As a foodie, I get a lot of questions from people as to where they should take someone on a romantic evening in Flint, Michigan and the surrounding areas. There are a lot of choices, which can make it extremely hard to pick which locale will give the best experience for the money. Worry no longer, since I’m ready to share my secrets with everyone who is interested in picking that perfect spot for a date at any time of day.
Let’s start by breaking things down into two categories: Romantic on a Budget and Money is No Object
Romantic on a Budget
Let’s be honest. With the highest unemployment rate in the country effecting Flint and the entire state of Michigan, everyone is conscious about what comes in and out of their wallet. These delectable dining locations are ready to give you someplace to go and get to know each other without emptying your wallet.
Breakfast is difficult since most places serve it as a second thought. Fortunately, Shap’s Family Restaurant gives breakfast the kind of treatment it deserves as the first meal of the day. It’s only five minutes from Bishop Airport and has been a fixture of the Flint area for many years. The omelets at Shap’s are some of the best in the Flint area with unique choices like the Gyro Omelet (lamb, green peppers, onion, tomato, and feta cheese) or the Gaikow Omelet (oriental vegetables, cheese, and chicken or steak). Pretty much all of the breakfast choices are under $7 which makes it a fantastic choice on a budget. The atmosphere is similar to that of most area diners, but it tends to be a little cleaner which is very helpful when you’re trying to impress someone.
For a sexy lunch date, the Redwood Lodge is a great place to be. Their more steep dinner prices are nearly halved at lunch time, and you get the same fantastic lodge atmosphere. The tables are quiet, mostly secluded, and the wait staff will usually give you your pick of the table you want since lunch isn’t especially busy. Award-winning micro-brews and signature cocktails are available if you want to spend a little bit more (and lubricate the conversation). Lunches range between $10 and $15, and much of the menu is variations on their popular dinner items.
Dinner on a budget is a little more difficult since most restaurants double their prices for the date crowd that they expect to pop in at night. The Crossbow Inn of Grand Blanc, Michigan is my budget dinner savior. Most of their dinner entrees are less than $15 and you get enormous portions. When I say enormous, I mean that an $8 salad could probably fill up three people. It’s usually loud in the restaurant, but the tables still manage to feel private even though you are often very close to the next table. Get there early though, because this Renaissance-decorated fixture of Grand Blanc fills up extremely fast. (If you like seafood, try the stuffed shrimp. They are the best I’ve had in my travels.)
Money is No Object
You’ve been saving up for a month to take your date to that special spot that will let her know that you are a person of great taste. Look no further than these great locations to take your date out for a quiet evening which great ambiance and even better food.
If a romantic breakfast is your thing, look no further than French Laundry of Fenton, Michigan. This amazing little bistro is just a hop, skip, and a jump from the city proper and boasts delicious daily breakfast specials. The atmosphere is all bistro, so it can get a little noisy at times but it’s not reminiscent of a cafeteria which is a good thing. They have a menu on their website (which is great if your date is a picky eater) and they also post daily lunch and breakfast specials via the French Laundry’s Facebook page. Full breakfasts usually start around $6 and can run up to $10 or $12 depending on how hungry you are.
Lunch at Luca’s Chophouse of Grand Blanc, Michigan is different from lunch at any other area eatery. The atmosphere is one hundred percent fine dining and the food is hand-crafted with a modern style. The tables are well-spaced and give plenty of room for privacy while getting to know your date. As a nicer establishment, a coat is not required, but dressing up a little bit will make you feel more at home. The menu is right on the website which makes things easy if you or your special friend is a picky eater. Lunch will run around $20 a person with an appetizer and lunch entree plus the price of wine or cocktails.
Dinner to me is a no-brainer since I nearly always have the same first choice when thinking about a romantic evening at a restaurant. Brick Street Bar and Grill is located five minutes south of Flint, Michigan on Grand Blanc Road, but I would easily drive an hour to this fantastic spot if I had to. Their menu is extensive, and by that I mean that you need to be prepared to flip through at least five pages of food to figure out what you want. It ranges from homey Midwest dishes (like beef stroganoff) to Italian fare (lobster-stuffed ravioli in saffron cream sauce) to the best steaks you can get in the area. Tables at Brick Street are well-spaced and the high ceilings help make things feel very open. You can even ask for a spot near the large fireplace. Be prepared to spend around $30 per person with dinner and a cocktail.
A romantic meal at any time of the day in Flint, Michigan doesn’t have to be difficult when you have a good guide. All of the restaurants listed also have websites with exact locations and driving directions if you are unfamiliar with the area, so go out and have fun confidently. Bon appetite fellow foodies!