Date Night Reno

By Bryan Akerley | Wednesday, February 7, 2018

It seems like just yesterday the new year began, and yet here we are at Valentine’s Day 2018.

Valentine’s Day is a strange holiday; it’s loved by some, hated by others and shrugged off by everyone else. I think it has something to do with the idea that this date night, above all others, feels the most planned out, the most forced, the most obligated. It’s time to change that.

Sure, you could do the traditional thing and take your date to a nice dinner (and for that we’ve got the hottest reservations in town below). But then there’s everything else Reno has to offer – everything that makes for a surprisingly great and memorable date night.

So let’s do something a little bit different for Valentine’s Day this year. Surprise your date, try something you normally wouldn’t. It might just be the best date you’ve ever had.

Now, if you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a dinner date out, make sure you’re gonna do it right. Don’t go to the usual spot; it’s the night to splurge a bit. The French practically invented romance, right? Try Beaujolais on the Truckee River. With delectably delicious plates like Beef Wellington, venison chops and more paired with one of the dozens of wine options, you’ll have a quiet, perfect dinner at one of Reno’s best-kept secrets.

Photo: Beaujolais, Facebook

Or head to a Reno favorite, the ultra-classy 4th Street Bistro. Here, you have pan-roasted halibut, Moroccan-spiced organic chicken breast and locally raised Filet Mignon with excellent sides, crisp cocktails and plenty of wine. Elevate your fine dining to highest level.

There’s also the prime location and incredible fine dining experience of the Wild River Grille. On the first floor of the old Riverside Hotel building you can feast on a special Valentine’s Day 2018 four-course dinner for two, including pan-roasted sea bass, grilled lamb chop, short ribs and steak or grilled asparagus and a dessert to share. Plus, there’s a complimentary glass of champagne and a rose to set the mood. For a traditionally romantic evening, there’s no better spot.

But after dinner – or in lieu of dinner – why not let loose and let your competitive side out. The Peppermill has taken its arcade to new heights with Game Lab, a massive floor of interactive games and out-of-the-ordinary date night fun. Challenge your significant other to a driving race, see who can nail the video guitar solo or tackle the old-school arcade games of your childhood. Have a couple of drinks, but feel like kids again.

Photo: Peppermill, Facebook

Keep that gaming energy going and head to Midtown, where Press Start makes for one of the best nights out. The bar/arcade combo (or "Barcade" as I like to call it) is stacked with retro coin-op video games. Test your skills and challenge your partner to games like Paperboy, Galaga, Street Fighter or so, so many different themed pinball machines. Grab a couple of craft beers from the bar and lose yourselves in the 80s and 90s throwback, but a fantastic date for couples of any age. 

In that same vein, spend the evening at Anything Virtual, Reno’s only virtual reality arcade. Put your teamwork skills to the test (uh-oh) by popping on the virtual reality headset and transporting yourselves to a new world where you’ll fight aliens or explore different countries. Or, go one at a time and try to hold in the laughter as your significant other tries to box, sword-fight samurais or run from monsters.

For adrenaline junkies, there’s Need 2 Speed, Reno’s indoor go-kart racing. Those who are really competitive – especially with their spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend – may have to think twice, though what better way to settle an argument than with a race? Hit 14 laps in the kart for just over $20. The loser has to buy dinner.

Photo: Need 2 Speed, Facebook

Just as every couple has its own idea of real romance, there’s an exciting, customizable date night waiting for you in Reno. Enjoy!

For all other events this weekend, visit our Daytime, Nightlife and Community pages.


About the Author Bryan Akerley
Bryan was born and raised in Northern Nevada and is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno. When he’s not writing, he’s keeping up with pop culture as a lover of movies, TV, music and books or out exploring the area through its restaurants, bars and nightlife. Then he’ll unwind by playing the drums or piano or spending time with his corgi, Teddy.