Long-stemmed roses and flickering candles set the mood at this romantic, Paris-style bistro that's known for its alluring decor and delightful French fare. Tucked away in a tiny storefront in North Beach, Cafe Jacqueline is a restaurant seemingly made for starry-eyed duos. The menu consists only of souffles made for two, and although selections change daily, typical ingredients include crab, truffles and fresh fruit. The French onion soup is a patron favorite. Be sure to leave room for a dessert souffle, especially the Gran Marnier souffle, which will leave you just tipsy enough to need that shoulder for the way home.
With all the fuss about the French and the Italians and their romantic ways, we shouldn't forget that the Greeks have been in the business of pairing food and love since ancient times. One of the most enchanting dinner destinations in the city, Kokkari Estiatorio offers a refined yet cozy ambiance that sets the mood for a perfectly picturesque evening. Fresh, seasonal ingredients are carefully combined to create Mediterranean delights like moussaka, zucchini cakes and grilled lamb chops. There are plenty of suitable wine pairings, as well, no matter what menu item you choose. The traditional walnut and honey baklava is a must for dessert.
If romance is the reason you've come to The City by the Bay, Boulevard is the picturesque place to dine. Located in an historic waterfront building, this eatery's intimate Belle Epoque aesthetic and sumptuous food hit all the right notes. The menu showcases regional flavors and French style with dishes like Sonoma Foie Gras and California Sea Bass a la Plancha. A sommelier and 500-item wine list ensure the perfect pairing. Surrounded by Pat Kuleto's timeless Belle Epoque inspired design, Chef Oakes wonderful expression of American regional flavors with a French influenced style has made Boulevard a culinary landmark on San Francisco's revived Embarcadero waterfront.
Exposed brick walls, mahogany detailing, velvet draperies and a champagne-glass theme set a swank scene at this classy supper club. While guests find it hard to tear themselves away from the marble-and-mahogany bar, Traci Des Jardins' food sways their resolve. The extensive, constantly changing menu features temptations like Alaskan halibut with roasted artichokes, red wine-braised beef shortribs, and dry-aged NY steak with morels and asparagus. Fantastic cheese selections and a great wine list also prove popular, and live entertainment only increases the restaurant's appeal. Be sure to leave room for dessert, particularly the Ginger Pear Sorbet or the Bittersweet Chocolate Budino.
If you ask a longtime San Franciscan what's the one restaurant a tourist shouln't miss, chances are they'd say Gary Danko's. Hard to knock this longtime favorite off any list. Sleek and contemporary yet warm and inviting, this restaurant showcases classical culinary knowledge, a flair for the creative, and an appreciation for local ingredients. All are in attendance on the restaurant's seasonal menus, which include dishes like mushroom-dusted sea scallops with cauliflower pure, juniper-crusted venison, and Moroccan-spiced squab with orange-cumin carrots. The cheese cart alone, a delectable delight that rolls out up to twenty different cheeses from all over the world, is alone worth a visit.
Impress your beloved with a romantic dinner at Frascati, a Mediterranean-style bistro whose warm, intimate ambiance makes it ideal for amorous outings. Nestled in the Russian Hill neighborhood, this simply elegant establishment features an inventive menu that's constantly changing to reflect the season. You'll often find decadent options like gnocchi with butternut squash, beef carpaccio, smoked salmon risotto and pan-roasted pork tenderloin. The coveted black and white chocolate bread pudding provides a perfectly sweet finish. Owners Rebecca and Jon Radar will do everything in their power to insure that your romantic dinner is the highlight of your San Francisco visit.
Although the French certainly know their way around romance, we can't forget the passion of the Italians, whose love for food, people and life in general is unrivaled. If you're in the mood for love - and great Italian food - Piazza Pellgrini is the spot for you and that special someone. A cozy restaurant in the heart of North Beach's Little Italy, Piazza Pelegrini features the Italian classics of Rome. Chefs use only the best, local ingredients, and any couple that has even the whiff of romance about them will be wooed all dinner long in this charming establishment.
While Foreign Cinema's misleading moniker may seem a better fit for a movie theater than an oyster bar, this restaurant's real attraction is their Mediterranean-inspired menu and outstanding oysters. They do, in fact, offer film showings in the adjoining courtyard, an added perk for those savoring tasty shellfish like the Hog Island Sweet, Marin Gem, Chatham and Steamboat oysters. The dinner menu changes regularly, and brunch is served on weekends. Foreign Cinema has a lot to offer besides oysters, so it's a good choice for groups who have varied and eclectic tastes. It's also one of the most romantic restaurants in the city.
If you believe the steamy, mysterious atmosphere 1920s French Vietnam is romantic, then Le Colonial is the place for you. Patchwork tile floors, shuttered windows, antique lamps and rattan furniture set among palm fronds and lazily swirling ceiling fans all work in harmony to create an elegant, sultry mood where romance can bloom. Only the freshest ecologically farmed meat, game and poultry found at farms throughout the Bay area make up the Vietnamese-style menu at Le Colonial. Some of the favorites include Goi Xa Lach Ca Chua (Heirloom tomato salad with watercress, cherry tomatoes and red onions served with basil dressing and crispy pork belly) and Goi Ca Thu (Seared Ahi tuna salad with cucumber, avocado and red onion, served with an herb-lime emulsion and chili aioli).
ROOH is an intoxicating blend of Indian cuisine influenced by the new world of tech and San Francisco swagger. Master Chef Sujan's guiding philosophy - "an exhibition of the potential that Indian cuisine can be elevated to, with the ultimate aim of evoking new flavors, emotions & ideas" - creates a warm, exciting atmosphere for a romantic night out. What couple out there doesn't need a a little stimulation to put some spice back in their relationship? You'll find all kinds of spices at ROOH, from your first sip of their marvelous cocktails like the Kerala (Rum, Hibiscus, Aloe and Pineapple) to your last bite of their delectable Phirni Mousse Cashew Cake (Thandai Ice cream & Wild Rice Wafer.)