by Alley Leto
photography by Julie Soefer

I have been married for over 11 years. By no means does that make me a marriage expert. However, I am confident to say, that I have learned a thing or two along the way.

Trust me, I get it! I have been there and am still there sometimes. It can be challenge to get out the door for date nights BUT I can almost promise you this. If you make the time as soon as you sit ALONE with your spouse, without kids and away from home, something happens. It’s

like a big puff of fresh air that comes into your relationship giving it NEW life. Helping to reconnect you to one another. Which is important to keep your relationship on a healthy path.

I would like to encourage you to dedicate one night a month for just you and your spouse. Where you DON’T chat about bills or kids. Instead, you chat more about your interests, goals and how to make your relationship better and stronger. Sounds silly, but it has been working for us and hope it can work for you too.

For our first date of the year, we decided to try out the new Houston gem that has been all over social media, Emmaline. Emmaline opened its doors in Dec 2017, and has quickly made a name for itself among some of the best restaurants in the Houston scene. Its elegant laid back feel, along with the staff’s genuine hospitality, make it a perfect approachable neighborhood restaurant. Walking through the doors you instantly feel a sense of comfort. Realizing quickly that this will be a dining experience unlike any other.

The bright and airy, garden themed-inspired, restaurant was creatively designed by Ashley Putnam. The restaurant is laid out in a way where the guest can select several different seating options. Guests can sit at the large open bar located at the heart of the restaurant, or the tables set alongside the soaring windows in the main dining area, the sun room at the front of the restaurant is another option, as well as the secluded booth tables behind the bar area, the beautiful outdoor patios that are located on 1st and 2nd levels of the restaurant make for a great outdoor time with friends and family.

When it comes to the menu, Emmaline is an American restaurant with European influence. Their menu offers plenty of American classics along with Mediterranean options.
Starters like, asparagus and prosciutto, sea scallop carpaccio, fontina fondu or daily meat and cheese boards are just to name a few.
Main dishes like, wood-fired cioppino bianco, steamed mediterranean sea bass, roasted organic chicken, butcher’s cut steak fritti, and agnolotti are some options that are made with seasonal ingredients in their open wood -fire kitchen.

The high attention paid to the quality of the ingredients combined with its wonderful presentation make it a mouthwatering experience.  The vintage dining ware also add a special elegant touch to the meal. The mis-matched plates add to the relaxed feel of the restaurant. Classy but not pretentious.
The service was outstanding. The staff was knowledgeable in both food and wine. The wine list featured approximately 200 reasonably priced selections all curated by Sam Governale, operating manager of Emmaline.

Sam Governale industry veteran, has a clear vision for the restaurant as “a commitment to our neighbors to be, very simply, a place where we will genuinely care for the well-being of our guests while offering a home-away-from-home experience.”

Emmaline is a restaurant with rich purpose to bringing people together over a shared meal or drink. The feeling of genuine hospitality spreads throughout the staff and into the dining atmosphere. Making for a memorable date night.

Emmaline is located at 3210 West Dallas Street Houston, TX 77019. 

Open for lunch and dinner, Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday to Saturday open until midnight.  Brunch on Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sunday Table, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Kids menu.

Dog Friendly Patio and Valet Parking Available.

Reservations and other info, visit:

Meet Alley!

Houston Lifestyle, Digital Marketer,
Wife, Mama to 3 kids and a new puppy,
Living life with love, hope and faith.


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