10 Of The Most Romantic Restaurants In The World
Nothing can get more romantic than a candlelight dinner with a view. Michelin-starred La Sponda offers both as it’s situated within the Le Sirenuse Hotel, perched on the hills near the Almalfi Coast in Positano, Italy. When the sun goes down, the whole interior casts a seductive glow from the 400 candles which are lit every night.
The food is also on par with the vista. Helmed by executive chef Matteo Temperini, he and his team never fail to dish out a stellar menu that is inspired by Mediterranean traditions and prepared using local and fresh produce.
While Paris is home to some of the most romantic restaurants in the world, there’s something about Lapérouse that sets it apart from the others. First, it’s housed in a 17th-century townhouse that overlooks the Seine River and Saint-Louis Island. Until today, the history and décor have been preserved to give off the same charm as it did a few centuries ago.
Down to the food, the chef still aims to stay true to the restaurant’s spirit by offering French gastronomic cuisine, with time-tested dishes such as the lamb shoulder preserved with spices, Lapérouse “Meuniere” sole browned in butter and beef tournedos (meat cuts) with Jamaican pepper. These are paired with beautiful wines from the restaurant’s impressive collection.
One if by Land, Two if by Sea
New York, USA
This upscale eatery in New York is a popular place for engagements, weddings and anniversaries; when you step inside, you’ll realise why. Situated within a landmark carriage house built in 1767, the restaurant has a historic feel that is made more romantic with candlelit tables, fireplace, a baby grand piano and a private garden to wander in.
The intimate atmosphere complements executive chef Gary Volkov’s creations divided into different menus—Prixe Fixe, Chef’s Tasting and A La Carte—which come with wine pairing. Dishes include bluefin tuna tartare, onion consommé, seared wagyu bulgogi and boneless rack of lamb. To keep diners coming back for more, he also creates unique menus for occasions such as Valentine’s Day.
A trip to Santorini is always an experience to remember. Why don’t you throw in a romantic dinner at Archipelagos Restaurant to fully maximise your visit? Set in a beautiful terrace that overlooks a volcano and the Aegean sea, it’s the perfect spot to while away an afternoon as you watch the sun go down.
While you’re here, it’s the best chance to sample its wide-ranging menu of Mediterranean Greek dishes such as the shrimp souvlaki (skewered meats or vegetables) with a garlic and wine sauce and the Santorini specialty—spaghetti with tomato and garlic sauce. The restaurant also boasts an extensive wine collection, mostly of Greek varietals.
Other than its beaches, Bali is also known as a culinary hotspot where you can find superb fine-dining restaurants such as Metis. A popular place for couples, it impresses with its spacious restaurant that has indoor and outdoor seats overlooking the well-maintained rice paddies. Its decor is inspired by locally-made batiks (a traditional textile which originated from Java).
The restaurant under the guidance of chef Nicolas “Doudou” Tourneville is all about dishing fine French food. You can see it on the menu with classics such as Les Escargots, confit rabbit leg and roasted boneless organic quail. There’s also a whole menu dedicated to foie gras, one of France’s most popular contributions to the culinary world.
Dining in the middle of the ocean? It sounds like something you would see in movies, but there’s actually a restaurant that provides this kind of experience. The Rock is perched on a rock, formerly a fisherman’s post in the middle of the Indian Ocean. If it’s low tide, you can walk to the restaurant, but if the tide is high, there’s a ferry which will bring you there.
With only 12 tables, it’s perfect for more privacy with your dinner date. Being in the middle of the ocean, seafood cooked in different ways is its specialty. Go for the The Rock Special which gives you a platter of lobster, cigal, king prawn, fish fillet and calamari cooked on a grill. And when you get thirsty, the cocktails and wines are worth trying, too.
Le Jules Verne
It’s so easy to be seduced by French restaurant, Le Jules Verne. It’s situated on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, still one of the world’s beloved attractions, and gives a dramatic view of the city of lights through its floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
A name attached to the restaurant is chef Alain Ducasse, who is synonymous with fine dining at its best. Having gained a Michelin star, it doesn’t disappoint with an incredible contemporary French cuisine. To fully enjoy what it has to offer, you can opt for its tasting menu showcasing its signature dishes and other creations. These often change based on what's fresh and available, but keep a look out for the pan-seared duck foie gras and gratinanted macaroni with black truffles.
Soneva Kiri Resort, Koh Kood, Thailand
The fine dining experience is taken to greater heights (literally) with Treepod Dining, one of Thailand’s most unique restaurants in the heart of Koh Kood’s ancient forest. Unlike conventional restaurants with walls, spacious interiors filled with white linen tables, Treetop Dining gives you and your partner a private pod attached to a tree.
To get there, you need to be hoisted gently by the staff. But it’s all worth it as you get that a majestic view of the Gulf and leafy canopy. While enjoying some private time, you and your partner can enjoy authentic Thai dishes such as prawns cooked in coconut milk and served with scallop escabeche and pomegranate; rillette chicken cooked with mushrooms and hazelnut; and pumpkin braised in spices and tossed with almonds. These will be served by waiters on a zipline—what a sight!
Polignano A Mare BA, Italy
Built inside a limestone cave that juts out 74ft above sea level, Grotta Palazzese gives you a dramatic view of the Adriatic sea and the waves that just sweep along the cave’s edge.
Take in the whole scenery while you savour hearty Italian dishes such as risotto studded with mullet roe; home-smoked salmon flavoured with yellow peppercorn and béarnaise sauce; and a cup of indulgent trifle with local wines. Once you’re done with your meal, take your partner on a stroll along the city and enjoy the preserved architecture.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
El Farallon is a truly a luxurious dining destination. Located at The Resort at Pedregal, it is perched on the cliffs that offer unparalleled views of the Pacific Ocean and clear blue skyline.
Imagine that vista while you and your companion tuck into chef’s Yvan Mucharraz set menu which consists of the best selection of fresh seafood and local produce. These are transformed into dishes such as the mixed grill selection of sea bass, red snapper and mahi mahi, presented in his La Abundancia de la Baja (Baja Bounty) menu.