Still trying to figure out where to get your romance on for Valentine’s Day Dinner? There are a couple of places that I just can’t decide between this year.

Every Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend and I try to go out for a really romantic dinner — staying in isn’t an option for us. Not because we don’t like to cook, but because there are so many amazing restaurant’s nearby, that the food we cook just isn’t up to par. I’ve been planning where to go this year for Valentine’s Day, and here are the choices I’ve narrowed it down to.

  1. Café Matisse- East Rutherford, NJ (BYOB)

We came here last year for Valentine’s Day and as usual it was amazing! Café Matisse is a tiny restaurant that had Mediterranean vibes throughout the décor. They also have a little garden in the back that is beautiful and intimate. Definitely suggesting to go here when its warm out so you can sit in the garden. It’s stunning!


This place is extremely unique because you don’t just order an appetizer, entrée, and dessert. There are about nine savory dishes to choose from on the menu, and you choose which ones you want and what order you want them in. The options are as followed:

  • 3 courses- (2 savory, 1 dessert) $75 per person
  • 4 courses- (3 savory, 1 dessert) $95 per person
  • 5 courses- (4 savory, 1 dessert) $115 per person

I would recommend doing the 4 courses, just so you can try more on the menu. The portions aren’t huge, but the 4 courses will definitely fill you up. Personally, I think the 5 courses is just way too much food. Also, you can add a course- so if you pick the 3 courses, you can add a savory course and split it with your date. It’s the best way to do it!


Chef Peter Loria, (owner and chef of Café Matisse) creates dishes you have never heard of before. The menu is seasonal and changes every couple of months, but one of the staples that is pretty much always on the menu is the spicy panko crusted crab cake with cheddar glazed shrimp. Yup, it’s even better than it sounds. it’s definitely one of my go to’s. One dish on the menu I am dying to try is the peppered sirloin medallion with pan fried short rib ravioli and onion ribbons. Like what???? I need that in my life.

Dessert suggestions- get the banana cream parfait. It’s heavenly. (crumbled vanilla wafer cookies, banana cream, chocolate espresso ganache, caramelized banana, fried marshmallow zeppole, strawberry marmalade, candied almond) – FRIED MARSHMALLOW ZEPPOLE. That is all.


  1. Saddle River Inn- Saddle River, NJ

This is the place to go if you’re a foodie. Not going to lie, I was the youngest person in the restaurant by at least 20 years. (I’m in my early 20’s) There’s nothing wrong with this, I just want to inform you it’s not a trendy vibe—it’s strictly romantic, with amazing food.

I’m burrata obsessed. I have to get burrata at every restaurant just to see who has the best around—and they did not disappoint. Go for the tuna carpaccio! Delish!

Saddle River Inn does a Chef’s Seasonal Tasting Menu, which I love. I love when restaurant’s do a tasting menu just because I want to try as many things on the menu. The options are as followed:

  • 4 courses- $80
  • 5 courses- $90
  • 6 courses- $100

Super romantic for a Valentine’s Day dinner.


  1. Chart House- Weehawken, NJ

Love the vibe of this place! I really love any restaurant with a view and when the food is good too, it’s a win, win! Super romantic, but not the most intimate. If you are looking for a really quiet intimate dinner, this isn’t the spot for you.

It’s romantic because of the views and how they customize the menu for you. If you call ahead and say you are coming in for an occasion, they will write, “happy birthday _____”. It’s a nice touch.

This is definitely a place to get fish. The food doesn’t blow you out of this world by its intricacy, but it is very good and the location is priceless.


  1. Lorena’s- Maplewood, NJ

OK, ok so I know Maplewood isn’t in Bergen County, but I HAVE to put it in the most romantic category. This place is top notch.

They have a special menu for Valentine’s Day that looks superb! They also have a seasonal menu, so it changes so often, but if the Warm Lump Crab meat and Mushroom Crepe is on the menu — GET IT! Sometimes, they will ask if you want shaved truffle on top of it for an extra cost and it’s UNREAL!

This menu is just ridiculous. The “Duo” of Beef (red wine filet, braised beef short rib, roasted baby vegetables, carrot puree, fingerling potato, mushroom-truffle emulsion, black pepper veal jus) is a must!!!!

Although I would 100% recommend this place, I would specifically go on a date. It’s super intimate and quiet and you basically hear everyone’s conversations.

I’m not sure where we will wind up this Valentine’s Day, but I know for sure it will be at one of these restaurant’s.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Author Michelle

More posts by Michelle

Join the discussion 5,949 Comments