While New York City can be an overwhelming metropolis, there are a handful of places where you can escape with your sweetheart from the hustle and bustle of the city. When you need a quiet moment to enjoy a romantic dinner in NYC, there are a handful of places that fit the perfect escape down to a “T.”
Quaint Old English Romance
Architectural Digest calls the restaurant #4 most romantic restaurant in the world, and with good reason. The restaurant is well-preserved landmark, coming a long way from its historic origins as a carriage house in the 1700’s. Today, the decor doesn’t stray far from its history, enrapturing you with an old English feel with the fireplace, the range of busts and paintings of royalty and candlelight chandeliers. The sounds of classical music welcome you by a live pianist on their baby grand piano. A decadent dinner awaits you, where you can enjoy long-time favorites, such as the beef wellington and the chocolate soufflé.
Photo Credit: One if by Land, Two if by Sea
If you’re looking for a quick drink surrounded by amazing aesthetics, Lillie’s offers breathtaking traditional Victorian decor. The ambiance is quaint, demonstrating a revival of a Victorian-era home. The restaurant has stained glass windows, old paintings of those from royalty or within the military, wood-carved railings and interesting antiques like a phonograph and brass candelabras. Much of the furniture is original from the era itself, being flown in from Belfast, Ireland from a Victorian mansion. Named after Lillie Langtry, a British actress and socialite, it would have been fitting place for her to socialize with artists, princes and princesses, presidents, poets and other prominent high-society figures. Unique in it’s brunch offerings, Lillie’s has Victorian High Tea on weekends, which offers classic scones, sandwiches, sweets and of course, tea. For heartier rations, simply come in for a traditional British dinner, like Fish and Chips and Shepherd’s Pie.
Photo Credit: Lillie’s Victorian Establishment
French Fine Dining for Mon Cherie
The entrance has blackout windows and a neon lit sign of “Le Coucou,” which gives an unassuming look that falls closer to “chic” than romantic. However, you’ll find yourself surprisingly entranced when you enter the restaurant. The decor is beautiful with arches, whitewashed exposed brick and warmly lit industrial chandeliers above, taking your breath away in similar fashion to entering a home in Tuscany. You might even want to be close to the action by taking a table for two nearby the open kitchen to see your food being prepared from scratch Their expert sommeliers can offer the perfect wine pairings for their traditional French offerings, like their tout le lapin, which is an entire rabbit cooked several ways, all in perfection with every tender bite. The mood is set in just the way you imagined a romantic dinner: over a tall candlelight, drinking a delicious glass of wine and enjoying true French fare.
Photo Credit: Le Coucou
Flowers often do something magical to usher in the feelings of love, and at La Grenouille, they make sure to surround you with plenty of love. From the entrance to the corners and even every table, you are surrounded by fresh cut flowers. The euphoric floral smells welcome you as you enter the doors. The unlimited fresh and warm bread makes its frequent visit to tables, offering baguettes, multigrain, wheat fig and more. Don’t get too full though, because dishes like the Grilled Dover Sole and the Wagyu Beef/Filet Mignon duo will make you swoon head over heels. What also makes the restaurant stand out amongst many others is the superbly warm and attentive service from their wait staff, which is why it is not uncommon to bump into a celebrity dining here. Also, as customary to high-end French dining, jacket is required on gentlemen.
Photo Credit: Le Grenouille
Easily overlooked yet surprisingly charming, the Greenwich Village spot is a perfect place to grab a pizza after a stroll through Washington Square Park. The front of the restaurant offers a dimly lit setting to create the perfect mood for romance. However, the true star of the restaurant is the back dining area. The dining area is encased in greenhouse fashion. The floors are paved with large rectangular stone tiles fit for a welcoming outdoor patio. The purple and turquoise lanterns glow with just enough lighting to relax beneath the night sky, in both summer and winter seasons. No matter the entree, whether a Margarita pizza or one of their cast-iron baked lasagnas, you’ll find yourself enjoying the Italian fare in the cozy ambiance. And should you want to finish off the night with something soothing, the Bar Next Door of La Lanterna di Vittorio has jazz throughout the week (check out their schedule here).
Photo Credit: La Lanterna di Vittorio
One of the staples of romantic fare are oysters, which are often enjoyed as an aphrodisiac. While oysters are common, a restaurant with romantic undertones to match the mood are harder to come by. One the places that offers both oysters and mood is Maison Premiere. Upon entering the restaurant, the centerpiece is the circular marble bar. Here, you can watch the skillful mixologists create cocktails that range from engagingly herbaceous to downright delightful. Absinthe is a specialty here, should you want to experience an adventurous New Orleans dining experience right in Brooklyn. If you are so lucky as to get a seat in the back, it feels like a majestic garden beneath a glass ceiling. An arbor welcomes backyard patrons through the area to make you forget that you are really indoors. A pergola stretches above several tables with greenery draping down. If you want to make the best of your money spent, they offer happy hour specials of $1 oysters Monday through Friday, 4-7PM.
Photo Credit: @maisonpremiere
Intimate Tables with a Flair
This is the perfect spot for a date night that comes with sexy yet tasteful entertainment. Duane Park is home to burlesque shows and live jazz performances, along with offering a three-course pre-fixe dinner to go with your show. The classic decor sets the mood for a romantic evening, with walls drawn with Renaissance accents and a glass chandelier that serves as the centerpiece to the space. The dancers are seductively beautiful, the singers will impress you with their vocals and the house band plays music in perfect harmony to the performances.
Photo Credit: Duane Park
This unique vibe is reminiscent of a hot spot that suits swing bands from the 1940’s. The specialty here is the fine spirits that they offer. There are over 1,000 options of whiskeys, bourbons, scotches and single malts from around the world adorn their walls. The same attention that was given to their well-curated list of spirits goes into their decor. The red leather banquettes, wood furniture and globe light chandeliers offer an intimate atmosphere to enjoy their live music. The nightly performances include jazz, swing and classy fusions that fit perfectly into Flatiron Room classy look.
Photo Credit: Flatiron Room
While not the ideal fit when it comes to the noise level, the decor makes up for it. The ceilings are filled with intricate chandeliers of golden replicas of the leaf used in a famous street food called miang kham. Their menu also includes this street dish, which also comes in a variation of crab meat (instead of dried shrimp). For more intimate dining, one side of the restaurant offers booths beneath Thai-inspired villas. Intricately carved wood partitions, silk curtains and traditional Thai lounging pillows offer intimate comfort. You can enjoy dishes that are often not seen elsewhere but Thailand. The dishes go beyond just Pad Thai and Drunken Noodles and introduce you to other authentic palate pleasers.
Photo Credit: @mydearestbeeauty
While the entertainment and ambiance is high-energy, it doesn’t take away from the romantic table for two experience. While the bar alone is majestic, with velvet bar seats and crystal chandeliers, it’s the the dining area that awes. The decor is exuberant, furnished with tables and chairs adorned with Moroccan embroidery. The area is embellished with palm trees and surrounded by carefully wood-carved railings. Upon request, you can have a semi-private table. The table has a plush banquette and pillows beneath a draped purple, gold and pink canopy. The restaurant offers Egyptian food, in the form of a la carte or pre-fixe four course dinner. It includes Egyptian favorites like hummus, babaganoush, moussaka (a layered vegetable dish) and tagine (a clay-pot cooked stew). Of course, one of the elements of entertaining guests in Egyptian fashion is belly dancing, which happens on Friday evenings. You can also enjoy enjoy a hookah with your drinks.
Photo Credit: Casa Le Femme