Skip rush hour and head to one of these restaurants for a date night dinner

Downtown Calgary Skyline photo courtesy davebloggs007/Flickr. With additional writing by Linda Garson.

Instead of rushing home to cook your loved one a dinner, why not grab a table at one of these romantic downtown restaurants? Their sublime cuisine, cozy atmospheres and top-notch service make for the perfect mid-week or Friday night escape.

Korq Winehouse & Kitchen

Relatively new to the downtown core, Korq Winehouse & Kitchen has a by-the-glass wine list that’s not to be missed. Head upstairs to where the cozier tables are located (‘Lover’s Lane’ is already booked for Valentine’s night so book ahead for another special romantic evening) and browse through a large selection of whites, reds and bubblies while gazing out at the nighttime lights. On Wednesdays, bottles of wine are 25 percent off while Thursday’s happy hour features $6 glasses of select vintages. For dinner, try executive chef Eben Brummitt’s Buttered Chicken Curry. Served on pappardelle noodles, this creamy and spiced dish will heat you up. Finish your meal with the crème brulée pair that’s simply meant to be shared. – LL

801 6 St. SW, Calgary, 587-352-5677, korqwinehouse.ca, @KorqWineHouse

Q Haute Cuisine

As one of Calgary’s best fine dining restaurants, Q Haute oozes romanticism.  Reserve a table by the window and fireplace for a view of the Bow River while gorgeous chandeliers cascade above you. Or, plan ahead and really spoil your significant other by booking the kitchen table for an unparalleled experience. At dinner choose from either the four or seven course seasonal tasting menu with optional wine pairings. You can also sneak away for a romantic lunch (white linen and all) and enjoy chef Michele Aurigemma’s superb cuisine in under an hour. His signature veloutés are the perfect lunchtime pick-me-up. – LL

100 La Caille Pl. SW, Calgary, 403-262-5554, qhautecuisine.com, @qhaute

Centini

Chef/owners Fabio and Chevonne Centini’s passion for food and wine is evident from the minute you arrive at this elegant restaurant. Everything is made in front of your eyes, the pastas are all fresh, the artisanal bread program includes walnut scallion, ciabatta, flatbreads, grissini and biscotti, and they are proud of their pancetta, duck prosciutto, guanciale and other charcuterie. Spoil yourself with Lobster and Crab Ravioli in a Saffron Cream Sauce, or a Full Rack of Lamb with Prosciutto, Calabrese Black Olives and Red Wine Demiglace. Centini is also the only restaurant in Canada with an eclectic collection of important Canadian art from the Canadian National Art Bank, and has been awarded Wine Spectator’s ‘Best of Award of Excellence’ for their wine list, many times. – LG

160 8th Ave SE, Calgary, 403-269-1600 centini.com, @CentiniCalgary 

Blink

Just a couple of blocks west, another fine-dining and sophisticated culinary experience await at Blink Restaurant. Executive Chef Chris Dewling’s Slow Food approach, local ingredients, and his refined European cooking techniques are perfectly paired with owner Leslie Echino’s vision and extensive expertise in choosing limited and distinctive wines, to create a memorable all-round experience for you. The menu changes regularly so there’s always something new and delicious to tempt you at Blink, from the signature lunchtime soups and quiches, to upscale and sexy Roast Sea Scallops with Purée of Jerusalem artichokes, Madeira sauce & Black Winter Truffle, or Roast Loin of Broek Acres Berkshire Pork with Parmesan Polenta, Purple Choucroute, Cippolini Onion Leaves, and Crispy Sage. -LG

111 8th Ave SW, Calgary, 403- 263-5330, blinkcalgary.com, @BlinkRestaurant

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