I would be shocked if The Peacock Mediterranean Grill inside the Austin Proper didn’t result in a successful date. There’s something for everyone (even healthy options), and they serve the best pita I have ever had. It’s THE doughiest which (if you haven’t noticed) is always my preference. The Peacock is an upscale option, and designer Kelly Wearstler’s sophisticated, colorful touch brings life to the space. Upstairs by the pool is La Piscina, another MML restaurant. They serve my favorite fajitas even though they are pricier than your usual Tex-Mex neighborhood spot. The fajitas are served over a sizzling pan paired with melted cheese, and again THE doughiest/fluffy homemade flour tortillas. Chips and Guacamole or Ceasar Salad are my go-to starters. End the night with Carajillo (coffee with hard liquor) instead of Espresso, and then go two-stepping at Donn’s Depot, one of the greatest dive bars in Austin simply because it’s full of people from age 20 to 80. Or if you want to stick around the hotel, try to sneak into Goldie’s, the bar only available to residents and hotel guests (but I’m sure you can finesse your way in).
Shock your date with SoCo Hotel’s hidden gem, Watertrade. Literally, this spot is tucked away above the courtyard near Mañana. You’ll make your way up the staircase to the dimly lit, leather-seated cocktail bar attached to Otoko. Available by reservation, or walk-in if you’re lucky, their extensive cocktail menu and list of Japanese Whiskies are incredible intros to the Izakaya (small bites) menu from Otokos kitchen. I love the Hamachi, Oysters with Uni, and their custom label sake–Revenge of the Third Son. Cozy up with your date in a plush chair or sit at the bar and watch the bartenders do their thing.