Another Valentine's Day is upon us. And if you're one of those people who forgot to book a table for your loved one, I have no sympathy for you. Perhaps you can snag a table at Red Lobster, or pick up one of those heart-shaped steaks at Whole Foods.
This post is for the people for whom I do have sympathy: the single people who are about to endure what is potentially the most depressing holiday there is. Don't spend a night on the couch with tepid sack of Taco Bell as your only companion. Instead, dust your shoulders off and take yourself out on a date. When you're out without your friends, you're more likely to interact with the new people who surround you. Who knows who you'll meet?
Here are seven of my favorite restaurant bars in Dallas. I've chosen each because I've enjoyed a meal on my own there and never felt alone.
Joyce and Gigi's (pictured above) The bartenders have changed at Joyce and Gigi's since the restaurant opened last year, but the energy has not. This East Dallas restaurant has a Latin vibe, an electric, sexy feel that I haven't seen elsewhere in Dallas. If you don't agree with me when you get there, just have another Caipirinha. You'll be there soon.
Local Solo dining at Local works best on a weekend when a bartender is tethered to a bar. Order multiple courses and take a culinary journey or just tackle a burger instead. There's something for every lonesome diner here.
Gemma I think this is my best pick of the bunch, mostly because the restaurant is still new and buzzy. There will no doubt be lots of diners sitting at the bar when you walk in, but do your best to grab that corner barstool. You'll be able to make eyes with people all the way down the marble.
Bolsa Sit at the two-sided bar at Bolsa and you'll be able to look a number of customers directly in the eye. (Don't be creepy about it.) This neighborhood favorite has been kicking out solid drinks and cooking based on local fare for years now. The bar is seldom empty.
CBD Provisions Speaking of bars that give you a lot of face time, CBD Provisions' massive square-shaped bar puts customers at every angle, while a number of bartenders bounce around like pinballs inside. The menu is filled with interesting dishes, from pig's head carnitas to little goat pot pies, and if you meet someone and really pull off the charm, you're already in a hotel.
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FT33 You're likely going to have to wait for a barstool here, but you can drink from what is one of the city's best cocktail programs while you're at it. You'll be rewarded with exceptional cooking and a pair of bartenders who are always up for a chat. Start with your favorite recipe for cinnamon bark bitters and let things progress naturally from there.
The Loon Oh, buddy. I'm afraid this is the end. If the previous restaurant recommendations have done nothing for you, your best remaining option is to drown your sorrows while eating tacos dorados at the Loon. You will meet plenty of people here but you won't make Valentines of any of them. This is a drinker's bar. Follow suit.