An anonymous male friend of mine recently asked me for some dating ideas – he’s in a new relationship. I warned him to not use all of my suggestions right away, because that’s setting the bar really high. Needless to say, he didn’t listen, and she’s really impressed. Seeing as Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I wanted to share some of my favorite date spots in Boston – in no particular order.
1. Top of the Hub – Located in the Prudential Tower, 52 floors above the Back Bay, Top of the Hub has a beautiful Boston skyline view and offers brunch, lunch, cocktails and dinner. One of Boston’s most romantic restaurants, this is a “must see.” Top of the Hub’s jazz lounge is also open every night, no reservation or cover charge required. Dress to impress!
2. Lolita – Located on the corner of Newbury & Dartmouth St. in the Back Bay, Lolita’s ambiance is unique, the drinks are delicious and the food is amazing – a triple threat! This has quickly become one of my favorite restaurants in Boston (and is conveniently located in my neighborhood). I highly recommend the lobster enchilada and as a plus, you get a generously sized green apple cotton candy after your meal!
3. Fiore – When it comes to going out to dinner, the North End is always a promising choice. Between the Italian locals and the tourists however, it can be extremely overwhelming choosing the right restaurant. Fiore’s menu is one of my favorites, and one of the only restaurants in Boston with quality outdoor space in the spring/summer. Whether you’re sitting at the inside bar listening to the pianist, or sipping sangria on the roof deck, you can’t go wrong going on a date at Fiore.
4. New England Aquarium – I recently visited the aquarium and it’s pretty awesome. It’s a famous attraction that we are lucky to have in our city, so might be overlooked when thinking about what to do on the weekend. It costs $22.95 for an adult ticket, but keep an eye out for a Groupon or Living Social deal. The downside is that it can get pretty crowded with kids (and double-wide strollers), so try to avoid going on a Saturday or Sunday!
5. Bin 26 – This is definitely a great “special occasion” date. The menu can get a tad pricey, however if you enjoy a good glass (or bottle) of wine, you can’t beat Bin 26. Located on the picturesque Charles Street, Bin 26 has a warm and cozy atmosphere – you feel as though you are at a winery in Europe. Oh, and don’t forget to look at the ceiling in the bathroom!
6. AMC Loews Boston Common Movie Theater – I know what you’re thinking, “are we in 7th grade?” But who doesn’t love going to the movies? In addition to obviously ordering a large popcorn, you buy your tickets downstairs, and all of the theaters are upstairs! I can’t remember the last time I went to the movies, and only saw just one. Makes for a perfect Sunday!
7. 75 Chestnut – An intimate and cozy bar and restaurant, located on “the flat” of Beacon Hill. You can’t miss the huge (and free!) cheese and cracker tower when you walk in the door, which is perfect while waiting for a table or snacking while sitting at the bar. And best of all, they are always celebrating something. Register for their email list and you will always be invited to a cookie tasting, Kentucky Derby, Christmas or Valentine’s Day party!
8. Liberty Hotel – Once the iconic Charles Street Jail, now one of the most beautiful hotels in Boston. The Liberty is a guaranteed fun date, and an excuse to look your absolute best. It has 6 bars and restaurants: Scampo, Alibi, Clink, Liberty Bar, Catwalk, and The Yard. I’ve been told I’ve never eaten a meal faster than a gnocchi dish I had at Scampo!
9. Mare – Another North End gem, Mare’s Italian menu mainly features organic and sustainable seafood. I’m not even a seafood lover, but I am a Mare lover. The food is phenomenal especially if they’re serving zucchini blossoms as a special. I’ve also heard there have been Justin Timberlake sightings… if that’s not incentive enough. If you want to grab some wine beforehand, cruise up to the Wine Bottega for a wine tasting, on Fridays from 5-8.
Well that’s my Divine Nine. If you’re wondering why ice-skating at Frog Pond didn’t make the cut, it’s because I haven’t done it yet. But I am going this weekend, thanks to Sassy McFiddlesticks. And thanks to Groupon, for including skates, hot chocolate, and a chance to cut the line. I can’t wait!