What are the most romantic restaurants in Washington D.C.?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Mary Beth Albright

Romance is subjective. For some, a secluded table at a buzzy restaurant evokes both mystery and coziness. Head to Bourbon Steak’s table 105, a corner booth that assures privacy and a view of who’s dining with whom. Even though steak and Bourbon’s famous duck fat fried don’t exactly scream amour, the menu has diverse seafood offerings for a lighter dinner.

We saw Bill and Hillary Clinton at CityZen one Valentine’s Day, at a window table with nighttime views of the Jefferson Memorial. Chef Eric Ziebold’s tasting menu also means fewer decisions about ordering, and more time for flirting.

Palena’s dining room with its rich fabrics and positively age-reducing lighting, provides a wonderful nook for an intimate dinner. The service is attentive and lighthearted but not overbearing or too familiar (no one will ask, “are you still working on that?”) and desserts are creative and modern, and still homey and comforting.

McLean Robbins

With Valentine's Day fast approaching, diners are often wondering: what makes a romantic meal in Washington, DC? 

That's simple: romance is about the company, not the cuisine or the ambiance. But of course, a true gourmet experience can bring the romance out in even the most devoted of couples. Menus offering mood-enhancing ingredients can't hurt. Dim lighting, intimate spaces, and attentive yet not overbearing service contribute to the equation. 

We'd suggest opting for lighter or smaller plate fare on a romantic evening, as full stomachs aren't always condusive to post-dinner romance, but often the city's most intimate plaecs are famed for their multi-course menus. Komi, Plume at the Jefferson, Fiola, The Inn at Little Washington, Minibar and Restaurant Eve certainly come to mind. 

Intimate dining and elegant decor also play a role. Georgetown's 1789 certainly fits the bill, offering a tasteful ambiance and a jackets strongly suggested dress code, as well as a rich history and delectably famous rack of lamb. Chef Michele Richard's Citronelle is also an excellent choice. 

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