Downtown Date Night
By Katelyn O’Riordan
Drawing a blank on where to dine with your date? Whether it’s an intimate first date, or a romantic rendezvous with your spouse, wooing your love is easy with this list of date-friendly Downtown restaurants
Bertrand at Mister A’s
2550 5th Ave.
Bertrand at Mister A’s is San Diego’s date night gem. With mouth-watering American cuisine and the most attentive staff, Bertrand at Mister A’s consistently receives glowing reviews and awards both locally and nationally. Its biggest draw for date night though are the spectacular views of Downtown San Diego, San Diego Bay, Coronado and Balboa Park. Indulge in appetizers while watching the sunset on the outdoor, wrap-around balcony, or get cozy at one of the indoor tables. The most romantic of restaurants, Bertrand at Mister A’s is the premier choice for an impressive night out. Signature menu items include Sauteed Foie Gras on Toasted Brioche, Braised Prime Beef Short Ribs, Pan Roasted Lake Superior White Fish and the Crème Brulee.
721 Ninth Ave.
Located in the East Village, Parisian charmer Cafe Chloe keeps locals smiling with undeniably tasty French fare and an inviting atmosphere. The decor is simple and classic, but this little restaurant is overflowing with character. Cafe Chloe is an intimate and comfortable spot to share a bottle of wine and savor delicious food and great conversation with a new love interest. Menu favorites include the Pommes Frites with trio of dips, Macaroni, Pancetta & Bleu d’Auvergne Gratin, Mussels Grenobloise and the Pistachio Bread Pudding. C’est magnifique!
1337 India St.
Live music venue and bustling restaurant, Anthology is the date destination for music aficionados. Chef Todd Allison prepares new American cuisine influenced by seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients, offering both a light fare lounge menu and a full dinner menu, as well as a world-class wine list. On “Fresh Vibe” Tuesdays, Allison improvises a special menu, with appetizers starting at $4 and entrees starting at $12, with happy hour drink specials all night. Also on Tuesdays, check out the Anthology House Band, an award-winning nine-member jazz band playing jazz, R&B/Soul and blues for just a $5 dollar cover per person. The intimate 300-seat venue also plays host to renowned local and international musicians. Visit Anthology’s Website (anthologysd.com) to see the calendar of upcoming performers.
TOAST Enoteca & Cucina
927 J St.
TOAST Enoteca & Cucina is an authentic wine bar that celebrates fine wine and Italian cuisine. The vision of Martin Gonzalez, owner and executive chef of Acqua Al 2 in the Gaslamp Quarter, TOAST uses state-of-the-art wine dispensing Enomatic machines, enabling diners to taste and enjoy an extensive selection of wines from all over the world in affordable, small servings. Diners purchase wine cards and are then able to swipe the card in any machine for an ounce tasting of the wine. Just keep swiping until your card balance runs out! Bring a budding love interest to this interactive wine bar, and indulge in menu favorites such as Prosciutto E Fichi, Insalata Di Edamame Radicchio, and any of their delectable pizzas.
Masala Spices of India
314 Fifth Ave.
If you’re a lover of ethnic food, Masala Spices of India is a beautiful dining space located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. Chef Ashley Popat serves authentic Indian dishes in generous portions, with each menu item focusing on delicious blends of herbs and spices. For a culturally inspired dating experience, Masala is an exotic choice with exceptional service. Popular menu items include both garlic and original Naan bread, the Samosa appetizer, Tikka Masala, Butter Chicken, and the Seekh Kebab.
570 K St.
For classic steakhouse fare, visit Donovan’s Steak & Chophouse, a sophisticated and lively restaurant famous for USDA Prime Steaks and chops, as well as a number of seafood choices and an award-winning selection of wines. Martini Hour at Donovan’s is popular with Downtown’s shirt-and-tie crowd, but it’s also a great date destination with an array of delicious menu options. Treat your date to a sit-down dinner in the dining room, or grab cocktails and dinner in the bar area. The menu is full of tasty options, including the Lettuce Wedge, Bone-In New York, Ahi Tuna Steak, and Creamed Corn Casserole.