Table for Two: Michael Corvino and Christina Eldridge

For these culinary couples, dining out is all about feeding creativity – and the occasional burger from a greasy spoon. Here’s where Chef Michael Corvino and Christina Eldridge go to celebrate their mutual love of food.

Story by Kimberly Winter Stern

Michael Corvino and Christina Eldridge, The American Restaurant

Food is a common ground for dynamic lovebirds Michael Corvino and Christina Eldridge, who met on a sparkly romantic New Year’s Eve 2013 at The Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange.

“I mean, can you imagine me dating someone who only eats mac-n-cheese or chicken fingers?” laughs Corvino, The American’s celebrated executive chef. “That would be weird.”

Corvino and Eldridge, the beautiful inside-and-out entrepreneur who co-founded Red Dirt Shop—which sells goods and accessories that help support clean water access for people in need—fueled the early days of their courtship with craft cocktails at Manifesto and dinner at Novel.

“I honestly don’t remember that first meal at Novel,” Corvino says. “I know the food was good, I was just concentrating on everything but that.”

Corvino moved to town from Dallas in the summer of 2013 and wasted no time in establishing bestie status with fellow chefs Howard Hanna, Ryan Brazeal, Patrick Ryan and Colby Garrelts. It’s natural when scheduling date night with Eldridge to reserve a table at one of his friend’s restaurants where the couple dines on dishes such as Port Fonda’s queso fundido (“Sinful,” says Corvino) and bubbles at Ça Va (“My choice of wine”).

When Corvino and Eldridge wrap up dinner, there’s always a dessert course. “I don’t believe in skipping dessert—the pastry program in a restaurant is what takes it to the next level,” he says. “I always order multiple things. You gain perspective that way.”

Mexican mañana. The couple loves to brunch at Port Fonda. “We order way too much food—I treat a meal at Patrick’s (Ryan) place like I’m sitting at Nobu. And we share everything.”

Dinner à deux. Date night favorites are The Rieger, Novel, Bluestem and, yes, The American. “I’ve taken a night off from working at my restaurant to take Christina there.”