Time for February's Restaurant Roundup and given that tomorrow is Valentine's Day, we couldn't let the opportunity slip by to check out some of our RR Crew's favourite choices for their city's most romantic restaurants.
Canada's Most Romantic Restaurants
Let's start out in the east in la belle province - that automatically makes it more romantic, non?
Quebec City's Most Romantic Restaurant
Marie Asselin at Food Nouveau had one spot on her mind - Panache
You say romantic, I think Panache. A long-time favorite of locals and visitors alike, Panache Restaurant is nestled in Quebec City’s award-winning Auberge Saint-Antoine, built right by the St. Lawrence River, in the heart of the atmospheric Old Port. Plank floors, foot-thick stonewalls, massive exposed wooden beams and a central fireplace all contribute to an intimate and luxurious ambiance. But the true reason why I always think of Panache to celebrate special occasions is the amazing "new terroir" cuisine showcasing the very best Québécois products, such as venison, duck, foie gras and fine cheeses. For a truly special treat, visitors should try the Signature Menu, a 6-course gastronomic experience that spans over 3 to 4 hours during which each dish can be paired with outstanding, hand-picked wines.
Toronto's Most Romantic Restaurant
Stella at Food Junkie Chronicles in Toronto made George her choice for romance
With a spacious dining room, George still manages to give off a very cozy, classy and romantic ambiance. Impeccable service as servers are polite, attentive and very knowledgeable. Best of all, to celebrate in style, George offers two very inventive tasting menus (five courses for $99, ten for $140).
Kitchener/Waterloo's Most Romantic Restaurant
Andrew at Waterloo Region Eats chose a place that was special to him - Verses
It would seem that a romantic restaurant is something of a non-sequitur, in that it is the person with whom one is sharing time and space and love that makes the food venue special. That could be a hotdog cart or an elegant fine dining establishment. Kitchener’s Verses Restaurant—an old New Apostolic Church—has special memories for me. It has grace and beauty and a certain special atmosphere with the red of love that simply says quiet, intimate dining with refined but relaxed food and service.
Ottawa's Most Romantic Restaurant
An unassuming building, with the humblest of signage, betrays a tiny 20-seat dining room, utilitarian kitchen, and some rather sexy food. Opening last spring, Odile in the Nationtal Capital Region (47 Montclair, Gatineau) has developed a loyal following.
During the day, it serves a brunch of seeming simplicity, thoughtful food plated elegantly. During the evening, the theme continues with weekly menus of Canadian interpreted French countryside cuisine.
Think seared scallops paired with pressed pork belly; ballotine of duck stuffed with duck confit, dried fruit, and hazelnuts; and chicken supreme, served with rabbit liver mousse. It being winter, everything is plated generously with hearty greens, starchy legumes, and root vegetables.
When the sun sets, dimmed lights and unobtrusive service create an intimate almost personalized dining space. Tables, mostly deuces and a banquette, are candlelit. Soft contemporary music plays in the background.
A hidden gem of a restaurant with intimate seating and sexy food, what more could you ask for in romantic dining?
Winnipeg's Most Romantic Restaurant
When you want something to add a little warmth to a prairie winter, Kathryne at Food Musings suggests Terrace In the Park
Romance means something different to every person and choosing my city’s most romantic restaurant is a challenge, indeed, because my “romance” bar is set very high. The ambience and offerings at Terrace in the Park meets my high standards.
Calgary's Most Romantic Restaurant
Stephanie chose MARKET in Calgary as her pick
MARKET Calgary, a new restaurant on Calgary’s trendy 17th Avenue, is the perfect place for a romantic dinner. The food is local, the cocktails are seriously delicious, and the space is gorgeous (soft light, terrariums hanging from above, chalkboard murals). It’s a combination that you can’t go wrong with.
Dan went with something different - Boxwood Cafe!
When it comes to dining out, 'romance' doesn't always have to mean white linens, roses and champagne. To me, it's the atmosphere and location that helps make a romantic evening complete. Boxwood is nestled in cute park in downtown Calgary and it's woodsy interior is warm and inviting, making it perfect for cozying up to someone over some delicious dinner. Now, who's taking me on a date?
Vancouver's Most Romantic Restaurant
Let's hit the west coast now and find out what Dee at Gastrofork chose for her pick in Vancouver: long time favourite, The Stanley Park Teahouse
I recommend the Teahouse in Stanley Park as one of the most romantic restaurants in Vancouver - I may be a little biased as I had my wedding reception there! The view is spectacular - especially watching the sun go down. The service and food is impeccable - try their Sablefish and Stuffed Mushrooms
If you're stuck for a Valentine's day spot maybe these suggestions will help you out. And if Valentine's Day isn't your think, you've still got some great suggestions for a nice night out!
Big thanks to our entire Restaurant Roundup Crew for sharing their favourite Canadian romantic spots. They’ll all be back next month with their top picks for one of my favourites - Dim Sum! Grab a table full of friends and get ready for some great spots to try out.
Don’t see your city listed here? Do you review restaurants on your blog and are you an FBC Member? Then let us know! We’re still looking for folks in Victoria, Kelowna, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Fredericton, St. John’s and Charlottetown. You can reach out to us through our Contact page.
***all images are courtesy of our Restaurant Roundup Crew except where otherwise noted.