You've managed to convince yourself that you can leave the baby for a couple of hours while you and your partner go out for a meal at a restaurant that doesn't serve chicken nuggets. You scour the internet looking for a place that is close enough to home so you can rush back if you need too and come up short. We've got you covered! We have compiled a list of date night ideas to help you out! As it is currently winter we have tried to keep it to indoor options.
If you live in Vienna:
Bazins on Church St. This place is a GEM in the heart of Vienna. Especially if you are lucky enough to live within walking distance. It's great American food in a cozy atmosphere. BONUS- they have a delicious gluten free menu!
Clarity on Maple Ave. This is a special date night spot also conveniently located in the heart of Vienna. The menu changes daily and includes everything from seafood and steak as well as a wine list to die for. You need to make a reservation as seating is limited and make sure you leave time to find a parking spot in the small parking lot in front of the restaurant or the adjacent lot just a few steps away.
If you live in McLean/Tysons:
Paladar Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar. Did someone say mojitos? Along with their diverse rum offerings, they have an Latin infused menu that will make any foodie's mouth water. My personal favorite is to start with the guacamole (with housemade yucca, plantain, malanga and corn chips). It's big enough to share with a whole table OR you can be greedy and eat it all yourself. While I'm a meat lover, I appreciate that this restaurant has plentiful vegetarian options. We've never had any trouble getting a table here, but they do take reservations. BONUS: they also have a gluten free menu.
Founding Farmers. Here's some advice: COME HUNGRY. Literally every food item at this restaurant is delicious and you will want all of it. I'm particularly fond of their biscuits.(Why do you think we do so many burpees at Body Back?!) I appreciate that everything is carefully sourced and local when possible. Warning: the cocktail menu is one of the best around but do not order the Paloma spicy unless you are a fan of heat! It's nice and spicy! (Founding Farmers also has a DC location if you want to go into the city!)
If you live in Falls Church/City of Falls Church:
Spacebar. Grilled cheese. Beer. Tots. That's it. It's dark, loud, and usually crowded but it is worth it! It's one of those places you'd miss if you didn;t know it was there. As residents of the "Little City" we frequently patron this creative bar and every time it is worth it. Parking is limited but there is ample street parking on the residential streets adjacent and behind the restaurant. Don't bring the baby to this date night restaurant...no kids allowed. You CAN order pick up though, which would be a perfect addition to a home date night involving "Netflix and Chill".
La Cote D'Or Cafe. This restaurant is technically in Arlington but it is right on the border of Falls Church so it's easy to get to. We actually enjoy this place for a quiet brunch. The pastries are made in house and on the rare day when we have no children, we'll sneak over for a coffee and a French-style breakfast. It's small and terrific for a quiet romantic dinner. And while not fancy, it has white tablecloths which I feel give it an authentic French restaurant feeling. Parking is located along the side of the restaurant.
Idylwood Grill. You don't even need to order for yourself at this restaurant that's in the shopping strip located behind Whole Foods in Falls Church. The owner is there from the time they open until the close and he will basically tell you which wine you want and he'll be right. The menu changes frequently and I have yet to have something that I didn't eat every bite of. They take reservations which are usually needed. It's very small and a perfect kid-free dinner place. Plan to stay and drink a bottle (or two). And of course, Uber, if that's the case ;)
If you live in Fairfax:
Villa Mozart. Craving Italian food in Fairfax? This is where you want to go! The food is authentically Italian with handmade pasta and an extensive apertivo and wine list. Lemoncello martini, anyone? Several of our members rave about this place as their go-to for a special date night out.
Angelika Film Center and Cafe. This is one of the only theaters in the region that has beer and wine for purchase at the concession stand. We get a bucket of beers and gourmet hot dogs and are good to go! We love this theater because it feels more "grown-up" than the theaters of our youth. Purchase your tickets online or at the kiosk located in the front of the theater. Bonus- If you get there early, there is a bar upstairs. On certain days of the week, the bar hosts trivia nights with discounted tickets and prizes.
How about you? Where are your favorite date night places in NOVA? We'd love to hear them!