In the City of Brotherly love it’s not hard to find a romantic stop to celebrate the holiday with your loved one! So you’re not quite sure where to take that special someone this year & review sites aren’t giving you enough information? We’ve taken on the task of visiting all the most charming restaurants throughout the city to clue you in on where to go & what to enjoy!
Bibou: Located between the heart of the Italian Market & Queen Village this quaint French BYOB is the perfect hideaway to enjoy a 7-course pre-fixe tasting menu by candlelight. The menu changes weekly, so chances are the decadent foods we tried during our visit have since been replaced with fresh and seasonal fares. Reservations are scarce so be sure to plan ahead as there are only a few seatings per night. The joy of dining at Bibou is that at the conclusion of each meal the chef, Pierre Calmels, greets all the tables to inquire about their meal and experience at his restaurant which gives a something extra to the experience itself.
Diner Tip: The length of the meal can extend up to 2-2.5 hours so plan in advance to bring more wine than you think you may need to accommodate the duration of the meal
Le Cheri: So you liked the sound of Bibou but there wasn’t any availability? Why not try making a reservation at their sister restaurant, Le Cheri. Perfectly placed just off of Rittenhouse Park in the Art Alliance building, the next stop on our list is another great French restaurant, this time offering an a la carte menu and full bar. Inside, you pass by unique and abstract art pieces before you’re greeted by the hostess and shown to the main dining room at the rear of the building. It’s a grand space but it feels very intimate once seated at your table and enjoying your selection of French wine.
Diner Tip: Tartare de Boeuf, classique of course. Beautifully presented & delicious, this is one of our favorite starters offered at Le Cheri as is the escargots. For your main dish, we recommend the pot au feu; braised veal short ribs with radish, carrots, leek & fingerling potatoes.
Laurel: For you Top Chef lovers, season 11 winner, Nick Elmi opened Laurel following the completion of his time on the popular Bravo series. In the popular area of East Passyunk, walk in the front door and you feel as though you’re in a quiet and secluded restaurant reserved for you and only a few other diners. At Laurel, Elmi puts his twist on the French-American fusion which is sure to please. The seasonal menu is always changing so check in the week of your reservation to see what wines to pair with the offering, or leave the pairing to the experienced team as they now offering wine pairings to go with the 7-course menu.
Diner Tip: Enjoy the ambiance, the food & the wine. Be sure to let the restaurant know in advance if there are any allergies, and if not, enjoy and expand your palate. We know you’re going to love it, so be sure to stop by in the summer and reserve the table tucked away on their private back patio!
Pumpkin: Intimate, cozy & unique. From the ambiance to the food, those three words describe it all. One colleague of ours has gone on many occasions to celebrate an engagement, anniversaries & more and has been blown away by each experience. Again, the menu changes by season so when choosing your wines, check out their most up to date menu on their Facebook page, PumpkinBYOB.
Diner Tip: We’ve never left without ordering a dessert & ALL of their desserts are delicious...so diner tip, even if you’re full, try the dessert!
Double Knot: Coffee & pastry bar by day, romantic Asian fusion & sushi by night. Hidden in plain sight in the vibrant area of Midtown Village, Double Knot is one of the best hidden dining rooms in Philadelphia. Enter & you’re greeted by large, dark lounge chairs nearly always taken but sneak past the always crowded bar to meet the hostess who will offer to take your coats and show you to your table, or direct you to the private bar downstairs off of the main dining room if your table is not ready. Fingers crossed your table isn’t ready because the bar downstairs is so intimate, it’s the perfect spot to start your romantic evening. Typically halfway through your first drink they’ll call you to your table where you can choose off of the menu or do the tasting menu which gives you a little taste of everything off the menu and well worth the price.
Diner Tip: A favorite cocktail from one of our marketing members...the Two Lovers Knot. Food selection suggestions: tune rice cracker, yellowtail sashimi, broiled sea bass, crispy brussel sprouts, black cod fried rice & the kobe beef robatayaki...
Bistro Romano: Italian is always the way to someone’s heart & at Bistro Romano, just moments from Headhouse Square, this is no exception. Enter into this exquisite space & you’re immediately greeted by the hostess. There’s hardly ever a wait so you will be shown to the wine cellar, now considered the main dining room. Each table is lit by candle light and although the space is quite, there’s always the low murmur of conversations throughout but never enough to disrupt your own conversation. It truly is a beautiful and romantic experience for celebrating!
Diner Tip: We know, caesar salad is typically a staple on all Italian menus, but this is one you absolutely cannot skip. They create the entire dish from scratch tableside & is not only amazing but the experience to accompany the meal is unparalleled.
Vetri: To continue with the Italian romance the next stop on our list is just south of Midtown Village on Spruce Street. Before you even enter the restaurant you’re wowed by the decor, it’s always perfectly decorated to welcome you. Once inside and seated, you’re served the welcome cocktail which is shortly followed by the first course. By the end of the meal you’re filled to the brim but please leave room for their sweet courses at the end...can you tell we’re a fan of the desserts?!
Diner Tip: A different bread accompanies each course, although you’ll be tempted, only have a taste of each so you don’t fill up too fast! And if you can’t make it for Valentine’s Day, each Monday is BYOB night which helps to offset the cost!
Ambra: Contemporary & charming are our favorite words to describe the atmosphere and experience at Ambra. With tables no large than 4-persons and a dining room seating no more than 10 tables you’re sure to have an intimate & romantic dinner. The meal is pre-fixed and coursed so if your party has any dietary restrictions it’s advised to alert the restaurant in advance.Diner Tip: Be open to trying new foods or food cooked and presented in unique ways. The less you asked to be changed on the menu, the better the experience.