With such a wide array of restaurants in the area, it can be hard to choose the right one for date night. There are many factors that contribute to a romantic setting — it could be the lighting, the music, the ambiance, the decor, and — of course — the food and drinks. Since there are truly just so many romantic spots in Essex County and beyond, we decided to craft a guide to the must-visit romantic restaurants in the North Jersey area. We already rounded up romantic Montclair area restaurants for you to choose from, but decided we needed something even more comprehensive. Read on to learn about the most romantic North Jersey restaurants for your next date night.
(Photo credit: @thehighlawn)
Bella Luce | 507 Franklin Avenue, Nutley
Bella Luce Restaurant and Bar in Nutley uses quality ingredients, many imported straight from Italy. It serves up some exquisite pasta dishes, like the capellini tomato basil or bucatini amatriciana. The interior is simple but elegant, and there are even fire fixtures hanging from the ceiling to help set the mood. Plus, after this summer, Bella Luca will be resuming with its Pasta Wheel Wednesday where they makes pasta right in a parmigiano wheel. There’s nothing more romantic than that.
Chart House | 1700 Harbor Boulevard, Weehawken
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(Photo credits: @charthouserestaurants)
The Chart House is located on the Hudson River directly across from New York City. On the menu is a mouthwatering coconut crunchy shrimp and sizzling mushrooms — plus, the view gazing outside at the beauty of Manhattan really helps set the romantic vibe. You can end the night with a slice of key lime pie or NY-style cheesecake to share.
Fernandes Steak House II | 158 Fleming Avenue, Newark
This is the spot for an endless parade of meats and seafood at Fernandes Steak House II in Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood. You can choose between over 50 delectable dishes loaded with veal, filet mignon, chicken, lobster, shrimp, salmon, and tilapia. Ferdandes has over 20 options for dessert so don’t forget to end the night with something sweet. Its Serradura, a pudding with cream and biscuits, is delicious — or you can opt for the Santiago, a rich almond tart garnished with powdered sugar. The interior is warm, brick-filled, and atmospheric.
Grand Vin | 500 Grand Street, Hoboken
This Italian-American restaurant is just the coziest. With ivy adorning the ceilings, fairy lights all around, and exposed brick, it’s impossible not to feel the romance in the air. When it comes to the menu, the scallops in a half shell are otherworldly — and the baked eggplant is equally superb.
Jashan By Dhaba | 252 US-46, Parsippany-Troy Hills
The ambiance of Jashan by Dhaba’s dining room is great for a romantic evening for two. Here, you can enjoy dozens of Indian dishes such as goat masala and lamb keema as well as numerous vegetarian and vegan options. Desserts include gajar ka halwa, a carrot-based pudding, and several flavors of traditional Indian ice cream known as kulfi.
La Tienda Tapas 33 | 33 Patterson Street, Newark
The best thing about tapas is being able to share with a partner. You can enjoy small plates at La Tienda Tapas 33, a cozy and rustic restaurant bringing el sabor of Spain to Newark. Pick from numerous tapas such tortilla espanola, patatas bravas, and salmon bites. It has four spectacular cheese and meat boards that pair beautifully with the best sangria in the city. Plus, if you dine in on August 23rd, you can experience a live Flamenco show with a five-course dinner.
LT Bar and Grill | 390 Hackensack Avenue, Hackensack
LT Bar and Grill located at Hackensack’s Shops at Riverside is bringing a modern take to traditional American cuisine. There’s an assortment of rich and savory appetizers such as the grilled octopus and jumbo lump crab cakes. The sushi, salad, seafood, and pasta all taste even better when enjoyed in this beautiful dining room. You can pair one of its 100 wines with creamy coconut cake or sweet cinnamon gelato.
Lu Nello | 182 Stevens Avenue, Cedar Grove
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Lu Nello, known for its innovative Northern Italian specialties, uses farm fresh ingredients sourced from their farm in Sussex County and from Cedar Grove’s Morgan Farm. With over 100 wine options representing every Italian region, Lu Nello specially focuses on Piedmonte because of their wine’s high tannin and acidity. Lu Nello’s lavish dining room will leave you feeling luxurious, and you can enjoy duck berlet, cavatelli con melanzane, and tuna tartare or savor tapas in its rustic cellar.
Moonshine Modern Supper Club | 55 Main Street, Millburn
Moonshine Modern Supper Club in Millburn provided diners with American cuisine executed with style and finesse. This incredible space includes a 30-foot bar, lounge seats, light-up horses on the wall, and so much more. Whether it’s Taco Tuesday, Sunday Brunch, or Happy Hour, you are sure to have a fantastic time. Its mouth-watering appetizers include house made ricotta, wagyu toast, Portuguese mussels, and crispy sticky calamari. To end your romantic evening, we recommend something sweet like the peanut butter mousse or strawberry cheesecake.
Obaltan | 799 Abbott Boulevard, Fort Lee
Obaltan in Fort Lee is an awesome spot for a Korean BBQ date night. It may not be the fanciest on this list, but don’t let that fool you. With funky light fixtures, red booths, and dim lighting, this spot certainly has its share of ambiance. You can choose from an assortment of meat, seafood, and vegetables that a staff member will cook right in front of you. This fun and exciting experience is a great way to foster connection + romance — not to mention it’s full of delicious flavors and a cuisine that’s perfect for two to share.
Ondo | 3 2nd Street, Jersey City
You can enjoy a picturesque view of Manhattan from the comfortable and chic interior of Ondo. This traditional and contemporary Korean cuisine will make for a delicious meal, and you can sample cold dishes such as beef tartare, warm dishes such as bulgogi cream perilla pasta, and hot dishes such as bossam. Ondo has gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options as well.
Saddle River Inn | 2 Barnstable Court, Saddle River
The Saddle River Inn is the epitome of rustic romantic. It’s an elegantly restored waterside barn serving French-American cuisine. The appetizers such as the tuna carpaccio, local burrata, and Spanish octopus are perfect for two to share. You can end the night with something sweet such as mango cheesecake or peanut butter banana mousse.
Scalini Fedeli | 63 Main Street, Chatham
The atmosphere of Scanlini Fedeli is more on the formal side with Tuscan-style vaulted ceilings finished with Venetian plaster. The award-winning restaurant is located in Historic Chatham in a building dating back to 1740. Here, you can enjoy Italian dishes with a French flair like risotto, butternut agnolotti, and pappardelle — and trust us, you’ll fall in love with the food almost as much as you will your date.
The Grand Cafe | 42 Washington Street, Morristown
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(Photo credit: @thegrandcafe1981)
The Grand Cafe in Morristown is the place to go to enjoy elaborate French and American dishes + pair them with a glass of wine from France, Italy, Portugal, or California. Some noteworthy dishes are the chicken tempura and pan-seared bronzini, both of which go along well with the gorgeously detailed dining room or even the cozy outside patio.
The Highlawn | 1 Crest Drive, West Orange
(Photo credit: @thehighlawn)
From atop the First Watchung Mountain, you can capture the beauty of the Manhattan skyline while dining at the Highlawn. Known for its homemade pasta, wood-fired pizza, and raw seafood bar, the Highlawn is an excellent option for a romantic evening. The Highlawn also has vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.
Ventanas Restaurant + Lounge | 200 Park Avenue, Fort Lee
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Ventanas Restaurant & Lounge is a restaurant in Fort Lee serving up American-Asian-Latin fusion dishes. You can eat in the dining room, lounge, or on the patio and then dance the night away in the lounge. Sample its oxtail empanadas, lobster dumplings, and shrimp quesadilla, or choose from over 16 sushi roll options. Ventanas’ has so many rich desserts such as the cheesecake lollipop, George Washington chocolate bridge, and tin can cake crafted specialty for two to share. Plus, the purple lighting will look lovely through rose-colored glasses.