Jtk originally introduced "date night" as a way to bring diners in on slow Monday nights.

The response to it was tremendous. So much so, the Haymarket restaurant quickly turned every night into date night.

For $50, couples can enjoy an appetizer, two entrees with soup or salad, a dessert and a bottle of wine.

Sure, you can still order off the menu, which includes jtk's signature kobe beef, but the entrees executive chef Andrew Spilker has created for date nights are hard to beat: shoulder tenderloin, stuffed chicken breast, lemon shrimp, etc.

It's why, coupled with the restaurant's cozy atmosphere, jtk topped my top five list for romantic destinations. Date nights also are big reasons why the restaurant ranks No. 3 in my final five.

Jason Kuhr, a West Point native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate, opened jtk in 2007 in the train station, the site where J. Finnegan's used to be. His initials -- his middle name is Travis -- make up the restaurant's name.

He now co-owns jtk with Tyler Mohr, whose wine knowledge helped jtk gain recognition by Wine Spectator. Impressive.

Kuhr also owns and operates Main St. Cafe in downtown Lincoln. His two eateries are completely different. Main St. is a lunch spot and popular college hangout, with lines snaking down O Street on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

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Jtk is a quiet bistro, emphasizing food, service and atmosphere. The menu is an appetizing mix of beef, pork, chicken and seafood, with prices ranging from $15 to $30. My only knock against the menu is a lack of vegetarian entrees.

When jtk opened, I wrote that my first experience at the restaurant was "sublime." Nothing has changed. Adding the inexpensive date-night menu has made the eatery even more appealing.

I suggest spending some time at the restaurant. You won't be disappointed. Before you leave, order the pumpkin vanilla panna cotta. It's a must-try dessert.

Reach Jeff Korbelik at 402-473-7213 or jkorbelik@journalstar.com, or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jeffkorbelik.


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