by Steven Doyle Gemma Bar
Valentine’s Day is one where we thinking about hooking up for a grand date, and Dallas has plenty of choices for prix fixe meals and specials for the night for that special someone in your life. But what if we are playing solo for the big night? Don’t play into the hype and feel you need to hunt a date, we have you covered for a perfectly acceptable night on the town with no regrets. Don’t stay at home, get out there and enjoy. It is always fun to people watch, especially the couple who just met for the first time from Match.com.
Reservations of tables for one are up 62 percent nationally over the past two years, according to OpenTable’s analysis of its online reservations. That makes it the fastest-growing party size, if one person could indeed be considered a party, the company said.
OpenTable said the uptick in solo dining indicates “the stigma surrounding dining solo may be starting to lift and that consumers are eager to savor unique culinary experiences alone.”
We are recommending solo dining at any one of these fantastic places, at a price point to suit all budgets. While you are at it, stop by your favorite Dude, Sweet Chocolate location and treat yourself.
Today we are looking for big bars with friendly people in front and behind the stick who will serve you a great bite and possibly an even greater story. Don’t feel there should be any stigma dining alone. This is also a fantastic way to meet others in your temporary position. And please make a reservation, even if just for the bar. This will be a crazy night.
Lark on the Park: What a friendly bar with amazing cocktails and food. The bar is long and inviting. We’ve met people there and sure you will too.
The Grape: A Dallas institution that serves primo food and if you are single it won’t break the bank. Splurge for a bottle of wine or bubbly to make it festive. And don’t feel you ever are relegated to the bar, you can take a table for two and run it solo. But we love sitting at the bar for cozy conversation with whoever happenstance sits us next to. Charcuterie is always a good choice at the Grape.
Oishii: These lovely sushi bars are fun to sit at, so position yourself in a spot that enables you to people watch (remember those first online daters for a giggle), plus you will get great food in the bargain. Tell your sushi chef you are in the mood for a surprise. We also love the soft shell crab for starters. Don;t worry about over ordering, you can make your desk-mates jealous the next day and keep the wondering how much fun you really had the night before.
Trulucks: It’s a romantic setting, to be sure, but why not romance yourself. People are drawn to others who are confident in themselves and dammit you deserve some delicious crab with a piano accompaniment. Please, order bubbles and toast the night.
Rapscallion: One of our favorite restaurants, but please be thoughtful to yourself and reserve a bar seat. You will not disappoint yourself, and you will have an amazing evening of people watching, great cocktails, and delicious bites.
The Mansion Bar: The Mansion is booked up for Valentine’s Day, but you are in luck. The bar is open seating and they serve a limited menu for your dining pleasure. You have been good (so far) this year and deserve a beautiful night out. This also means great wine, great cocktails, great food. Don’t forget dessert.
Stock and Barrel: I must admit, your humble narrator has dined here solo many times and never with regret. The bartenders are the friendliest, and who could not love this menu? Grilled Globe Artichokes, Goat Cheese Dumplings with Jumbo Lump Crab, Brussels Sprout Petals and smokey bacon. Yea, go there.
Gemma: Lawdy yes, but make a reservation for your bar stool. Only the cool kids will be at this restaurants Valentine’s Day, or any day. Start with a ration of oysters and bubbly and work your way through as much of the menu as you can. The Sweetbread appetizer is a Crave favorite.
Dee Lincoln’s: This woman knows how to put on a party and sitting at the bar all solo like gives you great perspective. Fantastic food, cocktails that will have you using your Lyft app, and beautiful people. What better way to spend Valentine’s Day not necessarily by yourself. Choose sushi bar or the regular bar.