Photo of the Brooklyn Bridge

The World’s Most Romantic Restaurants

For the next few days, our food thoughts are all about romantic settings. Is your favorite romantic restaurant formal with starched linens, tuxedo-wearing servers who place your napkin on your lap when you return from leaving the table? Is it a neighborhood joint that’s romantic because of who you’re with and memories you’ve made over favorite dishes? Is it somewhere in between?

Just maybe, the most romantic restaurant is found in your home – no reservations required, seating always available and you can kiss the cook.

Last year, Architectural Digest compiled a list of the world’s most romantic restaurants:

Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi, Bellevue, WA
The River Café, Brooklyn, NY
Circa 1886, Charleston, SC
Clos Maggiore, London
Ristorante Aroma, Rome
Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse, Paris
One If by Land, Two If by Sea, New York City
Sheesh Mahal, Udaipur, India
Ristorante Quadri, Venice
Metis, Bali
Da Bouttau, Cannes, France
Nautika Restaurant, Dubrovnik, Croatia
The Little Door, Los Angeles
Cecconi’s, Miami Beach
Grotto Palazzese, Polignano a Mare, Italy 

One more Valentine-themed class, Friday’s Love is on the Menu with Chef Judith Baigent-King. A fun family event is Saturday afternoon when Chef Devon Sanner and his side cook, his almost seven-year-old daughter, return to Celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Ox in collaboration with our friends at the Children’s Museum Tucson. If you hurry and register, you’ll receive free ingredients. 

I’d love to know what’s your favorite romantic restaurant.

Wishing you joy in the kitchen,


“Pulled” Squash and Summer Truffle Spoon Bread
with Spicy Tomato Jam, Micro Mustard Greens and Parmesan Tuile

Recipe created by: Circa 1886 Executive Chef Marc Collins

Tomato Jelly
10 Roma tomatoes, peeled
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large red bell pepper, roasted, seeded and peeled
¼ cup fresh orange juice
6 tablespoons lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 shallot
¼ teaspoon Tabasco
¼ teaspoon dried basil
pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1. Place all the ingredients into a sauce pot, cooking over a moderate heat. Stir occasionally. Cook until everything is very soft. Pulse with a hand blender so the mixture resembles jam. Cool and reserve for use.

Parmesan Tuiles
1lb. Parmesan cheese, grated
1large summer truffle, minced fine

1. Place the grated Parmesan in the shapes of triangles onto a Silpat mat. Garnish with the minced truffles and bake at 350° F for 3-7 minutes. Keep a close eye on them, pull and cool completely.

Spoon Bread
4 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon white truffle oil
1 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1¾ teaspoons salt
4 large eggs, separated
2½ cups cooked spaghetti squash, loosely packed
3 tablespoons summer truffle, minced
Fresh chives
Micro mustard greens
Clarified butter

1. Cut spaghetti squash in half. Season with salt and white pepper and brush with clarified butter. Bake on a sheet tray, flesh side down, at 325° F 30-40 minutes or until fork tender. Once cooked, “pull” and scrape out the flesh with a fork and set aside.
2. Lightly beat egg yolks, set aside. Scald the milk and stir in the cornmeal. Cook mixture for 3 minutes stirring constantly. Add the butter, truffle oil, salt and beaten egg yolks. Fold the spaghetti squash into the cornmeal mixture.
3. Whip the whites until light and fluffy and fold into the cornmeal base. Add minced chives and truffles.
4. Place a ring mold atop a small cast iron pan and spoon mixture into it. bake at 350° F 12-15 minutes. It should look like a firm soufflé when done. Once cooked, run a knife around the ring mold and pull it off the spoon bread.
5. Serve immediately garnished with the tomato jam spooned on top then micro mustard greens and finally the Parmesan tuile.

Photo credit of The River Café:  Cole Wilson for The New York Times.

Leave a Reply