Five Valentine’s Day Date Ideas at a Reasonable Price
Special, or just fun, dinners, bowling, or a movie
Heads up: you have a week to go until Valentine’s Day. Whether you plan on taking out your significant other or splitting the bill with a good friend, it’s key to secure a reservation on this typically busy weekend night. We have suggestions for five local places to bring your love (whether romantic or platonic) for a special meal, bowling outing, or movie night.
Celebrate the holiday with a night out in the North End. Tresca serves up traditional Italian fare with an ambiance that makes any meal feel like a special occasion. They’re offering a special Valentine’s menu for $75 per person. Start with the lobster-stuffed mushrooms or Anna Maria’s famous stuffed meatballs. The next course: your choice of fresh pasta, then it’s on to the main entrée (if you’re not stuffed). The salmon piccata is a lighter choice or go big and opt for the steak. For dessert, try their donuts or take a stroll down Hanover street to one of several well-known cannoli shops (we’ll let you decide the Mike’s Pastry versus Modern Pastry debate).
Price: $75 per person
This diner has been around since 1941, and in 1999 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The spot, in a lunch car in the heart of Davis Square, offers creative twists on brunch favorites as well as modern dishes. Get dinner off to a spicy start with Atomic BT’s: roasted jalapeños stuffed with cream cheese and pulled pork, wrapped in bacon, and served in a house BBQ sauce. The shrimp and grits dish is as hearty and authentic as it gets. The sandwiches are well-priced and filling, including the Rosebud cheeseburger, just as you’d expect, but add bacon and a special sauce. Get two straws and wash it all down with a root beer float for a sweet end to dinner.
Price: $30 to $50
The Dial defies description, offering a fusion of several cuisines, Latin, Asian, Indian, and others. Take advantage of a Valentine’s Day special and order oysters on the half shell for $3 each. Opt for the special Valentine’s menu or order from their regular offerings. Most dishes are good for sharing, so sample some flavors from different cultures and explore new dishes. The tamales colorados (pork, olives, roasted red peppers, and capers) and caldo verde (a Portuguese soup with chorizo, kale, and white beans) complement each other’s flavors nicely. Those looking for Asian cuisine will enjoy the spicy dan dan noodles and hamachi poke. A sweet bite of Turkish coffee chocolate mousse for dessert tops off a unique multicultural dining experience.
Price: $40 to $60
Opened in 2016, this restaurant follows three principles: serve up terrific drinks and food, take pride in your work, and remember your roots. Try inventive dishes with a Southern influence, like the chickpea po’boy or short rib poutine. The grilled pizzas are house-made and easy to split. The diverse entrée menu features lots of pasta dishes packed with protein and veggies. Their long list of cocktails, beer, and whiskey brings modern approaches to traditional drinks. For some after-dinner activities, check out shuffleboard, pool, pinball, and old-fashioned arcade games in the back room.
Price: $30 to $50
Prefer to be more active on a date? Lucky Strike’s 25,000-square-foot bowling alley has 16 lanes, great for some playful competition. On the second floor you’ll find an upscale billiards room with plasma TVs lining the walls broadcasting all that night’s games. Share a pizza and some cold drinks to cool off from a hot streak of knocking down pins. You can take a break from bowling and billiards and enjoy fun arcade games, which makes this spot a great place to go with a group of friends.
Price: $20 to $40
Coolidge Corner is an independent, nonprofit cinema that has been a Brookline cultural institution since 1933. The historic theater, with its dark carpets and red curtains creating a vintage ambience, reminds the audience that the movie-viewing experience is meant to be magical. The main showing on Valentine’s Day is a 7 pm screening of The Princess Bride, a fan-favorite fairy tale adventure. Watch as two separated lovers battle their way through the mythical kingdom of Florin to be reunited. Few romance movies have the longevity and popularity of this movie, so bring tissues and get ready to see a heartfelt story with your beau or friend. Note: all movie patrons are required to show proof of full vaccination before entering the building.