Fireplaces? Check. Stylish décor? Absolutely. Impeccable service? Categorically. Whether your true love is an adventurer happiest dining on Thai street food or a traditionalist who just wants a perfectly roasted chicken, we have the spot for you. We’re getting butterflies just thinking about this list! Read on to find your ideal romantic restaurant.
Exposed brick, chic lighting and a menu of Persian-inflected meze add up to vibe that’s perfect for conversation and canoodling. Vegetarians and carnivores alike will be pleased by the sophisticated small plates that range from “Street Fries,” featuring shawarma-style strips of rib eye steak drizzled with a tzatziki-style sauce on top of a pile of crispy fries, to the “Imperial Orb”– hummus made rich and slightly sweet with goat cheese, walnuts and a pomegranate reduction. Reserve a table by the windows to watch the snow and the people passing below, while sipping cocktails made with top-shelf liquor and fresh-squeezed juices. Not ready for the night to end? Finish the evening in the cozy third-floor lounge.
25 State St., Newburyport, 978-255-3322, bar-25.com
Joy Nest, Newburyport
With a 1920s-era supper club vibe, complete with live music and classic cocktails, this spot will transport you and your date to another time and place, fed by Asian-inspired dumplings, rice and noodle dishes, and Thai street food. Snuggle on posh velvety couches, cushioned with tactile pillows, in front of a roaring fireplace and watch chandeliers adorned with white feathers gently stir overhead. Live jazz several nights a week adds to the chic glow.
50 Water St., 978-572-1615, thejoynestrestaurant.com
Ledger Restaurant & Bar, Salem
Lock up your love’s heart at this gorgeous restaurant housed in a former bank building. Dine on oysters topped with caviar, and a wealth of other small plates perfect for sharing, under the stunning century-old hand-carved plaster ceiling. Repurposed original details – divider walls built from safety deposit boxes and bank teller windows – add warmth and intimacy. Entrees make excellent use of a custom wood-fired grill, while the cocktail program sets the mood.
Definitely save room for dessert – the rotating menu always delights.
125 Washington St., Salem, 978-594-1908, ledgersalem.com
Nine Elm American Bistro, Danvers
Enjoy low-pressure elegance at this warm embrace of a restaurant, where they still put bread and butter on the table and the server comes by with a giant pepper grinder as each course arrives. The service is impeccable yet not at all stuffy, and the menu is classic bistro fare, from the Caesar salad to the pan-roasted salmon. For a romantic take on surf and turf, one of you should order the filet mignon and the other should order the scallops, and you can share them both.
9 Elm St., Danvers, 978-774-9436, 9elm.com
Nightshade Noodle Bar, Lynn
Adventurous couples will bond over the luxurious prix fixe menu of delicate small plates awash in luxury, from crab and oysters to foie gras and truffles. Choose anywhere from seven to 21 courses, and let James Beard Semifinalist Rachel Miller craft a menu just for you. Flowers hand-painted in shades of blue and green climb dark walls on the way to an ocean green ceiling in this tiny, sexy spot where the lighting is low and the vibe is urban and exotic—like a portal into some imaginary land far from here.
73 Exchange St., Lynn, 781-780-9470, nightshadenoodlebar.com
Pellana Prime Steakhouse, Peabody
If you’re celebrating, the staff goes that extra mile to make sure the evening is unforgettable at this consistent BONS winner. With a distinguished wine list of more than 450 bottles, from Kistler to Krug, and the finest steaks cooked to perfection, Pellana never fails to impress. Check out the new brunch service: You can even celebrate in the daylight.
9 Sylvan St., Peabody, 978-531-4800, pellanasteakhouse.com
Want to transport your date to a chic international hotspot, without braving Logan Airport? Just step through the gilded double doors of this supper club, where dark walls and low lights highlight the striking art. The menu assembles luxurious bites from around the world into a small plate fantasy, from Russian caviar service to deviled eggs ramped up with black truffles. You can even get caviar with potato chips and onion dip. The global cocktail list has all the high-end spirits you could ask for, from mezcal to Japanese whisky, neat or in innovative cocktails.
27 Main Street, Andover, 978-475-4082, theprivelounge.com
The Rooftop Bar, Salem, N.H.
Comfortable couches sit in front of private gas fireplaces on the top floor of the brand-new Artisan Hotel, offering a birds-eye view of the surrounding Tuscan Village town center. At this welcoming yet urbane escape, Italian pop art posters line the walls and every bartender knows how to make a spritz. The whole menu is intended to share, from nibbles like marinated olives and Tuscan meatballs to the indulgent three-pound Bistecca alla Fiorentina. Finish the evening with a walk around Lake Park, or take the elevator down to spend the night at the Artisan Hotel.
19 Via Toscana Suite 550, Salem, NH, 603-458-3028, therooftopattheartisan.com
It’s hard to get a reservation at this tiny, cozy spot, but worth it. Relax on the blue leather banquette under the exposed beams to enjoy a locally sourced meal prepared by Aaron Chambers, who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in the United Kingdom and for acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud. Almost everything is made in house, from the sourdough bread to the hand-shaped agnolotti.
2 Lynde St., Salem, 978-744-2094, settlersalem.com
Looking for even more picks? Check out some of our other favorites. And don’t forget to tell us about your favorite romantic date spots in the comments.