Table for Two

Quality time and delicious food go hand in hand. With vibrant colors and flavors and sharable, interactive, or decadent qualities, an amazing entrée can cause us to lean in a little closer. Engaging all the senses, exquisite entreés enhance the experience of being together. Here, local chefs showcase some of their favorite dishes, while local couples dish on what they love about date night.

By  Katie Faulkner

Photography by  Lanewood Studio

tomato pie from easy bistro and bar


Easy Bistro & Bar

“Our tomato pie is made with a rustic and flaky pie crust along with Kenny’s fromage blanc, local heirloom tomatoes, and shaved sweet onions. It’s baked until nice and crispy, and then served with a fresh tomato and cucumber salad with lots of torn basil, Banyuls vinegar, and extra-virgin olive oil. It’s a perfect date night dish because it’s made to be shared with someone you like!

I’d recommend pairing this dish with our summer fig and burrata and our roasted shiitake mushrooms with Calabrian chiles and Madeira to complement flavors and stay with dishes that are fun to share.”

Chef Erik Niel


Carl Greene and Keith Wooten



surf and turn filet and lobster tails from ruth's chris steak house


Ruth’s Chris Steak House

“Nothing says date night quite like surf and turf, especially when you’re talking about our signature filet and luxurious twin lobster tails. I recommend pairing this with our zesty fire-roasted corn, which hits all the right notes – a hint of sweet with a subtle spicy kick that will tantalize your taste buds. Complete your meal with a glass of pinot noir for the perfect romantic night out.”

Chef Roger Burrows


Chris & Tracie LeSar

The Whitebird chicken and rice



“At its essence, The Whitebird is a fancy chicken and rice dish, but it’s arguably my favorite entrée. The half Springer Mountain Farms chicken is incredibly tender, and the rice pirlou is cooked in garlic butter with green vegetables, resulting in tons of flavor. Three different house-made dipping sauces (hot sauce, pesto garlic butter, and Nickajack sauce) allow each bite to have a different flavor profile. I like that this entrée is interactive – perfect for a date night.  

I would recommend pairing this entrée with our cast iron fondue appetizer and the smoked chocolate cake and butterscotch panna cotta with smoked chocolate ice cream and butterscotch sauce.”

Chef Kevin Korman


Terri & Craig Holley

St. John's Restaurant Roasted New York strip and fresh crab salad

Photo by Rich Smith


St. John’s Restaurant

“I chose our roasted New York strip because what could be sexier than a perfectly cooked steak? With our crushed potatoes and sautéed spinach with black garlic aioli, this entrée is a nice take on the classic steak house dinner. I love the black garlic because it has a raisin-y flavor that fits so well in an aioli. I would pair this enticing entrée with a fresh crab salad and finish with our carrot cake soufflé for the perfect date night meal!”

Chef Rebecca Barron 


Marla Merritt-Kile & John Kile

Bald Headed Bistro Pork Belly

Photo by Rich Smith


Bald Headed Bistro

“I chose our pork belly dish for a date night entrée because this dish hits all the right places on the palate – fatty, sweet, sour, and very succulent. I think it’s important to touch on all of these sensations in a way that elevates the experience when you and your significant other want to enjoy a romantic evening. This dish also features acorn squash, pomegranate, thyme vin, and pineapple mostarda. I would recommend pairing this entrée with one of our cold seafood dishes, like our shrimp remoulade or ceviche, for a fantastic date night.”

Chef Wesley True


Stacy & Wendy Beaty

bacon wrapped quail breast from Alleia for date night



“Our bacon-wrapped quail breast with charred tomatoes and a walnut romesco is a flavorful entrée for the senses. From the zesty pepper and walnut romesco to the fire-grilled quail itself, this dish is robust and buttery with a zing that lightens and intrigues. Ginger and soy from the marinade and the smoky bacon pair with the tomato to make each bite a journey of flavors. Braised cabbage and potatoes plated with our fried rosemary garnish add to the warm and welcoming rustic Italian elements. Pair this with the beef carpaccio and Testamento Malbec for a lovely date night.”

Sous-Chef Vaughn Stegall


Les & Kaleena Goldsworthy-Warnock

bridgeman's chophouse tomahawk ribeye

Bridgeman’s Chophouse

“I chose the Tomahawk Ribeye because it is one of the most flavorful steaks, with amazing marbling and tenderness. The red wine demi-glaze adds richness and enhances the flavor without overpowering it. When paired with our white truffle lobster mac and cheese and sautéed broccolini with toasted pine nuts, it makes a satisfying date night combination. The richness of the white truffle perfumes the mouth, while the creamy cheese and delicate lobster create a luxurious experience. Meanwhile, the broccolini is sautéed in a simple brown butter and finished with flaked salt and pepper and toasted pine nuts for a light and crisp texture variation.”

Chef Dao Le


Diana & Terry McElveen

Hennen's crab cakes

Photo by Emily Long



“Our crab cake is a colorful dish – lightly breaded, sautéed to a golden brown, and served with a remoulade sauce that adds a touch of creamy spice. We garnish it with a bright and flavorful succotash, which adds to the playful color palette. To round out a perfect date night, I would recommend pairing this dish with one of our delectable steaks and a cocktail made from our private selection.”

Rob Stickley, Owner


Cole & Gabby Webster

Old Gilman Grill roasted chicken entree


Old Gilman Grill

“Our roasted chicken entrée is a soothing selection, perfect for winding down together at the end of a busy week. This dish is a comforting choice that can support anything from four seasons of life to 50 anniversaries. When it comes to date night, bet on the roasted chicken breast – slow-roasted airline chicken breast accompanied by our potato purée, roasted baby carrots, sautéed wild mushrooms, and a brown poultry jus. The familiarity of flavors warms both the palate and the heart. This entrée pairs easily with a selection from our wine room or the City Girl cocktail, which is a bright mix of gin, lemon juice, and Champagne, accompanied by a sprig of lavender. Bon appetit!” 

Chef Michael Price


Tysa & Cameron Gattis