The Husband and I love a good date night. Even when the kids were little, we would occasionally squeeze in some time to slip out for an evening and reconnect.

Now that the kids are grown, date nights are fairly frequent, but they are still something we cherish.

Most of our evenings out are spent in Stephenille, catching a movie, then enjoying dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants.

But sometimes we need a change of scenery.

We love exploring out-of-town eateries and just recently found a new favorite in Austin - True Food Kitchen - a modern dining experience that offers healthy options like a spicy Korean noodle bowl with chicken (my choice) and a turkey burger and kale salad (The Husband’s choice) in a spacious, happy spot located near the state capitol. 

Their menu also includes a variety of soups, salads and bowls (think poke) as well as fresh fish, lasagna bolognese and spaghetti squash casserole.

Their specialty cocktails like the watermelon mojito and blueberry lavender martini are to-die for and their limited wine list is impressive.

The restaurant’s philosophy is, “Food should make you feel better, not worse.” 

And it does.

True Food Kitchen is definitely on our repeat list, and the next time you’re in Austin, be sure to check it out.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other great places to take your “boo” to that are a little closer to home. 

Here are a few of our favorites:

EIGHTEEN NINETY GRILLE AND LOUNGE: This rustic, bi-level eatery located on the courthouse square in Granbury offers steaks, seafood and shrimp and grits (my favorite). We also love the Texas Trilogy - a sampling of tenderloin, free-range chicken and Texas quail wrapped in applewood smoked bacon and jalapeño - that is the perfect starter. 

This place can be a little pricey, but it’s worth it. You will also want to make a reservation. Get there early to enjoy cocktails in the bar before making your way upstairs for dinner.     

PIOLA ITALIAN STYLE RESTAURANT AND GARDEN: Some dear friends recently introduced us to this little gem located in Fort Worth. The former house-turned-restaurant has a lovely outdoor patio we enjoyed on a recent rainy evening where we sipped cabernet and enjoyed bruschetta with goat cheese, calamari, buffalo meatballs and mussels in a white wine broth.

If you’re looking for something different and intimate, this is a great place to try.

RIVERHOUSE GRILL: This family-owned and operated restaurant in downtown Glen Rose is located inside a big, white southern-style mansion with a wrap-around porch and lovely lighting. Its casual, laid back elegance makes you feel special while you enjoy starters like parmesan truffle fries and smoked gouda mac and cheese. Entrees include steaks, pasta, baked salmon and grilled pork chops topped with garlic mushrooms, blue cheese cream sauce or fresh sautéed crab. End the evening with a slice of key lime pie.

GEMELLE - This Fort Worth eatery opened in May and is already one of our new favorites. It’s cool and casual, and has amazing outdoor seating that includes cabanas available by reservation. Enjoy a game of bocce ball while sipping one of their amazing summer cocktails like a frozen Aperol spritz (my fave) and a limoncello spritz that tastes like it was made in the Amalfi Coast. Gemelle (Italian for twin girls) is owned by chef and reality TV star Tim Love. If you go, try the pizza - and get there early because this new hotspot stays busy.    

FIRE OAK GRILL: Located on the square in Weatherford, this intimate restaurant offers a dark-wood setting and mouth-watering Texas-style cuisine with a seasonal menu. A few of their specialties include sea scallops, beef tenderloin tacos and surf and turf. 

This has turned into a place we make a point of visiting during the holidays every year, but it’s just as great in the summer.