Romance and Revelry in Gallery Place, Sept 13-Nov 6 2016

Romeo and Juliet is onstage Tuesdays to Saturdays, Sep 13 – Nov 6. Top ticket price $121.

In fair Gallery Place do we set our scene with so many reasons to visit you can slide into this evening seamlessly after a day of touring in the vicinity. We’ve selected a classic play of young love, set loosely in Italy, and found some excellent old-world haunts in one of our fave revitalized DC neighborhoods, perfect for a date night.

Savor Italian food in surroundings fancy or familial. As you walk the few blocks to the theater, sharing the sidewalk with all of Washington life, look for signs of young, smitten love. Then take your seats at the theater and turn your thoughts to forbidden romance, passionate fights, and narrowly missed opportunities to save our doomed hero & heroine. Carouse afterwards with elegant cocktails and enjoy the fact that no stars have crossed you this evening. (Metro: Gallery Place/Chinatown or Archives/Navy Memorial)

Indulge in a luxurious meal at Fiola, where the food is as lovely to see as to taste and the service makes you feel like a visiting dignitary. The menu fits on a single page – only the dishes the chefs have the best ingredients and inspiration for on the day you arrive. The cuisine draws on the most flavorful all regions of Italy have to offer. We particularly recommend anything that includes seafood and pasta. Most meals are priced by number of courses and always include dessert. The wine selection is exceptional and the bar also turns out delicious, fanciful cocktails and even a few custom-made soft drinks. Whatever you choose, you’ll leave happy and impressed. (601 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004 202-628-2888 fioladc.com)

For a much less spendy but still tasty Italian meal, try Carmine’s, a comfortable and friendly place just across the street from your show. All the food here is served family style. One pasta dish with a side vegetable would be a satisfying meal for two and may leave you with some to carry away. We particularly recommend linguini with ragu for meat eaters or garlic and oil for vegetarians. On the off chance that you’re doing this evening with a larger group, we suggest a rule of two dishes for every three people. Their house red and white wines serve as fine complements to the meal. There are also always a few good draft beers on offer and the bar can create basic cocktails. (425 7th St NW, Washington, DC 202-737-7770 carminesnyc.com/locations/washington-dc)

Romeo and Juliet – a play about young lovers you probably first read when you were a young lover – could there be a better date-play? A little bird (actually a little playwright we sat next to at dinner recently) tells us the visual design of this production will be stunning. The cast of 25 actors will create dramatic crowd scenes, a spectacle that will thrill in this show. In great productions of this play, which this one promises to be, you almost believe that tonight the kids are going to live happily-ever-after, making the end a surprise even when it’s exactly what you expect. (Shakespeare Theatre Company at the Lansburgh 450 7th St NW, Washington, DC 202-547-1122 shakespearetheatre.org/events/romeo-and-juliet-16-17)

Toast the fallen and the promise for a peaceful future at Oyamel. There’s a late night menu of flavor packed bites in case you ate lightly at dinner. Tequila and mescal rule the bar with plenty of other variety to suit your tastes. How did seeing the performance tonight make you feel differently about this play than you did back in high school? (401 7th St NW, Washington, DC)

Insider Tip for true immersion: Earlier in the day, visit renaissance Europe at the National Gallery of Art in rooms 15-19 where you will see tapestries and sculptures that could have graced a classy home in Verona. It’s one of our favorite corners of this fantastic museum.