There’s no shortage of romantic restaurants in any one city to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but why would you want to vye with throngs of mawkish couples grazing on overpriced ‘special’ menus? Skip the over-hyped V-Day frenzy and line up one of these restaurants for your own romantic encounter instead; each one promises a truly knee-weakening meal to remember.
London: Kitty Fisher’s
Nabbing a pew at this dark n’ diminutive playpad may be harder than Idris Elba’s pecs, but by golly, when you do you’re in for a real treat. The rave-reviewed British food is matched only by the slick service and gently buzzing atmos. Can’t score a table? Try ramshackle sibling Cora Pearl, occupying a Covent Garden townhouse – downstairs ticks the intimacy box.
Kitty Fisher’s, 10 Shepherd Market, Mayfair. kittyfishers.com;
Cora Pearl, 30 Henrietta St, Covent Garden. corapearl.co.uk
Milan: Apollo Club Milano
Channelling Mid-Century Americana with easy-on-the-eye retro decor and Modernist furniture, Apollo is a resto, bar and club rolled into one. While the handsome bar with its statement chandelier and whisky pours will entice, don’t linger, for it’s in the cocooning surrounds of the restaurant that true date-night magic awaits. With only 30 seats and creative dishes featuring 3-4 ingreds max, it’s an enticing setting for the most romantic of encounters.
via Giosuè Borsi, 9/2, apollomilano.com
Paris: Le Grand Véfour
It’s hard to choose just one romantic restaurant in the City of Love, but when a grand gesture is called for, glittery Le Grand Véfour may well help elicit that ‘I do’. Once frequented by Napoleon and Josephine, Satre, Colette and Cocteau, its lavish Neoclassical decor reps the art of overstatement, while Guy Martin’s fine French fare shines as brilliantly as the gold-leaf around you. Book well ahead if you have your heart set on ol’ Bony’s table.
17 rue Du Beaujolais, 1st. grand-vefour.com
Hong Kong: Mora
Located on a dark and quiet side-street off of Hollywood Road, chef Vicky Cheng’s ode-to-soy restaurant, Mora, is the place to go for an intimate (or incognito) encounter with your V-day flame. The calm, zen-like interior provides the perfect setting for deep convos, while the multi-course tasting (non-veg) menu offers plenty of topics for soy-based small talk. Now, that’s a-mora!
40 Upper Lascar Row, Sheung Wan, mora.com.hk
With only 14 tables, cosy Celaravird is a perfect perch for that all-important dinner à deux. Naturally lit, Scandi-inspired interiors and a small patio create a serene atmosphere, while farm-fresh produce and excellent wine pairing are testament to head chef and owner, Koichi Hashimoto’s dedication to quality. The seasonal tasting menu is best described as a three-hour gastronomic journey… worth keeping in mind if you’re making postprandial plans.
2-8-11 Uehara, Shibuya-ku, celaravird.com
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