PLAYguide: Date Night

2014 Family Favorite Award Winners: Date Night

Best Restaurant

Enzo’s on the Lake
The charming and secluded Enzo’s on the Lake takes first-timers by surprise. Converted from a sprawling lakeside villa, this enchanting restaurant sits on the shores of Lake Fairy and features a spectacular outdoor sculpture garden. It’s the perfect place for a sunset champagne toast before heading inside for classic Italian cuisine and doting service. 1130 S. U.S. Highway 17-92, Longwood, 407-834-9872, www.enzos.com

Highball & Harvest

Highball & Harvest

Editor’s Pick

Highball and Harvest
This newly opened Ritz-Carlton Orlando restaurant takes the local food movement to a whole new level by bolstering its Low-Country and Cajun-inspired cuisine with provisions from the on-site 7,000-square-foot Whisper Creek Farm. Organize a couples night out, and book the interactive cocktail, where you’ll get a firsthand tutorial on how the bar chefs mix up the restaurant’s nine signature cocktails. 4012 Central Florida Pkwy., Orlando, 407-206-2400 www.ritzcarlton.com

The Wine Room

The Wine Room

Best Moms Night Out

The Wine Room
With more than 150 wines available by the 1-, 2.5- or 5-ounce pour, this Park Avenue DIY tasting bar features something to please every palate. Lots of comfy lounge chairs are available, as are savory cheese flights to perfectly pair with the vino. 270 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-696-9463, www.thewineroomonline.com

Best Dads Night Out

Liam Fitzpatrick’s
About a dozen flat-screen TVs and a slew of beers on tap make this Lake Mary watering hole a favorite among the men. With lots of guy grub on the menu, including burgers, shepherd’s pie and pastrami sandwiches, it serves as a stellar dinner spot and a fun place to watch the game. 951 Market Promenade Ave., 407-936-3782, www.liamfitzpatricks.com

Truffle & Triffle

Truffle & Trifles

Best Couples Cooking Class

Truffles and Trifles
For nearly three decades, couples have been cooking up love-filled feasts during the monthly date night cooking classes at Truffles and Trifles. Sweethearts can sip their bring-your-own wine while creating three or four dishes to be enjoyed alongside a 10- to 12-course candlelight dinner. 711 W. Smith St., 407-648-0838, www.trufflesandtrifles.com

Top 5 Cooking Classes for Couples

1. Truffles and Trifles
2. Griffin Cooking School at JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes
3. East End Market
4. Publix Aprons Cooking School
5. Farris and Foster’s Chocolate Factory

Best Couples Massage

Motherlove Massage
Set adrift together during a side-by-side massage at this whole family massage center specializing in everything from shiatsu to Thai yoga massage. PLAYGROUND Tip: Afterward, grab a bite at South and York, a spectacular farm-to-fork restaurant located nearby. 1073 Willa Springs Dr., 407-493-6657, www.motherlovemassage.com

Hidden Gem

Bodyscape Massage Therapy
Up your massage skills during a private couples massage class at this Baldwin Park spa. Within two hours, the skilled massage therapist will deliver a totally tailored tutorial on the art of sending your boo to a state of bliss. 1324 Lake Baldwin Ln., 407-893-3933, www.bodyscapemt.com

St. Augustine Photo by Kristen Manieri

St. Augustine Photo by Kristen Manieri

Best Weekend Getaway

St. Augustine
After driving less than two hours from Orlando, you’ll be arriving in America’s oldest city for a few days filled with everything from sightseeing and walking food tours to gourmet eating and hours on the beach. St. Augustine, a favorite Spanish-infused town, is steeped in a bygone romance that oozes from the architecture, landmarks and dozens of quaint B&Bs that dot the brick streets.

Editor’s Choice

Asheville
Hop on a quickie Allegiant flight out of Sanford, and escape to Asheville, N.C., where epic mountain views and quintessential farm-to-fork cuisine await. Hike through the picturesque foliage, sip beer of your choice from a slew of local breweries, and wander through the Biltmore during a jam-packed weekend jaunt you’ll never forget.

Best Kids Night Out Program

Spark! Family Enrichment Center
Drop off your kids ages 4 to 12 at Spark for a night filled with crafts, games and entertainment while you enjoy some guilt-free mommy and daddy time. The event is typically held the third Friday of the month, and the fee ($25 per child) includes dinner. 5965 Red Bug Lake Rd., #221, Winter Springs, 407-679-7775, www.sparkec.net

Swan & Dolphin

Swan & Dolphin

Editor’s Choice

Swan and Dolphin Resort
This sprawling Orlando resort offers a sweet perk for guests: two complimentary hours of Camp Dolphin with the same-day purchase of an entree at Shula’s Steak House, Todd English’s Bluezoo or Il Mulino New York Trattoria. Kids are occupied and fed while you snag some quiet time at one of three fab restaurants.

Words by Kristen Manieri

Kristen Manieri is a local mom of two and the editor and founder of the Orlando Date Night Guide, which houses 600-plus ideas and recommendations for sharing fun and meaningful quality time together in the greater Orlando area.
www.orlandodatenightguide.com

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