First thing's first: what does "romantic" really mean? According to my good friend Merriam-Webster, it can be defined a number of different ways. But the best explanation I found is that for something to be romantic it should be "marked by expressions of love or affection."

Personally, I believe that romance is in the eye of the beholder. A bouquet of French fries is a romantic gift for me, but some people would rather get a box of chocolates instead. To each their own, right? Regardless, someone clearly thought they had the whole romance thing figured out, because a list was made a list of the 25 most romantic cities in the US for 2017 on OpenTable. 

Just because Valentine's Day is only once a year doesn't mean that you can't still have fancy date nights with your boo. Here are 10 restaurants in some of these romantic cities that are ideal to "express love and affection" in. 

1. Miami Beach, FL: Cecconi's 

Look at those lights. Ambience is everything. It almost wouldn't even matter what you were eating at Cecconi's because you'd be dining under these fairytale-like conditions. But their food is great too; they're particularly famous for their menu of decedent Italian dishes.

2. Baltimore, MD: Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Meat lovers, this one is definitely for you. The food choices here definitely lean towards the traditional side—surf and turf, anyone?—but there's nothing wrong with sticking to the classics. With a collection of 100 wines, Fleming's brings a whole new meaning to "wining and dining." 

3. Chicago, IL: Geja's Cafe

It's probably next to impossible to score a table at this restaurant, because it's rated amongst the top 100 most romantic in America. But you have to at least try to score a table for the sake of the chocolate and cheese fondues. 

 4. Nashville, TN: Etch

Etch is super trendy and super expensive, to boot. I'd try to go during happy hour—at least your drinks will be affordable. But the food is apparently worth every penny.

#SpoonTip: When you purchase the roasted cauliflower appetizer, a portion of the price gets donated to a food bank. Now it's really worth those pennies, right?

5. Richmond, VA: La Grotta

Gnocchi, linguine, fettuccine, oh my. Brush up on your Italian and get ready to recreate that famous "Lady and the Tramp" pasta scene with your S.O. This place is so genuinely authentic that you can consider yourself saving the money for a plane ticket to Italy by dining at La Grotta instead.

6. Philadelphia, PA: Max Brenner 

Tallie Gabrie

Who cares if you have a date or not, because more importantly, this menu is entirely chocolate-based. You could go by your damn self and probably still feel like you're having a romantic night.

7. Austin, TX: Roaring Fork

Roaring Fork's style is inspired by the Old West, which doesn't usually inspire sexy thoughts, I know. But don't underestimate a little dim lighting; even in a rugged atmosphere it can really make for an nice, intimate dinner for two. 

8. Atlanta, GA: Canoe 

It's already gotten Alton Brown's seal of approval as a prime date night location, so I'm sold. But if you need extra convincing, the restaurant is right on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. Just imagine how gorgeous that view is all lit up at night, as you sit across from that special someone. I'm swooning already.

9. Lahaina, HI: Leilani's on the Beach

If there's a restaurant that isn't automatically made more romantic by placing it in Hawaii, I'd be surprised. It's almost not fair to put it on this list because the aesthetic of Leilani's is just unreal. Sipping Mai Tais on an exotic beach as the sun sets, listening to the sweet melodies of Hawaiian folk music? Sign me up.

10. St. Louis, MO: Scape 

Like I said before, ambience is so important for a successful romantic date night and this spot has got it, and then some. With its famous courtyard patio, Scape creates the ideal atmosphere for a sophisticated night out. Think Gossip Girl meets St. Louis; Blair and Chuck would be all over a spot like this. 

You can check out the full list of cities here. But seriously, don't wait until Valentine's Day to show your special someone that you care about them; every day is a chance to express a little love and affection.