With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, we’ve picked out some of our favorite NYC restaurants for a romantic date. From scenic spots with skyline views to intimate candlelit nooks, and high-end tasting menus to rustic Italian fare, these spots are perfect for escaping the cold and cozying up with that special someone.
Located on the DUMBO waterfront with prime views of the Manhattan skyline, Celestine is a solid pick for a special night out. Its Eastern Mediterranean menu is complemented by a curated wine list highlighting small producers from the Mediterranean coast and classic cocktails by Kevin Baird (Grand Army).
What we love: Ordering a variety of mezzes to share, like baba ghanoush, hummus and housemade yogurt with smoked almonds, dates and tamarind gastrique
Joel Robuchon made his return to NYC last fall with the opening of this dazzling fine dining icon (an outpost of a global brand). Look for contemporary French tasting menus and a deep wine menu consisting of 700+ bottles, some of which are impressively displayed behind the bar.
What we love: Grabbing a drink at Le Grill, L'Atelier’s more casual counterpart at the front of the restaurant, before dinner
An NYC standby and former antique store, the charming il Buco is warm and inviting with its candlelit tables and rustic decor, plus a stunning private dining area known as The Cellar with hundreds of wine bottles lining the space. The classic Italian menu with housemade pastas changes daily, and is complemented by a selection of wines from small producers.
What we love: When not being used for a private event, The Cellar is open for à la carte dining
Light-filled Brigitte is undoubtedly chic, yet inviting, with cozy tables for two and seating at the Carrara marble bar. French-Brazilian plates showcase seasonal ingredients, with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options labeled on the menu.
What we love: Pre-dinner sips (like rosé and negronis) and bites (like oysters and olives) during weeknight apéro hours to get the night started
Light-filled and airy, with high ceilings, crisp white interiors and natural wood accents, Otway is perfect for a brunch date or intimate dinner, with an impressive wine list and an ingredient-driven, no-waste menu that incorporates in-house fermentation and housemade breads and pastries. French-leaning offerings range from grilled snails to foie gras torchon.
What we love: Fresh pastries and St-Germain mimosas at brunch
For a splashy special occasion, this high-end seafood restaurant in the landmark Seagram Building hits all the right notes. Dive into meticulously crafted plates by chef-partner Rich Torrisi over candlelight in an elegant space that’s sure to impress.
What we love: Lingering a while longer at The Pool Lounge overlooking The Pool. Each cocktail focuses on a single flavor like cucumber, cinnamon or mango
Cozy up with your date at this subterranean nook underneath the MADE Hotel, where natural wood accents and soft lighting set the intimate scene. The eclectic menu of contemporary American plates is perfect for sharing, with bites ranging from a chicharrones and chicken liver mousse “chips and dip” to beets with black sesame tahini and shaved coconut.
What we love: Warming up with a barista cocktail like the Mexican hot chocolate-inspired Xocolat or Japanese whiskey Toki toddy at Paper Coffee, located just upstairs on the ground floor of the hotel
From husband-and-wife team (and Quality Italian alums) Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli, this contemporary Italian-American restaurant has a modern, yet cozy, feel, with marble and leather accents. Shareable plates and mains – like the lasagna for two – add to its date night appeal.
What we love: Creative desserts like fior di latte mochi, black cocoa tiramisu and honey zeppole
This buzzy rooftop bar at The William Vale hotel in Williamsburg boasts panoramic skyline views and a killer cocktail menu with house concoctions and riffs on the classics. Bites are courtesy of chef Andrew Carmellini and inspired by global street food.
What we love: Taking in the NYC views from a cozy spot in the glassed-in lounge during the colder months