Recently a coworker of mine asked for a recommendation for great date night restaurants in orange county, CA. This made me realize that there are probably a ton of other people in Orange County that would like suggestions for date night destinations. As I try more restaurants I will update this list, but for now here are my top five choices:
If you are looking for a modern restaurant that serves outstanding food but without the fuss of getting all dressed up, you should check out The Playground in downtown Santa Ana. Their menu is built around seasonal fresh ingredients but they also have some year round dishes that will knock your socks off. They are also well known for making some of the best mixed drinks around. If you love food and you want to take your significant other to a fun place then check out The Playground.
Another great date night location in Santa Ana, CA is Chapter One the modern local. This is a great place for anyone who likes gastropub style restaurants that serve great drinks along with traditional food that has a modern twist. I think this is a great date night place where you can eat, drink and have some great desserts. Definitely not the spot if you want a quite candle lit dinner.
If you are looking for more of a date night restaurant where you can enjoy a glass of wine and eat a great meat & cheese platter then you should check out Juliette Kitchen and Bar. This French and Asian fusion restaurant has a full bar that services awesome whiskey, scotch and wine. One recommendation I have is don’t order a full entree, instead order a few of their small plates along with a meat & cheese platter.
If wine, cheese, meat and artisan bread is your thing, then you must go on a date to Cucina Enoteca. This is one of my favorite restaurants of all time, so much so that I had my dirty 30 birthday here. Check out my post on this restaurant for a full list of dishes that I recommend, but overall this is a great dinner date night location as well as an afternoon date destination. Since it is at Irvine Spectrum, it is a great dinner date night combo because the theater is literally right in front of the restaurant.
I was a little hesitant to recommend Din Tai Fung as a date night restaurant, just because the wait is so long. However, if you and your significant other are food lovers then you won’t mind the wait. Just make reservations and plan to walk around South Coast Plaze while you wait. Another option is you can walk in and just sit at the bar, which has a full menu. Although it isn’t as intimate as a dinner for two at a table, you won’t have to waste a long and you get quick access to your favorite drinks.
As I said at the beginning of this post, I will update this list as I find more restaurants that I would recommend for dates. If you have any suggestions for a restaurant that you think is a great date night destination feel free to leave a comment below.