Valentine’s Day, the day that was invented to show the one you love how important and loved they really are by you. But let’s face it, this concept should be practiced on an everyday basis if the relationship has any chance of lasting. But for the sake of conversation, we're going to concentrate on the day at hand. Yes guys, girls have a tendency of putting way too much importance on Valentine’s Day; but we know that will never be an argument you will win.

There are a few simple “rules” guys should adhere to that have a 95 percent success rate:

  1. Planning – girls love seeing a guy putting effort into making her feel special. When reservations have been made in advance and the festivities have some sort of schedule, she knows you have done your homework.
  2. Thoughtfulness – this does not mean you have to drop a whole mess-load of dough. When a guy relates the festivities to the girl’s uniqueness, then the girl knows you have prepared the evening just for her.  Not a “one size fits all” kind of deal.
  3. Execution – making sure to the best of your ability that the plans you have made are actually carried out .

Here in Central Texas, we are inundated with restaurants to choose from to make festivities memorable. While chain restaurants are usually a dinner regularly visited on any given day, I find “specialty” restaurants more appealing for these occasions. Plus, “specialty” restaurants take full advantage of the day and offer “Valentine’s Day” packages that help take some of the stress off the guys in the planning category. Now guys, if your girl’s favorite restaurant happens to be a chain restaurant, by all means go there. But if you are needing something different, here is a list of the top five restaurants in this area and their specials to help those still having trouble crossing the finish line:

1. Dead Fish Grill located on Lake Belton offers an atmosphere that is unique to any other restaurant in this area. If your girl enjoys sunsets that paint the sky yellow with a reflection equal to the original and the aroma of fresh air, then Dead Fish Grill is for you.

  • A feature appetizer, Love Bird Boil, Banana Split and a bottle of wine = $99

2. The Gin located on the creek in Belton offers an atmosphere of small town life. If your girl enjoys a hand-holding, slow-walking, window-shopping stroll with a cozy ending, then The Gin is for you.

  • 6 oz. sirloin and lobster tail with a baked potato, steamed broccoli and side salad = $34.95 per person            
  • Homemade red velvet crust white chocolate cheesecake with a hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberry = $5.25

3. Luigi’s located in Belton across from the Belton High School offers a “candlelight” type atmosphere that really sets the mood for love. The restaurant itself is small which enhances the feeling of intimacy. If your girl enjoys low-lighting opportunities of cuddling and smooching, then Luigi’s is for you.

  • An appetizer, 2 entrees, and one dessert = $45
  • Stuffed mushrooms (only offered on Valentine’s Day) = $7.99

4. Pignetti’s located in Temple offers an atmosphere for a relationship that is in the beginning stage - it has the space needed to feel at ease but yet leaves an impression your girl. The restaurant earned the Award of Excellence in 2015 by the Wine Spectator.

  • An appetizer, entrée, and dessert = $50 per person

5. Cheeves Bros. Steak House in Temple offers the atmosphere of classical style. If your girl enjoys the idea of “dressing up” for the occasion in a fabulous dress and heels with her accompanying man in a collared shirt with tie, then Cheeves is for you. While Cheeves is not necessarily featuring a “Valentine’s” dinner special, they are offering a dozen red roses waiting for your girl at your designated table with a fee.

Now there are many other “specialty” restaurants in this area that should automatically wave a huge red flag when it comes to choosing your ideal evening. While these “types” of restaurants serve a meaningful purpose for other occasions, they do not add the love appeal needed to achieve success. First impressions is not an overrated concept and should be considered when choosing your restaurant. If you are required to enter a convenience store or a condemned looking building then you are not off to the best of starts. 

Guys, you now have no excuses. Take this advice and proceed with confidence.