Dining spots don’t get much more romantic than Coup des Tartes (4626 N. 16th St., 602/212-1082, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 5:30–10:30 p.m. Tues.–Sat., $16–34). The bungalow that houses this delightful French bistro looks unassuming from the outside, but its cozy interior is pitch-perfect for first dates, anniversaries, and all manner of intimate meals. The menu changes regularly but almost always includes classic treatments of lamb, duck, and fish. If summer chicken is on the menu, don’t hesitate. Its mix of herbs and citrus is the perfect pick-me-up for hot summer days. Two other “don’ts”: Don’t forget the restaurant’s BYOB policy, and don’t skimp on the appetizers or desserts. The cheese plate and house-made tarts are good enough to make you and your date swoon.
Christopher’s (2502 E. Camelback Rd., 602/522-2344, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. daily, $12–28) recently re-emerged with a hip look and a new locale at the Biltmore Fashion Park—and it seems the change has reinvigorated its creator, James Beard Award–winning chef Christopher Gross. The French bistro-inspired menu still includes his cult favorites—red bell pepper soup, goat cheese salad, foie gras, specialty pizzas—but he’s debuted a more casual side at the restaurant’s Crush Lounge, where you get half off the menu during happy hour (3–6 p.m.). Give the vanilla-dusted scallops, shallot rings, mac ’n’ cheese au gratin, and bowls of sweet, truffled, and curried fries a try.