OK–everyone knows Valentine’s Day is named for St. Valentine–not exactly a Jewish sounding holiday. There is actually a Jewish Valentine’s Day-like holiday in the Hebrew month of Av, that falls in the middle of summer, but since the rest of the world is celebrating Valentine’s Day next week, we’ll take our own look at the top places for a romantic dinner for two in the holy city.
For those who can splurge, head over to Angelica (kosher) on Schatz Street near the center of town. The dinner menu is a creative marvel put together by Chef Erez Margi and his talented sous chefs. The service is quiet but attentive and the intimate space designed by Shara Ben Amram encourages quiet conversation and lots of lingering.
If it’s charm you’re looking for, spend the evening at Itamar Cafe on Moshav Ora. You’ll be surrounded by fragrant blooms, as the restaurant is part of a plant nursery. The background noise will be the fountain cascading down the rock wall next to your table and the candlelight will cast a romantic sheen over everything. Sip a spiked hot chocolate together and share a decadent dessert to round off your charming romantic evening.
You want something romantic that’s a steal? That would have to be Tmol Shilshom, the library cum cafe cum literary salon that’s tucked away in a picturesque alley off Nachlat Shiva in the middle of town. Find a table in a corner and while away the evening together in this cozy hideaway.
What’s a romantic place you’ll go back to again and again? That may very well be the Arabesque Restaurant at the American Colony Hotel. An old-fashioned, Middle Eastern restaurant where you’ll be surrounded by Oriental decor, quiet elegance and impeccable service.
And for those looking for a cheap but romantic date? Walk through the Old City to the corner of the Via Dolorosa and push open the heavy oak door of the Austrian Hospice. Make your way to the quiet garden at the side of the building, where the Armenian tile tables and wrought iron chairs blend in with the palm trees and the bougainvillea. Order an apple strudel and coffee and then walk up to the rooftop where the two of you can gaze at a 360 degree view of some of the holiest sites in the world.