10 Super-Romantic Restaurants Across Americaby Nikki Metzgar on February 02, 2012
Romance is sort of like chocolate chip cookies–everyone has a recipe they swear by. But whether you’re a Vandross guy or John Mayer gal, the dating formula always requires meals together–some of them identifiably romantic, if things are going well. And though not enough credit is given to the amorous effects of an out of the way sno-cone stand, a candlelit, sit-down dinner for two really has no peer.
Romantic restaurants usually share a few similar qualities. Dim lighting is a must, close enough quarters for hand-holding are probable and stunning views are likely. Food, of course, must be taken into consideration, as it’s difficult to get in the mood when confronted with a scalded bisque or underdone game hen.
1. 2941 Restaurant – Washington, DC
This Fall Church neighborhood restaurant is frequently being called upon as a venue for weddings and anniversary celebrations. That’s not surprising considering its woodsy location, stunning koi ponds and waterfalls and soaring ceilings that always make an impact. The long dessert list entitled “Naughty” definitely has the right idea.
2. One if By Land, Two if By Sea – New York City, NY
There may be no plusher restaurant in the entire world than this New York classic, an ideal place to hide away with a significant other since 1972. Fireplaces, exposed brick and velvety seats form a warm love nest in which to enjoy extravagant foie gras and duck dinners to the gentle sounds of the resident pianist.
3. Casa Tua – Miami, FL
At this intimate restaurant attached to a Mediterranean style guesthouse, glowing lanterns hang from trees, outdoor tables are nestled amongst a resplendent garden and inside, the 20-seat Chef’s table is treated to a view into the kitchen. Hopefully you find big eaters alluring, because the seared branzino for two is a masterpiece of the upscale Italian menu.
4. River’s End Restaurant – Sonoma County, CA
Stunning views are a trademark of romantic restaurants, and this seafood spot’s location on the edge of the Russian River is unparalleled. Time your meal for sunset over the Pacific Ocean, open a bottle of regional wine and don’t be surprised when your date pops the question.
5. Inn at Dos Brisas – Washington, TX
Located in the rolling hills between Houston and Austin, this 300-acre certified organic farm and resort is home to a Relais & Châteaux designated restaurant that can serve you and your significant other both a farm-fresh, eight-course chef’s tasting in the white tablecloth dining room and a romantic picnic lunch for you to take on horseback.
6. The Vineyards Restaurant at Garden Ridge – San Antonio, TX
The junipers and limestone ledges make the grounds of this vineyard absolutely stunning, while the restaurant itself is quaint and homey. Dine on Texas-style prime rib and glazed pork tenderloin in the candlelit wine cellar or outside in the rose garden under the blazing stars of the night sky.
7. Nostrana – Portland, OR
Whereas many of the restaurants on this list excel at jaw-dropping views, this inviting Italian restaurant specializes in timelessly romantic snuggle-inducing coziness. The pasta is considered some of the best outside of Italy, perfect for those Lady and the Tramp inspired kissing moments, and Chef Cathy Whim’s butterscotch budino is famously addictive.
8. Everest – Chicago, IL
They don’t stage Hollywood engagement scenes at restaurants like this for no reason. Located 40 floors up at the top of the Chicago Stock Exchange, diners are privileged to a west view of the city. Chef Jean Joho’s refined fare is interpretive French, a cuisine famous for it’s ardent qualities.
9. The Little Door – Los Angeles, CA
Whether noshing by the fireplace or in the enchanted garden, every seat in this space practically bursting with charm is equally pleasant. The Mediterranean-inspired menu will keep you light on your feet, which is perfect for whatever comes after the date.
10. Wisteria – Atlanta, GA
With exposed brick walls and a centerpiece bar, this Inman Park restaurant from Chef Jason Hill is classy without being stuffy. That’s helpful when you’re trying to be yourself on a date, and the Southern-inflected food and thoughtful wine list will similarly keep you in high spirits.