Monday, February 13, 2012

TOP-Ten Most Romantic Restaurants, 2012

So, tomorrow is Valentine's Day, huh?  THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW, WORLD!

Many of you have been viewing my 2011 list as to no doubt plan for the big day and I have to apologize for not updating it this year until now! I may have been preoccupied recently, but I guess a last-minute post on some of our top-picks for this year's most romantic restaurants falls under the term "better late than never." Here are PID's and my top choices for 2012 and a quick bite as to why:

#10 Cioppino
If your sweety is a cigar aficionado, then Cioppino will be a special treat.  With an amazing "old school" cigar room, delicious wine menu and a romantic ambiance -- complete with more than occasional live musical performances -- Cioppino is a great place to balance "his" and "hers" date desires.

#9 Casbah
If you're looking for a completely romantic phsyical setting, then Casbah is your golden goose. One of my favorite beautiful indoor dining experiences in the 'burgh. They have a special Valentine's Day tasting menu but beware -- the special menus are like Sirens: beautiful but deadly (to your wallet, anyway: delicious but small portions for a very high cost).

#8 Ibiza
What better way to prove your love for one another than with tapas? Ibiza is one of my favorite tapas experiences in the city with surprisingly substantial portion sizes that are delicious to boot.  The floor-to-ceiling windows provide for a great view and the semi-enclosed back patio is extremely romantic.

#7 Girasole
This outstanding little authentic-feeling hole-in-the-wall gem is a versatile solution to your valentine's Day.  Not only is it an intimate and romantic setting for a date, but it's one of my very favorite "girls night out" locations, mere steps away from the adult-entertainment of Shadyside proper.  PID and I haven't reviewed it, but you can trust my female F.O.R.Ts and I that this place is worth checking out whether you're trying to impress a Valentine or trying to avoid the holiday and kick back with your ladies!

#6 Willow
Willow drops from #1 to #6 on my "most romantic restaurants" list this year, but I can't remove it altogether. In my mind, it's still by far the most beautiful and unique restaurant in the greater Pittsburgh -- tucked away in the woods (which are, no doubt, beautifully snowcrest at this point), you and your honey can cozy up by one of many fire places in this amazingly romantic establishment. Under new management, their menu has changed slightly (and sadly not necessarily for the better) since our first visit, but it's still delicious and outstanding!

#5 Braddocks American Brasserie
We've never reviewed it officially, and that's just a shame.  After visiting Braddock's on Light Up Night back in November, PID and I immediately fell in love (with the restaurant, duh). I vowed to give this place 4 rousing stars, but my busy schedule got the best of me and never could.  Their prix-fixe menu is to-die-for and, on the first floor of the famous Renaissance Hotel it's a great "eat and stay" date night. Let your valentine go to bed full and satisfied (no jokes, here) and wake up to the beautiful view of the Allegheny River!

#4 1796 Room
Looking for another "getaway" Valentine's celebration? Make a reservation (no seriously, DO IT NOW!) for an overnight stay at the Bedford Springs Resort and Spa only 1.5 hours east of Pittsburgh and make dinner reservations (early) for 1796.  The place is completely unique and historical with a winning wine list.  You'll win mega points for this trip and dinner.  Trust me on this one.

#3 Paris 66
It's intimate, it's BYOB, it's French. Get ready to be transported directly to a Parisian cafe the moment you step inside this place.  Perfect for the wannabe travelers, Paris 66 offers everything from savory french dishes to delicious sweet crepes.  And the best part? You can bring your very best and very favorite wine for only a small corking fee. LOVE IT! They, too, have a Valentine's tasting menu, but hurry! The dining room is small and fills up fast!

#2 Soba
Two floors of pure romance, this place screams "let's makeout later!" Everything from the intimate lighting, to the fountain wall, to the friendly and informative staff makes this place the ideal date spot. Their menu leans toward Asian cuisine, but has delicious options for any diner.  My one piece of advice? DON'T forgo dessert.

#1 Grand Concourse
Ate here once, many moons ago with mama and papa TOP and couldn't help but think: this is like, the most beautiful restaurant with the best view ever. It needed to make #1 on the list because after just one visit, I've never forgotten it and hear nothing but amazing things about the food above and beyond the crablegs I devoured and loved.  Dear PID, please take me here.

So there you have it.  The world of Pittsburgh romance in 2012.  What have I missed? What do you disagree with?  Where would you like to see us eat this year to add to the list next year? And most of all...where did YOU celebrate the day of love?  I'd love to hear from you!


  1. Couldn't agree more about Ibiza's patio & views - very romantic and intimate with amazing food.

  2. I am glad that I visit your blog and I am very impressed with what you post about top ten most romantic restaurants. Today a lot of people are celebrating valentines and those restaurants are really perfect for a romantic date. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Hope there will be someone inviting me tonight to have a dinner date in any Restaurants in Makati. :)


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