It happens every year. Valentine’s Day is on the way, and you’re wondering what to do. You want to celebrate as a couple, but you want something new and exciting to do. Sure, there’s always dinner at the classic white tablecloth restaurants, but this year you’re looking for something different. Here are a few under the radar suggestions for Valentine’s Day dining and fun.
1. Pizza & A Show Who says pizza isn’t romantic? Especially when it’s the cozy warmth of Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza, where the anthracite coal oven crisps up their delicious pies. Natalie’s delectable pizzas are matched by their consistent line-up of great live bands. Share a pizza, enjoy a cocktail or pint of beer, and then relax to the music.
2. A Mini Short North Tour You can create a mini tour for yourselves on the northern end of Short North. Start the evening with a tour of Middle West Spirits. You’ll get to see the whole distillery and sample their vodka, whiskey, and bourbon. Then cross the street for dinner at The Table, with their rustic surroundings and menu of family-style dishes like duck confit, Amish chicken and squash fondue. Finish the evening with cocktails at Brother’s Drake Meadery. If you time it right, you’ll catch some fantastic live music there, too.
3. Dinner & Brews Downtown Both The Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus and Wolf’s Ridge Brewing offer you the chance to enjoy local microbrews with world-class cuisine in stunning locations. Elevator’s century-old building features tile floors, intricate woodwork, and a massive wooden bar. Enjoy fish and chips or the sizzling surf and turf rock while you sip a pint of their Bleeding Buckeye red ale. While Wolf’s Ridge is a much younger business, they’ve already distinguished themselves with dishes like their beef and lamb burger or their pig cheeks, all of which pair with a selection of house-made brews. When you’re done with dinner, head to their new taproom to try a flight of some experimental and one-off beers.
4. Dinner & A Movie in Clintonville Clintonville is home to Studio 35, one of the city’s best and oldest movie theaters. Before the movie, grab dinner and cocktails at Harvest Kitchen on High Street. Choose from their signature pizzas or burgers, sandwiches, and pasta. Then catch a feature at Studio 35, or camp it up at themed events like Bad Movie Nite or The Rocky Horror Picture Show sing-along. Try a cocktail made with local spirits, or choose from the theater’s 40 beer taps.
5. A Date for Sports Fans The Arena District offers a lot of entertainment options. Schedule your date on the night of a NLH Blue Jackets home game, then start the night with dinner at the new Nada restaurant across from the Arena. You can enjoy revamped Mexican classics and drinks before the game, then enjoy beers and snacks inside the arena itself.
6. Brunch & Bowling Who says you can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day at brunch? Schedule brunch and bowling at the newly-re-opened Bosco Cafe at State and Sixth Streets downtown. The massive center features a gymnasium, a ballroom, a swimming pool, a cafe, and yes, a bowling alley. They’ve been offering Bruch & Bowl. Enjoy a meal of breakfast bowls and wraps, plus a Bloody Mary or two, then challenge each other to ten frames.
7. New Short North Haunts Why not book a little staycation for Valentine’s Day? Use the opportunity to explore some new haunts in Short North. Cameron Mitchell Restaurants just opened their latest concept, The Guild House, inside the Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph hotel. Book a room at the hotel and enjoy dinner – and breakfast the next morning – at The Guild House. The culinary team fashions meals from local sources, like lamb burgers, ribeye steaks, and chicken roulade. Be sure to check out the selection of artwork installed from the Pizutti Collection. During your stay, stroll the neighborhood, and be sure to check out the full Collection nearby.
8. A Tour of Grandview Make a small tour of Grandview, too. Take a tour of Watershed Distillery to see their stills and sample bourbon, gin, and the new Nocino black walnut liqueur. After the tour, grab dinner at Grandview spots like Third & Hollywood or Spagio. Finish the evening with coffee and a snack at Stauf’s, or of course, with a scoop of Jeni’s Ice Cream.