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Romantic Restaurants in Columbus, Ohio

I am looking for a romantic restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. I would like to keep the price $20 or under if possible. I would prefer either French or Italian, but I will except any reccomendations.

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  1. Do you mean $20 for the whole meal or per person? If it's $20 per person, Moretti's in Upper Arlington and Trattoria Roma in Grandview Heughts would be nice Italian places. Also, Giuseppie's (sp?) in Bexley is very nice. I can't think of romantic French for that price - I'm looking forward to others' responses. Thai Orchid in Dublin doesn't fit your French or Italian criteria, but it is dark and pretty and the price would be right. The food is very good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lauren in OH

      Sorry, I meant to write $20 per person. I have heard wonderful things about Moretti's and Trattoria Roma, but I haven't ate in either one. Thai Orchid is currently one of my favorite restaurants. There is also a place called Amul India in that same center that has excellent Indian food.

    2. i'm a boston hound, but i've spent some time in columbus.

      barcelona (tapas / fusion) at 263 e. whittier has a nice patio and luxurious interior decor with large mirrors, curtains, etc.

      l'antibes (french) at 772 n. high street is probably your best bet for great french in columbus. the ambience is often described as romantic and intimate, but i actually thought it was stark and off-putting. i'd recommend you peek in quickly and make your own assessment before dining there.

      rigsby's kitchen (italian / mediterranean) at 698 n. high street is excellent. i had a standout risotto here, perhaps the best rendition i've tasted. the ambience could certainly be called romantic, although more on the chic side.

      of these three, i'd say barcelona is the most casual. one should dress nicely for rigsby's or l'antibes.


      1. I think L'Antibes and Rigsby's are good choices, and Barcelona too, but I don't think you could get out of any of those places for $20 per person even if you only drank water. I can see how L'Antibes could be described as stark, but once you sit down, the service and food is so wonderful that I still think it is very romantic. The Refectory is also a romantic French place, but again, the prices are much higher than $20.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Lauren in OH

          yeah, good point. i didn't notice the $20 requirement. i don't think any of them even have entrees under $20.

        2. I think we may have found a place that will work. I am trying to set this up for my cousin and her soon-to-be fiance. (He is planning on proposing during dinner.)They are both unfamiliar with the area, but she has a lot of family here. They thought that since I live in Columbus, I could plan the dinner for them. My mom took me and my cousin out to lunch at Bucca Di Beppo, and my cousin fell in love with the place. She told us she is going to recommend it for the romantic dinner out that her boyfriend promised her. Thanks for all of your help. I will definately pass any suggestions I get on to her.

          1. I like Buca di Beppo -- it's fun and the food is actually pretty good for chain Italian -- but "romantic" isn't a word I'd use to describe it.

            1. I agree with you. I think Bucca Di Beppo is nice, but not romantic. It reminds me of a place to go for a family birthday or something like that. I actually sat in the kitchen once to celebrate a new job.
              My cousin talked to the waitstaff, and they are going to try to set the couple off by themselves as much as possible. They also recommended coming in around 8:00 when things start slowing down. She was also advised to remind them that it's supposed to be a romantic dinner when she calls to make reservations.

              1. Don't know how romantic you will think the setting is, but if you like Italian, you should try Scali's in Reynoldsburg near Rt. 256 & Livingston Ave. They have wonderful, homemade food. There are white tablecloths, you can order wine and a few times a month they have live music. You can easily do $20/pp. Also second Trattoria Roma, we did our daughter's recent HS graduation there. The chef was very accommodating regarding special requests. Buca di Beppo would be ok in a pinch, but it is really institutional Italian food compared to these 2 for the same price.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Diane in Bexley

                  Scali's is great! I completely forgot about it as a suggestion. The wine seemed pretty reasonable, too, from what I remember. I'm glad to be reminded of it. It's a drive for me from Riverside Hosp. area, but it is worth it!

                2. My cousin and her boyfriend have actually decided to go to Barcelona instead of Bucca di Beppo. We checked out their website this morning and they decided to go there. Thanks for all of the suggestions. I ended up looking up websites for most of them.

                  1. My cousin and her fiance had a wonderful time at Barcelona last night. They said that it was crowded and loud, but they had a good time anyways. The staff went out of their way to make everything perfect for them. The waiter presented my cousin with her engagement ring right before dessert. The staff had also put the ring in a box they had, and decorated the box. Her fiance had also asked their waiter for advice on how he should propose (He's from Slovenia), and the waiter was very nice about it. They said that everything was wonderful, and that they would definately recommend the place.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Wintergoblin

                      Just ate at Barcelona on Wednesday night, and had a great time, great meal. It's a beautiful restaurant -- the bar looked great -- but the evening was cool so we sat on the patio. Drank a big pitcher of sangria, ordered the hummus (spicy!) and paella. It was far more romantic that Buca Di Beppo. ;-) It runs $40-$50 per person with drinks and tip. We'll be back.

                    2. I would also highly recommend Alana's on High Street, north of OSU. It's not French or Italian (I guess I would describe it as eclectic). You won't be get out for less than $20, but you could probably do it for less than $30/pp. Food is excellent and creative, and the service is casual but professional. The wines are very reasonably priced as well.