11 romantic restaurants perfect for Valentine's Day
Whether you prefer a fancy candlelight dinner or an interactive cooking experience, York County has some great options for a romantic night out.
As Valentine's Day nears, we rounded up a list of 11 area restaurants that our On The Menu columnists say offer not only delicious food, but an ambiance perfect for a date night with your sweetheart.
Don't see your favorite restaurant? Tell us in the comments.
A romantic candlelight dinner awaits at the Accomac Inn Feb. 12. It’s called a Firelight Dinner, a time to ditch the electricity, but not the sparks. Diners rely on the glow of the fireplace and candles during these events, which are currently scheduled every Friday through March. Not into the dim lighting? The Accomac will also host a Valentines Weekend dinner with a $70-per-person pre fixe menu Feb. 13 and 14. Reservations are required. The menu includes a canape, salad, soup, your choice of appetizer and your choice of entrée – jumbo lump crab cake, filet Wellington, lemon ricotta gnocchi or pan-roasted duck breast. Then, finish things off with your choice of dessert and a dessert champagne toast. For the full menu, visit www.accomacinn.com/valentines-day.
– Erin McCracken
Location: 6330 S. River Drive, York
Hours: Dinner: 4:30 to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 4-8 p.m. Sunday; Brunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday
Contact: www.accomacinn.com; 717-252-1521
The upscale experience you receive at Blue Moon makes it the type of place you want to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary … or Valentine’s Day. The service is exceptional — from unfolding your cloth napkin when you sit down to explaining in detail the seasonal menu. Inside, the restaurant is narrow with tables, a fireplace in the center front and rotating artwork on the walls. Stunning blue flowers sit at the center of each table. There is also an enclosed courtyard available for seating and for private parties year-round. But the elegance doesn’t stop with the atmosphere. The menu features comfort foods turned classy, such as macaroni and blue cheese or a crab and brie quesadilla. Desserts include key lime pie, chocolate empanadas and the classic crème brulee.
– Jess Krout
Location: 361 W. Market St., York
Hours: Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; Dinner: 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
Contact: bluemoonfresh.com; 717-854-6664
Inside the Conewago Inn's dining room is a rustic, yet classy vibe. With snow on the ground, it feels like you’ve slipped away to a ski resort. Exposed logs, wooden beams and a stone fireplace add to the rustic feel of the dining room. But Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra tunes playing on the speakers, plus a fine dining menu, add to the inn's class. The menu for Valentine’s weekend (Feb. 12-14) includes Rhode Island oysters, saffron lobster soup, pan-seared sea bass, apricot fillet and slow-roasted prime rib.
– Jess Krout
Location: 3480 York Haven Road, Newberry Township
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Contact: conewagoinn.com; 717-266-1376
The homemade gelato and sorbet – available in a variety of flavors – sets Esaan apart from other local Asian restaurants. “When you eat something hot,” head chef Jai Delp said, what is better to cool down your palate?” For those unfamiliar, gelato is similar to ice cream, but denser and, possibly more flavorful. One scoop of gelato eats like two scoops of typical ice cream, which has more air whipped into it. Stir fry, Thai curry and rice and noodle dishes on the main menu – such as the chicken pad Thai – burst with an array of flavors. The fish sauce balances the sweet but tart taste of tamarind, and a healthy dose of pepper give the dish a nice little kick.
– Wade Malcolm
Location: 30 N. Beaver St., York
Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday; closed Tuesday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday
Contact: www.esaanofpa.com; 718-9300
The First Post’s stunning, but friendly décor immediately catches your eye upon entering the restaurant. The ambiance is suitable for a business dinner, a night out with friends or a romantic evening. The scenic balcony could fit in with the motif at a restaurant in the French Quarter, and the walls tastefully feature antiques and art work. But while atmosphere and comfort prevail, there is one reason above all to visit the First Post: The food. The menu features a typical variety of meats, seafood and sandwiches, most prepared with a twist. The salmon, for example, is prepared with a brown sugar glaze with sweet corn relish, served over a warm potato crab salad and sautéed spinach. And according to our On The Menu columnist Steve Navaroli, it’s “out of this world.”
– Steve Navaroli
Location: 3691 E. Market St., York
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday
Contact: www.thefirstpostyork.com; 717-430-8115
This homey café seats less than 50 people, so a bustling dinner crowd means diners might have to wait a few minutes to find a seat. But it’s worth the wait to many who frequent the restaurant. The maroon walls and ceiling give the restaurant a romantic feel while waitresses wiz around refilling water glasses and recommending dishes. Popular pasta dishes include the chicken afumicato, featuring penne pasta topped with a brandy rose sauce, fresh spinach, sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers and smoked cheese. If seafood is calling your name, try the shrimp champagne, where a raspberry champagne cream sauce covers tomato, mushrooms, spinach and fettuccine.
– Rebecca Hanlon
Location: 4140 Carlisle Road, Dover
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, closed Sundays and Mondays
Contact: www.moonlightcafeyork.com; 717-292-5643
A casual, modern American atmosphere is what you see when you walk into Otto's Kitchen & Cocktails. And chicken and waffles, pot pie and a whole menu of craft cocktails are just a few of the things you can taste. The restaurant’s brick walls and multicolored wood bar and floors, repurposed from two barns in Hanover, invite customers into the homey space, where they embark on a journey back to the 1920s. The 1920s theme not only refers to the American comfort cuisine, but also the classic cocktails of the time period. The cocktail menu includes classics like Vieux Carre, Manhattan and Old Fashioned as well as seven signature cocktails, each made with housemade ingredients.
– Abbey Zelko
Location: 19 N. George St., York
Hours: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday through Saturday
Contact: www.ottosyork.com; 717-747-1922
At Tutoni's, there's no need to feel rushed – just a need to take in the experience. The restaurant's interior is full of texture – from columns adding to its Mediterranean feel, to ceiling panels and iron chandeliers, to a wall of wood illuminated by candles. But another big draw is the locally sourced food. A special Valentine’s Day menu, starting with Oysters Rockefeller and ending with Blood Orange Panna Cotta, will be served Feb. 12-14. The cost is $65 per person.
– Jess Krout
Location: 108 N. George St., York
Hours: Lunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday; Dinner: 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Contact: www.tutonis.com; 717-885-5169
Stained-glass windows, gourmet food and an extensive wine list make Victor's Italian Restaurant a fancy find outside the city. It’s the perfect date night for couples looking to splurge. The building itself, which used to serve as a church for the Green Hill Evangelical Association in the early 1900s, is a beautiful distraction for diners who appreciate the architecture. For those looking for the gourmet food without a high price, lunch might be the best time to visit Victor's. Sandwiches range from $7 to $15 and most look similar to the entrée options. For example, an eggplant parmesan sandwich is $7, while the dinner entrée is $17. Plus, anytime customers come to eat, they can choose from roughly 100 different craft beer options, a hearty wine list and several cocktails.
– Ashley May
Location: 554 S. Ogontz St., York
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Reservations will be available from 4 to 9:30 p.m. on Valentine’s Day.
Contact: www.victorsofyork.com; 717-854-7958
You don't have to be a classically trained chef to cook your own dinner at this popular downtown York restaurant. You don't even have to use technology like microwaves, stoves and ovens. All you need is a hot rock. Since May 2008, the White Rose Bar and Grill, which opened in the 1930s, has been serving up the rocks with your choice of beef or seafood. When you order the hot rock, dinner becomes an interactive experience for you and your date. The server brings the rock in the center of a large platter with tongs and raw meat on one side, veggies and salt on the other. The volcanic stone is warmed in the oven for six to eight hours before arriving at the table, so you should think twice about touching it. The server will first instruct you to sprinkle salt on the rock so the meat doesn’t stick. Since the beef cooks at a slower speed on the rock, the juices begin to flow in a few minutes. That's the time to add vegetables. You can sear the meat well done or let it pink to the point it's still mooing. Your choice when you're the cook.
– Jess Krout
Location: 48 N. Beaver St., York
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday
Contact: www.whiterosebarandgrill.com; 717-848-5369
Dining in Wyndridge Farm’s Tasting Room feels similar to eating at a country club, except in a barn. A very upscale barn. From the moment you arrive at the farm, you're greeted by a massive, iron chandelier hanging from the barn's tall ceiling. Inside the tasting room is a bar on one side with a view of the kitchen, tables on the other with views of the property, a fireplace, French doors leading to the brewery and a flat-screen TV. Candles light each table and the chairs are upholstered. The menu, crafted by executive chef Matt Siegmund, reflects the farm's elegance. From brick-fired pizzas to Spring Lamb Lollipops, there is more here than just a "taste." A four-course Valentine’s Day dinner, offered from 2 to 9 p.m. Feb. 13, includes a complimentary cheese plate, your choice of appetizers (roasted bone in lamb loin, pancetta-wrapped sea scallops and chilled asparagus), your choice of entrees (grilled jumbo gulf shrimp, slow-roasted tenderloin, pan-roasted Chilean sea bass, osso buco and vegetarian bread pudding) and your choice of dessert (mocha-praline cheesecake, harvest bon bon or key lime pie). Dinner is $60 per person. Reservations are required.
– Jess Krout
Location: 885 S. Pleasant Ave., York Township
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Contact: www.wyndridge.com; 717-244-9900
More V-Day dinners to check out:
Naylor Wine Cellars’ Lover’s Winer Dinner: 3 to 5:30 p.m. and 6 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13 and 2 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14 at Naylor Wine Cellars, 4069 Vineyard Road, Stewartstown. Enjoy a four-course meal with Naylor wine as you dine next to oak barrels of aging Cabernet. Cost is $40 per person. Reservations are required. Visit NaylorWine.com for more info.
Moon Dancer Winery’s Valentine’s Dinner: 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13 at Moon Dancer Winery, 1282 Klines Run Road, Wrightsville. Includes a wine tasting and four-course meal. Cost is $65 per person. Reservations are required. Visit www.moondancerwinery.com or call 717-252-9463.
Red Brick Bakery Valentine’s Chef’s Table: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12 at Red Brick Bakery, 55 N. Main St., Red Lion. Includes a four-course meal and dessert. Cost is $38.50 per person. Reservations are required. Visit www.redbrickbakery.com or call 717-332-7427.
John Wright Restaurant’s Valentine’s Day Dinner: 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Sunday Feb. 14 at John Wright Restaurant, 234 N. Front St., Wrightsville. Includes your choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert. Cost is $70 per couple for the 6 p.m. seating and $90 per couple for the 8:30 p.m. seating, which also includes a champagne toast and live entertainment. Visit www.jwrpa.com for details.