HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


The most romantic restaurant in NYC?

I don't live in NYC but I'm heading there in 3 weeks.
I'm currently looking for the best romantic restaurant in NYC. Price is not a concern but the deco and atmosphere have to be good! a Live music playing will be a plus!

I've already made a reservation with the one if by land....but it looks like people don't actually recommend that place.

Appreciate your helps!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. When are you headed to NYC?

    Are you open to going outside Manhattan?

    Popular upscale restaurants book up about a month in advance. Especially for the coveted Friday night and Saturday night 7-9pm tables.

    You choices will be greatly limited by date and time you wish to dine.


    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      I will be there in 3 weeks. I'm totally up for any good dinning place either in Manhattan or outside Manhattan.

      1. re: sanfranciscola

        For outside Manhattan, you need to post on the Outer Boroughs board.

        So you literally want to dine on 11/12 (three weeks from now)?

        It will be very difficult to get into EMP or Per Se on 3 weeks notice. Jean Georges, Del Posto, and Le Bernardin are much easier to get into; however Le Bernardin has been taking November reservations since October 1st, so you should call ASAP. By now they may only have the very early and very late tables remaining.

    2. OIBL has been coasting on reputation for years... A nice enough room, but the food ain't worth the price of admission.

      If you're looking for a romantic setting... and if they've reopened post-Sandy yet, The River Cafe is about as legendary as it gets. A little overpriced for the food they serve? Yes. But that view is... well, you can't put a price on it. Don't know when you plan on being here or if they'll have reopened yet. Supposed to be any day now.

      Otherwise... if price is REALLY not a concern, there's the usual NYT four-star suspects - Per Se, Eleven Madison Park, etc. Jean-George and Le Bernardin have a bit of a "corporate" vibe so I'd probably leave them off the list. Del Posto has live music at dinner, IIRC, and it's a lovely room, plus you can take a walk on the High Line before or after.

      4 Replies
      1. re: sgordon

        The River Cafe has not reopened yet. A few days ago, I swear their site said 10/31, but now that posting is gone.

        1. re: sgordon

          Second River Cafe (see Outer Boroughs Board), too bad they're still closed. Romantic, views (request a table by the window), atmosphere, live music (piano).

          I don't think EMP with its high ceilings is romantic. I've only been for lunch so maybe it's different in the evening.

          OP doesn't say anything about the food. Just romantic, atmosphere and music . . .

          1. re: financialdistrictresident

            OIBL is on the www.opentable.com list of most romantic restaurants :)

            I think Bacaro's downstairs is romantic. I have not been to Bacaro in awhile so I don't know how the food is.

            Depending what OP means by "romantic" and "atmosphere" Bacaro may fit the bill. There are private rooms downstairs with candelbras on the tables, brick walls, wine cellar. You'd have to arrange for live music.

            If you're more about the food than the atmosphere, etc. this is probably NOT the right place.




          2. re: sgordon

            I have to say that Jean George is not a place I consider romantic! But River Cafe, if it's open -yes, a great idea for a romantic setting. We went there the day after we got married - it was actually our honeymoon, so to speak since we could not get away for one. That view is just breathtaking!

            1. Daniel
              Eleven Madison Park
              Jean Georges
              Per Se
              Del Posto
              Caviar Russe
              La Grenouille

              1. For me, a subway ride after a romantic dinner is a mood breaker, so if you think that might be the case for the two of you, either pick someplace within walking distance of where you are staying, or budget for a taxi.

                What kind of live music do you like for romance?

                Other romance considerations for me are well-spaced tables with comfortable chairs and service that is not going to be interrupting my conversation to explain what I ordered to me or how to eat it or if I am enjoying my dinner. (Others feel differently.)

                Also, if you want cocktails, or find wine a romantic accompaniment to a meal, that means a certain kind of restaurant or some cuisines and not others.

                Even though "most romantic" seems self-explanatory, it is surprising how people can differ on which restaurants enhance a great date. Hope you are consulting with your significant other about what he or she will find romantic.

                Many people here have experiences with restaurants outside NYC, so if there is a romantic restaurant somewhere in the US that is like the kind of place you'd like to find in NYC, if you name it, people here might be able to tell you the NYC equivalent.

                1 Reply
                1. re: barberinibee

                  Well, I looked up every restaurant that is mentioned above. I'd say Del Posto is the one I consider romantic.
                  Not too modern and bright!

                2. It doesn't get anymore romantic than Asiate with its stunning view from atop the Mandarin Oriental.
                  Picholine and La Silhouette are also quite romantic.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: arepo

                    I agree with Asiate (at least the most romantic for Midtown, dunno about all of Manhattan), but make sure to request/reserve a window seat.

                  2. it depends on what you mean by romantic! I love sitting at the bar at Minetta Tavern or Bathazar at 11 pm drinking Champagne.I find being close & sitting there where we can talk without all the noise is very romantic.

                    1. Jean Georges

                      Much as I love Per Se and EMP, and they are beautiful places,.... they are more temples of gastronomy than love...

                      (One if by Land is where a guy used to take a girl in the 80's if he was having trouble getting her in bed)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: dyrewolf

                        (One if by Land is where a guy used to take a girl in the 80's if he was having trouble getting her in bed)


                        I was there once for a cocktail and didn't think it was all that romantic..just very dark...
                        If my husband booked a dinner at OIBL, I'd tell him to cancel it immediately. Mediocre food definitely has an effect of killing my mood.

                      2. I find Picholine very romantic, also Il Buco and the Leopard at Des Artistes is a beautiful space. Daniel and La Grenouille I also recommend.

                        1. Betony, Picholine, The NoMad (if you get the parlour room or fireplace room), Daniel, The Modern (Dining Room, at night, seated along windows)

                          1. While most fine dining establishments (Daniel, Per Se, EMP, Picholine) may be considered romantic by most, it's actually a little stiff and showy in my opinion. Not sure what your definition of "romantic" is though...

                            Personally, I find places where you can get cozy and comfortable with your date and pick off each other's plates to be romantic. Some places that immediately come to mind: L'Artusi, The NoMad, Minetta Tavern, Locanda Verde, Perla.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: zeeEats

                              Have you ever been to Del Posto?

                              From the pics, it fits what I mean by romantic- not too bright and not too modern

                              Just not sure if Del Posto is as good as it looks from the pics.

                              Hopefully I don't get fooled again like I did with OIBL

                              1. re: sanfranciscola

                                Del Posto is a great choice. The food is great (though very expensive - be prepared) and the service is lovely and unrushed. The room does have more of an "old-school" vibe as compared to some of the other NYT four-star places, and I don't find it stuffy as I often do some of the Haute French places.

                                Is this an anniversary, honeymoon, or pre- or post-proposal dinner or something like that? Never hurts to casually mention that when making your reservation...

                                1. re: sanfranciscola

                                  Should also ask: what night are planning for this dinner? Do you have multiple nights available? If it's a weekend, there might not be any tables left, or if so only at limited times (i.e. early tables, 5:00 - 5:30 or so)