The Collegian
Friday, August 12, 2022

A Richmond Valentine's Day dining guide

<p>Wild mushroom bruschetta from The Daily.&nbsp;</p>

Wild mushroom bruschetta from The Daily. 

With an ever-expanding, vibrant restaurant scene and so many places to choose from, deciding where to take your valentine for dinner in Richmond can be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve narrowed the restaurant scene down to our top 11, and sorted them by type of restaurant. Lucky for you, Richmond is a city for food connoisseurs and lovers— and there’s something for everyone!

Photo by Pinyada Napathorn 

For the hipster couple:

1. The Daily

If you’re looking for a place with a fun, energetic atmosphere and whimsical décor, check out The Daily. The creative menu selections are guaranteed to intrigue your date and there is something for everyone, whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or a meat lover. Even their drink selections are unique. Watermelon Kombucha Martini? You can find it at The Daily.

2. Pasture

Looking to mix it up a bit and stray from the traditional fancy Valentine's Day meal? Pasture has a quirky and fun vibe, with delicious food and exceptional service. The aesthetic is perfect for a couple wanting to feel über hipster for the night. One Yelp reviewer accurately described the atmosphere as, “Minimalist Danish Modern collides with Melrose Ave Chic.”

3. Graffiato

This one is a chic spot with artisanal Italian cuisine and wood fired pizzas by “Top Chef” alum Mike Isabella. The atmosphere is hip and minimalistic, and the food is mouth-watering. Plus, word on the street is their gnocchi is delicious. If you want high quality food and a modern atmosphere, try Graffiato

For the classy couple:

4. Portico

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If you’re looking for a high-end yet intimate atmosphere with delicious Italian cuisine, Portico is the place for you. The free valet parking upon your arrival makes you feel like you’re being taken care of, and the small dining area gives the place a pleasant homey feeling.

5. The Boathouse

With one of The Boathouse locations nestled away on the James River, the beautiful panoramic views are sure to please anyone. If you visit the Rocketts Landing location, be sure to call reservations in ahead of time and request a table next to the floor-to-ceiling windows. Going at sunset doesn’t hurt either! Whatever location you choose to visit, you are in for some delectable local seafood and yummy pizza with an upscale atmosphere.

6. Acacia Midtown

Acacia has received a lot of press for being excellent with details, from the food, to the service and free valet. The chef was even named “Americas Best New Chef” by Food & Wine magazine a few years ago. This place is perfect for a couple that wants nice seafood and a luxurious atmosphere.

7. The Clifton Inn

For couples looking for something nice and wanting to venture out of the Richmond area, The Clifton Inn is a great option. Located in Charlottesville, the restaurant offers a formal dining option in the dining room, or dining options in the French windowed Verandah, and Terrace Porch with garden views.

8. Lemaire

Another fancy option located in a hotel, but this one is in the Richmond area. Part of what makes this place so special is that it’s nestled in the gorgeous Jefferson Hotel. If you and your beau want more of the Jefferson after Ring Dance, make your way over to Lemaire!

For the wanting-to-try-something-different couple:

9. Amuse

If you are feeling adventurous, head over to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to eat at the semi-dressy Amuse, located at the top level of the museum. They are known for the dining atmosphere and aesthetic, the great views and their good-looking food. Be sure call ahead of time and check their hours, as they tend to close around 5:00 p.m. most days.

10. Lemon Cuisine of India

Style Weekly deemed this one the “Best Indian Restaurant in RVA, 2015”. If you’re looking for a laid-back restaurant and want to try something new, check out their traditional Indian cuisine, made with all-organic ingredients. You and your significant other have different opinions on spicy food? Lemon Cuisine of India has different levels of spice for everyone.

11. Stella's

Stella's is an upscale Mediterranean and Greek restaurant with a quaint atmosphere and great menu. Make your reservation ahead of time to get your own table, or, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, arrive without reservations to sit at the bar or communal table.

Contact The Buzz editor Lauren Gill at lauren.gill@richmond.edu. 

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