Dynamic Date Nights: Beat the Winter Doldrums with a Fabulous Night on the Town

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By Dawn Klavon

Prince William offers a charming blend of history, culture, and natural beauty — the perfect backdrop for a memorable date night. Explore the romantic tapestry woven through our neighborhoods, providing a delightful evening for couples seeking an enchanting escape. Take a break from the stress of 9 to 5 with some of these tried-and-true romance-ready restaurants. There is no shortage of excellent eateries in the region, and diners suggest a few local favorites. 

The Secret Garden Cafe

In warm weather, the patio invites guests to relax in the “Secret Garden.”

Start your culinary adventure at The Secret Garden Cafe in historic Old Town Occoquan. This quaint eatery, adorned with fairy lights and surrounded by lush greenery, sets the stage for a magical night. Originally built in 1840 and used by the town pharmacist, it’s now a delightful eatery. Indulge in a diverse menu featuring locally-sourced ingredients, offering a culinary journey that will tantalize your taste buds. 404 Mill Street, Occoquan Historic District

Semifreddo Italian Cuisine

Semifreddo

Italian cuisine at Semifreddo. Photo by Mark Gilvey

Semifreddo Italian Cuisine in Manassas has earned a loyal clientele who swear by their inviting Italian dishes. 

Semifreddo is my go-to for date night,” says one of its regulars, Cheryl Bennett. “The restaurant is warm and cozy with soft lighting. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu and I feel like the food is cooked with love — it’s the best recipe for a memorable evening.”

Chef Franklin Hernandez earns high marks from food aficionados, and excellent service from the wait staff seals the deal.

“Semifreddo is fabulous,” says Amy French of Gainesville. “The wait staff is super friendly and knowledgeable about the menu. The atmosphere is relaxed yet classy and the food is amazing. The taste and presentation is hands down the best Italian in the area.”  8687 Sudley Road, Manassas

Farm Brew Live

Farm Brew Live at Innovation Park in Manassas is another local spot that offers infinite date night possibilities. It’s Northern Virginia’s first destination brewery campus, and the 12-acre campus features 2 Silos craft beer, food trucks, live, local music, a playground, fire pits, and a coffee bar. Herndon residents Jayna and Caleb Rossi shared a family date with their three children at this eclectic mix of food and activity. 

“We went to Farm Brew Live on a sunny Sunday afternoon — we were looking for a place that the kids could run around and we could enjoy some lunch and some music,” says Jayna. “We browsed through the food trucks and ordered an array of items. There are plenty of places to sit inside or outside, and I highly recommend it for families that want to be able to let their kids play while they enjoy a snack and a beverage for their family date.” 9901 Discovery Boulevard, Manassas

The Black Sheep Restaurant

Black Sheep Restaurant

The Black Sheep Restaurant

The Black Sheep Restaurant on Farm Brew Live’s campus is a meticulously restored barn with award-winning cuisine. Its lunch, dinner, and weekend brunches draw diners from across Northern Virginia. 

“Black Sheep is the perfect date night restaurant,” says Tracy Toth, an Arlington resident who makes the trek to Manassas. “A cocktail at the bar and a nosh of Spanish shrimp while we watch the beautiful sunset… it doesn’t get any better.” 9935 Discovery Boulevard, Manassas

Bottle Stop Wine Bar

Bottle Stop Wine Bar is a charming bistro in Occoquan that draws visitors from all over the region. 

“I always feel welcomed at Bottle Stop,” said Emily Guerrero. “It’s a well-appointed and inviting bistro in Occoquan. The owners are often there and will stop by to see how your evening is going. The drinks are well curated, and the menu is heavy on small plates and apps with a few heartier entrees thrown in the mix. This lends itself to working for casual ‘meet and greet’ first dates as well as celebrating milestones with a special someone.” 311 Mill Street, Occoquan Historic District

Bistro L’Hermitage

Photo by Zack Owen

Bistro L’Hermitage is a delightful destination, offering an elegant but comfortable meal for family and friends. Guests from across the region embrace the excellent, award-winning French cuisine, including masterpieces like decadent lobster bisque, escargots with puff pastry, and skillfully prepared filet mignon. Bistro L’Hermitage is a bustling spot no matter when you visit, but it is a perfect spot for a romantic rendezvous, with gracious hospitality and superb cuisine to those who venture to their renowned bistro. 12724 Occoquan Road, Woodbridge

 Whether it’s a charming dinner, a family outing, a romantic stroll, or a cultural interlude, your advance planning is sure to create lasting memories for couples seeking an unforgettable experience. Let the magic of our communities become the backdrop for your love story.

Dawn Klavon is a regular contributing writer for Prince William Living.

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