romance dinner

Whether you’re planning a Valentine’s Day itinerary for the ages or just looking for a new place to spend your next evening on the town, there are a number of romantic restaurants in Washington DC that serve as ideal date-night destinations.

Dive into a homey neighborhood favorite and escape the confines of the city — and nation — with a tasty trip to Ethiopia, France or Italy. DC’s international flavors and cutting-edge culinary scene provide plenty of reason to get comfortable, get cozy, and enjoy the cooking.

Lavagna

Noodles made in-house daily, friendly service, and an intimate environment set Lavagna apart from other Italian restaurants in Capitol Hill DC. This neighborhood standby sources its ingredients from local and regional purveyors, focusing on organic, grass-fed, free-range and hormone-free elements. The wine list is carefully curated, the menu is thoughtfully crafted, and the dining space is picture-perfect: Lavagna is everything a romantic restaurant in Washington DC should be — and more.

Lavagna
539 Eighth Street SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
www.lavagnadc.com

Charlie Palmer Steak

There’s something timeless and romantic in the essence of a classic steakhouse. Charlie Palmer Steak takes that intangible element and gives it an update for the 21st century in the heart of Washington DC. This high-end restaurant provides an upscale, romantic experience from the moment you’re handed the wine list through your final bite of Espresso Creme Brulee. Charlie Palmer’s most romantic entree is most likely the Porterhouse for Two, enhanced by Bacon Lardon, Cipollini, and Chanterelle Mushroom.

Charlie Palmer Steak
101 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
www.charliepalmer.com

Montmartre

Unpretentious, easygoing, and charming, Montmartre is among the best French restaurants in Washington DC, and a solid date-night destination. Montmartre serves classic French cuisine, including delicacies like Rabbit Leg, Beef Bourguignon, and Calf’s Liver. The restaurant’s wine list and cocktail menu are formidable, and its dining room is practically Parisian in its elegant touches and natural light.

Montmartre
327 Seventh Street SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
www.montmartredc.com

Ethiopic

For a meal that’s distinctly D.C. and definitely delicious, venture up H Street to Ethiopic. One of the many great Ethiopian restaurants in Washington DC, Ethiopic is infused with a welcoming and friendly atmosphere that blends the comforts of home with the cuisine of east Africa. Ideal for vegetarian and omnivorous tastes alike, Ethiopic serves platters that are perfect for sharing and infused with rich, refreshing and robust flavors.

Ethiopic
401 H Street NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
www.ethiopicrestaurant.com

Harold Black

This isn’t a restaurant, per se, but it is the perfect spot for an intimate nightcap in close quarters. Harold Black is the best speakeasy in Washington DC, serving strong drinks in an alluring, dimly-lit atmosphere as inviting as it is sexy. The by-reservations-only spot (insider’s tip: try OpenTable) has 28 seats, a menu filled with creative cocktails and a no-phone policy that adds a refined air and allows for quiet conversation.

Harold Black
212 Seventh Street SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
www.haroldblackdc.com

The Capitol Hill Hotel offers comfortable boutique hotel rooms and suites in Washington DC near many of the District’s top romantic dining destinations.