Valentine's Day is a month away. Choose to call one of these hand-selected, intimate dens now and not only will you look like a prescient, caring love-genius, but you'll also be able to avoid the intense predatory fleecing of the ubiquitous prix-fixe menu.
528 Comm Ave; Kenmore; 617.532.9100
Reserve this Kenmore fixture for its intimate leather booths and romantic cocktails, like the Cherry Amour, the Blueberry Thrill, and the self-explanatory Shot in a Beer -- which she'll rush to order when the conversation swings towards your "weird, cosmic" connection with her mom.
Peep the extensive booze and grub menus at EasternStandardBoston.com
233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave; Kendall Square; 617.499.0090
The upscale Southern comfort foodist slings deliciousness like Fried Chesapeake Bay Oysters and Cornmeal Catfish in what looks like a stately home of Southern gentry, a particularly classy choice when paired with your formal overalls.
Get your boiled peanut on at HungryMotherCambridge.com
1 Bennett Street; Harvard Square; 617.661.5050
Jody Adams shut down the original Mediterranean version of Rialto a few years ago, only to come back stronger with this eatery serving Italian classics with fresh, local New England ingredients -- so, Dunkin' Donuts Coffee Cacciatore.
Check the food and drink at Rialto-Restaurant.com
3 North Square; North End; 617.523.0077
Celebrated for the enclosed intimacy of its 19th Century brick rowhouse setting, this upscale Italian eatery's a perfect choice for any date that might be a flight risk.
Make sure she orders something heavy at MammaMaria.com
541 Tremont Street; South End; 617.423.0069
The 'hive ends its "Make Love All Week" party with special live music acts, 10% off of its champagne list, and extra menu inclusions for two, like fondue, and Death by Chocolate, which is almost as good as Death by Chocolate Thunder -- Daryl Dawkins's teen fiction series of murder, mayhem, and sick slamz.
Visualize all your options at BeehiveBoston.com
East Coast Grill
1271 Cambridge St; Inman Square; 617.491.6568
The eclectic seafood spot and raw bar has been offering Southern-/Island- influenced cuisine since the 80s, when you thought "Island-influenced cuisine" were Fluffernutters from your dad's mother on Long Island.
Zing! Get at three different styles of romantic oysters at EastCoastGrill.net
560 Harrison Ave; South End; 617.422.0224
This intimate Parisian-style brasserie sits next to a gym, something you should probably shut up about as she's shoveling down plates of their chocolate beignets.
They've even got free parking! Check the French at Gaslight560.com