Valentine’s Day in Plano/McKinney can be broken up into any number of activities, but here are the ones I’m highlighting: Restaurants, Specialty, and Cook your own.
There is a TON of stuff to do in Plano. There is all the food, clubs, movies, music, and fun you can have. Check out Legacy Plaza for all of that wrapped into one big fun bundle. Also, if you like Asian or Indian food, Plano has the largest collection (and the best) in the metroplex. I mean, choose your adventure, people. There are specialty stores on almost every corner, and no end to the amount of cougars on the prowl (careful, young guys!).
I mainly want to focus on McKinney, since Plano is huge and has endless possibilities. Also, I live in McKinney, so I’m a bit partial. It is growing really quickly, but it still feels like a small town. The old city square has come a long way in recent years. It is now home to quality restaurants, cool coffee shops, specialty stores, organic grocers, and high-end antique stores. Everyone knows your name there. My wife and I can walk there from our house, so we will leash up the dogs and take a nightly stroll to our favorite places.
As far as food goes, you have some premium picks.
Rick’s Chophouse is a very good choice for Valentine’s Day. They serve great steak and seafood on the high end, and quality burgers and chicken dishes on the more affordable end. They are a bit on the pricey end, but it is worth it. You get quality food and service here, and that’s what you want on Valentine’s Day dinner. There is a lot of dark wood, leather, elegant place settings, and capable chefs. The bar in the back is VERY well stocked with some premium choices, and the bartenders give generous portions.
Gregory’s Bistro is a wonderful little spot on the square. Make your reservations early because this place is small and fills up quick. The chef is French and his wife is the hostess. They run a very fine establishment, and I recommend Gregory’s if you want a lovely, quiet evening to enjoy French cuisine in an intimate setting. Can’t get better than that, can you? Also, you can bring your own wine, so grab a bottle on the way! My wife and I once had the chef prepare us a 4 course meal for our anniversary and … wow. It was everything we wanted in a meal. The food was fresh, unique, full of flavor, diverse, and expertly prepared to our preferences. Go there. You won’t regret it.
Ruggeri’s Italian Ristorante is exactly what you are hoping for in an Italian restaurant – an elegant setting, quality Italian food, good music, great wine, and a knowledgeable staff. The owner is always there, and he personally visits the tables to welcome you and help you with your orders. If you are looking for an affordable meal that doesn’t skimp on flavor, go to Ruggeri’s.
I do need to mention Square Burger. If you are both in a laid back mood and don’t want to spend a ton of money, this place serves specialty burgers that you won’t believe. Also, the beer on tap is extensive. Exhaustive, really. It is a good date night place and, if you and your love one are up for a quiet night, works for Valentine’s Day too.
There are 2 wineries that serve wine tastings and appetizers on the Square. One is Landon Wineries, and they make and serve very good award-winning wine. You can get a plate of appetizers or cheese with your wine, and they have paired with Cadillac Pizza Parlor to serve a 4 course meal with wine.
They have won a million awards for their wine, so I won’t list them here. Suffice it to say that they know what they are doing. If you and your loved one really enjoy wine, this is the place.
Churchill’s Pub. Now, I do NOT advise that you only go to Churchill’s, but if you have had a great dinner and want to unwind with some pool or free darts with a great pint of beer, Churchhill’s is ideal.
Paciugo Gelato Cafe is a great way to cap the night off with some sweet dessert. They have wonderful flavors and the store is inside of an old renovated building from the early 1900’s. It’s cool. Give it a try.
A Twist of Lime Floral will offer you last-minute flowers in case you forgot.
Patina Green is a bakery/antique store. Cool, right? Browse around at their tasteful selection of antiques as you snack on an organic scone.
Goodies Texas is a store dedicated to candy, popcorn, and old fashioned soda. You get the idea. Go and indulge.
I’m also teaching a couple’s Valentine’s Day dinner out of my home. If you want to learn how to cook the best steak of your life set at a romantic 108-year-old Victorian home, come join us! You can leave a comment or e-mail me and we can work out the details. Only 4 spots left!