30715 W. 10 Mile Road
Farmington Hills, MI 48336
Cafe Cortina was established in 1976 by the Tonon family and is a great place for a romantic date; ask for a table by the fireplace. Don’t be fooled by the “cafe” part of its name – it’s located in a vineyard-like setting (a former apple orchard) and has been a “foodie destination” for a while now. Cafe Cortina serves up Italian cooking and has a reputation as “one of the best kept secrets in America.” The restaurant also does catering and special events, such as weddings, if you’re looking for somewhere nice to hold your big day.
100 Renaissance Center
Detroit, MI 48243
If you’re looking for a “room with a view,” look no further – Coach Insignia offers beautiful views of the Detroit River and Windsor from high atop the Renaissance Center (71st and 72nd floors, to be exact). The restaurant was voted Most Romantic Restaurant, Best Wine Selection for a Restaurant, Best View, Best Happy Hour for Drinks and Best Female Bartender, all by Metro Times, and also won Best Wine List and Restaurant View from Hour Detroit on its 2014 Best of Detroit list. Coach Insignia is closed on Sundays, and also offers a happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, and 5 p.m. through 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
121 W. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
The Earle is an Ann Arbor staple, and it’s located right off of Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor. Go down the stairs once you get inside the building and you’ll find that the Earle is located in a quaint cellar of sorts. It features jazz five nights per week, and is open for dinner only (until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and until 9 p.m. Mondays and 8 p.m. Sundays). The Earle has dim, romantic lighting, and the food is fantastic. The cuisine is French, but you’ll find some American dishes sprinkled in as well. The restaurant also features a 5 to 8 p.m. happy hour (Monday-Friday) which includes 20-percent-off items on its wine bar menu, and drinks by the glass. Mussels steamed in wine ($2.75 with any purchase, $3.75 for additional bowls) is one of its top happy hour dishes.
4421 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48021
You can’t get more romantic than The Whitney when it comes to Detroit, unless you happen to have a family member or friend who owns a mansion. The Whitney’s mansion was built in 1894, upon request of David Whitney Jr., and cost $400,000, which back then was a fortune. It became a restaurant in 1986. The Whitney has 52 rooms upon which to dine, although not all of them are always open, and make sure to check out the Ghost Bar after or before your meal for a drink.
2030 Park Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
If your significant other is into jazz, then you must take him/her to Cliff Bell’s, which has been renowned for its live jazz performances since it opened in 1935 by John Clifford Bell, in the same location where it currently stands. Bell had opened various other clubs and restaurants before the Prohibition, and after it ended, he opened Cliff Bell’s. The restaurant is located near Comerica Park, down a side street, and features live jazz nightly; make sure to check its site to see if there’s a cover charge or not before going. Cliff Bell’s is also known for its signature drinks, and its bar area is a great place to enjoy a drink or two while listening to some sultry jazz.