Valentine's day is the biggest date night day of the year. Couples everywhere are either going out or staying in — either way, dinner plans are a must. If you like to cook, then making dinner is a good idea. It is a romantic gesture that will also help you get away from the hectic restaurants. For some, this holiday is a chance to get out of the kitchen and go somewhere new to eat.

Eating In

Cooking is always fun, whether it is a surprise for your significant other or if you decide to cook together. Not everyone is a Rachael Ray in the kitchen — the many burnt mac and cheese meals can vouch for that — but not to worry, there are plenty of meals that are easy and can still have that love cooked right in.

A classic spaghetti and meatball meal is romantic and easy for a quick meal to make. If you want something a little fancier, another Italian favorite that isn’t too difficult is a chicken parmesan.

Many shrimp recipes are not too difficult or bank breaking either. One calls for only one stick of butter, cut up lemon and Italian seasoning and is baked for 15 minutes at 350 F. Put that over some pasta with olive oil on it and you will look like a kitchen hero to your sweetheart.

Dining Out

Sometimes cooking is just not something you want to spend your time on, which on a holiday like this is perfectly acceptable. Going out to eat is always fun, but be sure to plan in advance for this night out.

Tables at nice restaurants will be taken early so making reservations or at least having a plan is a good idea. Gentlemen, take your ladies out to a sit down restaurant. A drive-thru happy meal won't cut it for this date night.

A nice steak dinner at Texas Roadhouse or West Towne Pub could be a good, casual meal that still shows you want to do something good for your date. If you are looking for something nicer, there is always Fuji Japanese Steakhouse or Okoboji Grill. Do not forget about the ever-popular Hickory Park, or you could go to The Café, a smaller quaint restaurant in Somerset Village, north of campus on Stange Road. For a fancier, slightly more expensive dinner, try Plus 39, Aunt Maude's, Dublin Bay or Olde Main.

When calling to make your reservation, make sure to ask if they are offering any specials for Valentine's Day.

It doesn’t matter if you want to surprise your significant other by taking them somewhere nice or by making a delicious meal for them, or if you make your dinner plans together — what matters is being together. Spend this Valentine's Day bonding over your new favorite meal, by either finding a new recipe to cook together or finding your new favorite restaurant.

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