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 and classic Dallas restaurants, at a price point to suit all budgets. While you are at it, stop by Dude, Sweet Chocolate 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.
Remember: We have dined solo at all the locations and felt perfectly comfortable and well tended to.
Rise No 1: A comfortable French bistro atmosphere focused on soufflés and other delicious French inspired cuisine. Try the Marshmallow Soup! Nice wine selection.
Mercat Bistro: It is definitely a very small bistro that demands a great menu. The restaurant is tiny enough that a single will fit in snuggly.
Parigi’s: Large group, intimate dining and even solo Parigi is one of our favorites. We are perfectly comfortable in this sleek, modern setting with indoor and outdoor dining. We love the snails and a tall flute of champs.
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.
Homewood: Homewood offers an excellent introduction to the top-quality producers that make dining out in Texas such a pleasure these days. A strong emphasis on supporting regional growers and producers can lead to some excellent surprises; walk in expecting the usual—say, parker rolls served with chicken drippings and an order of your favorite pasta—and you might find yourself making a major detour. A recent evening featured hearth-cooked local pork chops in a shio-koji marinade.
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.