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This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday (it’s this Friday for those who may have forgotten..). It makes for the perfect date night, but it also makes it even more difficult to get those coveted Valentine’s Day reservations. Luckily, because it’s on a Friday, you can get away with celebrating all weekend long – Saturday date night, Sunday brunch, etc. I came up with a few ideas that I think would be fun and romantic regardless of when you celebrate.

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Imperial / Dram & Grain – 2001 18th St NW

I was lucky enough to snag a reservation at Imperial. It’s one of the hottest (and hardest to get into) restaurants in Dupont. It was worth the hype. The food was incredible, unique and beautifully presented. The staff was attentive and friendly. The ambiance wasn’t pretentious but still felt upscale.

After dinner, we headed downstairs to their speakeasy bar, Dram & Grain. We each tried a cocktail (bartender’s take on an espresso martini and the Pineapple in the Mail) and they were both amazing.

Overall, the experience was amazing and would highly recommend this impressive, new restaurant as a Valentine’s Day date spot.

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Annabelle – 2132 Florida Ave NW

To be completely honest, I have yet to try Annabelle but I have only heard wonderful things and let’s be honest – the pictures make it look very charming.

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This restaurant is located where the acclaimed, Restaurant Nora, used to be. The owners of Rasika purchased the property when Restaurant Nora closed and they’ve done a wonderful job at putting together a unique menu and creating a beautiful atmosphere to enjoy it in.

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Floriana – 1609 17th St NW

Floriana is maybe my favorite restaurant in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. This is somewhat for sentimental reasons, but mostly because it’s very good Italian food in a cozy, but fancy, setting.

Floriana’s staff is always so welcoming, even if you don’t have a reservation – although, I highly recommend booking in advance. I would recommend coming in for a Valentine’s Day brunch on Sunday as their bottles of wine are half-off every Sunday..and Wednesdays too for future reference.

The restaurant is in a townhome and they use the whole space. The first and second level act as seating while the lower level is their bar area. You might be seeing a pattern, but I highly recommend the espresso martini – it’s the best in D.C. For your meal, you can’t go wrong with the Shrimp & Scallop Risotto. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Not only is the food and drink wonderful, Floriana is known for decorating for the holidays which brings a cheerful touch to the neighborhood and makes the dining experience even more special.

There you go. My three date spot recommendations for Valentine’s Day. Whether you celebrate on the actual day or do something less traditional, Dupont Circle neighborhood is the perfect place to go.

Photo credits: DCist, Yelp

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