Valentine's Day might be a made-for-Hallmark holiday, but what's wrong with a big, fat, pink-and-red, heart-shaped reminder to celebrate love?
Not a thing. But how do we commence?
Well, couplehood is fraught with diversity. One couple's romantic getaway is another couple's highway to hell.
In the spirit of variety being the spice of life, we humbly season your sensibilities with these Cupid-friendly endeavors:
Where to dine
Intimate eating places are clustered along the Western Avenue corridor from NW 23 to Wilshire Boulevard. Places like The Coach House, The Metro Wine and Bistro, Kyle's 1025, West, The Deep Fork Grill, Cafe Nova, Sushi Neko, and Flip's Wine Bar and Trattoria are all standards. Old-school hidden gems like Junior's, Michael's and Legend's in Norman still thrive. Downtown, the Skirvin's Park Avenue Grill, Nonna's Ristorante, The Mantel and The Melting Pot beckon. Cheever's Cafe anchors the kitschy-cool choices uptown. Castle Falls, as usual, offers a special Valentine's dinner for two.
Here are some more choices to consider when making your Valentine's dinner reservations:
Old school charm
• The Haunted House, 7101 Miramar Blvd. This secluded old mansion has been living on a mystery for more than four decades.
When you walk through the ghostly door, you enter a bygone era. The setting is intimate, and voices don't rise above a whisper.
• Jamil's Steakhouse, 4910 N Lincoln Blvd. Owner Greg Gawey will tell you his old-school Lebanese-style steakhouse is all about relaxing. “We want people to come in and spend some time with us.” In a dining room offering barely enough light to see your hand and a procession of tabbouleh, ribs, smoked bologna, salad and steak, you'll do just that.
Walk into Oklahoma City's past when you enter any of the three main dining rooms. All are cozy, classically appointed and dripping with nostalgia.
• Local, 2262 W Main St. in Norman. We're all looking for local, sustainable romance. So why not do it in this spacious, elegant farm-to-fork concept? And if you can't find a baby-sitter, this place has you covered with Localville for kids.
• Ludivine, 805 N Hudson. Now in its second year, Ludivine has grabbed national attention with its haute cuisine derived from local ingredients and served according to season and availability. Served in an elegant dining room and adjoined by a chic bar backed in classic brickwork, you're always in for a surprise at Ludivine.
• 1 Saii Asian Bistro, 6900 N May Ave., Suite 7B. Finn Pramoj's fusion menu and labyrinthine Frank Lloyd Wright meets Feng Shui interior promise seclusion for each and every diner.
• Grand House China Bistro, 2701 N Classen Blvd. Blown glass artwork, elegant wood work, and artsy lighting aren't usually the calling card the Chinese restaurants we've come to expect.
But Grand House Asian Bistro long ago shattered the myth that Asian food must be served in a trough under a sneezeguard. This is fine dining with excellent service, featuring flavors from China, Vietnam and Japan.
• Queen of Sheba, 2308 N MacArthur Blvd. If Ethiopia isn't among the first countries that come to mind when thinking of world cuisine, you haven't been to Queen of Sheba where forks are prohibited, and feeding each other is encouraged. Slip a wat-soaked slice of injera between your lover's lips as prelude to a delicious kiss, and the promise of a memorable Valentine's will follow.
• Rococo, 2824 N Pennsylvania Ave. The original Rococo is one of the city's most intimate settings. The fireplace warms your hands, crabcakes warm your heart, and pineapple-infused vodka warms the soul.
• Paseo Grill, 2909 Paseo, Suite A. Low lights, dark fabrics and seclusion at every booth give the feeling that you might be eating inside a genie's bottle. Wishes come true as the plates come out, beginning with smoked salmon.
• Red Prime Steak, 504 N Broadway Ave. Hard to imagine a more Valentine-friendly abode than this upscale steakhouse adorned with futuristic walls of scarlet light. Booths offer Howard Hughes-worthy seclusion. Red is the obvious choice for a Valentine's steak, but you can't go wrong with Mahogany, Opus Prime Steak House, Boulevard Steakhouse in Edmond, The Ranch Steakhouse or Mickey Mantle's.
• The Museum Cafe, 415 Couch Drive. Chef Henry Boudreaux serves continental favorites in an atmosphere that plays like an upscale version of Edward Hopper's “Nighthawks.”
• Signature Grill, 1317 E Danforth Road. Act fast, because chef Clay Falkner is the king of Edmond, and everybody knows it. His classic, confidently executed food cuts through the fuss like a heat-seeking missile, and your palate is the lucky target.
• Vast, 333 W Sheridan Ave. Downtown's newest crown jewel is 49 floors in the sky in the Devon Tower. Dress to the nines because the view is a stunner.