With Valentine’s Day approaching, our inner romantics can’t help but ponder the love rush that comes with enjoying a superb meal in an amorous ambiance.
New York City is many things, romantic one of them. So we thought we’d take a look at six of the most romantic restaurants in New York in honor of the forthcoming Valentine’s Day or any time you find you and your better half find yourself in search of a little amore in the city that never sleeps.
1. The River Café
This magical Dumbo institution has been nestled under the Brooklyn Bridge since 1977 and shows no sign of slowing down. This one-star-Michelin-rated gem is one of the more luxurious options, but we assure you the first-rate seafood-centric refined American cuisine is worth the splurge. Book for dinner to enjoy the mesmerizing views of the twinkling Manhattan, its reflection dancing on the East River. Gentlemen should pack a jacket (required) and tie (preferred) for the occasion. Website
2. Candle 79
At this Upper-East-Side vegan restaurant, one of the best in America, even the most skeptical omnivores will eat well. This two-level townhouse couples polished, though comfy feel-at-home ambiance with tranquil vibes that will put you in the mood to snuggle up cozily beside your beloved on the couch for a post-dinner cuddle. Don’t miss the Seitan Picatta and the smoked and the Moroccan spiced chickpea cake. Website
3. Il Buco
Il Buco is without a doubt a new classic. This 25-years- the young restaurant has never gone out of style since the day it opened, alluring patrons with its old world charm. Once upon a time–before it became the antique shop cum restaurant it is today–, this former saloon was frequented by the likes of Edgar Allen Poe The intimate wine cellar feels as if you’re being let in on a secret, and it’s definitely a romantic nook to enjoy the meal. Italian and Mediterranean flavors comprise the ever-changing menu, and if you’re a pasta person, make sure to savor some here. Website
4. La Grenouille
Oh là là! Nothing says I love you like a dinner at La Grenouille. Plushed red velvet meets brocade walls meets colorful–and at times towering– floral arrangements meets celestial illumination at this enduring midtown mainstay. The Masson family’s landmark restaurant opened its doors in 1962 is the last of the French restaurants of yore that dominated New York’s dining scene…and what’s more romantic than a French restaurant? At once old-fashioned and contemporary, Le Grenouille has managed to adapt and stay relevant while keeping its integrity. Be sure to try the Les Quenelles and La Sole Grillée, two menu items that have withstood the test of time. Gentlemen: don’t forget your jacket. Website
5. One if by land, two if by sea
This twinking candlelit hideaway is concealed inside a landmarked carriage house built in 1767. Named for the secret signal immortalized in Longfellow’s poem The Minute Ride of Paul Revere, the restaurant features many of the buildings original features. Exposed brick walls and dark wood floors are enhanced by a live piano player and two softly crackling fireplaces to result in a purely enchanting ambiance. The beef wellington, which is on the tasting menu, is the signature dish. Interesting fact for history buffs, pop-culture enthusiasts and believers of the supernatural: The carriage house was once owned by former vice president Aaron Burr who quite infamously killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Burr’s ghost has been said to roam around the premises. Website
Because, again, anything French is automatically romantic by association, we couldn’t resist including this time-honored Soho bistro. With its dim lighting, white tablecloths, edgy artwork, and retro vibes, the restaurant is just as snazzy now as it was when it opened in 1975. If those walls could talk! Sex and the City fans will recognize the restaurant as the backdrop (sans the dangling magenta balloon ribbons) for Carrie and Miranda’s friendly-turned-feisty Valentine’s Dinner in the movie version, so if it was romantic enough for Carrie and Miranda, it’s romantic enough for us. The steak au poivre is the dish to eat here as is the burger. The latter is, however, only available at the bar and the chef only prepares 12 per evening. So lovebirds who share a fondness for burgers should arrive early to savor one together. Website