The calendar is proving uncommonly cruel in 2014, especially for those who are genetically incapable of planning meals more than a week in advance: Not only is Valentine’s Day fast approaching, but this year it takes place on Friday. In mathematical terms, that means date night just got cubed -- and the pressure will no doubt be felt throughout the Fort Worth area to secure a spot at the perfect romantic restaurant.

Only problem there: Some of Fort Worth’s most famously romantic and intimate eateries like Saint-Emilion in the Museum District, or Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, in downtown Fort Worth – have been booked for weeks, and unless you’re a relative of the owners, chances are you have little chance of making it off the waiting list.  

But with a little bit of gumption – and a willingness to eat a little earlier, or a little later than you might normally – you should be able to have a terrific evening. Here’s a Fort Worth restaurant tip sheet for Valentine's Day, with a reminder that you should log onto OpenTable right away, because tables are going to disappear fast.

(Oh, and gentleman: Don’t forget to buy some flowers. A bounteous bouquet will go a long way towards forgiving all of your other, inevitable V-Day missteps.)            

For your luxurious Valentine:

Among the most extravagant special Valentine’s Day menus being offered this year are ones from Lonesome Dove (five courses, for $95 per person); Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine (three courses for $90 per person); and Lanny’s Alta Cocina Mexicana (four courses, for $95 per person). And if these places are booked when you first try, don’t despair: Just call and ask if they have a waiting list. Cancellations are common, either because people have reserved at more than one resturant, or because break-ups tend to spike in the days before Valentine’s Day!

For your artsy Valentine:

Café Modern, at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, is open only on Friday evenings for dinner, and this year they are offering a special, three-course Valentine’s Day menu for $49.95 per person. One smart way to beat the crush is to book a table early (the restaurant opens at 5 p.m.), and then make your way to the Modern’s auditorium, where at 8:30 p.m. there will be a free screening of Claude Lelouch’s 1966 French classic A Man and a Woman – one of the most romantic movies ever made. Adding to the vibe: There will be cocktails and live music in the museum’s lobby from 5 to 8 p.m.

For your anti-Establishment Valentine:

And if you find this whole Valentine's Day routine a little exasperating, might I point you to Spiral Diner, Fort Worth’s excellent vegan restaurant, which this year is offering a special menu featuring lasagna, orzo and sausage-stuffed bell peppers. (The regular menu will also be available.) The lighting is admittedly a little brighter than you might like for a romantic dinner for two, but chances are you’ll be surrounded by smart, young lovebirds who value inventive, healthy food over gooey public displays of affection. 

Cafe Modern

Photo: Cafe Modern Facebook Cover Photo