When many of us stay cooped up at home during the doldrums of winter, sometimes a night out on the town is just what the doctor ordered. As a mom of two little ones, a date night out with my husband at one of the area’s many fantastic restaurants is like a breath of fresh air.
Whether you’re looking to get dolled up for a proper date or you’d rather stay casual without sacrificing a quality meal, we’ve got you covered. I’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite go-to date night spots around town that will hopefully add a little pep to your step to get through these chilly winter months.
Happenstance Social (Nolensville)
For a lively night out on the town, check out Nolensville’s newest hot spot, Happenstance Social. At this contemporary social lounge, you can expect a vibrant space to unwind and connect over craft cocktails and inviting small plates!
With innovative technology, guests can actually get a “wine card” upon arrival, select the wine they would like to sample, and then choose how many ounces to enjoy. There are also various classic cocktails with a twist to try, such as the Elder Fashion made with Old Forrester Rye, muddle orange, Luxardo cherry, elderflower liqueur, cinnamon syrup, and a splash of spiced orange ginger ale.
Nibble on a small or large Charcuterie board featuring premium cheeses like the Beemster Premium Dutch Gouda and the Vermont Creamery Chèvre with Everything Spice. Happenstance is also serving fresh sourdough bread from Franklin Bakehouse with California Ranch Olive Oil. Get ready for a fun night out with your honey in this suburban lounge with a big city vibe!
Basque in the scenic views of the rolling hills in Arrington, Tennessee, and enjoy a “wine country experience” at Arrington Vineyards. Relax on the hillside with a picnic lunch and a bottle of Arrington’s delicious wine for the perfect day date.
Don’t feel like packing your own food? No problem!
“The Barn” gift shop offers everything you might need for a delightful picnic, including cheese plates, utensils, and other gourmet snacks. Split a bottle of the vineyard’s popular Red Fox Red, a medium-bodied wine with hints of mixed berries, vanilla, and cocoa.
For the white wine lover, try the fruit-forward Stag’s Wine with nectarine and green apple flavors. The scenery is spectacular, the wine is delicious, and it’s hard to imagine a more romantic outdoor date spot. Cheers!
For a five-star meal in the dreamiest little country village you could imagine, 1892 in Leipers Fork is the place. Chef Dylan Morrison and his wife Jordan run the restaurant with so much love and care while churning out elevated southern cuisine with locally sourced ingredients.
The restaurant is in a historic home built in, you guessed it, 1892, and it’s decorated accordingly with eye-catching period pieces hanging from the walls. This is much more than a date night spot; it’s an immersion in the south’s food culture, where inspiration is grown from Tennessee roots. The scenic drive out to Leiper’s Fork and the invitation to stay awhile at 1892 allows couples to relish in this idyllic setting.
For a casual night out without sacrificing quality food and drink, Frothy Monkey in downtown Franklin boasts a cozy atmosphere with bright and fresh flavors year-round.
Throughout March through November, guests can partake in Wine Down Wednesdays, featuring three flights of wine for $16, as well as the choice of an individual cheese board or $4 off a dinner entree.
Do you ever have those days where you just crave certain flavors and nothing else will do?
Well, since Vui’s Kitchen opened in Franklin, I have felt that way about once a week about their delicious Vietnamese cuisine. This is an ideal date night spot, perhaps before seeing a movie or a show, because it’s quick and delicious while not being too filling.
My husband and I love to start with the Pork Belly Bao Bun made with steamed bread rolls with lemongrass pork belly, pickled veggies, jalapeño, fresh herbs, and hoisin sauce. For the main course, the Noodle Bowl with Five Spice Shrimp, Vui’s Original Pho, or a Bahn Mi sandwich are all excellent choices. Fresh, fast, and full of flavor is the name of the game at Vui’s!
Delicious date nights don’t always need to break your new year’s health goals, in fact, Herban Market offers a menu full of healthy, organic dishes beyond a lackluster salad with grilled chicken.
What started as a small natural foods market has expanded into a dynamic, full-service restaurant, coffee, and wine bar. The atmosphere is modern and lively, with entrees such as the Steak Sandwich featuring a house-made baguette, way trip-tip steak, caramelized onions, roasted bell peppers, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and horseradish sauce.
Herban Market also boasts an impressive wine and beer list featuring all certified organic, practicing organic, or biodynamic wines. The beer list includes local and craft beer that you won’t find at every other restaurant in town, as well as a variety of hard Kombucha.
For a fine dining steak and seafood dinner experience located in Cool Springs, try out the locally owned establishment, The Honeysuckle. With fresh seafood flown in daily, be sure to kick-off dinner with the Oysters Vanderbilt with Tasso ham, kale, goat cheese, and hollandaise sauce.
As for the main course, The Honeysuckle dry ages their local Angus and Waygu steak in-house. Another popular menu item is the Pork Shank featuring a Volcano cut pork shank, smoked gouda grits, honey sriracha crispy Brussel sprouts, and a carrot puree.
The Honeysuckle also offers a Happy Hour from 3-6 p.m. each day, perfect for getting an early start to your fun night out!
Wild Ginger is a local favorite for unique, elevated Asian cuisine in the heart of Cool Springs.
This fusion fare incorporates a blend of Pan Asian, South American, and Western cuisine in the Pacific Rim style. The idea that “you eat with your eyes first,” makes each dish at Wild Ginger even more enticing with the vibrant and artistic plating of every dish that comes to the table.
The Wild Ginger martini is their most popular cocktail which incorporates vodka, ginger liqueur, pineapple, and mango juice. Pair that with the Lollipop Maki sushi roll filled with spicy tuna, crab, salmon, jalapeño, mango, and cilantro then wrapped in cucumber skin.
The showstopper, Wonderland roll, is made with tempura shrimp, tuna, salmon, yellowtail, wrapped in cucumber skin, and topped with baked crab and lobster. The Miso Sea Bass is yet another must-try with Chilean sea bass marinated in miso, roasted in the oven, and served with tempura vegetables and white rice.
I rarely pass up an opportunity for chips, salsa, and margaritas for a fun, laid-back night out. Garcia’s is one of our go-to spots for Mexican cuisine because of the fresh ingredients and slight twist on traditional Mexican style favorites.
The salsa is bright and flavorful, made with some extra spice and fresh cilantro. If you love fajitas, Garcia’s are slightly different than the usual hot plate you might get at other restaurants. The chicken and skirt steak are marinated in a zesty citrus marinade and served over perfectly sautéed onions and poblano peppers.
Garcia’s also recommends the Birria De Puerco, which consists of Mexican slow-roasted and shredded pork with a spicy mole sauce. Their homemade Margaritas are always a delight, but you could also change things up with a refreshing Mojito made with fresh lime juice and mint. As the weather allows, enjoy this casual dinner date out on the covered patio.
A new addition to downtown Franklin’s date night scene is Culaccino, a local gem for authentic Italian cuisine. The outdoor patio with a cozy fire pit makes the outdoor dining area the perfect place for couples to unwind while dining alfresco.
The menu features housemaid pastas and wood-fired pizzas along with dishes inspired by Chef Frank Pullara’s childhood memories. The craft cocktail menu and global wine list pair beautifully with the signature Italian dishes. A romantic stroll around downtown Franklin to a delicious Italian dinner sounds like a lovely evening to me!