Dining Delivered: Most Romantic Restaurants

From a Barbados seaside escape to California's oldest French restaurant, find a spot to take her this February
 Waterside Cafe, Barbados  Madrona Manor  River Cafe, courtesy Adam Leach

Take her out this Valentine's Day, and get all the details in Exec Digital's February issue!


“Romantic: having an inclination for romance : responsive to the appeal of what is idealized, heroic, or adventurous b : marked by expressions of love or affection c : conducive to or suitable for lovemaking

“Romance: something (as an extravagant story or account) that lacks basis in fact; an emotional attraction or aura belonging to an especially heroic era, adventure, or activity”


By means of the age-old and time-tested trials of Merriam Webster, some of the world’s most romantic diners must induce a series of heroic or adventurous circumstances.  As you can image, we had a little trouble finding the restaurant that perfectly fused your apt desire for red meat, and hers for ambiance. The feat was difficult, mind you, but the research was worth it. For a surefire way to avoid a dining disaster during a special occasion, try out these fan favorites:


Waterside Restaurant

St. Laurence Gap, Barbados


With adjacent, crystal clear waters and a tropical climate, romance is inescapable. At Waterside Restaurant in Barbados’ St. Laurence Gap, a stunning view that highlights Barbados’ prized possession isn’t the only thing on the menu - Chef Michael Hinds infuses traditional Caribbean entrees with international influences to transfix guests with high-caliber concepts created by the former Sandy Lane Executive Sous Chef. Items like breadfruit soup with smoked blue marlin or Tandoori local rock lobster with green and cut fries are mesmerizing, as is the relaxed but enforced dress code that attracts a sophisticated crowd, particularly love-birds looking to indulge in a lengthy four course meal.

The River Café

New York, New York


There are very few restaurants that can stand the test of time, but The River Café under the Brooklyn Bridge is one. Like your little black dress that never goes out of style, The River Café has employed the best chefs since 1977 and continues to get men down on bended knee with shimmery diamond in hand. Continuously named one of America’s most romantic restaurants, The River Café doesn’t just impress visitors year after year for its stunning views of the Manhattan skyline – playing true to the country’s most diverse locals – its menu pleases the palate with seasonally innovative cuisine from start to finish.

Fleur de Lys

San Francisco, California


Time-tested and true, Fleur de Lys glamorizes its historic roots – from the dark red tapestries covering the walls to the hushed demeanor of all its veteran patrons, Hubert Keller’s genius strikes amid the romantic ambiance. The fusion gastronomic cuisine isn’t pretentious, but engaging; courses are spaced perfectly, from the chef’s amuse bouche to the final tray of desserts, as exquisite service and the space’s landmark status envelope guests from initial coat exchange until the door opens for departure. Of course, a night at the Fleur de Lys isn’t complete without a walk through San Francisco’s Union Square.

Madrona Manor 

Sonoma County, California


Sonoma County is known for being all about the wine, but sometimes it’s about the food– at least, that’s the case at the converted mansion Madrona Manor, where guests can stroll through Chef Jesse Mallgren’s one acre vegetable garden, grab a glass of the city’s signature red and dine under candlelight in one of the property’s five dining rooms. The multiple course, Michelin star rated menu lends itself to romance; “I think what’s really romantic about the dinner itself is once you order however many courses you want, we always send out little surprises – which keeps the conversation flowing, and keeps the evening spontaneous,” says Chef Mallgren. 

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