Charlotte, sometimes called Banktown for being the country's second largest banking center after New York City, has a huge variety of fine-dining establishments, but not all have romance on the agenda. This often leaves couples wondering where to go on a romantic date night in the city, whether it's a quiet anniversary dinner or a celebratory Valentine's Day meal.
Fortunately, there are a few restaurants in Charlotte that are quite romantic and make for the perfect destination for couples of all ages, whatever the occasion may be. Whether you dine Uptown or in a more quiet neighborhood like Dilworth or South End, you can even check out some specialty chocolate shops afterward if you'd like to end your date on a sweet note.
The McNinch House was the residence of Charlotte's McNinch family from 1891 until 1978, when Mattie McNinch, who never married, passed away. Ellen Davis then purchased the home, helping to fund the ongoing restoration as part of the Fourth Ward revitalization project.
The McNinch House Restaurant features richly molded woodwork and tin-tiled fireplaces, and visitors can feast on seven courses in this Victorian setting all year long. You should also look out for special celebratory dinners and brunches hosted at the restaurant throughout the year, including events on Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.
Nestled in the Fox Croft East Shopping Center in South Park, this intimate restaurant serves up upscale American cuisine courtesy of Chef Jason Newman. Originally opened in 2000, Barrington's earned multiple accolades throughout the years, establishing itself as a Charlotte staple to this day.
The cozy yet open environment creates an intimate setting for a romantic meal or a small dinner party. However, Barrington's is only open Monday through Saturday for dinner, so reservations are recommended as space is limited to 45 people at a time.
Owner John Duncan opened Bonterra Dining and Wine Room in 1999 in the former Dilworth Methodist Episcopal Church South and much of the original architecture remains, which adds to a romantic ambiance that perfectly complements the restaurant's food.
Wine dinners are a great way to enjoy a delicious meal with expert wine pairings, and Bonterra regularly brings out the best bottles for these popular events. Chef Blake Hartwick presents a special menu for holidays throughout the year, like Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve, and his regular menu changes often with what is in season and what local farmers are growing.
Located in the Mayer House of Southend, Copper puts a modern, upscale twist on classic Indian cuisine surrounded by a neighborhood rich in local and national history. The interior is intimate, with contemporary Indian art and music throughout several dining areas. It's an excellent choice for a romantic dinner that will impress your date.
Sisters Tricia Maddrey and Bonnie Warford first opened Carpe Diem in 1989, and while the restaurant is currently in its third Charlotte location, the quality, food, and atmosphere remain the same.
Now located in the historic Elizabeth neighborhood near downtown Charlotte and lead by executive chef Thomas Vance, Carpe Diem offers guests delectable New American cuisine in an elegant setting complete with mahogany doors, copper lighting fixtures, and marble floors.
For a unique dining experience, you can head to Chima Steakhouse, a Brazilian restaurant where the main courses are served by a staff of circling waiters, who will offer guests plate after plate of different meats, from grilled chicken to bacon-wrapped filet mignon and parmesan-infused sirloins.
Chima Steakhouse also offers a full salad bar, which is known to some reviewers as a "salad paradise," complete with every leafy green imaginable as well as a huge amount of meats and cheeses as complimentary toppings. While the ambiance is a little more boisterous than some others on this list, it's no less romantic due to its small tables and limited availability.
Owner Sara Scheidler and Chef Greg Zanitsch opened The Fig Tree in 2005, providing seasonal Continental Cuisine with French and Italian influences in one of Charlotte's Registered Historic Landmark homes, the Lucas Home, in the charming Elizabeth neighborhood.
The Fig Tree also hosts special events throughout the year including wine dinners, seasonal prix fixe meals, and some other holiday celebrations; you can even rent out a private room for special occasions. Be sure to check out the website for a full list of events, wine tasting as well as winemaker meet and greet events, which pop up throughout the year.
Billed as "authentic" Italian cuisine, Luce doesn't disappoint: the gnocchi is excellent, the decor is opulent, and the ambiance intimate.
Luce Restaurant serves fine northern Italian fare with house-made pasta, prime meats, and fresh seafood and happens to offer an extensive wine list with wines representative of regions all over Italy.