A little candlelight is no substitute for spark, but these heady restaurants, outdoor tableaux and fun date destinations can certainly help bring the heat.
Romantic restaurants: Little Serow Forgo the menu and perhaps forget the whole idea of white-tablecloth dining, and just give yourselves over to this basement nook where servers in dainty '50s housedresses and one of the city's best chefs ship out course after course of hot, sour cuisine from the Issan region of Northern Thailand on plates meant not only to be shared, but to be sopped up. At $45 a person, dining at Little Serow is a relative bargain, but reservations aren't accepted; would-be diners must wait it out for seating. Improve your odds by trying a weeknight. (1511 17th St. NW. www.littleserow.com.) Scott Suchman for The Washington Post Buy Photo