Feb 052013

Author: John Sheesley

Restaurants around Fort Collins are gearing up to celebrate Valentine's Day with specialized menus.

Restaurants around Fort Collins are gearing up to celebrate Valentine’s Day with specialized menus.

It is easy to be cliche around Valentine’s Day, but the classics, like dinner and a movie, are classics for a reason. When the restaurant is selected carefully to match tastefully with location, ambiance and related activities, a classic date can be an incredible experience.

Many Colorado State University students refrain from going out for fancy dinners on a regular basis, as the expense can be quite burdensome. However, without firsthand experience it is difficult to decide what to do for that rare fancy date. Fort Collins has hundreds of restaurants to choose from, and not all of them are good, let alone date worthy.

“In downtown there are so many places, there is a restaurant on every corner,” said Kris Rodriguez, a senior biological science major. “Advertising doesn’t get me [to a restaurant], but word of mouth does.”

To spot a good restaurant it can be best to follow the crowd instead of trying to find unique places. Recommendations can be in the form of a friend describing an incredible experience, or in the form of a long line to get into the restaurant.

“When deciding to go to a restaurant I look at how many people are there to see if it’s actually popular or not. If there aren’t a lot of people it’s usually a sign that it’s not as good,” said Melissa Ferris, a senior Spanish major. “I like Bisetti’s but that’s really expensive, and I really like CooperSmith’s, too.”

Bisetti’s Italian Restaurant, located at 120 S. College Ave., will be putting on a three course dinner for Valentine’s Day with a special holiday menu.

“We are going to have a Valentine’s Day menu which will have separate options, but we will also have our regular menu,” said Justin Hall, the assistant and bar manager at Bisetti’s. “A lot of places just do a feature menu and I hate that because if you already go to a place and know what you like to get, you want to know that you can get it on a special occasion. So we will have the regular menu and the Valentine’s Day menu.”

Some restaurants have great three course meals, including appetizers, entrees, and desserts, but many people enjoy a change after dinner, with dessert and coffee or drinks somewhere else.

“Generally it’s ideal to set up a romantic evening, but sometimes if you can get everything in one place it’s good, like the Rio, I know, has some pretty nice desserts, or they have an ice cream shop right down the street,” Rodriguez said.

The Chocolate Café, located at 102 W. Olive St., lays claim to the title of best dessert in Fort Collins. The Chocolate Café is a great place to get some wonderful desserts and a very good cup of coffee. It is a bit expensive though. For a cheaper alternative, try a local coffee shop.

“I like going to Mug’s,” Ferris said. “They have scones and other desserts.”

Mug’s is a local coffee shop located just next door to the Chocolate Café, at 261 S. College Ave. They serve a number of dessert and food items along with great espresso.

If dessert is not your style, going out for drinks after dinner, for those over 21, is a good way to kill time before a movie starts and can add a bit of flair to a date.

“I like to go to restaurants more than bars, but for a night on the town I would like to get a dinner then maybe a drink after, but somewhere classy, not crazy,” Ferris said. “I really like Elliot’s. It’s a fun martini bar.”

Once dinner, dessert, drinks and all the rest is concluded, there is no better place to see a movie than Fort Collins’s own Lyric Cinema Cafe. Located at 300 E. Mountain St., near Old Town Square, The Lyric shows new, smaller movies that don’t show in bigger theaters and allows viewers to sit on a couch, drink a glass of wine or beer, enjoy some good finger foods and relax during their movie.

If done correctly, the classic dinner and a movie can make for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day. Be sure to make a plan for the evening and call ahead to get a reservation at the more popular restaurants.

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