Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Mid-Atlantic >
Jan 24, 2011 07:17 AM

Romantic Dinner in DE/PA?

I am looking for an interesting option for a romantic dinner this Friday. I have heard good things about Harvest and Masamoto. I am open to all types of food, I am also concerned with the atmosphere. I would really like romance but not in a cheesy way. I'd like to stay out of Philly for this. Thoughts?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'd recommend Sovana Bistro in Kennett or Domaine Hudson in downtown Wilmington.

    9 Replies
    1. re: spyturtle008

      I just went to Domaine Hudson last week! The wine and beer list is always impressive, as are the cheese and charcuterie plates. The shirred egg was underseasoned, but it does have the dark, brooding ambiance I'm looking for.

      1. re: in bocca

        I was there recently as well. Have the portion sizes increased? That seemed to be my impression. Still love the small wine pours and service was great. If that large table by the front is full it can get noisy!

      2. re: spyturtle008

        I'm usually among the first to be waving the Sovana Bistro flag. But for a "romantic" dinner...? It's a high-energy (read "noisy"), bustling place, with tables so close to each other it's easy (and common) for adjacent tables to share conversations.

        1. re: CindyJ

          Yes, I agree totally about Sovana. The food is excellent but it is very noisy and the tables are really packed together. It is a good vibe for dinner out with friends...but not romantic.

          Domaine Hudson isn't the quietest restaurant in the world either, but it is a step up in the romance department from Sovana.

          I am still pushing VInoteca 902 in Wilmington although I did read some dispiriting news about the menu in the News Journal today. Apparently the restaurant is not getting traction, and the chef is making it more small-plates-y, like Orillas. Sigh. I am SO OVER small plates.

          1. re: travelmad478

            I read that, too. i still feel like there's hope and plan to try it myself in the next few weeks. I'm trying to make an effort to support downtown Wilmington when possible to keep the good restaurants here. Thanks for doing the same:)

            1. re: travelmad478

              Service issues seemed to be the main problem at Vinoteca 902:


              1. re: scoopG

                The food is excellent though. The times I've been there, service has been friendly and good but I did notice a bit of amateurishness on one occasion. I will forgive that for food that good (and I am very exacting). It is a little depressing to sit in a restaurant that is so far from full, though, at least at night. Still, I hope they do some more marketing and get more people in the door.

                1. re: travelmad478

                  Ideal date place for in bocca, no? Soft lighting, not noisy etc.

                  1. re: scoopG

                    It is definitely not noisy! The lighting is a little on the bright side and the real problem is that the room is just kind of cavernous. That space is not cozy in the least--the ceilings are super high (I think this building used to be a bank). It seems like it is just cursed, although I was hoping that the great food offered by Vinoteca would break the curse.

        2. Here is a good date spot on 202:

          Le Shio:

          Large space, dark and quiet. There is a bar area (with annoying TV) but you can sit clear of that.
          I would avoid their stir fry dishes and go for the small plates. Not that I've tried their stir fries but they look too generic for me. Roti Canai and Confit Duck I enjoyed. I've not tried their sushi and they always have specials. You might want to check it out solo first!

          1. Thanks for all the great suggestions. My date has taken the reins and surprised me with reservations at Harvest but, I am curious if Vintoteca would be a good option for drinks after dinner? I have also heard good things about Chelsea Tavern.

            2 Replies
            1. re: in bocca

              I think Chelsea Tavern would be a better option. Vinoteca is not a place to get drinks--it's a fairly formal restaurant. I would also ask: if you're going to be eating way out at Harvest (the one in Glen Mills, right?), why would you want to have post-dinner drinks in downtown Wilmington? (Unless you live in downtown Wilmington?)

              Harvest just had an Open Table 50% off coupon last night so I assume that is why you're going there ;-)

              1. re: travelmad478

                You're totally on track, I live in downtown Wilmington. And, I missed the open table coupon for Harvest! Chelsea Tavern for post dinner drinks it is. I am not a beer drinker, but my date certainly is. Any cocktail suggestions for me?

            2. The dinner at Harvest was exactly what I was looking for, and pleasantly surprised that a place in a strip mall can pack such a punch. The food was fresh, local and delicious as they advertise. My date really enjoyed his cocktail with ginger bourbon and I treated myself to a wine flight (or two! ). The service was excellent and our server was very knowledgeable about the menu and ingredients.

              After dinner we stopped at Sullivan's for a lovely cocktail with their house infused pineapple vodka. The drink is called a knockout and I really enjoyed it. Then, as if we needed more to drink, we went to Chelsea Tavern and had Market Street mojitos. They make them with basil instead of mint and use turbinado sugar. These were magical. I should probably stay away from them. All in all it was a great night with excellent food and cocktails.