.

Share bites of Saigon Spring Rolls (filled with tiger shrimp and vegetables, served with chili-lime dipping sauce), Lemongrass Beef Skewers (with julienned green papaya, cilantro, chopped peanuts and a spicy peanut sauce) or Zucchini-Scallion Crepes (served with a spicy dipping sauce) to start.

As for the entrees, Quinoa-Crusted Scallops (served with coconut jasmine rice and carrot-lemongrass sauce), Korean-Marinated Rib-Eye (with sesame crispy rice, sautéed veggies, quail egg and Korean chili sauce) and Goat Cheese Pierogi (with a balsamic-fig reduction) are all wonderful choices.

Andiamo, with multiple Metro Detroit locations including Sterling Heights, Livonia and the Detroit Riverfront, is one local restaurant that really knows Italian food. If the guy or gal in your life loves pasta, treat them to a meal here and they’ll love you forever.

The menu varies a little bit by location, but if you head to the Royal Oak one, you can expect to find house pastas including Shrimp Scampi (with delicious garlic and white wine flavors), flatbreads like the Godfather (with Italian sausage, pepperoni, prosciutto, bacon, mushrooms and more), and Free Range Brick Chicken (gluten free, with asparagus, artichokes, roasted potato, peppers, mushrooms and sundried tomato vinaigrette).

No matter where you end up dining in the D this weekend, may your Valentine’s Day weekend be filled with love. And chocolate.