Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that Valentine’s Day is one of the most romantic days of the year. For an extra special dose of lovey-dovey business, make a reservation at one of our picks for the city’s most romantic restaurants. Tell them Cupid sent you. By Jessica Allen.
Serving seasonal New American dishes that feature Mediterranean inflections, Kat & Theo could easily win the award for most romantic restaurant in the Flatiron district (not that said award exists, mind you). The restaurant is named for the co-owner’s Greek grandparents, and an Old World atmosphere permeates the space. There are wrought iron accents and a pressed tin ceiling and dark wood and booths built for two. In the way back you’ll find a fireplace, definitely the place to clutch your sweetie close or even get down on one knee.
There’s a reason “farmhouse” is part of the name of this French-American restaurant in Greenwich Village: from the second you enter through the door, you’re meant to be transported from Manhattan to Provence. The oft-changing menu sources ingredients from area farms, fisheries, and other purveyors of fine seasonal foods, while the interior boasts the same intimate, delicious vibe as it did when the restaurant opened in the early aughts. The light is low, the tables cozy, the linen crisp, the atmosphere very ooh la la.
By day, Milk and Roses is a great place to grab a coffee and have a chat with a friend. By night, the Greenpoint restaurant transforms into an utterly lovely space to have a romantic dinner with your honey. The menu is American by way of southern Italy, which means freshly made pasta with broccoli rabe, braised beef short rib, or the “trout for two,” a chance to gaze into the eyes of your bae over a plate of expertly cooked, sustainably caught fish. Come spring, you’ll want to head over and hang out in the beautiful backyard garden.
Named for a neighborhood in Brooklyn, Vinegar Hill House feels straight out of an earlier time, in the best possible way. Indeed, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you could just walk on by the speakeasy-like storefront. The centerpiece of this New American restaurant is a copper-topped bar, but we can’t get enough of the gauzy lantern light and quirky paintings. Folks line up for the famous cast-iron chicken, with sherry vinegar jus, and red wattle country chop, with sauerkraut and pesto made from mustard greens.
Longing for home, a Tokyo native opened Zenkichi to bring a bit of that bustling city to Williamsburg. He succeeded, and then some, creating a restaurant that’s both alive and romantic. You and your SO will love the private, intimate booths, all the better to share secrets and sips of sake, from a well-curated list of more than 50 bottles. (Don’t just take our word for it: this Japanese brasserie has received the Diners’ Choice Award for Most Romantic Restaurant in the US seven years in a row.)