Don’t know where to take your date for a nice meal? Our list of 12 restaurants will help you pick the right place depending on ambience, intimacy, luxury, and setting

romance/noun/ rō-ˈman(t)s, rə-; ˈrō-ˌ/1 a) a love affair b) sentimental or idealized love c) a prevailing sense of wonder or mystery surrounding the mutual attraction in a love affair 2) a feeling of excitement and adventure

Choosing the right restaurant for your date can be a challenge. Is it a special occasion? A first meeting over drinks or a night away from the kids? You’ll need to consider the location, atmosphere, and how luxurious and intimate the restaurant is to find the perfect place for romance.

Once you’ve made your decision, don’t make the rookie mistake of forgetting to make a reservation. Book your table in advance and show your date you care.

ambience/noun/ ˈam-bē-ən(t)s, ˈäm-bē-än(t)s/ the atmosphere of a place; mood

Whether you’re looking for white linen or a place with a cool and casualvibe, the ambience of a restaurant dictates the feel your date will have. Most importantly, you’ll want to pick an atmosphere that both you and your date feel comfortable in.

That said, it’s always fun to try something new together or take your date to a restaurant where you’re an expert in the wines or food. Be their guide and let the romance flourish.

The Bear’s Den: With grand cherry wood walls and a fireplace that will warm your heart, The Bear’s Den is straight out of an old Hollywood movie. This far northwest restaurant serves upscale comfort food fit for special occasions.

Il Sogno: In the heart of Bridgeland, Il Sogno’s plush red chairs, pressed tin ceilings and gorgeous curtains scream romance. Combined with its decadent Italian fare, this restaurant is sure to please every heart.

Laurier Lounge: Nothing is more romantic than sharing food with another person. Dip your way to love with one of the Laurier Lounge’s fondues for the perfect first date.

intimate/adjective/ˈin-tə-mət/  1) closely acquainted; familiar, close 2) private and personal

The art of distance is crucial to the success of a date. You don’t want to be too close to each other or another couple. The table has to be wide enough to fit your plates and wine glasses easily, but not so large that you can’t hold hands (nudge nudge, wink wink).

Farm: This tiny restaurant along 17 Avenue serves delicious and refined local food, yet the décor makes you feel right at home. Sit next to each other at the bar and share a selection of meats and cheeses.

Rouge: The spacing between tables at Rouge lets you have an enjoyable conversation without your neighbours overhearing. For a truly private and luxurious dinner, rent out one of Rouge’s many rooms.

Sultan’s Tent: Spice up your date with Moroccan food at Sultan’s Tent. A Calgary staple for 25 years, this restaurant always rates as one of the best places to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

luxury/noun/ ˈlək-sh(ə-)rē, -zh(ə-)rē/ a means of indulging one’s tastes and desires

Need to impress? Take your date to a restaurant where the chefs let their imaginations run wild. You’ll find innovative food, superb wine lists and staff that take care of every little detail. Tasting menus are a great option for dates as it eliminates the need to fret over your dinner choices. Talk about each dish and get to know each other’s tastes.

Muse: Its cosy tables and intimate booths are made for love. Treat your date to Muse’s creative tasting menus full of seasonal and local ingredients.

Teatro: With over 900 bottles, Teatro’s wine cellar is the epitome of luxury. Brush up on your wine knowledge beforehand to impress your date.

Rush (bar re-opens late January): If you and your lover both work downtown, make a reservation at Rush for a date night dinner steps from the office. Its upscale cuisine is highlighted by the restaurant’s sexy décor.

setting/noun/ ˈset̬·ɪŋ/ 1) the immediate surroundings 2) the place and time in which an event occurs

Whisk your date away so they feel like they’ve left the city, or have a prime view of it. A picturesque setting can be the catalyst of conversation or the perfect place just to enjoy each other’s company.

Use the setting as a starting place but don’t leave it there. If they like the flowers or the view, plan your next date to see something similar or fantasize with travel plans.

River Café: No matter the time of year, River Café is a beautiful place to be. Whether you bask in the foliage of Prince’s Island Park or marvel at the winter wonderland before you, River Café’s views and food won’t disappoint.

Sky 360: At the top of the Calgary Tower, Sky 360 has breathtaking views of our city and the gorgeous Rocky Mountains. Point out to each other your favourite spots within the city for a fun date at Calgary’s iconic landmark.

Alloy: Reserve a cosy round white booth at Alloy for an escape within the city. Your date might get nervous when you pull up outside the industrial building, but they’ll impressed by the wine room and cherry blossom trees inside.

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