If you want to impress someone special, choosing the right restaurant can make all the difference, especially in a town like New York where people are willing to go to great lengths to make an impression. These restaurants are the crème de la crème of New York's fine dining scene, with romantic atmospheres built right in. The high-quality service and world-class menus are sure to impress your date whether you're celebrating Valentine's Day, an anniversary, or another special occasion.
Danny Meyer's restaurants are renowned for impeccable service, and Gramercy Tavern is no different. Serving a creative American fare, Gramercy Tavern, everything you eat will be perfect, from start to finish. You'll need a reservation to eat in the main dining room where the menu is prix-fixe but won't need one for the tavern area which offers an à la carte menu.
Often considered the most romantic restaurant in New York City and the world, One If By Land, Two If By Sea is housed in a former carriage house that features nightly live piano music and working fireplaces. Exposed brick and dim lighting make this a great destination for a romantic evening. The restaurant offers a three-course prix-fixe menu or a seven-course chef's tasting.
If you can't have a romantic night without a show-stopping view, look no farther than The River Cafe on Downtown Brooklyn's waterfront. Featuring delicious food combined with professional, attentive service, The River Cafe is well worth the trip across the bridge for the food alone, but the view of downtown Manhattan makes this an irresistible choice. This Michelin-starred restaurant also specializes in running a venerated wine program and has one of the most expansive wine lists in the country.
Another one for your Danny Meyer checklist, the Union Square Cafe offers great service and delicious fare in a comfortable setting. This restaurant is friendly to vegetarians, offering a variety of plant-based options. Reservations are suggested, though you can try to eat at the bar without one. Uniquely, this is a non-tipping restaurant, so the cost of service will be included in your final bill.
In New York City, Balthazar is the closest you can get to an authentic Parisian bistro, and what's more romantic than a meal in Paris? This SoHo staple is a busy brasserie that serves traditional French food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Naturally, bread and pastries are made fresh every morning on-site.
If you really want to dazzle your date, Daniel is among New York City's most impressive restaurants, with inventive dishes and prices to match. The decor reflects Daniel Boulud's appreciation for Italian Renaissance design, but the menu features creative French cuisine. In the main dining rooms, you'll order from the four-course prix-fixe menu, so if you want to dine à la carte, head to the lounge area.
With their annual Valentine's Day tradition of serving a "hands-free" meal, Blue Hill offers an off-beat take on your typical romantic evening. This Greenwich Village restaurant has built a menu focused on seasonally available produce from farms around the northeastern United States.