When you’re in the mood

Restaurateurs in this area want nothing less to be labeled a “Special Event” kind of place. The spot you go once a year for your anniversary, to celebrate a graduation or the landing of a new job. I bet most would take a hit from the health department than accept that label. They want you to be a regular and once a year won’t cut it. As a result, casual and “upscale casual” rule the day in and around Columbia.

Most of the time, that’s okay – maybe even a good thing. But when you’re in the mood for something a little more mature, your choices can be a little slim. So as we approach Valentine’s Day – and with it the attending and quite fraught question of where to dine* that night – let’s take stock of our more intimate, romantic venues. What constitutes romantic varies from person to person, of course, but for the sake of discussion let’s go with the following attributes:

Refined, well-executed food. Attractive setting. Moderate to low noise. Efficient, unobtrusive service. Bonus points for a view.

I have some ideas of my own, but I’m more interested in what you all might come up with. What are Columbia’s more romantic dining settings? Post your nominees in comments below and I’ll dish on my favorites Friday morning on 1400 KFRU at 9:15 am.

* The most romantic setting of all is, of course, a nice dinner in your own home (and sans rugrats). But let’s stick to restaurants for the sake of discussion.



Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

6 thoughts

  1. Wine Cellar wins hands down for an intimate dining experience! We love Craig Cyr’s inventive menus. Last weekend we celebrated a birthday with appetizers of warm goat cheese truffles and smoked trout waffles. Entrees were coconut-curry rainbow trout from Troutdale Farm and pan-seared scallops. Dessert was the exceptional camembert en Croute (cheese baked in pastry with warm bourbon praline sauce). Haven’t tried the quail egg topped salad but the braised beef short rib stoganoff is at the top of my list for comfort food here in Columbia. (this post is actually from the Explorer’s wife).

  2. Too late for the show, but we like Abigail’s in Rocheport. Quiet, quaint, good to excellent food, excellent prices, excellent desserts. Attentive but not overbearing service.

    I also agree with the Wine Cellar and Bistro on Cherry Street. More expensive, but excellent food and a great atmosphere for a special event. We often go just for salads and wine, so it can definately be a more than once a year kind of place.

    I miss Tratorria from the good days.

  3. Jeff, I thought about Abigail’s. But having only been there once – for a so-so meal – I left it off. Clearly I need to get back there.

    I think everyone misses Trattoria’s good days…it’s a wonder nobody’s tried to replicate it.

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