We all vow that we’re going to make “date night” part of our regular routine. To be fair, we usually have the best of intentions, yet sometimes life gets in the way. But, whether you believe that Valentine’s Day is a holiday created for the benefit of chocolate manufacturers and greeting card companies, or you truly believe in the magic of this historically romantic holiday, there’s no denying that Valentine’s Day offers a perfect excuse to make those date night promises come true. A key ingredient to a great date night are the romantic restaurants.
When it come to restaurants, Richmond has no shortage of options. But, you don’t want just any restaurant for a special night out – you want the perfect one. To help you narrow down the options for Valentine’s Day, we’ve taken a look at some of Richmond’s more romantic restaurants and picked some of our favorites. To put them in order from best to even better, we looked at the following features:
- Creative menu selections
- Unique Valentine’s Day features
The following list may seem like the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all of the options available in Richmond, but we are more than certain that you won’t need to look any further than these five romantic restaurants to find the place that’s right for you and your special someone when February 14 rolls around.
Dutch and Company / Yelp / photo credit by Follow my F.
In a city where being a “foodie” is nearly prerequisite, Dutch & Company does Richmond proud. Settled in a homey corner of Church Hill, the Dutch-inspired menu will transport you to another world. And what better way to woo your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day than with ambiance, a little mood lighting and out-of-this world food? From the pressed-tin ceilings to the family artwork (specifically, the owner’s very own Dutch mother) on the walls, everything about this Richmond gem lends to the romance of the day.
Why we love it: A lot of place claim to have the “best” or the “perfect” item on their menu. But when Dutch & Company claims to have “The Perfect Egg,” as they’ve titled one of their most popular appetizers, they’re not exaggerating. This culinary delicacy is an egg, accompanies by cured salmon, fresh-grown herbs, sprouted quinoa, braised cabbage and a cumin yogurt sauce. Try it as one of the appetizers on their prix-fixe menu and feel free to thank us later.
400 N 27th St
Richmond, VA 23223
When searching for a way to describe the menu at Heritage, the only thing that comes to mind is “Virginia-Asian eclectic.” And to be honest, I can’t think of anything that sounds more delicious. Filled with Asian influence and farm-to-table, Virginia-themed local ingredients, Heritage delivers a taste experience like no other. For example? Start with the hickory smoked pork belly complemented by kimchi, bok choy, carrots, Virginia peanuts and ginger. Then move on to the roast half chicken, complete with local greens, Heritage’s own bacon, shallots and Byrd Mill cheddar grits. No one will judge you for taking an extra order home for tomorrow, I promise. And while the one-of-a-kind, five-star food alone makes it a Valentine’s Day must, add to that the industrial-chic ambiance of exposed brick walls, cozy booths and candlelit dining tables, and you have a winner all around.
Why we love it: This Richmond legend gets rave reviews for its dinners, to be certain. But don’t forget the carefully-crafted, handmade cocktails with names that are worth a visit alone. Exhibit A: “I Ain’t Scared,” a combination of Elijah Craig bourbon, ramozotti, pecan and peanut orgeat, and lemon. However, if you are, in fact, scared (as I am, just a little), then be sure to check out the extensive wine list that will allow you to truly wine and dine your V-day sweetheart.
1627 West Main Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Rowland / Facebook
When you consider the diverse backgrounds of the owners/spouses at Rowland, it’s no wonder that when they created their menu, it came out…well…amazing. He has an impressive culinary background and she’s a pastry chef of note. He is from Alabama and she’s from Peru. They ran a restaurant on South Carolina’s Pawley Island. What am I getting at? Expect a menu that combines flavors, cultures and culinary dialects in a way that will keep you coming back long after Valentine’s Day. Some examples? The menu changes with seasonal ingredients, but expect culinary delights like soft shell crabs made a myriad of ways, quinoa-encrusted eggplant Parmigiana or roasted chicken enchilada spring rolls…and whatever you do, don’t skip dessert.
Why we love it: “Fine dining” is not for everyone. But, come on, it’s Valentine’s Day, right? So you can either suck it up and head out for a gourmet culinary experience, complete with the dress code that comes with it…or you can anything-but-settle for a happy medium at Rowland’s. This is “fine dining” to be certain, but the relaxed, casual atmosphere will provide the perfect balance for those looking for the best of both worlds.
2132 W Main Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Acacia Mid-town / Yelp / photo credit Michelle D
This family owned-restaurant goes to great lengths to ensure freshness, quality and fine dining in casual environment. But by casual, we don’t mean ordinary. Since moving from their original Carytown location to a newer, nearer-downtown spot, Acacia Midtown has kept their commitment to quality while upping their hip, urban vibe. Described by many as “swanky,” Acacia offers a perfect Valentine’s dinner date spot with five-start dining at reasonable prices, an impressive wine room and little extras that add to the elegance, like free valet parking. For Valentine’s Day, Acacia Mid-town offers a gorgeous prix-fixe menu. But keeping them tops on our list is their Valentine’s to-go offering, which includes sumptuous jumbo lump crab cakes, roasted potatoes, kale and Acacia remoulade for $20 per order. Online orders are available here and can be picked on up on Tuesday, February 14 between 5pm and 5:30pm.
Why we love them: You’ll swoon over Acacia’s Valentine’s Day prix-fixe menu almost as much as you swoon over your date. Get the full low-down here or trust us when we we tease you with things like “sautéed black sea bass, potato gnocchi, maitake mushrooms, baby spinach and garlic butter sauce.” Priced at 3-courses for $45 or 4-courses for $55, you’ll get what you pay for – and then some.
2601 W Cary St
Richmond, VA 23220
Maple and Pine / Facebook
As one of the newer restaurants to grace the Richmond food scene, Maple and Pine has certainly made a grand entrance. Already receiving acclaim for its creative menu and eclectic taste combinations, Maple and Pine provides is almost a Valentine’s Day no-brainer. The elegantly decorated interior is only matched by the elegant tastes you’ll find on the menu, including delicacies like sage fettuccini topped with pumpkin, roasted sunchokes, sage and parmesan. Better yet, this up-and-coming Richmond favorite also boasts a lively bar scene, making it ideal for dinner, drinks and more than little romance.
Why we love it: As the signature dining establishment at Quirk Hotel, you can easily have dinner – and a night away. Quirk Hotel has already been named the #3 Best Place to Travel in 2016 by Travel and Leisure magazine, as well as earning a 2016 Readers’ Choice Award from Condénast Traveler. Suffice it to say, the dining at Maple and Pine more than matches the experience at Quirk Hotel. So…if you want to make more than just a dinner out of your experience, we certainly won’t blame you.
201 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220
If you haven’t made your Valentine’s Day reservations yet, we recommend that you get started sooner rather than later. You won’t be sorry once you reserve a spot at any one of these culinary delights. In the meantime, we would love to hear about your favorite romantic destination in Richmond? Do you have a Valentine’s Day go-to (or any other spot that screams romance) here in the city? We would love to hear about it in the comments below!