Cheap Date: American in Paris

North Dallas' Café de France serves toned-down French food, specials aplenty

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The per-person dinner costs on the long list of options for Valentine's Day in DFW might get you down, if you don't have a triple-digit date budget. We recommend Café de France, a casual little spot on Preston that gets the low lighting right and isn't short on sweet tokens for special occasions (our mom was pleased to be handed a carnation by a manager on Mother's Day once).

Simple comfort plates like Chicken Kiev and Linguini Carbonara won't please connoisseurs of French gourmet, but they're a few strides past La Madeline in taste and presentation. And the crepes are reliable and filling -- a vegetarian option, even, which isn't very French at all, we admit.

The digs are as cozy as the food, and love doesn't cost much here: each Monday, Café de France hosts Date Night, with dinner for two, soup or salad, house wine and dessert for $29.99. Folks at de France add excitedly that on Valentine's Day, diners can choose from a chicken, sole, shrimp or veal dish on a special menu, enjoy soup or salad and dessert for only $19.99 per person.

We like the idea of remembering the time we had and not the check we were handed. Just don't forget reservations, tables fill quickly on Date Night.

Café de France
17370 Preston Rd.
(972) 733-3400

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