Dinner for Two: Romantic Dining Spots in Williamsburg
Get cozy with your loved one at these special restaurants
Is your idea of romance a table overlooking shimmering water while you enjoy a flaming sunset?
Or is it a cozy booth with only a view of your beloved where you can whisper sweet nothings over sumptuous dishes, alone together?
Or is it Old World charm, sharing the work of art on your plate, lit by the flickering light of a candle?
Whatever your heart’s desire for dining out, Greater Williamsburg has the perfect match. Here are Cupid's choices, whether it's Valentine's Day, an anniversary, or just a night to create that special memory.
Paris in Virginia
So you can't jet your partner off to Paris for the weekend. Take a short drive along a country road out of town to Cafe Provençal on the grounds of The Williamsburg Winery for upscale French-inspired cooking in an elegant yet relaxed setting. What will strike your fancy? Starting with a signature cocktail with ingredients from the nearby garden? The pan-roasted duck with confit sweet potato? Or maybe the thin-cut pasta with broccoli spigarelli, radish, beets, lemon powder, black truffles, and Rogu River bleu cheese? You get the idea. The romance will be long, sensual, and, yes, very French.
Sea to Table
Look beyond the ordinary exterior into the tender heart of Waypoint Seafood & Grill. Look, too, beyond the cozy array of well-lit tables and the captivating bar to the booths in the back for your romantic dinner hideaway. Start with the original BLT — fried green tomato, Virginia fried oysters, Edwards pepper bacon and bistro sauce — then maybe sample the stellar Bay-to-table fare like coastal rockfish with lump crab meat, spinach, shaved Edwards ham and a tarragon chive glaze. Who can resist the signature Snickers torte to send you and your honey out into the night smacking your lips?
Let's count the ways you can impress your sweetie with a reservation at Fat Canary. First, when OpenTable members listed the 100 best restaurants for foodies in the land, they included big names from big cities, but also Fat Canary, one of only six chosen from Virginia. Second, if you tell the restaurant in advance that you are celebrating a special occasion, whether it's Valentine's Day, an anniversary, or just another night of your enduring love (come on, be creative), the folks at Fat Canary will print a personal menu with a message. Third, once your true love stops smiling at your thoughtfulness and looks down the menu at options ranging from lobster to sea scallops with pork belly, you'll be reminded that the road to the heart goes through the stomach.
Formal, French and Fabulous
The fire in the open kitchen at Le Yaca only hints at the warmth inside this long-time area favorite. This is a place dressed in white linens, chandeliers and candles, perfect for a night lingering over the prix fixe option or à la carte items like pan-seared foie gras with caramelized white peach and port wine sauce or a French crêpe stuffed with lump crab meat and béchamel with Swiss cheese or lobster tails poached in olive oil with a shallot, beurre blanc sauce. The service, of course, is as impeccably French as the menu.
Taste with a View
The bridge bisecting your view conjures the South of another time. And then, if you're lucky, a tall ship, sails unfurled, glides into view, completing your time travel. Add in a setting orange sun and the long shadows on the York River as you slip into your seat at the Riverwalk Restaurant in Yorktown and you’re ready for romance. The good news is while you can't eat the scenery, you can relish it along with the sensual side effects of the char-grilled local oysters, the lingering lusciousness of the roasted quail with wild mushroom risotto, or the savory satisfaction of the grilled elk chops with a blueberry vanilla demi glaze.
Love, Italian Style
Face it, the Italians know something about romance. In Williamsburg, look no further than Francesco's Ristorante Italiano as clear and compelling evidence. Just the titles of the menu items ooze the love that goes into each dish: Ravioli di Baronessa (lobster stuffed ravioli tossed with crab meat), Sogno Cremoso (chicken and spinach-stuffed cannelloni in a dreamy Alfredo sauce) or Contessa di Crema (scallops in a pink Alfredo sauce). If you ask nicely, maybe you can get a cozy corner table beneath the shelves of wine bottles and raise one toast after another to a passionate future. Now that’s amore!
The Love Cruise
At The Seafare of Williamsburg, a precious gem (like the one in that ring you've been hiding), step inside the Plain Jane exterior and settle into a banquette to savor four decades’ worth of fine dining and fine service. In love, sometimes simple and direct is best. That's what you'll find here: fresh seafood of every stripe from Chesapeake Bay oysters to South African lobster tail to England Dover sole cooked to showcase the ingredients.
Cozy up to Comfort
Sometimes there's nothing better than cozying up with your loved one in the comfort of an old favorite. The Blue Talon Bistro feels like that, whether you've been there once or a dozen times. You'll find serious comfort food here. Start with the warmth of the French onion soup or the bracing bite of the brandade made with salt cod, whipped potatoes, cream and truffle oil. Move on to dishes like boeuf bourguignon or bucatini pasta served with pork belly and ground duck. Be sure to leave room for the chocolate mousse or the crème brûlée. It’s a smoldering way to start a cozy night.
Traditions, the restaurant in The Williamsburg Lodge, is a throwback, but through a modern lens. Slip into a table by the fireplace to set the mood. The menu emphasizes garden-to-guest so expect seasonal changes with a foundation of items like herb-crusted pork chops, steak au poivre, and pan-seared salmon. After your meal, take a leisurely stroll through Colonial Williamsburg and find that perfect bench for a late-night rendezvous.