1. Dinner at the Greek Corner, followed by dessert at Better Than Sex
If the twinkly market lights and views of Lake Ivanhoe aren't enough, perhaps sharing a mezze platter full of lamb gyro, chicken and taramosalata, plus a couple of ouzo shots, will transport you to that mental Mediterranean paradise. If you're left feeling frisky, try your luck at the new Better Than Sex dessert restaurant down the street, or take something to go for fun at home (wink wink).
2. Hang out in the lobby lounges of the JW Marriott Grande Lakes
Couldn't get a table at Primo, Whisper Creek, Highball & Harvest or Norman's? No matter. The lobby lounges at the Grande Lakes are just as picturesque, especially at sunset. Rendezvous on the terrace and order glasses of bubbly and some apps from the abbreviated menu, then cuddle by the fire pit and watch the sun sink.
JW Marriott Grande Lakes, 4040 Central Florida Parkway, 407-206-2300, marriott.com
3. Dine al fresco at the Food Truck Bazaar
One thing's for sure, there's plenty to choose from at this outdoor gathering of mobile gourmands that takes place at the Fashion Square Mall on the second Sunday of each month from 6-9 p.m., rain or shine. If it's chilly, bring chairs and a blanket to snuggle under as you sample to-go dishes from more than 15 trucks.
The Food Truck Bazaar, Fashion Square Mall, 3201 E. Colonial Drive, thefoodtruckbazaar.com
4. Share a heart-shaped pie from Pizzeria Del-Dio
The sweetly shaped pies from Pizzeria Del-Dio on East Colonial Drive are most ordered around Valentine's Day, but they're actually available year-round. The place only has a couple of tables, so snag one if you can (pizza is always better fresh anyway), or take it home for a little Netflix and chill.
Pizzeria Del-Dio, 3210 E. Colonial Drive, 407-898-1115, pizzeriadel-dio.com
5. Go for a dessert crawl along Restaurant Row
With so many dining spots on one strip of asphalt, a dessert-for-dinner crawl (with enough walking between restaurants to burn off some of that sugar) is a no-brainer, especially when the dining rooms are packed and the bar areas still serve a full menu. Start at Eddie V's for hot Bananas Foster butter cake and end at Roy's with their signature Melting Hot Chocolate soufflé.
Restaurant Row, Sand Lake Road near Turkey Lake Road
6. Shuck shellfish at Lee and Rick's Oyster Bar
If you like your dates casual, low-key and full of briny bivalves, head to Lee & Rick's Oyster Bar, a no-frills eatery in a building shaped like a ship. Grab a seat at the 80-foot shucking bar and challenge your dearest to a shucking contest. Order a couple dozen raw and steamed, then drizzle them with Tabasco and lemon juice for a no-frills date with plenty of promise for love later.
Lee and Rick's Oyster Bar, 5621 Old Winter Garden Road, 407-293-3587, leeandricksoysterbar.com
7. Get dinner and a movie at Disney Springs Dine In Theatre
The 24-screen multiplex at Disney Springs turns the traditional dinner-and-a-movie date on its head, serving up crab and avocado sushi, tacos and four kinds of mac & cheese. The gigantic Mudslide from MacGuffin's bar is a good encore, if you're off the diet.
AMC Disney Springs 24, 1500 Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, 407-827-1308, amctheatres.com
8. Go on a gondola ride at the Thirsty Fish Bar at Loews Portofino Bay Resort
It'll feel like you've taken that 15-hour flight to Venice when you step through the doors out to the piazza at the Portofino Bay hotel on Universal Orlando property, but without the jet lag. Get close on a gondola ride and then park yourselves at the Thirsty Fish lounge for Peroni, prosecco and savory small plates. Try to catch the nightly opera performance at Bice too.
Thirsty Fish Bar at Loews Portofino Bay Resort, 5601 Universal Blvd., 407-503-1000, universalorlando.com
9. Old Spanish Sugar Mill & Grill at DeLeon Springs
Head to the springs for DIY pancakes (go heavy on the chocolate chips), and then rent a canoe or kayak for a romantic ride downstream to spy manatees.
Old Spanish Sugar Mill & Grill, 601 Ponce DeLeon Blvd., DeLeon Springs, 386-985-5644, oldspanishsugarmill.com
10. Rent a Lake Eola swan boat
Pick up a half-dozen steamed buns to go at Baoery Asian Gastropub, a pastry or two from Benjamin French Bakery and some boxed single-serve wine at 7-Eleven (make it extra classy with bendy straws!) and you have yourselves an al fresco early dinner with a second-to-none view (plus some built-in calorie burn thanks to pedaling the paddle boat). Just make sure to plan for an earlier evening; boats are due back to the dock by 7 p.m.
On the Rosalind Avenue side of Lake Eola, near the Relax Grill, 407-246-2378, cityoforlando.net
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