Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Great Lakes >
Mar 4, 2011 08:28 AM

Where to go for a fun dinner date? - Ann Arbor

My husband and I are going on our first date in about 7 months since we had a baby last summer. My idea of a date is just eating good food for a long time. At most restaurants I breeze through the meal and am not sure what to do with myself afterwards. I'm looking for recommendations for a dinner experience in the Ann Arbor area that can serve two functions: 1) has great food and 2) is a fun activity for the night (like eating with your hands or having multiple courses). I've been to the Blue Nile and Melting Pot. I'm considering Gaucho Steakhouse. Are there any other ideas??

Gaucho Steakhouse
39550 7 Mile Rd, Northville, MI 48167

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. My brother really likes Gaucho Steakhouse in Northville, though I've never been. It's pricey at dinner, but lunch is far more affordable (though the offerings at lunch are slightly more limited).

    If you're looking for an opportunity to connect with your husband over a nice, long evening meal, this would be a very good place to do just that.

    Gaucho Steakhouse
    39550 7 Mile Rd, Northville, MI 48167

    2 Replies
    1. re: boagman

      Thanks for your input. The price is definitely the draw back here, but the food looks so good! I'm drooling.

      1. re: soulthirsty

        Oasis Hot Tub Gardens............................................... oh wait you meant a restaurant, my bad. I like Gaucho's . I always figured that type of restaurant would catch on better here. It seems a natural fit for downtown Detroit.

    2. I thought the meat at Gaucho was a just a very little overly oiled or greasy, but you sure won't leave hungry.

      If you're thinking Melting Pot -- went once and loved it -- here's a link to 50 percent off. Not sure if it's valid on a Saturday by just skimming it.

      Either place will give you a fun dining experience in it's own unique way and are both worth a try.

      Congrats on your baby!

      1. Howdy:

        I hope you are well.

        How about Genitti's Hole in the Wall for dinner theater?

        Best regards, tony

        1. Congrats on the baby! I can still remember doing the same thing when my cherubs were babies 15 years ago. The nice thing about a dinner date in Ann Arbor is that there are plenty of things to do before and afterward. You could park and go to one place for a cocktail and appetizer, and then another for dinner, and then walk around and visit the shops and go somewhere else for coffee and dessert. I really like the Grange's cocktails, then I'd suggest West End Grill for dinner and for dessert and coffee, Cafe Zola or Sweetwaters. Great places to poke around in that vacinity are Acme, Downtown Home and Garden, Ann Arbor Art Center, that old book shop, etc. Have fun!

          Sweetwaters Cafe
          123 West Washington, Ann Arbor, MI

          Cafe Zola
          112 W Washington St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

          West End Grill
          120 W Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

          1. Thanks everyone! These are all fantastic ideas. We ended up going to Joe's Crab Shack because we were craving seafood. While it wasn't the most romantic place, we sure loved our crab pots! I'm definitely going to check out your suggestions for future dates (which will hopefully become a lot more regular).

            2 Replies
            1. re: soulthirsty

              Wow...*really*? Joe's Crab Shack? While I'm glad that you enjoyed it, it's *far* from anywhere my mind would go for a "fun dinner date" that involved "eating good food for a long time". It's not that I'm against the place, or quickie date places like it, but there ain't much about Joe's that's even remotely conducive to long, intimate conversation, nor memory creation.

              I fully understand that the lives of young new parents don't always allow for such things, but wow! Had I known the parameters could have included a place like Joe's, I would have been able to recommend just about any place around!

              1. re: boagman

                Haha, yeah, I read the reviews so I had low expectations going in to it. Surprisingly, my husband would rather eat crab then endless portions of beef. Yes, it was extremely loud, I had poor service, and the wait staff are terrible dancers, but we really had fun eating with our hands. :)