OpenTable Lists 100 Most Romantic U.S. Restaurants, Including The French Room and a Spot in Arlington (Obviously)

Categories: Chewing the Fat

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Entrance to the French Room inside the Adolphus.
Lists are fun. They categorize our lives, serve as reminders of things to do, stack favorites and remind us of people we're mad at. The fun part of listing is that it often serves as a launch pad for conversation and debate. Because half the fun of a list is arguing about what's not on it, right? Right.

One has to be careful in making lists, however. It's not just wanton fun. People are ready to pounce a bad list like sharks circling a punctured raft. And we all know what happens when sharks pounce.

Like the time we got news of a "list" of great barbecue joints in the South that omitted Pecan Lodge but included a shack in East Texas that is basically now defunct. That mistake led BBQ Snob Daniel Vaughn to offer a one-fingered commentary on that list's quality. The lesson: mind your list well or risk getting the bird -- not the barbecued kind.

So, today OpenTable released their list of 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America. Wow. That's a big ol' canvas, right? When I think of romance, the setting is foremost. And what a bevy of options we have from those amber waves of grain (those all corn fields now?) to purple mountain majesties. And Walmart parking lots.

The first foul on the OpenTable list is that it's alphabetical, which is a cop-out because it lacks one of the "best" features of any list, which is the ... drum roll ... "best." It's like having a beauty pageant and just saying, "Alabama, just get in the front of the line ... West Virginia, you're last." That's no fun. (By the way, Alabama nor West Virginia are on the list. However, it's interesting that Virginia has seven restaurants.)

There were five spots in Texas.

1. Café Central in El Paso located in downtown El Paso.

2. Bella on the River in San Antonio, on the Riverwalk.

3. The Spindletop in Houston.

4. The Frenchroom in Dallas. Cheap Bastard would agree and kindly remind you to wear a jacket.

5. But, here's the humdinger: Cacharel in Arlington, which is on the seventh floor of an office building just north of Interstate 30, across from Six Flags.

Now, before you get your ruffles in a feather, I'll admit I've never been to the place, and I'm sure the chicken is delicious. But, just considering the "canvas" of America, I was surprised.

Also, if you think about a few other restaurants in Dallas, which were all snubbed for the spot in Arlington .... well.

This is how lists get a bad name, OpenTable. This feels like a straight-up geographic money-play by spreading the attention over different markets. OpenTable sites a search of "romantic" in qualified user reviews as their method. I site a weak list.

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Ahhhh, what speaks of romance like an office tower in the concrete confines of dirty Arlington.  It overlooks the cutest lil ole drainage ditch in the mid cities.  


"cites" not "sites"


Having worked in the area, I went to Cacharel several times.  It's a fine place for a quiet business dinner where no one expects much from the food or the atmosphere.  It's about as romatic as eating in a hotel conference room.

Cafe Central is one of my favorite restaurants in the state.  It's really terrific.  But, it's also really loud and the tables are scrunched together.  Awesome place for a dinner out, but not partciularly romantic.

In Dallas, they shouuld have also considered St. Martin's.

Stacy Koons
Stacy Koons

Wouldn't Wyoming be the last state alphabetically? And I've been to Cacharel and it is pretty romantic.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

what the fuck is romantic about sitting on the 9th floor of an office building gazing out over interstate 30 as the shockwave makes it second loop and some fat slob is taking on Geronimo at hurricane harbor?


@Tomas I appreciate the input. I hadn't been there, so felt it unfair to really call-out the list. Yes, it makes one scratch their head... 


@ScottsMerkin C'mon, man. The fat slobs clog up the lazy river, they arent going to climb all the steps it takes to get to the top of the big slides. Now if you would have said something about a hispanic person in a t-shirt taking on the Geronimo it would have been much more accurate.

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