The 25 Most Romantic Restaurants in NYC for Your Next Date Night
Love is in the air! Whether you’re planning for Valentine’s Day (which is right around the corner, by the way), or trying to make your upcoming date night extra special, we’ve got you covered. In a city with abundant dining options, it can be hard to filter and find the perfect spot, so lovebirds, you’re in the right place. No matter what you’re in the mood for—or what relationship stage you’re in—we’ve rounded up the most charming, intimate, elegant spots in the Big Apple. From classic Italian to Asian fusion, cozy indoor dining to heated garden spaces, make your rendezvous count with the 25 most romantic restaurants in NYC.
Note: Proof of vaccination required to dine indoors in NYC.
Take your date to this unsuspecting Greenwich Village art gallery to discover it’s hiding quite the chic surprise: an exclusive, 14-seat counter surrounding an open stainless-steel kitchen. The modern French tasting menu—which costs $158 per person—changes seasonally, incorporating a blend of the chef’s and restauranteur’s backgrounds: Brazilian and Portuguese, respectively. The gallery is currently showing “Basquiat – A Portrait,” an exhibition by New York photographer Richard Corman. Frevo is reservation-only, so be sure to plan ahead.
48 W 8th St; frevonyc.com
2. Bar Blondeau
New Yorkers know there’s nothing more romantic than the city skyline—and this new Williamsburg French-style bar has one of the best views in the borough. With signature cocktails, frozen drinks, zero-proof beverages, a seafood-forward menu and unobstructed views of Manhattan from the sixth floor of the Wythe Hotel, it seems like an obvious pick. And weather permitting, you can even enjoy your meal on the outdoor terrace for that extra fairytale finesse. For Valentine's Day, Bar Blondeau is offering a special three-course, prix-fixe menu for $90 per person.
80 Wythe Ave., 6th Floor, Brooklyn; barblondeau.com
3. Ai Fiori
Ai Fiori, which translates to “among the flowers” in Italian, serves modern interpretations of French and Italian Riviera cuisine from the second floor of the Langham Hotel on Fifth Avenue. With over 1,000 selections on their award-winning wine list, seasonal ingredients and signature handmade pastas, the restaurant is sure to impress. For Valentine’s Day weekend, enjoy a seven-course tasting menu, and for an extra special evening, upgrade your reservation by pre-ordering house-made bonbons or flowers to be presented to your date.
400 5th Ave. #2; aifiorinyc.com
4. Le Bernardin
If you’re looking for high-end, Le Bernardin’s three Michelin stars speak for themselves—making it one of only seven restaurants in NYC with such an accolade. Enjoy a refined approach to seafood with the simple philosophy that “the fish is the star of the plate.” This Valentine’s Day, Le Bernardin is offering a multi-course prix-fixe menu in the salon or a Chef’s Tasting Menu in the main dining room.
155 W 51st St; le-bernardin.com
For a more casual Bohemian vibe, take your sweetheart to this Mediterranean oasis on the Fort Greene-Clinton Hill border. Open since 2005, Olea serves tapas, brunch, sangria and seemingly endless dips and sides in a quaint, plant-filled tavern with a romantic, heated, covered sidewalk veranda. Our favorite: the sautéed shrimp appetizer, which comes Spanish style, French style or Greek style. Olea also serves vegan and gluten-free options, in case you or your date has dietary restrictions.
171 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn; oleabrooklyn.com
Greenpoint’s MADRE focuses on contemporary dining through a lens of rich heritage and hospitality (i.e., the ideal date spot). Located in Franklin Guesthouse, a boutique hotel, the restaurant offers exceptional wines, craft cocktails and vibrant shareable meals. The space’s clean design incorporates old, new, and natural elements to create an elevated yet approachable ambiance. Pro tip: Stop by during happy hour on Wednesday, Thursday or Sunday for $2 oysters.
214 Franklin St., Brooklyn; madrenyc.com
7. Dowling’s at The Carlyle
The legendary Upper East Side hotel, a facet of the iconic NYC skyline, just opened its newest fine dining establishment, Dowling’s, in October 2021. The menu features interpretations of timeless New York favorites with an emphasis on tableside preparations, which is guaranteed to wow your date. This Valentine’s Day, enjoy four new specials: Dungeness crab cocktail with avocado and ginger-scallion vinaigrette; lobster scrambled eggs with caviar, lemon creme fraiche and rye toast (brunch only); filet mignon rossini with pomme fondant; and seared Hudson Valley foie gras, shaved black truffle and red wine jus. For dessert, dive into a decadent chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce—with your spoon, of course.
35 E 76th St; rosewoodhotels.com
Nestled in Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill neighborhood, Bijan’s is a hidden gem serving up unique craft cocktails and an array of American, Mediterranean and Persian-inspired food (think lamb burgers, pastas, flatbreads and salads). With a hip, artsy atmosphere and a wood-burning fireplace, it’s a great change of pace for a special anniversary or just a cozy date night. For couples, owner Jahan recommends the Persian Kiss cocktail, with Prosecco and pomegranate juice. Muah!
81 Hoyt St, Brooklyn; bijansbrooklyn.com
One of the newer additions to Greenpoint’s dining scene, this French bistro and cocktail bar serves up charming nods to Paris with vintage Citroën posters, white-tiled walls and reclaimed-wood tables. With an expansive heated, covered sidewalk patio with gazebos and mylar heat retention space blankets, it’s lovely even in chilly weather or for those not comfortable eating indoors. Stop by on Valentine’s Day for complimentary Girl Scout Cookies alongside plenty of red roses, candlelight and a curated love song playlist.
931 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn; citroengreenpoint.com
10. Jack & Charlie’s No. 118
This elevated West Village establishment, located in a historic, landmarked building, was created as a “love letter to old New York”—and it doesn’t get much more romantic than that. Adorned with dark wood and rich modern finishes, the restaurant gives an air of elegance and warmth. With creative takes on raw bar oysters and shellfish, handmade pastas, wood-fired meats and seafood, Jack & Charlie’s No. 118 boasts four distinct dining spaces that all offer different moods, so it’s sure to fit the bill for whatever the occasion.
118 Greenwich Ave.; jackandcharlies118.com
11. Atlantic Grill
If you’re an NYC foodie, you’ve probably heard of Atlantic Grill in Lincoln Square. The lively Mediterranean seafood eatery just steps from Central Park has reopened under new management, with a refreshed design and an updated menu chock-full of fresh local seafood, steaks, soups, sushi, a raw bar and more. Snuggle up in a booth under a grand chandelier and raise a glass to your loved one with the signature Atlantic Love cocktail, a pretty pink sour garnished with deep red cherries.
W 65th St; atlanticgrill.com
12. Saint Theo’s
Let the sparks fly at this Venetian and coastal Italian-inspired upscale bistro in the West Village that you’ve likely already peeped on your Instagram feed. The bar, lounge and restaurant is a fitting locale for the celebs it often hosts, boasting traditional house-made pastas, salads, fresh seafood, and more from Executive Chef Ashley Rath. Toast to the occasion with Italian spritzes, then round out the meal by sharing a romantic dessert of strawberries and cream with your date. Now that’s amore!
340 Bleecker St; sainttheos.com
13. Hortus NYC
Take Asian comfort cuisine to the next level at Michelin-recognized Hortus NYC in NoMad. Dine indoors in the dreamy, hunter green dining room or outdoors in the private garden oasis complete with heat lamps and warm, intimate lighting. Go on an eclectic culinary adventure through Southeast Asia and beyond with fresh seafood, small plates, a raw bar, meats, roasted veggies and more. There’s also a modestly-priced tasting menu complete with wine pairings, allowing guests to indulge in luxury without breaking the bank.
271 5th Ave.; hortusnyc.com
14. Limani New York
What if we told you that you could take a quick trip to Greece for your next date night? Well, basically. Located in the heart of Rockefeller Center, Limani New York highlights clean Mediterranean flavors, including whole fish flown in daily from the Mediterranean Sea. Surround yourself with white marble, two open kitchens and a stunning blue infinity pool while you enjoy global wines, specialty cocktails and more seafood than you could possibly imagine. And when the weather heats up, you can do so in their outdoor dining structure. Need we say more?
45 Rockefeller Plaza; limani.com
For the Spanish-Latin-Caribbean fusion you and your partner have been craving, Tasca, a multi-level restaurant with several open dining areas, an outdoor patio and a subterranean lounge, is just the ticket. Its cuisine mixes flavors and traditions from the Iberian Peninsula and the Caribbean islands of Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico—and the Latin melting pot is taking the Upper West Side by storm. Tasca is serving up a four-course Valentine’s weekend tasting menu at $85 per person and a special a la carte Valentine’s Day menu on Monday. Highlights from the weekend tasting menu include: seafood bisque with rose petals; grilled baby octopus over greens and topped with a 12-year sherry vinaigrette and served with smoked paprika oil; a fresh lemon and mint frappe; and sea scallops in a black bean broth with Caribbean herbs and saffron teardrops, just to name a few.
505 Columbus Ave.; tasca-nyc.com
This Upper West Side Italian fine dining restaurant’s intimate indoor setup might as well be from a scene out of a romance movie with its dim lighting, an old piano in the corner and a wall filled with the finest Italian red wines. Venture out of your comfort zone and enjoy dishes like spaghetti with Hokkaido sea urchin and churned butter, tagliatelle Wagyu filet with black truffle, and wild alpine strawberry tartelette. The best part? Lucciola has outdoor heated bubbles where you can people-watch while cuddling in the finest 100 percent alpaca wool blankets.
621 Amsterdam Ave.; lucciolanyc.com
This East Village French-Korean gem specializes in small plates and an earthy atmosphere, both indoors or outdoors on their cozy, heated patio. This Valentine’s Day, partake on a delicious journey via tuna tartare and Black Diamond Kaluga caviar; gochujang-crusted lobster with fennel; nurungji foie gras over golden-brown crispy rice, brussels sprouts, caramelized onions and soy mushroom sauce; duck Wellington, and more. For a sweet finale, choose from cheesecake with black truffle, fig and raspberry jelly or the signature Jenga tower of crispy churro-like pastries with black sesame gelato and Korean seven grain powder. Is that Cupid we hear coming?
108 E 4th St; soogil.com
For a sophisticated outing with your significant other, this Chelsea bar and restaurant brings you contemporary Italian dining straight from the heart of renowned chef and owner, Chef Alfred Portale. Located in a renovated carriage house, the space strikes a balance between sleek, modern and homey. With a focus on seasonal dishes, offerings include fresh seafood and meat pastas, creamy risottos and bread pudding with gelato. For Valentine’s Day, Portale is offering a luxurious four-course, prix-fixe menu for $115 per person with exclusive upgrades available.
126 W 18th St; portalerestaurant.com
19. Thyme Bar
Nestled in a historic pre-war cellar beneath 23rd Street in Manhattan’s Flatiron, this speakeasy-style lounge’s dimly-lit interior and close seating are sure to make for an unforgettable evening. For those hoping to dazzle their dates even further, the lounge has premiered a brand new menu, the “Thyme Bar Experience,” an elegant five-course apéritif and winter selection that includes elaborate libations and delicate bites, designed to transport guests on a sensory journey and celebrate the art of mixology and presentation.
20 W 23rd St, Cellar; thymebarnyc.com
20. Cucina 8 1/2
As soon as you step into Midtown’s iconic Solow Building, you and your guest will have no choice but to admire the grand winding staircase that opens to a 250-person dining room and vast bar area. Formerly Brasserie 8½, this rustic Italian eatery’s cuisine is inspired by both New York and classic Italian ingredients and culinary traditions, with an emphasis on tableside presentations. On Valentine’s Day, enjoy their regular a la carte menu, or guests can opt for an elevated truffle menu. (We would if we were you.) What’s more? On certain nights, a live pianist is there to elevate the mood just that much further.
9 W 57th St; cucina812.com
With three stars from The New York Times, this charming Flatiron restaurant takes inspiration from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. The name of the eatery translates to “head of household” as a nod to nonnas who hand-roll pasta for the family, with a menu emphasizing house-made pasta made fresh daily. Outside the restaurant now permanently lives a 20-seat outdoor dining structure that’s heated and windowed off on the street-facing sides during the winter, with plush velvet curtains along the sidewalk for easy entry and air flow. On Valentine’s Day this year, Rezdôra will be serving a curated tasting menu, as well as a vegetarian option of the tasting menu.
27 E 20th St; rezdora.nyc
Whether you want to enjoy a relaxed meal in the dining room in a cozy corner, at the bar or outdoors in their heated garden veranda, this refined Pan-American Flatiron bistro is perfect for any date. From the husband-wife team of Felipe Donnelly and Tamy Rofe (we told you it was romantic), the fare is inspired by Donnelly’s childhood through parts of Latin America, from Mexico to Brazil and beyond—but you won’t find tacos or mole on the menu. With vibrant and bold flavors in dishes like rocoto beef curry and grilled littleneck clam rigatoni, you’re sure to secure a second date.
23 Lexington Ave.; comodonyc.com
23. Bar Goto Niban
This “New York bar with a Japanese soul” is the Brooklyn counterpart to the beloved Lower East Side Japanese cocktail bar, Bar Goto. Relax at the garden landscape-lined bar or enjoy heated outdoor seating while sipping sophisticated cocktails with a Japanese twist and nibbling on small bites like miso wings and Japanese croquettes. As a finalist for the 2020 Spirited Awards, spirits really are Niban’s strong suit, with the menu boasting an impressive selection: shochus, sakes, wines, beers, Japanese whiskeys and more. Indoor and outdoor tables require reservations, while the bar accepts walk-ins.
474 Bergen St., Brooklyn; bargoto.com
24. Smith & Mills
For American-inspired shared plates and an extensive raw bar in a rustic “urban retreat,” stop by this converted carriage house in Tribeca just blocks from Hudson River Park. For cozy outdoor dining this winter, Smith & Mills is serving a warming s’mores kit complete with graham crackers, artisan marshmallows and rich chocolate, alongside a flask of whiskey and a carafe of rich hot cocoa—basically, the winter date of our dreams. While seating is limited in the tiny space, they’re open seven days a week for brunch, lunch, dinner and late-night drinks.
71 N Moore St; smithandmills.com
25. The Parlour Room
Whiskey lovers, rejoice: If you’re going for a laid-back date night, take your honey to the brand new Parlour Room, a whiskey-focused bar and restaurant in Midtown. With 220 seats divided among velvet booths and swanky private nooks embellished with tassel bar lamps, a wood-burning fireplace and a 1920s Italian Baroque chandelier, guests can sip on a whiskey flight and dine on an entree for two, like the tomahawk ribeye or the vegetarian lasagna. What’s not to love?
70 W 36th St; parlourroomnyc.com
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