Where are you heading for Valentine’s Day dinner? We’ve already picked out the best romantic restaurants in New York City – it’s up to you to try and make the reservations. By Valerie Stivers.
Restaurants from the very most haute NYC chefs can feel a bit corporate, but the gorgeous low arched ceilings at David Bouley’s Tribeca institution make this white-tablecloth space both intimate and spectacular. The price is high, but the French cuisine is guaranteed to be ethereal and the service impeccable.
524 Court Street
Brooklyn, New York, 11231
A charming old-timey room deep on Brooklyn’s Court Street has become a destination for foodies citywide, who have fallen for the Southern-influenced fresh, local dishes and house made charcuterie, pickles and cheeses. Tables fill up fast, and the restaurant doesn’t take reservations.
1048 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10028
Austrian artists Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele produced some of the sexiest art of all time, and the fine-dining restaurant in the Neue Galerie on Central Park is just as elegant, refined and old world as you could wish for. The chef, Kurt Guttenbrenner (Wallse, Blaue Gans) is a local phenomenon.
126 West 13th Street
New York, NY 10011
There are more obvious choices for a romantic Italian restaurant in NYC (Il Buco, for one), but we love this low, slinky West Village eatery, especially its cozy, red-painted back room. The knockout Italian menu is both earthy and modern, with house-made pasta and gelato, the scene is buoyant but not too loud, and the family owners insist on nice service.
33 Crosby Street
New York, NY 10013
Be prepared for a tiny, crowded bar, but if your idea of romance is conversation and endless glasses of red wine or sipping sherries, accompanied by delicious little tapas, this is your place. The atmosphere is dark and the side-banquette nooks are the best seats in the house.
One If By Land, Two If By Sea
17 Barrow St
New York, NY 10014
The most famous romantic restaurant in the city has a glowy interior with exposed brick and chandeliers, and is located in a West Village carriage house. The prix-fixe menu offers crowd-pleasers like a famous Beef Wellington, truffle ravioli and carrot cake. Some diners love it, some feel it’s overrated.
35 West 64th Street
New York, NY 10023
Fine wines and cheeses you say? And more wines, and cheeses, and a white-tablecloth, jackets-recommended, starchy, upscale atmosphere appropriate to a romantic occasion? Picholine, from restaurateur Terrance Brennan is an Upper West Side French institution known for its cheese cart and tasting menu ($135 prix fixe). Afterwards, ask your important question by the beautiful lighted fountains at Lincoln Center.
The River Café
1 Water St
This is a tourist spot with a traditional menu featuring duck breast, rack-of-lamb, etc., yet the location—in a private garden on the water beneath the soaring struts of the Brooklyn Bridge—makes it one of the most recognizable names in New York romance dining.