It’s hard to think of New York City and not think about romance. Whether it’s a romance with the city itself or with an actual person you love, romance is alive and well in New York. Celebrate that romance at one of the restaurants we’ve chosen as one of our top five picks for a romantic dinner out in New York.
This unassuming, quaint West Village restaurant transports your senses to another place while you’re still in New York.
Established in early 2011 by Chef Jody Williams, Buvette Gastrothèque is inspired by European traditions that honor a history of craft and design, where each detail evokes a sense of story, place and delight. Part restaurant, part bar, part café, Buvette combines the elegance of an old world café with the casual nature of a neighborhood eatery.
Gathering ingredients sourced locally whenever possible, Buvette has worked to build relationships with local farmers, cheesemongers, bakers, and artists and it shows in the quality cuisine they produce. From the pistou appetizer to the coq au vin main, the menu changes based on season and availability, but each menu is a love letter to the guest it serves.
Carved out of a former auto body shop with an understated yet chic design sensibility, Lilia is a gem tucked away in a quiet area of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Head Chef and owner Missy Robbins’ highly acclaimed Italian restaurant is consistently full of customers. It’s that vibrancy coupled with the warm simplicity of the space that makes this spot truly romantic.
Lilia brings the best of Italy to Williamsburg where wood fired seafood, handcrafted pastas, classic Italian cocktails and warm hospitality come together to create a casual dining experience.
Make certain to try the Cannellini Beans as well as the Rigatoni Diavola.
One If By Land, Two If By Sea
Any restaurant that is frequently sought out as a venue for a wedding clearly has a solid romantic vibe and One If By Land, Two If By Sea is one of those places. Few restaurants feel more like old New York than this which is in Aaron Burr’s former carriage house. One If By Land, Two If By Sea is one of the most romantic restaurants in the city. A date here feels like a true rendezvous. Beyond the setting, though, the upscale menu does not disappoint. Opt for a three-course prix fixe meal or the seven-course Chef’s Tasting and your romantic evening is just beginning. Under the direction of Executive Chef Gary Volkov and Pastry Chef Vera (who is also part owner of the restaurant), the food is on par with the idyllic setting.
Zenkichi is a modern Japanese brasserie and the epitome of romance. They lead you through a mirror maze of bamboo to your table which is a private booth with tatami shades. Overall it’s much more than you expect as you approach the nondescript building to enter. The romance continues with the dimly-lit environment and the peaceful atmosphere. You can opt for sharing some small plates or the tasting menu. We’d recommend the tasting menu for you and your date. You’ll want to pair it with one of their thirty varieties of sake.
The most emphasis is placed on the Omakase (chef’s tasting menu), which changes every 5 weeks to showcase the best domestic and imported fish and vegetables of the season. Small plate a la carte menu is also available and changes every 3 months.
The Loeb Boathouse
Such classic New York that we’ve seen it in movies and television shows for many years, The Loeb Boathouse Central Park is right in the middle of the park and is ideal for a sunset dinner date (early by New York standards, though).
A haven for romantics and nature lovers, this understated icon offers a rare tranquility within the ever-eclectic energy that defines Manhattan. True to its name — rowboats drift about the adjacent lake, as they have for over 150 years.”
You can rent one of those rowboats, too. They serve a well-rounded American menu including items such as a jumbo lump crab cake appetizer, grilled filet of beef, and a cedar plank salmon. The Loeb Boathouse delivers on quality cuisine in this most romantic setting.
While you’re out for a romantic evening, consider an outing to a show as well, we answer the question for you: What Are the Best Theatres in New York?