12 Romantic Restaurants Perfect for Valentine’s Day

Where to dine out on the most romantic day of the year

By Seattle magazine staff


January 17, 2012

Yes, there just happens to be a giant heart-infested holiday coming right around the corner that many consider to be the biggest date night of the year. In its honor we have rounded up a short list of restaurants where the ambience is such that couples mooning across the table at each other are as much a fixture as dimmer switches and candlelight.

These hot spots have some of the sexiest tables in town and each has its own way of turning up the heat. Some may be doing special Valentine’s Day menus and seatings—check in soon with individual restaurants for specials and reservations. 

Boat Street Cafe

With its gently twinkling lights, generously-spaced tables and air of seclusion, it’s easy to feel like you, your love and the velvety French country pâté sitting between you are the only things that exist in the whole world. boatstreetcafe.com 

The cozy quarters, offbeat décor, charmingly quirky waitstaff and ravioli dishes named ‘Happy Sausage Pillows’ may just make you want to go home and do something cozy, offbeat, and charmingly quirky involving happy, sausage, and pillows. bizzarroitaliancafe.com

Refined seasonal Northern Italian fare in a casual neighborhood setting make this a local go-to spot for a candlelit dinner at its outposts in both Wallingford and Bellevue. cantinettaseattle.com, cantinettabellevue.com 


Carmelita [CLOSED]
Greenwood’s beloved vegetarian mainstay delivers on both sumptuously seasonal and local fare as well as an ooh-la-la atmosphere thanks to proprietors Kathryn Neuman and Michael Hughes’ shared background in painting and art. carmelita.net 

La Bête
We’re talking layers of pure romance here, where exposed-brick and wrought-iron Old World charm mingle with come-hither background music and a meat-heavy menu to bring out the sexy beast in all of us. labeteseattle.com 

If the words “James” and “Beard” turn you on, chef Johnathan Sundstrom’s award-winning food will have you ooh-ing and ahh-ing with its eclectic mix of intriguing culinary artistry. Just make sure Chef isn’t the only object of your affection. larkseattle.com 

La Rustica
Sometimes I like to divide the world of couples into two different camps: those who know about West Seattle’s hidden date night gem, and those who don’t. You may be elbow-to-elbow with the other pairs who patronize the Alki lair of love for its classic Northern Italian deliciousness and oozing charm, but you’re all part of the same club, so who cares. larusticarestaurant.com 

Le Grand Bistro Américain
Scott Emerick (of Madrona’s dearly-departed Crémant) helms the kitchen at Kirkland’s Carillon Point French bistro, assuring that the meal you experience here is every bit as enjoyable as the stunning Lake Washington view. bistrolegrand.com 

Wallingford’s most eye-catching Thai restaurant has that most masterful ability to transport you to another place. The food is a cut above your average Thai (the normally humble Pad Thai gets a very royal tableside presentation here), the cocktails are refreshingly elegant and it’s one of the most affordable date nights around. maythaiseattle.com 

Monsoon East
For fans of Eric and Sophie Bahn’s sophisticated Vietnamese fare, the Eastside version, which trades the pristine air of the Capitol Hill location for a warmer, more romantic vibe, is the place for lovers. Start with some selections from the raw bar to set the mood setting on “sexy” from the get-go. monsooneast.com 

When it comes to date night, there’s nothing like eating off the same plate to make you feel closer. Jerry Traunfeld’s herbacious Indian thali-style dinners marry Northwest ingredients with an exotic flare for the perfect combination of comfort and adventure. poppyseattle.com 

Walrus & The Carpenter
Had enough with the subtle innuendos? Then spend your V-Day night slurping down the ultimate of all aphrodisiac foods (well, that are legal in the U.S.) at Ballard’s raw oyster palace. Start your evening by ordering the Mustache Ride from the cocktail menu, just to make sure we’re clear what’s going on here. thewalrusbar.com

Early reservations are strongly recommended for any Valentine’s Day dining experience!

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