6 Romantic Italian Restaurants to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in NYC

There’s no better way to romance your significant other on Valentine’s Day than by sharing a delicious Italian meal.

Whether you are in the mood for live music or the rustic charm of a fireplace, we have picked some of our favorite Italian eateries for an unforgettable date night.

It’s one of the most popular evenings out in NYC, so be sure to make a reservation as soon as possible. 

Antica Pesa

If you are keen on a romantic setting with a crackling fireplace, leather couches for snuggling next to your loved one, and candles flickering everywhere, you don’t have to look any further than this Williamsburg-based restaurant. Three seatings are available (5:30 pm; 7:30 pm; 9:30 pm) for guests to indulge in the $90 per person three-course Valentine’s menu created specifically with amore on the brain. Dishes like fettuccine gamberi e zafferano: homemade fettuccine in a saffron bisque mixed with heirloom tomatoes and prawns include aphrodisiac ingredients to help crank up the heat. Top off the evening with a slice of the tiramisu ensuring your continued state of bliss.

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Nowhere else in NYC captures the essence of what date night used to be like, coupled with a glamorous history (Mick Jagger and Andy Warhol were once regulars) and offers a menu spiced up with” Love Potions” quite like this Restaurant Row establishment. For more than three decades, owner Laura Maioglio has overseen a magical Valentine’s gala, which has inspired a few Romeos to get down on one knee and propose. The festivities officially begin at 8:30 pm when the Felix Swing Band takes the stage. For $85 per person ($70 pre-theater), couples will feast on a heart-stopping menu featuring a lovers’ crespelle and brazen beef in a red wine sauce with loose and crispy heart polenta plus sinful desserts. Festive attire is required.

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Il Divo

With chic décor inspired by the original “Latin Lover,” Italian movie star Rudolph Valentino, this Upper East Side gem exudes the romance and elegance associated with the Golden Age of Hollywood. Setting the stage for an evening filled with sparkle, a complimentary glass of champagne or prosecco awaits guests upon their arrival. The usual menu of classic Northern Italian dishes is available which includes favorites like risotto Milanese with osso bucco ragout and eggplant parmigiana. Sweeten your date by sharing bites of mille foglie with wild cherry and Bavarian cream or warm dark chocolate with pistachio ice cream, and allow the soft glow of the chandeliers to set the stage for what’s to come next.

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This West Village favorite manages to create an intimate setting throughout its bi-level space, yet those who prefer a bit more action can sit at the Chef’s counter, gazing at the culinary talent doing what they do best. Offering its palette-pleasing menu of traditional Italian dishes with a modern twist, consider the chestnut gnocchi with wild boar ragù or the bavette with manila clams, jalapeno and breadcrumbs to thrill your heart with carb delights. The extensive wine list offers something for everyone, while the cheese course is an excellent alternative to a traditional dessert.

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Locanda Verde

If a cozy, casual neighborhood vibe appeals, this TriBeCa hangout, located in the Greenwich Hotel, is offering a $125 per person three-course Valentine’s Day themed menu. The seductive selections featured include fonduta ravioli and saffron linguini, as well as the prime New York strip with gnocchi alla romana. For dessert, try the champagne-poached quince with vanilla rose crema and Sicilian pistachio amaretti.

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Scalini Fedeli

February 14th is the busiest night of the year at this modern, eclectic TriBeCa eatery, which transforms into a festive love nest from 4:30 pm through 11 pm. Pink, red, and white balloons adorn the ceiling, and red roses sit atop each table, creating a celebratory mood. A $138 per person, five-course Valentine’s menu, is available. With 16 dishes to choose from, highlights include pappardelle in a spicy veal shank and bone marrow ragu; chicken “Milanese E. Reggiano”; ciabatta crusted red snapper over escarole. The dessert course is a combination of three decadent treats. As a parting gift, beautifully wrapped chocolates are given to all as they stroll out the door.   

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