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Top Ten D.C. Valentine's Day Restaurants

PHOTO: 1905 Restaurant courtesy of 1905

If you haven’t already been inundated with notices about impending love armageddon, also known as Valentine’s Day (the random multi-colored blog font is my ode to Valentine's Day) for the commercially astute, then the countdown is officially at less than a week. If you are in love -- or at least in serious like -- then Valentine’s Day is a statement maker about what you feel for the person you are with. Forget it and you’re relegated to sleeping on the couch. Remember it badly and you’re still sleeping on the couch.

Rightly or wrongly, February 14th “is what it is” so just resign yourself to embrace this so-called holiday by, at a minimum, making a decent restaurant reservation. No McDonald’s please (unless that is all you can afford). Flowers. Chocolates. Maybe even some jewelry. Branch out and try one of these ten great D.C. restaurants.

Of course some of these restaurants don’t have reservations available for this Sunday, and they have been duly noted. In this case, make the reservation for Saturday night and make a romantic meal at home for Sunday. Practical, as well, consider the high in Washington, D.C. on Sunday is supposed to be 27. Yes! That’s the HIGH temperature.

PHOTO: Mussels at Et Voila courtesy of Et Voila

Et Voila

Reservations available for 830 pm and 845 pm.

Located far from any form of public transportation in the quietly upscale Palisades (beyond Georgetown), Et Voila’s class Belgian cuisine and intimate space makes it the best restaurant to go to in D.C. for Valentine’s Day. Budget friendly, as well, plus they are offering a special three-course, Valentine’s Day menu all weekend, but be sure to order one of the Mussels. Best in the city.

Rose’s Luxury

No reservations ever for a two-top table.

With as many awards under their belt for food as Sophia Loren has of compliments received over the years, Owner and Executive Chef Aaron Silverman’s Rose’s Luxury is perennially considered “the best restaurant in D.C.” and/or “the best restaurant in all of the U.S.” Classic American fare, with a twist, presented in artful tapas-size plates.

PHOTO: The Dabney courtesy of The Dabney

The Dabney

No reservations available for Valentine’s Day.

Legendary HUSK restaurant owner Sean Brock’s mentee Jeremiah Langhorne decided to branch out on his own by opening the Shaw restaurant The Dabney. Once the word got out, the restaurant’s late 2015 opening immediately became the hottest restaurant opening in D.C., and the consistent lack of reservations during dinner shows how eagerly D.C. has embraced Langhorne’s interpretation of mid-Atlantic cuisine. Impeccable, intimate and delicious.


No reservations available for Valentine’s Day.

Located in U Street before U Street began to experience the explosive growth it is currently under, 1905’s sexy interiors has always been a great date spot in D.C. Cushy couches, low ceilings, and very moody lighting makes romance a natural feel here. Plus the space is small and the food is comfort food at its best. Solid cocktails as well. They are offering a $50, three-course Valentine’s Day menu but alas no reservations.

PHOTO: Plume restaurant courtesy of Plume


No reservations available for Valentine’s Day.

Gorgeously decorated Plume, located in the U.S. News and World Report deemed second best hotel in the United States The Jefferson, is a cozy and tasty spot for a meal. (Plus it’s also the only five star Forbes rated restaurant in the entirety of Washington, D.C.) The mere 14 tables available for seating makes the room feel more like a nicely appointed home rather than a restaurant. Chose the table for the fire for an even more romantic feel.

PHOTO: Blue Duck Tavern courtesy of Blue Duck Tavern

Blue Duck Tavern

No reservations available for Valentine’s Day.

Before the near endless rotation of Executive Chefs the last few years, when Sebastien Archambault was running the kitchen, Blue Duck Tavern was my favorite restaurant in all of Washington, D.C. Today, it is still considered a quintessential restaurant in D.C. to experience and the menu remains familiar if not epic. Be sure to order the fries. Handcut with a side of smoked pepper aioli, they are still the best fries in the city.

Restaurant Eve

No reservations available for Valentine’s Day.

Executive Chef Cathal Armstrong’s Alexandria, Virginia located Restaurant Eve has been a D.C. fine dining institution for as long as I have reviewed restaurants (9 years and counting). The American menu is tastefully presented in a small, informal setting. Round tables and candelight definitely arouse amorous feelings.

PHOTO: 1789 restaurant courtesy of 1789


No reservations available for Valentine’s Day.

Famous Georgetown restaurant 1789 has been masterfully stewarded by the talented, and humble, Executive Chef Samuel Kim. His careful twists on familiar American dishes will make the evening effortlessly fly by while the tiny dining room, with an oversized fireplace, creates the right ambiance for love.

The Red Hen

No reservations available for Valentine’s Day.

Italian-influenced The Red Hen really kick-started the blossoming Bloomingdale food scene. While the wooden chairs are not the most comfortable, the sexy open-kitchen’s staggering flames and delightful smells create a hospitable atmosphere. The food, though, is top-notched and well-worth a visit.

PHOTO: Daikaya Izakaya courtesy of Daikaya Izakaya

Daikaya Izakaya

No reservations available for Valentine’s Day.

The upstairs, more formal, restaurant to the famous noodle bar Daikaya downstairs, Izakaya’s dark interiors naturally inspire a romantic feeling. Seating is wooden booths so it feels like you are eating in a room unto yourself. Additionally, the Japanese food is fantastic, while heathly, and the drinks menu one of the best in the city (regardless of whether you like Sake the cocktails are quite tasty).

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