No pressure here. You have one night—a Monday, for crying out loud—to impress your sweetheart, whether you've been shacking up for years, or are just now starting to flirt a bit. So where do you take your sweetie in and around Jacktown?
JFP readers, in our Best of Jackson poll, chose Keifer's, Walker's Drive-In and Julep as the Best Place for a First Date. So what do you think? Will you return to the familiar, or fly off on a quest to try somewhere new? Only Cupid knows for sure.
But while you're trying to decide, here are some options to ponder.
930 Blues Café, 930 N. Congress St., 948-3344
It's "Blues for Lovers" time at the popular café. And don't forget Happy Hour beginning at 5:30 p.m. with Ironing Board Sam.
AJ's Grille, 900 County Line Rd., 956-2588
Coming off their recent win for Best Seafood in the JFP's Best of Jackson 2005 poll, AJ's plans to serve great food from 5-10 p.m. Valentine's evening. Plus there's live music from 6-9 p.m. Call for reservations.
Ameristar Casino, Vicksburg, 601-638-1000
The Waterfront Grill is all about sensational food. Usually they're closed Monday nights, but Valentine's is special—right? They'll be open, offering you a romantic, softly lit dining spot serving from their regular dinner menu offerings that include grilled filet mignon, roasted lamb chops or a seafood specialty. Call directly to the restaurant at 601-630-3816.
Archestratus Grill, 507 Springridge Rd., Clinton, 926-4422
Steak, seafood and pasta right there in Clinton. Make your reservations for their Valentine's Day celebrations on three nights—Friday, Saturday or Monday. Besides the regular dinner menu, there will be a special Valentine's menu. The Cypress Room will be open for extra seating.
Bravo! Italian Restaurant and Bar, Highland Village, 982-8111
Valentine's is a whole four-day weekend at Bravo! Friday through Monday, they're featuring special dishes, cocktails and wine selections all inspired by that scantily clad young man himself—no, I don't mean Michaelangelo's David holding a huge red heart, stupid—it's Cupid! Reservations will not be accepted, but you know you won't mind waiting a bit.
Cups Downtown, AmSouth Building, 352-0514
Place your order now for Ghiradelli chocolate-covered strawberries. Oo la la.
Eldorado Steakhouse, 653 Eldorado Rd., 936-9413
Call for directions, and you'll be glad you did. This place, tucked away as it is, still serves some of the metropolitan areas best steaks, prime rib, seafood and more from their a la carte menu. Beer and light wine are available, too.
Elixir Restaurant and Bar, 4800 I-55 N., 981-7896
Winning Best Drink and Best Martini in the JFP's Best of Jackson 2005 certainly doesn't mean the food suffers at Elixir. To the contrary: tapas are very romantic, especially that chocolate fondue. Make reservations for Valentine's evening and see for yourself.
Fahrenheit, 122 Byram Business Center, behind Mazzio's on Springridge Rd., 346-4935
On Valentine's weekend, Feb. 11-14, this new eatery in Byram has dinner specials planned for you and your, er, love-muffn. (Sorry about that one.) You have to pre-order the live Maine lobster specials, and reservations are suggested for the evenings, no matter what you decide to order—maybe one of the nightly surf'n'turf specials. Go see what Orlando and Kevin have in store for you.
Hal & Mal's, 200 Commerce St., 948-0888
The 13th Annual Mississippi Hearts Against AIDS Benefit is Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 or $15 with student ID. Enjoy food from 70 local restaurants, live music before and after the live auction as well as the silent auction. What better way is there to celebrate love than helping others?
Hilton Jackson, 1001 E. County Line Rd., 957-2800
Want to make a night of it for Valentine's? The Romance Package, starting at $179 plus tax, is just what you need. There's an intimate dinner for two, delivered to your room. Sounds fine, doesn't it? You'll get Godiva chocolates, champagne, a tea rose and the breakfast buffet.
Huntington's Grille, Hilton Jackson, 1001 E. County Line Rd., 957-2800
Featured for Valentine's Special is Lobster Thermidor or Mixed Grill. Plus there's a complimentary glass of champagne and a rose for each lady. Live entertainment at Huntington's means Edward St. Pe and Jim Robinson.
Isle of Capri Casino, Vicksburg, 1-800-843-4753
For $80, you can enjoy a great deal of romantic eating while seated at a window along the Mississippi River—24 oz. off-the-bone T-bone, two 8-oz. lobster tails, petite chop-chop or petite Caesar salad, your choice of two sides: baked potato, garlic mashed potatoes, broccoli or corn off the cob. Then there's dessert—decide between New York cheesecake or fried strawberries. And don't forget your split of champagne, either Korbel or Martini & Rossi Asti.
Julep Restaurant & Bar, Highland Village, 362-1411
Dine in, take out for Valentine's. Julep won Best Appetizer for its wonderful little nibbles, like sexy shrimp toast, just in time for the big night.
Olga's Restaurant, 1679 Old Fannin Rd., near Dogwood Festival, 992-1092
Take part in the American favorites with a Russian flair that make up their Valentine's Special four-course meal. For $45 per person, you'll find yourself in a romantic place to dine. Reserve your seats for the 6 or 8 p.m. seatings. And ladies, there's a special surprise for you. No, we're not telling.
Pearl River Resort, Choctaw, 1-866-44PEARL
The ad asks, "Need a little romance?" If your answer is yes, then this is the place for you. For $137 you get one night, Sunday through Thursday, at either the Silver Star or the Golden Moon, two $10 meal credits good at any food outlet at either place, a bottle of champagne, dessert for two and a dozen roses. Get on the stick, though, because this deal is good all month long, but you have to make your reservations one week prior to your arrival date. And you've got to be or become a member of the Pearl River Rewards Club—that doesn't cost you anything but a bit of time to join.
Primos Café, 2323 Lakeland Dr., Flowood, 936-3398
You know who you are, those lovers of Primos' dinner offerings. Take you sweetie there Monday night, act like it's any other evening, then sock it to her with either long-stemmed chocolate chip cookies, heart-shaped petit fours or red velvet cake.
Rossini Cucina Italiana, 1060 E. County Line Rd., 899-9111
Amore is in the air, so says Rossini's. So call them Cupid and reserve your places for Friday, Saturday or Monday for their Valentine's dinner.
Schimmel's, 2615 N. State St., 981-7077
Dinner awaits those who plan ahead, either Friday or Saturday, with a special menu and live romantic music, just for the lovers out there. Oh, and don't forget to try Love Potion #9, one of their drink specials. Never fear, if you can't make it on those two days, Schimmel's will do it again on Monday.
Wellington's, Hilton Jackson, 1001 E. County Line Rd., 957-2800
If you're looking to carry the Valentine's heart-shape throughout the evening, this is the menu for you—Heart Shaped Red Fish in Pastry is one of the entrées; Chateaubriand for Two and Portobello-wrapped Filet Mignon are the other two. Once again, there's a complimentary glass of champagne for the lass and a rose, too.
Watch jacksonfreepress.com for more Valentine's specials posted between now and Feb. 14 under this article on the website's front page.
More details from Grady at Elixir; note they're booked up for Monday; available this weekend, though:
It's a Lover's weekend at elixir restaurant & bar....
Avoid the rush!
Join us Saturday night for a special 4 course Pre Fixe meal ($50 per person), including Blue Point Oysters with a Sake-honey-lemongrass vinaigrette, Shrimp & Lime Courtboullion, The elixir Filet or Grilled Mako Shark, and finish with either Chocolate Fondue or Mini Creme Brulee.
Call 981-7896 to make your reservations.† (Monday is booked.....sorry).
Hal & Mal's writes: "We are probably the only restaurant in town not open for dinner on Valentine Day. Bring your sweetheart to lunch."
And the Art Museum writes: "The art of gift giving is what The Museum Store is all about.† Come in and choose something special for your Valentine.† We have lots of cool, fun, and romantic items.† Youíre sure to find the perfect gift.† MMA members receive a 10% discount, AND we offer complimentary gift wrapping†to everyone! Call us at 601-960-1515 or visit us at the Mississippi Museum of Art, located in downtown Jackson at the corner of Lamar and Pascagoula.
Be sure to pick up the print version of the JFP this week for a really fun gift guide.