1. La Sponda, Italy
One Michelin Star, MICHELIN Guide Italy 2018
Blessed with sweeping views of the Amalfi Coast, the ocean-front restaurant’s interiors are equally enchanting. The off-white walls are engulfed in vines that wrap around the walls and ceilings that are lit up with candles. The Mediterranean menu focuses on produce from Naples and the the Amalfi Coast. Expect to pay up to 175 Euros per person.
What our inspectors say: “A romantic atmosphere is guaranteed at this restaurant, thanks to the 400 candles lit every evening to the delight of guests. The simple cuisine is inspired by traditional Neapolitan recipes and prepared using the best local ingredients.”
La Sponda, Via Colombo 30, Positano
2. The River Café, New York
One Michelin Star, MICHELIN Guide New York City 2018
Perched right next to the Brooklyn Bridge, this iconic 40-year-old restaurant also has views of the New York skyline and the Statue of Liberty. For Valentine’s Day, indulge in Caviar egg, butter-poached lobster, apple-honey and spice crusted duck breast and a classic chocolate Marquise that is shaped like the Brooklyn Bridge. The price? US$195 per person.
What our inspectors say: “Thanks to its enviable location and stunning skyline vistas, this waterside favourite more than lives up to its reputation as one of the dreamiest escapes in town. Delicate details like fresh, fragrant flowers, beautifully set tables, and cozy rattan chairs make for romantic environs—and though the tight space has a way of turning intimate whispers into public displays of affection, all will be forgiven after a bite or two of Chef Brad Steelman’s solid-as-ever cuisine.
Launch into plump wild shrimp smothered in creamy Hollandaise and served with crunchy white asparagus for added texture; or the perfectly crisped crab cake arranged with decadent uni, avocado, and a light herb salad. Pearly white halibut with roasted maitakes is a testament to the kitchen’s focus on simplicity and supreme freshness, while a glistening rack of mint- and mustard seed-glazed lamb—charred on the outside with an evenly pink interior—exemplifies its artistry.
Enjoy dessert, as the mouthwatering offerings (think milk chocolate soufflé with melted marshmallow, or dark chocolate marquise topped with a replica of the nearby Brooklyn Bridge) are a veritable education in soigné presentations and sumptuous flavours.”
3. Épicure, France
Three Michelin Stars, MICHELIN Guide France 2018
With plush plaid chairs, floral drapery and a visually-stunning golden chandelier, Epicure resembles a luxe dining room plucked from a countryside chateau. The menu is more comforting than avant-garde - macaroni stuffed with foie gras; blue lobster with grilled chestnuts, and artichoke with black truffle. Look out for the dessert trolley that is loaded with homemade candy from nougat, marshmallows to caramels. A Valentine’s Day menu costs 650 Euros per person.
What our inspectors say: “The Bristol Hotel's restaurant underwent a transformation in 2011. The bright dining room overlooking the garden boasts a restrained, distinguished elegance in which the glamour of the 18C shines forth. The virtuosity of Éric Fréchon's classic cuisine bears witness to his freedom of expression with regard to great tradition. He creates dishes that are fresh and endowed with the finest flavours!”
Epicure, 112 R. Du Faubourg-St Honore, Paris
4. Le Meurice Alain Ducasse, Paris
Two Michelin Stars, MICHELIN Guide France 2018
Inspired by the Salon de la Paix in the Chateau de Versailles, Le Meurice Alain Ducasse screams dramatic luxury at its best with antique mirrors, crystal chandeliers and frescoes. The menu, which is helmed by renowned French chef Alain Ducasse, is produce-forward and artifice-free. Its Collection Menu costs 380 Euros per person.
What our inspectors say: “In the heart of the iconic luxury hotel, the restaurant is the epitome of a great French restaurant. Its lavish interior, inspired by the royal apartments of Versailles Palace, has been tastefully updated by Philippe Starck. Under the watchful eye of Alain Ducasse, executive chef Jocelyn Herland signs a menu that celebrates top quality produce and stylish flair.”
Le Meurice Alain Ducasse, 228 R. De Rivoli, Paris
5. Clos Maggiore, London
Michelin Plate, MICHELIN Guide UK & Ireland 2018
We know that this Clos Maggiore isn’t Michelin-starred but it has been consistently voted as ‘The Most Romantic Restaurant In The World’. Just look at the over-the-top forest of artificial white blossoms forest setting that is adorned with fairy lights. The food takes reference from those served in country inns in Provence and Tuscany. Valentine’s Day delights include Les Landes foie gras and squab pigeon ballotine; lobster and king crab tortellini, roasted sea bass, and warm Machecoulais cheese. The five-course menu costs 150 GBP per person.
What our inspectors say: “One of London's most romantic restaurants - but be sure to ask for the enchanting conservatory with its retractable roof. The sophisticated French cooking is joined by a wine list of great depth. Good value and very popular pre/post theatre menus.”
Clos Maggiore, 33 King Street, Convent Garden, London