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Sometimes the hardest part about date night is deciding exactly what you want to do. Dress up or keep it casual? Book in advance or just roll up? Catch a movie or see a concert? We’ve put together three solid Friday-night scenarios across town for a triple threat of drinks, dinner and culture. Your date won’t know what hit them. 

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highland park restaurant food dallas
Fachini/ Facebook

Highland Park

Mood: I want to be able to wear whatever I wore to work. I appreciate a good meal and a solid glass of wine, and I’m not opposed to sitting at the bar to eat. (Yep, my date and I are chill like that.)

Drinks: While the weather’s still nice, there’s no chicer spot to hole up and enjoy a refreshing cocktail alfresco than Lounge 31. It’s the perfect perch to sit a spell with your sweetie while sipping a well-mixed cocktail. (We’re partial to the elderflower white cosmopolitan.)

Dinner: The way to our heart is a nice glass of red wine, a perfectly toasted piece of garlic bread and a heap of piping-hot pasta at Fachini, the Highland Park Village newcomer by seasoned chef Julian Barsotti. While Instagram will show you that you should order the 100-layer lasagna, we’re here to tell you that the rigatoni alla vodka will bring you to tears.

Afterward: Walk next door to the luxe Highland Park Village Theatre, where you can sit back and relax while watching a movie in a recliner. There’s a lounge and bar if you need a nightcap, and the scene is much more low-key than your typical cineplex chaos. A Star Is Born, anyone?

oak cliff dallas the kessler
Melissa Hennings

Oak Cliff

Mood: I’m in the market for some live music, but I’d rather not sacrifice a good meal in the process. And don’t even think about sending me to the suburbs.

Drinks: Tiny Victories serves superior cocktails that are almost too pretty to drink. (Ask for the John Stamos.) And the vibe is chill but elevated, kind of like its Bishop Arts District location.

Dinner: When the fall weather arrives to give Dallasites all the feels, Boulevardier comes in to officially seal the deal with its dimly lit bar and romantic dining room. But it’s not just the French-bistro vibes: The food is next-level too. Might we suggest the crawfish beignets followed by the bouillabaisse?

Afterward: If a band you dig does a show at The Kessler, you book it. It’s that simple. There isn’t a bad seat in the house at this historic venue that brings in acts big and small. Impress your S.O. by booking one of the VIP tables up front. Reckless Kelly on December 1? Now that’s a Lone Star love story just waiting to be written.

downtown dallas bullion cocktail
Eighty Three Creative (Bullion)

Downtown

Mood: I’m feeling fancy. Or my date is, and I want to prove to them that I can totally keep up with a seven-course tasting or an art exhibition. Alternately, we’re both just looking to shake things up from the burger bar we typically default to on Saturday nights.

Drinks: Bullion boasts the most impressive walk-up in the city. (Seriously, have you seen that exterior?) The bar is equally regal and makes an ideal place to begin any evening downtown. The lounge features French cocktails with a contemporary twist in addition to wine by the glass. Want a little something to snack on? Oysters and truffle chips get our vote as their A+ apps.

Dinner: Special–occasion celebrations are The French Room’s specialty. And enjoying a romantic evening among the glittering lights of this iconic Adolphus Hotel restaurant may well be the most magical way to enjoy a tasting menu in Dallas. The optional wine pairings are just icing on the cake.

Afterward: Did you know that the Dallas Arts District is the largest contiguous arts district in the nation? Whether you opt to attend the opera or the symphony or take an evening stroll through the Dallas Museum of Art, you really can’t go wrong in this area of town when it comes to elevated entertainment.

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