Whether you're looking for an intimate date night, a romantic celebration, or a place to pop the question in Raleigh, North Carolina, consider the following four restaurants for a few reasons.
What makes a restaurant a romantic hotspot? Some lovebirds are looking for a particular ambiance with candlelight and elegant decor, others expect a certain level of food and wine selections, and there are those who prefer a venue with a view, like a memorable place to make a very important memory.
Four restaurants—Second Empire Restaurant, Heron's, Rey's and Sola—have made the cut.
Located in the beautifully restored Dodd-Hinsdale House in downtown Raleigh, this historic Victorian home has yielded a AAA four-diamond, award-winning restaurant.
Second Empire has roaring fireplaces in the dining rooms, an exciting menu and wine list, and top-notch service. Dining at the Second Empire can be pricey, but you will be treated to a meal you should remember.
To top off the experience, you can combine dinner with theater tickets. Second Empire has a shuttle that will drop you off at the Performing Arts Center and bring you back to the restaurant so you do not have to think about parking.
There are only 62 restaurants in the world that have been designated a Forbes five-star restaurant, and Herons at The Umstead Hotel and Spa is one of them. The sophisticated level of dining is sure to please the most discerning of diners. The view overlooks a picturesque terrace and lake. This restaurant is only steps from an indulgent couples massage and a hotel room.
To get the full Heron experience, order the 10 courses from the Chef's Kaiseki Tasting Menu. The restaurant has been lauded by Food & Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and Southern Living, just to name a few.
Rey's Restaurant is self-described as "fine dining with a French Quarter flare" in the Triangle section of Raleigh. The "flare" is a reference to the romantic French Quarter gaslights. Rey's makes consistent appearances on many of the Triangle's "most romantic" lists.
This upscale steakhouse features white tablecloths, candle lamps, and richly upholstered chairs. The menu is inspired by New Orleans with turtle soup, Bourbon Street pork chops and bananas foster as menu favorites.
Solas is probably known best for its nightclub-like atmosphere that gets people on the dance floor and gets the blood pumping. The venue can hold up to 1,000 people, which makes it popular for weddings and catered special events.
Despite its size, Solas' subdued lighting, ultra-luxe lounges and accents with flowers and candles throughout its three levels can make for a romantic evening. The candle-lit first-floor restaurant has rounded booths that can encircle a pair of sweethearts, making it ideal for an intimate setting.
The highlight of the place is its third-floor rooftop lounge that has a sweeping view of downtown. Also, the rooftop cabanas can give you and a special someone a private nook for talking, relaxing and enjoying each other's company.