I Heart on the Hunt: Date Night in Old Towne Orange

 In Dining Out

Something to look forward to at the end of a long week is a date night, right!?! It’s the best way to have some fun and spend time with the one you love, or might be falling in love with. The hardest thing to decide on these days is where the heck to go, with so many options in Old Towne Orange, this is a major question! The I Heart Team decided to have our own date nights and find the places we think are the best to share with that special someone!

Kelly, Gabbi’s: If you’re looking for something lively and delicious then Gabbi’s is your next date night! Not always easy to get a table here, but that’s part of the fun of eating somewhere trendy and amazing. I’ve tried just about everything on their menu and they have never disappointed. Their Sangria, both red and white, is my fave, but they have yummy margaritas too. One of my new favorite things on their menu is the Pozole Verde, it’s just so so so good and perfect for Fall and what I hope will soon be soup weather. I’ll also tell you that someone at the table should just order the special, whatever it is, just order it. You will be amazed and happy, I promise!

Andrea, Pizza Press and A La Minute: My absolute favorite places to go for a casual date night are The Pizza Press and à la minute because who doesn’t love pizza and ice cream! The Pizza Press offers great tasting signature items, as well as the option to publish your own pizza. I always make my own and top it with lots of veggies and sriracha for an extra kick! The atmosphere is fun and laid back so you can worry less about which fork is for salad and focus more on your date! After you’ve enjoyed your meal, take a short stroll (or long if dinner went well) to à la minute for dessert! They have super unique flavors like Beet & Goat Cheese and Avocado Custard that are definitely worth trying, and right now PUMPKIN is back! My go to is the Espresso Chip. I suggest taking the ice cream to-go so you and your honey can take a nice walk through the circle before ending the night.

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Megan, Citrus City Grill: Citrus City Grill is the perfect restaurant for a romantic date night. Our service was spectacular and we were seated right away in a cozy booth. If you’re a wine lover, stop by on a Wednesday for Wine Enthusiasts Night where you’ll receive HALF OFF a large selection of wine bottles!! For dinner, I ordered the Mediterranean Vegetable Penne and it was delicious! The Penne had Artichokes, fire roasted tomato, broccoli, garlic, mushrooms, Onions, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and tomato-basil sauce. The portions of food were just right and didn’t leave me feeling full and with a bunch of leftovers. My date ordered the Citrus City Meatloaf, and said “it was the best meatloaf he’s ever had!” I of course stole a bite too and was really impressed! It was the most juicy and flavorful meatloaf I’ve ever tasted! As we were leaving, we decided to grab dessert at Rocky Mt. Chocolate Factory. We ordered our favorite, chocolate covered strawberries and ate the whole bag as we were strolling the streets. Overall, it was a great date night with delicious food and a great atmosphere!
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Kelly, Le Gourmet Culinary: “If you’re looking for something different to do in Old Towne Orange with your partner (or even friends), you should definitely take a cooking class at Le Gourmet Culinary. This spot is so much fun and it’s just of the beaten OTO path. They have so many classes to choose from, and you get to cook, eat, cook and eat some more. Then just walk over to The Streamliner Lounge at Ruby’s by the train tracks for a nightcap. I’ve taken several classes there, they’ve got a great test kitchen that they do the classes out of. You’d never even know it was there! Check out their classes online. There’s actually a Date Night class planned for this Friday night. Sign up today and go have fun!

Britt, Haven and The District Lounge: Hey, it’s Britt! If you’re looking for a great first date night (or any date night for that matter) Haven Gastropub’s and The District Lounge are the places to be in Old Towne Orange. Haven is a great dinner spot because the food and drink prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is very unique and welcoming. For my meal, I had the Lamb Burger on the dinner menu and it was to die for! I suggest going for their awesome Happy Hour deals Monday through Thursday from 3pm to 6pm. They also have a late night happy hour from 11pm to 1am for all you night owls! After having dinner and drinks at Haven, we walked to The District Lounge for another round of drinks and some fun music and dancing.  I loved The District’s hip and thriving nightlife atmosphere, with soft lighting, pool tables, high-top table seating, and booths.  Their environment made for a more comfortable first date, which was awesome. Another cool thing about The District is that there’s always other options nearby if you feel like switching up locations later in the evening.

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Lindsay, Francoli Gourmet: If you’re looking for a romantic place to go in the circle, Francoli Gourmet Italian Restaurant will definitely set the mood Lady and the Tramp style. The dim lighting, elegant decor, and intimate seating will make you feel all kinds of rainbows and unicorns inside when you’re sitting across from your blue-eyed beau (at least that’s how I felt!). In addition to the amorous ambiance, the food is absolutely delicious! And to top it off they serve you a satisfying abundance of bread, so it’s definitely a winner. (Take note that Kelly swears by their lasagna, it is the best lasagna in the world.)

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Ok, so that wraps up our picks. Hopefully you’ll find something in here to do this Friday and Saturday night, or any other night of the week! Go out and have a fantastic date night in Old Towne Orange and let us know what you thought.

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