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Dinner for Two

Upgrade Date Night with Some of the City's Most Highly Acclaimed Restaurants

Article by Michelle W. Parnell

Photography by Mary Scheirer

Originally published in Evans City Lifestyle

For many couples, “date night” is a cherished and frequent occasion. For others, it is rare and much-needed. Oftentimes, it's a chance to start something new. The romantic ambiance and excellent fare set the tone, creating a memorable experience and a night to treasure. Finding just the right place can be tricky, but we've got you covered.

In honor of our Foodie issue, we’ve chosen to highlight four restaurants from all across our city that get our vote as perfect date night venues. Each restaurant presents a romantic, yet distinct atmosphere and a commitment to high-quality service and food. Without further ado, here are a few delicious options throughout the city, ready for your next night out.

Frog Hollow Tavern

At Frog Hollow Tavern, you’ll find a unique setting that is a meeting of fine dining and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Located in downtown Augusta, Frog Hollow Tavern serves signature dishes such as Roasted Red Snapper or the Grilled Southeastern Family Farms Rustic Cut Pork Chop, which are flavorful combinations of quality local, regional and seasonal ingredients. 

"We outsource our ingredients seasonally and from local farmers to ensure that we are serving the freshest dishes," says Chef Sean Wight, owner.

With your meal, you can enjoy specialty cocktails and wine from their extensive wine list, which focuses on products with origins in organic, biodynamic and sustainable practices.  

Augusta native Megan Pierce and her husband, Jordan, love to visit local restaurants.

“Frog Hollow is always our first choice when we are looking for a really special experience," she says. "The food is unmatched in quality and taste, and we love that the atmosphere has a local flair. Their dish pairings are unique, often bringing unexpected flavors together. With many of their menu items being seasonal, it’s always fun to see what is new each time we go.”

Although reservations are not required, they are strongly encouraged.

Cork and Flame

In 2018, wine merchant Roger Strohl and Chef Justin Hayes came together to create Cork and Flame, a unique dining experience that pairs an expansive retail wine market with fine dining fare cooked over oak or hickory.  

Building on local and regional ingredients, Chef Justin Hayes creates progressive American dishes with touches of haute cuisine and international flair. 

“Our menu is mostly gluten-free, and we have the largest vegetarian and vegan menu in the area," General Manager Jessica Baskette says. "Our signature dishes include Wild Mushroom Gnocchi and an a la carte menu featuring prime cuts of beef…all of which guests can enjoy watching our chefs prepare in the open-hearth kitchen featuring two Argentinian-style grills.”   

The wine menu consists of more than 2,800 bottles of wine, and weekly wine tastings on Friday and Saturday nights provide added flair to a traditional date night.

“My husband and I first went to Cork & Flame for our anniversary dinner,” says Amy Miller. “The service was impeccable; the food and wine were amazing. It has an inviting atmosphere.”

Cork and Flame is located in Evans on Evans to Locks Road. Reservations are highly encouraged, but not required.

Manuel’s Bread Café

Located in Hammond’s Ferry, this North Augusta gem was born out of owner Manuel Verney Carron’s desire to open “a typical French café that you would find anywhere in Europe.” 

At the café, you’ll find classic French fares such as beef burgundy, croque-monsieur, and steak frites. You’ll also find dishes created using local and seasonal products, some as local as the Blue Clay Farm right next door!

“We took over the Blue Clay Farm a year after opening the restaurant in 2008," Manuel says. "It was a natural progression for us, as it allows us to grow some of our vegetables, herbs, fruits, and olives that we use in the restaurant.”

Thea Barry says that she and her husband, Jeramy, “love going to Manuel’s Bread Café for a special date night! The atmosphere is cozy and inviting. Every time we’re there, we feel like we’re out of own on a getaway. We love their farm-to-table-style food. The ingredients are fresh, and the meals are always creatively executed. Oh, and their salted chocolate cake might be one of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted.”

Reservations are highly recommended.


An Augusta tradition for more than 40 years, Calvert’s at Surrey Center has been the date night destination for a countless number of couples. Slip into the cozy, romantic atmosphere for an amazing fine dining experience. Choose from any number of decadent dishes to satisfy your cravings, including Cedar Plank Roasted Scottish Salmon, Lobster Savannah or one of their hand-cut steaks. 

“When we opened 43 years ago,” Craig Calvert says, “we wanted to be unique and offer delicious French-style recipes. I guess that hasn’t changed much over the years.”

We imagine that is precisely why couples return—to enjoy the great food and excellent service that Calvert’s consistently delivers. 

Kyle and Mary Martha Howell have been going to Calvert’s every year for their anniversary dinner for 36 years.

“When we were new to the area in 1983," Kyle says, "Calvert’s was recommended to us as the place to go for our special occasions. Whether as a couple for our anniversary (we just went there for our 44th!) or with a group of friends, the service, excellent food and conversation and encouraging atmosphere have never disappointed. We love it!”

Reservations are recommended. 706.738.4514