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VALENTINE’S DAY 2012: The collegiate guide to showing her a good time – “culinarily” speaking

Cupid can take his best shot but it isn’t going to help you get that girl if you plan on taking her to White Castle for Valentine’s Day. I mean, after several years of dating, and you being sure that she wouldn’t dump you on the spot, go for it. But luckily for the date there aren’t any White Castles in the area for that super romantic dinner. However, there are plenty of restaurants around Tufts and in the greater Boston area that are perfect for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner with your date! Here are six suggestions:

True Bistro — $$

Right around the corner in Teele Square is True Bistro, a delightful vegan/vegetarian restaurant with a classy ambiance. The dining room seems like a great setting for a romantic date, but online reviewers have been noting slow and inconsistent service. If you’re going for the perfect date, make sure to keep that in mind if you decide on True Bistro. Maybe you’ll enjoy it—gives you more time to talk to your pretty date! True Bistro is offering a Valentine’s Day 4-course dinner for $55 (per person) with choices such as Stuffed artichoke heart with creamy polenta and Tagine of while mushroom with fennel followed with Molten chocolate cake or Trifle with rose custard. If the $55 is out of your price range, the entrees offered a la carte are less than $20 a dish. 1153 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144 | (617) 627-9000.

Pescatore — $$

Also in the Tufts University area is Pescatore, a quaint restaurant focusing on Italian and seafood dishes. They offer a variety of pastas, seafood dishes, and pizzas using fresh vegetables and high-quality fish and meats. The main draw of Pescatore for Valentine’s Day is its romantic ambiance for a quiet and cozy dinner date. 158 Boston Ave, Somerville, MA 02144 | (617) 623-0003.

Chez Henri — $$$

In Porter Square is acclaimed Chez Henri, which is on the upper end of a college-student’s budget. Chez Henri adds a Latin twist to French cuisine with a trendy, yet romantic dining atmosphere. The food seems to shine in all the reviews but customers are wary of inconsistent service from the waitstaff. The menu boasts entrees such as Pressed Cornish Hen and Criollo Bouillabaisse that would leave you feeling warm and fulfilled. Or maybe that’s just the feeling you get from your date. 1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02142 | (617) 354-8980.

Atasca — $$

Trying to show your girl that you’re adventurous? How about taking your date to Atasca Hampshire—a restaurant serving authentic Portuguese cuisine in the Kendall Square area. Indulge in savory dishes of Arroz de Mariscos a Valencia and Camarao Atasca. Atasca is good for a quiet, romantic dinner accompanied by drinks or wine from their full bar. 50 Hamphire Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 | (617) 621-6991.

Salts — $$$$

If you’re ready to splurge (hey, if my boyfriend took me here I’d love him more, *hint hint*) then take your date to Salts. It’s expensive and fancy, but you get what you pay for—amazing quality food and a fabulous, intimate ambiance. The restaurant is relatively small so be sure to make reservations. Salts offers a variety of entrees or a five-course chef’s tasting for $85 and a wine pairing for $40. The special Whole Roasted Boneless Duck for Two (perfect for you and your date!) should be ordered in advance. 798 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 021399 | (617) 876-8444.

Ten Tables Cambridge — $$$

Ten Tables in Cambridge (near Harvard Square) offers another intimate experience at an expensive price tag. The restaurant is described as “perfect for a date” with dark wood and dim lights accentuated with candles. Ten Tables offers entrees such as Pan Roasted Skate Wing and Seafood a la Plancha with vegetarian entrees available upon request. Take the time to head out and spend a romantic evening with your date while enjoying a delicious meal. 5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, MA 02138 | (617) 576-5444,

Deciding on a Valentine’s Day restaurant should be something you should start considering! The tables at the nice restaurants will be filling up in the next few weeks. Let’s just hope that your date will not judge you too hard if you take her to White Castle. She’ll probably have to look for her Prince Charming elsewhere then. – Christina Pan

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