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Five Easy Dates in DC


Anyone can appreciate a little extra romance in their lives. But if you're the one planning, it requires some creativity. We've concocted five can't-miss date ideas:

1. Hey baby, what’s your, er, Chinese zodiac?
Don’t pick up the phone to order Chinese food, try something that will knock the socks off your date. Dine at the Iron Gate, whose warmly lit, fireplace-decorated confines served as a horse stable in the late 1800s.

Keep the theme alive with a trip to the National Zoo to see Przewalski’s (pronounced sheh-val-skee) horse, native to Central Asia.

Pictured: Garlic-crusted rockfish with local clams, a dippy egg and celery variations.

2. West End girls and boys
You can stick to your tried and true dinner-and-a-movie routine only if you switch it up with a trip to the West End. Named among the top 20 in Zagat's 2014 America’s Top Restaurants, Rasika offers an undeniably delightful take on Indian fare. And the movie? Equipped with three super quaint theaters (the smallest seats a cozy 50 people), the West End Cinema plays both indie and big-budget films. It also serves beer and wine and is known for its addictive popcorn, which is made with real butter!

2a. Show off your sweet smarts
The Chocolate Love Tub, a fun-to-do fondue creation, comes complete with a miniature rubber ducky you can eat at Juniper Restaurant, in the West End, through the month of February. Couples will love dipping strawberries, peanut butter gaufrettes, rice crispy treats and raspberry macaroons (among others) into this miniature bath tub filled with warm Valrhona Chocolate. From the creative mind of Fairmont’s Pastry Chef Rebecca Clerget, the dessert costs $20 and is all about sharing.


3. The grape escape
It’s a fact, wine and romance go together. So why not impress a date with a night of lusty pours. We like Barcelona for its heat lamp-friendly patio; ENO’s cheese, charcuterie and chocolate pairings and Cork Restaurant & Wine Bar’s 50 by-the-glass options.

Want to show your date how thrifty you are? Check out the free weekend tastings at Cork Market & Tasting Room, on Friday 6-8 p.m. and Saturday 3-6 p.m. or select an imported bottle from Weygandt Wines in Cleveland Park and set the mood yourself.

4. Step your game up
Sandwich up from the likes of Marvelous Market, SUNdeVICH, FoBoGro or Le Pain Quotidien and find some steps to sit on. A picnic at the Lincoln Memorial is the ideal late-night spot, but during the day, plop down and admire the view of your date from the little-known Spanish Steps in Kalorama.

(photo: flickr user vpickering)

5. A love cruise on the Potomac
You may have expressed your love on land, but what about on water? Hop aboard a sea-faring vessel and do just that. The Spirit of Washington offers a night complete with bountiful eats, moonlight and monument views and live entertainment, too.

Want even more inspiration for cool nights out in the District? Head over to DCCool.com and discover the forever romantic side of DC.