Romantic Albuquerque Restaurants

Candlelight and Wine, Delicious Food Make Scene Special

Albuquerque has many fine restaurants, and some have what it takes to be called romantic. These special-occasion restaurants set the scene for dinner with a beautiful setting, starched white linen tablecloths, candles on the table, and a perfect bottle of wine. 

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    Date night
    ••• Getty Images/Marc Romanelli

    Antiquity in Old Town It has been called the most romantic restaurant in Albuquerque, and it might be; some say every time they go, they see someone getting engaged. Since the mid-20th century, Antiquity has served memorable meals like Chateaubriand for two, carved tableside. Start with the escargot or pan-seared crab cakes and end with a cream ​brulee, all complemented by an extensive wine list. Enjoy a lingering evening in the charming adobe dining room. Reservations are recommended. Parking is on the street or lot, with parking validation. After dinner, stroll around Old Town.

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    A small neighborhood restaurant in Placitas, Blades serves locals and many who make the trek from Albuquerque. The menu changes seasonally, with an emphasis on fresh and local fare. Food is a mix of European and American in a bistro atmosphere.

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    Step inside Chez Axel and be transported to a small, elegant restaurant somewhere in France. The food features French classics such as duck stew, snails baked in butter, frog legs, beef bourguignon, and trout amandine. 

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    With an open-year-round outdoor patio and its rambling adobe rooms, this charming Albuquerque North Valley restaurant is perfect for a special evening meal. Patio dining beneath the ramada includes a candle on each table, being inside the curved adobe walls creates a relaxing atmosphere. The good New Mexican food always comes with just the right amount of spice at El Pinto.

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    Tucked ​in an alleyway in Old Town, this Albuquerque restaurant's country French fare has brought locals back for years. Inside, the converted rooms of what was once an adobe home have just the right amount of charming atmosphere. The food ranges from duck to seafood to beef, but the crepes, whether savory or sweet, make the menu. Try a chocolate dessert crepe to top off a special romantic meal. 

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    For Valentine's Day, Los Poblanos Inn offers a spectacular chance for romance. During Valentine's weekend, you can choose from two evenings and have a four-course prix fixe meal to celebrate the occasion. Dine by candlelight in the ballroom. Dinner will be prepared by executive chef Jonathan Perno, with fresh, local ingredients. Guests who arrive early can order drinks and hors d'oeuvres in the Library.

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    Mas Tapas y Vino is in the Hotel Andaluz, one of the first Hilton hotels. What was old is new again: This recently renovated space has all the modern amenities you could ask for, as well as a great sense of style. Mas specializes in a modern take on Mediterranean cuisine, offering seafood, pasta, beef, and a variety of vegetarian options. An extensive wine list rounds out the menu. Dine indoors in the modern and elegant atmosphere or outdoors on the patio. Mas Tapas y Vino is conveniently located downtown.

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    With large, open windows overlooking the Sandia Mountains, thick-walled adobe rooms with viga ceilings and blazing fireplaces, this magical restaurant is perfect for special occasions. Time your dinner to coincide with the sunset. The contemporary, New American cuisine changes seasonally, and the wine list is excellent. Prairie Star is just a short ride north of Albuquerque in Bernalillo. 

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    The Ranchers Club specializes in wood-grilled steaks, seafood, poultry, and game. The gridiron grill is used to prepare food over a variety of embers to create unique flavors in the grilled meats. An extensive wine list, top-notch service, and a Western atmosphere make this a popular spot for locals celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, and other special occasions. 

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    This Northern Italian grill features house-made antipastos, wood-fired pizza, a variety of pasta dishes, and entrees with seafood, lamb, beef, chicken, and veal. The open kitchen allows diners to watch dinner being made, and live music adds to the experience.

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    The new American cuisine at Seasons Rotisserie & Grill couples fresh, local fare with elegant presentation, and everything is delicious. The atmosphere is casual but upscale, making it the perfect place to meet family or friends for something special. The extensive wine list makes for a relaxed evening. 

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    Known for being the place where couples celebrate Valentine’s Day or anniversaries, its low-light, quiet atmosphere makes the Melting Pot the perfect spot for a special evening. Fondue dinners come in courses, so expect to stay a while. Or come just for chocolate-dipped strawberries and brownie bites, but call early because reservations are a must. 

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    Chef Jean Pierre Gozard has started five successful restaurants in Albuquerque, and Le Troquet is his latest venture. This low-key French-style bistro downtown is the scene of some of the best dining in the city, with its emphasis on delicate-flavored dishes and French home cooking. Here you'll find good wine and good food in a non-pretentious setting, with all the French romance you could ask for.