Given the restaurant Renaissance that has been going on in Washington, DC, over the last several years, it’s easy to find a romantic spot for a date or a much-needed date night. Star chefs, culinary delights from every continent, and even food trucks have emerged on the scene to fill our bellies and lighten our wallets. Indeed, a few places have warmed our hearts as well.
Following are a few of our favorite places for dinners for two in the District. Book one for Valentine’s Day or any other time you need woo a crush or get those home fires burning again:
What’s more romantic than splashing out on a meal at one of the most acclaimed restaurants in America? You and your date won’t be disappointed at the culinary cathedral that is CityZen, where your palate will be introduced to delicacies like crème fraiche blintzes with salmon mousse, monkfish in oyster cream, and beef shortribs with shitake mushrooms. Do those sound like aphrodisiacs to you? The Mandarin Oriental Hotel is right upstairs…
A neighborhood gem, according to Open Table, Lavandou fulfills your romantic requisite for fine French dining. Set in Cleveland Park, Lavandou serves up some of the best moules frites in the city, as well as other palate pleasing Provençale specialties like escargots and duck magret with rosemary and lavender.
Casual and with a vintage Italian bicycle theme, the inventive Italian eats at Coppi’s Organic will get your heart racing. Order up a pizza from Coppi’s most cozy feature – its wood burning oven – or choose from regional Ligurian specialties like spinach gnocchi or chestnut tortellini. Half-price wine specials, as well as the delectable nutella calzone, make this a super spot to visit with your sweetie.
Tapas are great for dates because they force you to share, a romantic act in itself. For that reason, we’ve chosen Jaleo as one of our favorite places to have dinner with your loved one again and again. Come here for pre- or post-theater bites of more than 60 types of tapas or pre-order paella for two. Wash it all down with sangria or sherry until you’re tipsy enough to lisp like a Madrileño.
Have a Cheap Date
Exotic eats inspired by Istanbul kitchens sound expensive, but Café Divan makes them affordable. Tuck into this informal Turkish dining room for kebabs, pides, roast lamb, and at least a half dozen Mediterranean mezes. There’s no alcohol on the menu at Café Divan, but that keeps the check low.
Need more ideas for romantic hotspots in Washington? Check out our Top 10 list of Romantic Things to Do in Washington, DC.
Image Mandarin Oriental