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The 12 Most Romantic Restaurants in New York City

A romantic meal out is one of many, and arguably one of the best, reasons to dine out, especially after almost two years of pandemic-related quarantines and maybe one too many pizza-and-streaming “date nights” on the couch. Luckily, New York City certainly isn’t lacking for menus and spaces to induce swoons, no matter what sort of cuisine and vibes reads as romantic to you.

Ahead, a dozen NYC restaurants fit for a memorable Valentine’s Day feast, as well as any amorous occasion, be it a date, anniversary, or even a proposal.

Een foto van Otlogo
Alexandra Ilyashov
12 Restaurants
Bijgewerkt 20 januari 2022
Restaurants:OIJI, Portale Restaurant, One if by Land, Two if by Sea
Prijsklasse:$$$ - $$$$
Keukens:Koreaans, Italiaans, Amerikaans
Buurten:East Village, Chelsea, Greenwich Village
Een foto van restaurant OIJI

OIJI

$$$$
Koreaans
East Village
4.8
825 recensies

This modern Korean spot in the East Village serves creative small plates that are perfect for splitting with an S.O., though you might not want to share dishes like the rich lobster ramyun, filled with succulent lobster, uni butter, pickled ramps, and an optional dollop of caviar. OIJI’s chef-owners, both Seoul natives, met as roommates at the Culinary Institute of America, and have been turning out inspired, eclectic riffs on locally inspired Korean cuisine — think mushroom salad packed with a trio of funghi (maitake, shiitake, and wood ear) and Korean fried cauliflower with Greek yogurt and grapes — since opening OIJI in 2015. Make sure to save some room for the legendary honey butter chips a la mode, an artful play on texture with the perfect sweet-salty balance that’s always a great way to end the night.


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Een foto van restaurant Portale Restaurant

Portale Restaurant

$$$$
Italiaans
Chelsea
4.8
120 recensies

Decadent pastas paired with an excellent wine and cocktail selection is a winning recipe for an ultra-romantic meal. Especially at the namesake Chelsea restaurant of Alfred Portale, the James Beard Award-winning chef and cookbook author who made his name at Gotham Bar and Grill. The tricky part? Choosing between dishes such as agnolotti with ricotta, pancetta, chanterelle mushrooms, and spring onions or lumache in a truffled white bolognese sauce — and that’s just from the menu’s pasta section. Fans of the chef’s iconic Gotham seafood salad won’t want to miss the frutti di mare to start, filled with chilled lobster, scallop, octopus, and shrimp. Also be sure to try the breads, all made in house.


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Een foto van restaurant One if by Land, Two if by Sea

One if by Land, Two if by Sea

$$$$
Amerikaans
Greenwich Village
4.6
6006 recensies

With a charming name, plucked from a historical poem about Paul Revere, One if by Land, Two if by Sea is a total classic for extremely romantic milestones of all kinds, evidenced by not-infrequent wedding proposals that happen here. Fittingly, the three- and seven- course tasting menus might remind you of a swanky black-tie wedding menu, with choices such as tuna tartare, beef Wellington, grilled octopus, and pan-seared halibut.


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Een foto van restaurant Nobu Downtown | Restaurant

Nobu Downtown | Restaurant

$$$$
Cocktailbar
Financieel District
4.7
3996 recensies

While Nobu’s Fulton Street location is a downtown power lunch hotspot during the day, it feels decidedly special occasion-worthy at night. For a well-rounded sampling of the sushi-driven, Peruvian-inflected Japanese menu, complement the many stellar raw fish dishes with Nobu’s signature chicken wings, available with teriyaki, anticucho, or wasabi pepper sauce.


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Een foto van restaurant River Cafe

River Cafe

$$$$
Amerikaans
DUMBO / Vinegar Hill
4.8
7943 recensies

There’s nothing like a stellar view along with a delicious dinner to really induce some serious swoons, and River Cafe’s vistas of the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge are utter magic. The MICHELIN-starred standout Brooklyn restaurant, which opened in 1977, serves up a prix fixe menu of fanciful new American dishes that change seasonally, such as sauteed duck foie gras, scallop ceviche, porcini-stuffed roasted rabbit, and venison with chestnut spaetzle and roasted root vegetables, alongside an extensive wine list. For a really special milestone, you can even add caviar service to the mix.


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Een foto van restaurant AlBadawi

AlBadawi

$$$$
Amerikaans
Brooklyn Heights
4.6
90 recensies

If sampling new dishes and cuisines all over the city together sounds like an ideal date night, consider AlBadawi. The Palestinian restaurant in Brooklyn Heights, opened in 2021, is a collaboration between the teams at Yemen Cafe, a beloved Brooklyn institution, and Ayat, an acclaimed fast-casual spot in Bay Ridge. Ultra-flavorful dishes include maklouba, a chicken dish filled with eggplant, cauliflower, and potatoes, and mansaf, a tender, tangy lamb stew in fermented yogurt sauce served over buttery rice and topped with slivered almonds. The family-style portions are designed for sharing and are so generous that you’ll probably have some leftovers to take home, too.


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Een foto van restaurant INDIAN TABLE

INDIAN TABLE

$$$$
Indiaas
Cobble Hill
4.9
106 recensies

While you’ll find excellent renditions of familiar favorites like chicken tikka masala at this Cobble Hill neighborhood gem, the real standouts are creative Goan dishes. Executive chef Eric McCarthy, who hails from the southern Indian area, cooked at acclaimed NYC Indian restaurants Tamarind, Tulsi, and Brick Lane Curry House before taking over the kitchen at Indian Table in 2021. The broad menu includes Goan fare such as goat vindaloo, Mangalorean fish, and shrimp curry that nods to the Indian state’s coastal location and centuries as a Portuguese colony. Plus, McCarthy’s inventive tweaks on tradition like tulsi paneer (rich cubed cheese in a basil-cranberry-roasted garlic sauce instead of the typical creamy spinach) or the popular bacon-studded naan.


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Een foto van restaurant Littleneck

Littleneck

$$$$
Zeevruchten
Gowanus
4.8
290 recensies

When it comes to innately amorous ingredients, it’s hard to beat the oyster’s appeal. At Littleneck, you can slurp down a dozen fresh West Coast briny bivalves with a seafood-loving soulmate, along with classics such as a Maine lobster roll, New England clam chowder, or fish and chips. Plus, there are tons of brothy, flavorful dishes perfect for chilly winter nights, like fisherman’s stew, pork and clams pozole, P.E.I. mussels in coconut curry broth, or the namesake clams bathed in an herbed white wine broth.


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Een foto van restaurant Bistro Eloise

Bistro Eloise

$$$$
Traditioneel Frans
Jackson Heights
4.8
209 recensies

This Elmhurst bistro oozes romance yet feels accessible and inviting, a rare balance to achieve. The varied French menu goes beyond familiar bistro fare, including recipes spanning Brittany to Toulouse to Burgundy. Don’t miss the French onion soup, properly crowned in a thick cheese crust, or the boeuf bourguignon, with slowly braised Angus grass-fed beef in a stew with carrots, pearl onions, mushrooms, and bacon and served with mashed potatoes. If you’ve got room for dessert, the luscious crème brûlée, creamy inside beneath a crunchy shatter of burnished, caramelized sugar, is a crowd pleaser for good reason.


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Een foto van restaurant Mario's Restaurant - Arthur Ave.

Mario's Restaurant - Arthur Ave.

$$$$
Italiaans
Bronx
4.5
851 recensies

Perhaps a hearty Italian feast in a super old-school setting is your recipe for a romantic night out? Mario’s Restaurant — a James Beard Award-winning historic red-sauce joint in The Bronx’s Arthur Avenue-anchored Little Italy — is just the place. The fifth-generation family-run restaurant dates back to 1919 and is still helmed by the Migliucci clan. Popular picks on the menu include veal dishes such as pizzaiola (a tomato-mushroom sauce) and saltimbocca (served with spinach and prosciutto in a marsala wine sauce, generously blanketed in mozzarella) and classic apps like crispy fried calamari and antipasto platters.


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Een foto van restaurant Dagon

Dagon

$$$$
Mediterraan
Upper West Side
4.6
858 recensies

Inventive Israeli dishes by chef-partner Ari Bokovza, who was previously at downtown favorite Claudette, are the name of the game at this attractive UWS restaurant. For indecisive orderers that would rather try a little bit of everything, the sharing-friendly menu will certainly appeal. Start off with a trio or half-dozen delicious mezze options such as chicken liver mousse with mustard seeds, date syrup, crispy shallot, and baharat; whipped eggplant with tahini and preserved lemon compote; or marinated beets with horseradish yogurt, chickpeas, and crispy beef tongue. Small plates include Lebanese mushroom dumplings called shishbarak or a Levantine spin on the classic Caesar salad dressed with tahini and tempura-fried anchovies.


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Een foto van restaurant Amor Cubano

Amor Cubano

$$$$
Cubaans
Harlem
4.3
433 recensies

Mojitos and lots of mojo sauce might be just the trick for celebrating a romantic occasion to remember. Amor Cubano is an East Harlem go-to for generous portions of the namesake cuisine’s hearty staples, whether fried (croquetas filled with ham, cheese, or chicken), pressed (an excellent Cubano sandwich), or braised (classics like ropa vieja, garlicky shredded skirt steak with tomatoes, onions, and peppers).


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