7 Must-Try Romantic Restaurants in DC
By Regina Park
Unknown to the busy denizens of D.C., the District is home to a vibrant gourmet scene and historic buildings that many restaurateurs have converted into intoxicatingly romantic hot spots. The next time you want to impress your date, bring them to any one of these delicious spots for a meal they’ll never forget.
320 Massachusetts Ave. NE
Bistro Cacao is located in a classic District townhouse; an ode to D.C.’s colonial history. But walk inside and the wine curtains, rich decor and intimate lighting will transport you and your significant other to a secret red room somewhere inside of Paris.
In addition to tables and outdoor patio seating, there are booths available that are separated from the rest of the room by a set of curtains, enhancing a sense of seclusion and privacy.
The food is exquisite, of course, made by chef-owner Kemal Deger who has 20 years experience in the art of French cooking.
1201 24th St. NW
Do like the Obamas and swing by Blue Duck Tavern for a romantic and absolutely delectable meat-filled meal. They offer everything from bone marrow to headcheese, all served on rustic plates.
The decor is one-size-fits-all, with modern, angular designs intermixed with a classic wood theme. Although Blue Duck has a sunny zen vibe during brunch, they dim the lights for a much sexier dinner course complete with a beautiful patio fitted with waterfalls, fountains and fireplaces. If you’re lucky and it isn’t too crowded, you might be able to score one of their private booths!
855 E St. NW
Minibar at Cafe Atlantico is one of those rare restaurants that isn’t afraid to take the label “gourmet” and play around with it. Cakes made of cotton candy. Foie gras in the shape of bright yellow rubber duckies. Pigtail curry panini. Even the checks come in a little matryoshka doll painted in styles ranging from a lego waiter to Homer Simpson.
Rather than the atmosphere, this is one location you go solely for the food. There isn’t any other restaurant in the District that can match the chefs at Minibar in their creativity, fun or ambition.
If you and your date are foodies, Minibar at Cafe Atlantico is one bucket list spot you can’t afford to miss.
301 Water St. SE
For a city with so much waterfront access, the District is woefully bare of restaurants that actually take advantage of the killer view. Aside from Osteria Morini, of course.
Perched on the edge of the Navy Yard waterfront, Osteria Morini puts their prime location into good use with a plethora of outdoor seating. As an added bonus, it’s the most affordable option on this list with an average dinner hovering at around $15 per plate — a steal when you consider the high quality of the house-made pastas and sauces. Make sure to try the mortadella!
1226 36th St.
You can’t get any more historic than a house purchased by Archbishop John Carroll — founder of Georgetown University — in 1789.
1789 has been a restaurant ever since. The downstairs basement might be more recognizable to college students as casual bar and restaurant theTombs — but the upstairs area, dedicated to the 1789 Restaurant, is where the romance begins.
1789 really plays up its historic value with its rustic and antique decor. Each of its six rooms have themes that correspond to their names — like the War Room, the John Carroll Room, and the Garden Room, to name a few — with a touch of a Victorian feel throughout. The food is exceptional, with ingredients sourced straight from local farms for the best possible taste.
309 Middle St. Washington, VA
The last entry is technically cheating, since the Inn at Little Washington is located in Virginia, not the District, but the Inn is such a crowd-favorite that we couldn’t leave it off.
The Inn is, first and foremost, an inn with rooms furnished in the Federal style that the District is renowned for. But you don’t need to break the bank for a room at the Inn when you can head to the restaurant instead for a five star dining experience which Yelpers have unanimously declared “perfection at every turn.”
For all those winos out there, the Inn also has an award-winning 14,000 bottle wine cellar.
For Dessert: Co Co. Sala
929 F St. NW
“Each exquisite bite is a story, some dark, some sweet — a story that begins with passion and ends with pleasure.”
Or so goes a quote on Co Co. Sala’s wall, a lounge dedicated to artisanal chocolate and dessert bites. Because nothing goes better with romance and wine quite like chocolate.
Although Co Co. Sala is a lounge for sweets, they also offer a dinner menu with steaks, seafood, and cheese plates. Relax in one of their scarlet couches with a glass of bubbly to round up a fantastic night out with your significant other.
Originally published on www.upout.com/DC