They say the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, and that may very well be true. Whether homemade or in the dimly lit dining room of the ritziest restaurant in town, I’m positive there are many people who can attest to falling in love with someone over a romantic meal.
Of course, romance is subjective. While candlelight and linen tablecloths may epitomize the most romantic restaurants for some, eating just about anywhere could be romantic depending on who’s sitting across the table.
Below are our choices for some of the most romantic restaurants for couples in the Northeast, which we’ve based on reviews, ambiance and AAA Diamond Ratings.
From great food to beautiful ambiance, we’ve got you covered. See a restaurant that’s not as close as you’d like? Make a weekend of it with our booking suggestions. All that’s missing now is a table for two reserved just for you and your favorite person.
77 West St., Simsbury
This rustic-meets-romantic option is a prime choice for treating your better half. The dining room’s floor-to-ceiling windows overlook stunning views of a waterfall, setting the tone for executive chef (and “Chopped” winner) Tyler Anderson’s menu, featuring dishes such as foie gras and brioche-stuffed quail, pork loin and belly with apple fritters, and New York strip. Try the seven-course tasting menu for a little bit of everything ($74 per person).
The White Barn Inn Restaurant
37 Beach Ave., Kennebunk
Country elegance and seasonal gourmet menus are just part of what make this a AAA Five Diamond restaurant. Featuring New American and classic New England cuisine, a four-course prix fixe and chef’s tasting menu are offered nightly with optional wine pairings. Dress code is business smart (jackets are requested for men), but the atmosphere is relaxed and unstuffy. For something a bit more casual, a la carte lunch and dinner is also served.
The Old Inn on the Green
134 Hartsville-New Marlborough Road, New Marlborough
Eat fireside in a dining room lit by candles and enjoy a three-course meal (Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday) for just $46 per person. The inn serves dinner a la carte Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday and on Mondays, July through October, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. On Saturdays a prix fixe menu ($75) includes pan-roasted Normandy duck and slow-braised lamb shank.
80 Thoreau St., Concord
Located in the historic town of Concord, 80 Thoreau is sure to leave a lasting impression. Reflected in both design and menu, the restaurant takes on a straightforward, fresh and refined approach, pairing high-quality fine dining without pretension. The cuisine is contemporary American, using the area’s best locally sourced and regional ingredients. For a truly unforgettable experience, make a reservation for chef tasting menu dinners, offered on a limited basis.
345 Congress St., Boston
Described by a AAA inspector as “a truly remarkable dining experience that is memorable in every sense,” Menton is one of the highest-acclaimed restaurants for couples in Boston. Here you’ll find beautifully presented, thoughtfully prepared plates and impressive cocktails, accompanied by refined service in a sleek and contemporary setting. Visitors can choose from Chef Barbara Lynch’s “From Elements” menu for restaurant favorites and standards (available as a tasting menu or a la carte), or the “Into Evolution” tasting menu for a sampling of what’s inspiring the kitchen at the moment ($165 per person, with optional wine pairing). Lighter fare is served for lunch and dinner at The Gold Bar. Or go all out and sit overlooking the kitchen at the chef’s table, available for parties of 2 to 10 people.
Main Dining Room at the Omni Mount Washington Resort
310 Mount Washington Road, Bretton Woods
With the White Mountain’s Presidential Range serving as a backdrop, the view certainly helps make this one of the most romantic restaurants in New Hampshire. Whether painted in colorful fall foliage, snow-covered in the winter or during sunset in the summer, the view never disappoints. Nightly musical performances complement dinners, and couples are invited to dance the night away.
16 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton
Part of the sculpture garden Grounds for Sculpture, Rat’s was designed to make guests feel as though they’re dining in Claude Monet’s beloved town of Giverny, France. Specializing in French country cuisine, Rat’s is striking both inside and out, but the patio overlooking the living recreation of Monet’s “Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lilies” is especially breathtaking. Be sure to explore the gardens surrounding the restaurant after your meal – there’s art around every corner.
One if by Land, Two if by Sea
17 Barrow St. (between Seventh Avenue South and West Fourth Street), New York
Year after year, this West Village landmark tops virtually every list as one of the most romantic restaurants in New York City and beyond. Set within a historic carriage house that once belonged to Aaron Burr, chandeliers, fireplaces and candlelit tables overlooking a quiet garden courtyard set the tone. Both a three-course prix fixe menu ($98) and seven-course tasting menu ($135 with optional wine pairing for an extra $70) are offered. With any luck, you might even walk out with a fiancee – more people are said to get engaged here than any other restaurant in the city!
The View Restaurant at Mirror Lake Inn
77 Mirror Lake Drive, Lake Placid
Take in the beauty of Lake Placid at this restaurant located within the scenic AAA Four Diamond Rated Mirror Lake Inn. In cold weather you see the snowflakes falling just outside, while the warmer months bring gorgeous lake views. Highlights of the modern American menu include dishes such as Hudson Valley foie gras, ricotta gnocchi and prime beef filet, and the wine list has won numerous awards.
Stonecutter’s at Belhurst Castle
4069 West Lake Road, Geneva
Located on the northwestern shore of Seneca Lake, this landmark 1880s stone castle features a restaurant and lodging accommodations. Bedecked with balconies, elaborate woodwork and stained-glass windows, the castle will whisk you back in history. The elegant Stonecutter’s restaurant offers candlelit dinners, fireplaces and a wide-ranging menu that includes everything from seafood and chops to pasta and vegetarian options. You may want to stay overnight at the castle or nearby; getting here is a one-hour flight or five-hour drive from New York City.
Tony Stella’s Encore
66 Broadway, Jim Thorpe
Encore is romance in the Pocono Mountains done right. Housed in a mansion built in 1860 by Gen. Charles Albright, the restaurant features a main dining room, an absinthe bar and a patio where couples can dine under the stars. The menu includes everything from veal medallions and cilantro-marinated ahi tuna to the more conventional rack of lamb and lobster tails.
Bouchard Inn & Restaurant
505 Thames Street, Newport
Located in the heart of Newport, just steps from the harbor and shopping, this charming restaurant offers lighter and more modern takes on French classics such as rack of lamb in sauce fines herbes, roasted squab, Dover sole in sorrel sauce and featured specials inspired by what’s fresh from the local markets and docks. The intimate setting makes for a great night out. Book a room at the inn for an extended stay.
The Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn
590 Ocean Drive, Newport
This Newport gem is known for its panoramic views of the Narragansett Bay. The dining room, located within Castle Hill Inn’s historic 1875 mansion, faces out towards the water and overlooks the hotel’s famous lawn, where in the warmer months visitors can enjoy al fresco dining or a drink in the Adirondack chairs. There’s a variety of local seafood, seasonal produce and regional specialties on the menu, plus an extensive wine list with over 800 selections. Take a walk down to the Castle Hill Lighthouse, which may just be the cutest little lighthouse in the Northeast.
60 Dorrance St., Providence
Occupying the renovated space of a former bank building, The Dorrance in downtown Providence features a large, spacious dining room, high ceilings and ornate embellishments, making it a lavish setting for celebrations and date nights. Grab a seat at the long bar for exceptional handcrafted cocktails and snacks such as grilled pizza and Rhody calamari, or sit down to enjoy a selection from the New England-inspired menu.
What’s your favorite romantic restaurant near you? Tell us in the comments.