Here are the 20 best restaurants in metro Phoenix for your Valentine's Day date
Take your date to one of these restaurants around the Valley and make your meal the most romantic it can be.
While we agree with the adage about how when you’re with the right person, anywhere can be romantic, we don’t like to leave things to chance.
Few things will kill a date faster than offering your someone special subpar cuisine amidst a cold, industrial atmosphere.
On the flip side, a great meal and dreamy setting can save even a mediocre meeting.
Whether you’re deciding on a restaurant for a first date or a special anniversary, you can avoid date-night blunders at these 20 romantic restaurants in metro Phoenix.
This farm-to-table restaurant is a picture of pastoral beauty, both in atmosphere and in food presentation. At the Farm at South Mountain, diners eat in the former farmhouse surrounded by nature. The seasonal menu features dishes such as pistachio soup, crispy skin steelhead trout and Guinea Hen roulade from Two Wash Ranch in Arizona. On the weekends, choose from four-, five- and six-course tasting menus. Look for special holiday menus for an extra treat.
Details: 6106 S. 32nd St., Phoenix. 602-276-0601, qatthefarm.com.
James Beard winner Chris Bianco may be best known for his pizza, but his pasta and other Italian dishes are world-class, too. The ever-changing menu is divided into four parts, and you should try at least one thing from each section. Suggestions include the farinata, house-made farro pasta with goat ragu, the Chula Seafood swordfish with huckleberry gold potatoes and whatever vegetable your server suggests. Make reservations well in advance for this small restaurant, but if you can’t get a reservation, they usually have first-come, first-serve seating on the patio.
Details: Town & Country, 4743 N. 20th St., Phoenix. 602-296-7761, trattophx.com.
House of Tricks
Looking for an elegant dining experience in a vibrant college town? Head to House of Tricks, a 30-plus-year-old downtown Tempe establishment where you can feast on bison meatloaf or fig-glazed pastrami-spiced duck breast while sitting on the enchanting tree-covered patio. The wine list features about 300 varieties, making Tricks especially enticing for oenophiles. It sits a couple of blocks off bustling Mill Avenue, which gives it more peaceful environs than you’d expect in the heard of Sun Devil country. If you can’t snag a table in one of the two dining rooms or on the patio, head for an elevated petite table at the bar under the restaurant’s distinctive tree.
Details: 114 E. Seventh St., Tempe. 480-968-1114, houseoftricks.com.
Different Pointe of View
This mountain-top restaurant is where you make a reservation if you’re pulling out all the stops. Dramatic views of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve combine with elegant decor and a menu filled with luxurious dishes such as Muscovy duck leg confit, sherry and butter-poached Maine lobster, and grilled filet mignon with truffle butter, gorgonzola and basil grits.
Details: Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, 11111 N. Seventh St., Phoenix. 602-866-7500, tapatiocliffshilton.com.
Got a stunning date? Dazzle him or her with the view from this resort restaurant while you revel in dishes from “Iron Chef" winner Beau MacMillan. Look for seasonal offerings such as ahi tuna tartare, Maine lobster bucatini and coffee-rubbed Maple Leaf Farms duck.
Details: Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, 5700 E. McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley. 480-948-2100, sanctuaryoncamelback.com.
When Cafe Monarch moved into its new larger digs, they also managed to keep the same elegance and intimacy. The restaurant also kept its contemporary four-course prix-fixe menu with mains such as citrus crusted Chilean sea bass and Niman Ranch prime filet mignon.
Details: 6939 E. First Ave., Scottsdale. 480-970-7682, cafemonarch.com.
The atmosphere is as appealing as the handmade pasta, pizzas and crepes at this central Phoenix Italian restaurant housed in a charming 1913 bungalow. You’re guaranteed to impress your date if you share a burrata antipasti, a Procida pizza (mozzarella, prosciutto crudo, Asian pears, arugula and goat cheese), and a Nutella-filled crepe. Ask to sit on the patio. Toast each other with a glass of prosecco.
Details: 603 N. Fifth Ave., Phoenix. 602-441-2697, cibophoenix.com.
Nico Heirloom Kitchen
This classy, but not stuffy, restaurant in downtown Gilbert is a buzzy spot that serves elegant dishes like grilled octopus, house-made pasta, wood-fired fish and a 40-ounce tomahawk ribeye for two that’s tailor-made for date night. Sit at the bar and watch barrel-aged and craft cocktails get shaken or stirred.
Details: 366 N. Gilbert Road, Gilbert. 480-584-4760, nicoaz.com.
Kai, at the posh Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass near Chandler, is the only restaurant in Arizona to boast a AAA Five Diamond rating and a Forbes Five Star distinction. The team at Kai has taken the culinary seeds of the Pima and Maricopa people and nurtured them into an acclaimed fine-dining destination. It’s a truly unique Arizona experience that every couple should have on their bucket list. Reservations highly suggested, especially on holidays.
Details: Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass, 5594 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Gila River Indian Reservation. 602-385-5726, wildhorsepassresort.com/kai.
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This sophisticated restaurant located in a former citrus grove gives a nod to Arizona’s agricultural history while serving contemporary dishes such as blistered Brussels sprouts, citrus shrimp pasta, and mushroom and arugula pizza. There’s not a bad seat in the house. Dining al fresco is divine, but the intimate dining room makes for an elegant evening.
Details: 7100 N. 12th St., Phoenix. 602-633-2600, pomelophx.com.
Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
You and your date will feel cosmopolitan at this lounge inside the historic Luhrs Building while sitting in a high-backed booth and sipping an expertly-made cocktail. The hurricane popcorn and dumpling burger are musts.
Details: 1 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix. 602-340-1924, bitterandtwistedaz.com.
Windsor and Churn
Dim lighting, approachable food and heady cocktails make Windsor an intoxicating date spot. Look for dishes such as Cheddar fondue, mixed-grain salad and New Orleans-style pork ribs. Pair your meal with drinks like the No. 63: Kentucky bourbon, fresh grapefruit and honey syrup. If the date goes well, venture to the next-door ice-cream parlor, Churn.
The Vic Bar + Kitchen
Take your date to this from-scratch kitchen in Buckeye’s Verrado community. A West Valley standout, the Vic offers such seasonal dishes as pan-seared scallop cakes, forest mushroom flatbread and marinated pork loin.
Details: 5325 N. Verrado Way, Buckeye. 623-533-4722, vicbarandkitchen.com.
Feel like culinary glitterati at celeb chef Scott Conant’s modern osteria at Seventh Street and Montebello Avenue in central Phoenix. Be dazzled by dishes like grilled octopus, lobster gnudi and Meyer lemon-dusted lamb loin.
Details: 5651 N. Seventh St., Phoenix. 602-795-9943, moraitalian.com.
OBON Sushi + Bar + Ramen
The fanciful menu at this hip new sushi spot at Scottsdale Quarter is divided into such sections as signature rolls, ramen, crudo, steam buns and large plates. Look for the spicy Fukushu roll, salmon crudo, chilled kimchi noodles, Tonkotsu ramen and Spam bun. Asian beers, wine, cocktails and sake make up the drink menu.
Details: 15037 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. 602-491-2796, obonsushi.com.
Presentation is a matter of paramount importance at this Glendale gem. Take the shrimp cocktail: Three succulent shrimp served over a foggy bed of dry ice with a cloth-wrapped lemon (to prevent seeds from falling in your food). Whole roasted chicken is carved tableside, grill marks on wild-caught salmon are just so and prime rib is impeccably pink.
Details: 8280 W. Union Hills Drive, Glendale. 623-566-2224, arrowheadgrill.com.
Cuisine & Wine Bistro
Owned by French-born Fabrice Buschtetz and his Irish wife, Mairead, you can find two locations of this romantic restaurant, one in Gilbert and the other in Chandler. The menus differ at each location. Find creations like pork filet with blue cheese and bacon and roasted salmon served on a bed of tossed pasta and olives in Chandler. Duck filet with orange sauce and steak frites made with Black angus ribeye are options in Gilbert. Save room for dessert – both places serve soufflé and crème brulee.
Details: 1422 W. Warner Road, Gilbert. 480-497-1422. Also, 4991 S. Alma School Road, Chandler. 480-275-6700, cuisineandwinebistro.com.
Before your reservation, grab a drink and catch a stunning Arizona sunset while sitting on the vast patio at this fine-dining restaurant at The Phoenician. You’re in capable hands when you sit down to order; chef de cuisine Jacques Qualin helms the kitchen and executes celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s menu loaded with the signature presentations of filet mignon, prime porterhouse and Wagyu tomahawk ribeye for two.
Details: 6000 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 480-214-8000, jgsteakhousescottsdale.com.
Alessia's Ristorante Italiano
Start off with mussels sautéed with lemon, olive oil and white wine at this neighborhood Italian gem in Mesa. Choose your pasta of preference from the vast section and combine it with sauces like Bolognese and Alfredo or accouterments like chopped clams and capers. Other favorites include veal piccata, chicken marsala and cioppino. Whatever dish you choose, pair it with wine from the marvelous selection.
Details: 5251 E. Brown Road, Mesa. 480-396-2888, alessiasristoranteitaliano.com.
The Perch Pub & Brewery
This brewpub has a large, inviting courtyard and seats on its rooftop patio where you can watch the sunset near historic downtown Chandler. Plus, there are lots of bright tropical rescue birds to scope out. Find more than three dozen beers on tap, including a variety of Perch-made brews. The food menu abounds with burgers, sandwiches, small plates, boards and pizzas.
Details: 232 S. Wall St., Chandler. 480-773-7688, perchpubbrewery.com.