If you’ve ever jostled your way into Giorgio’s Pizza during the lunch rush, confused about where, exactly, to stand in line and whether you are the one currently being barked at to place an order, the first thing on your mind was probably not romance. But after work, as the sun starts to drop low, the popular pizzeria ups the amore factor. Staffers dim the lights that, by day, glare onto the laminated tables and well-trod tile flooring. Track lights illuminate recently installed murals depicting the kind of lush Italian scenery you wish you could jump right into, Mary Poppins–style. It’s around this time that you might suddenly notice the flowers that were always on each table, if only you’d taken time out of your hectic lunch half–hour to stop and smell them (OK, they're plastic, but still). And the ultimate ingredient for dinner, Italian–style—red wine—is just $20 a bottle.
“We get romantic here after 6,” says owner Giorgio Migliaccio.
Hey, if White Castle has successfully positioned itself as a Valentine’s Day hotspot, why can’t a pizza joint beloved by the lunch crowd for its New York–style slices become a date-night destination? Those slices are on special during happy hour, by the way—from 5 to 8 p.m., $4.95 gets you a piece of pizza and a beer. In the last couple of weeks, Giorgio’s has added several popular brews, but the biggest hits remain the Italian labels: Birra Moretti and Peroni.
Vino options remain limited for now: house chianti and house pinot grigio. A glass of either, plus a generous hunk of house-made lasagna, garlic bread, and a bowl of the salad that has something of a cult following, rings in under $15—not bad for dinner downtown. “On weekends, we’ve been getting the symphony crowd,” says manager Damiano Perillo. Pizza and Tchaikovsky, as will be performed at the Hilbert Circle Theatre—with guest Joshua Bell, no less—on May 6 and 7? Perfetto.
As summer evenings turn balmy, you and your date might forgo the mood lighting in favor of snagging a table outside to dine with a view of Monument Circle. And if, as the night whiles away, the moon should happen to hit your eye? That’s … well, you know.