Perhaps you need ideas for a celebratory dinner or first date recommendations that fall before or after February 14. Yes, this is a roundup of DC date night spots. No, this is not a Valentine’s Day endorsement. Here’s our list of romantic restaurants where you can celebrate love and happiness year round.
This Columbia Heights hotspot offers up a cozy dining atmosphere, perfect for your date night needs. You may have to wait in line for the first come, first serve seating (no reservations are taken and there are only 24 seats in the restaurant), but your patience will be rewarded in the form of the delicious Filipino dishes like Manila clams sauteed with chinese sausage and sichuan chile and stir fried rice noodles with mushrooms, vegetables, and lemon oil. Grab a drink with your date at Room 11 next door while you wait….because it’s totally worth it. (3226 11th St, NW)
Chocolate. Alcoholic beverages. Chocolate in alcoholic beverages. What more could you want? Co Co. Sala has everything you need for a successful date night. Start with a suggestively named cocktail like the Libidio (Tito’s Vodka, Velvet Falernum, fresh pineapple and lemon, lavender bitters, chocolate ice cubes) or the Fetish (fresh strawberries, chocolate infused vodka, strawberry foam, chocolate dipped berry), order a few savory items, get a dessert or two and end the night at the chocolate boutique conveniently located next door for a few take-home sweets. (929 F St, NW; 202-347-4265)
Celebrating a big milestone or want to impress your date? Fiola Mare is definitely the way to go. Let’s be real, if you choose this upscale Georgetown restaurant as a date night spot, you’ve already committed to going big before going home. The menu, nearly as seductive as the Waterfront views, features seafood and Italian dishes. Must orders: the raw seafood tower, any of the crudo options, and the Maine lobster ravioli. (3100 K St, NW; 202-628-0065)
Formerly a stable, this Dupont circle restaurant offers Mediterranean-inspired dishes set against a variety of romantic backdrops of your choosing. Sit at the bar in the carriageway for a drink or two, dine in the fireplace-lit dining room, or brave the chill out on the vine-strewn courtyard and cozy up to your date while sipping on a glass of wine from the expertly curated list. (1734 N St, NW; 202-524-5202)
What roundup of DC date spots would be complete without this French mainstay? No one does romance quite like the French, and no place in DC does classic French dishes quite like Le Diplomate. You can’t go wrong with anything on this menu; popular items include the onion soup gratinee, steak frites and duck confit. Finish your meal off with the decadent profiteroles, milk chocolate pot de creme or vanilla bean creme brulee. In addition to the stellar menu, the interior is warm and inviting with soft light and richly colored red banquettes lining the windows. (1601 14th St, NW; 202-332-3333)
A second location now exists off of U Street, but for the authentic dining experience, head to the original location in Shaw. Not only is it a DC gem, it’s also a great date night spot. Once you’ve found the row house and made it through the front door, covered in overgrown vines, you’ll find yourself in what appears to be a living room filled with knick knacks and eccentric wall hangings, making the dining experience feel more personal. The best part of this date destination is that you don’t have to spend any time perusing the menu: it’s all prix fixe and the kitchen brings out a sampling of dishes depending on the night...meaning you get more quality time with your date while tasting your way through each course. (515 Florida Ave, NW; 202-332-4322)
Top photo via Co Co. Sala; Cocktail photo via Iron Gate
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