When it comes to date ideas, there's a good reason "dinner and a movie" has remained ever a popular choice. Also, we have plenty of great restaurants to choose from in East Texas and thus it will and should continue to be so. However, it you have a date and you'd like to do something a tad out of the ordinary, may I suggest a refreshed version? A 2.0, if you will? Cook the meal yourself and pair it with a movie that complements it nicely.

So, it's just a truth that if you prepare a meal yourself for a date, there will be an automatic "impressed" factor going on--especially if you're good at it. But even if you're not a Gordon Ramsey, or even close, just making the effort is sure to garner a level of respect and admiration. Trust me on this.

On top of that, you can make it extra special by doing a theme. Heck, you don't have to be cheesy about this. (I mean, cheese is good...add all the cheese.) I mean metaphorically. ;) Also, you can keep it simple. For example, I have long enjoyed preparing and serving a particular kind of cuisine that pairs nicely with a particular film. It could be as simple as pairing your simple-to-prepare spaghetti dish with a nice red wine and the Godfather series. You get extra points if you cook while listening to Pavarotti or something similar.

However, there are films from all over the world that you can watch with a complementary dinner choice. Are you a grill-master and prefer good old BBQ? Go for it. Pair with your favorite draft and watch Lonesome Dove or Tombstone or...you get the idea.

Love Japanese animation? Try your hand at homemade sushi. Even if it bombs, it would still be a fun memory giving it a go. Leaning toward a more romantic evening? France is always a good inspiration here. There are tons of French films to pair with even a simple meal. Heck, even just fresh baked bread, wine, and cheese works for this. The world's the limit. Have fun with it. Have fun with your date. If they'd like to participate, then all the better. The point is to spend time with someone in whom you have interest or already love.

Bon Appétit and enjoy the movie. ;)