Love is always in the air on Valentine’s Day. Having a romantic dinner with your “significant other” is one of the most memorable ways of celebrating Valentine’s Day. This is the 7th year sharing my favorite picks for romantic restaurants in the area featuring many well established icons. All of these local family owned restaurants have the ambiance that will make your Valentine’s Day celebration very special.
CAFÉ GOODFELLAS-702 State Street, New Haven, CT 06511- 203-785-8722 -www.cafegoodfellas.com – This award winning restaurant features Italian food prepared to perfection & elegant service. Chef/Owner Gerry Iannacone focuses on simple farm fresh ingredients coupled with traditional Italian cooking in an atmosphere where customers have a great time.
CONSIGLIO’S – 165 Wooster Street, New Haven, CT 06511 – 203-865-4489 – www.consiglios.com. The time has come to “Rediscover” Consiglio’s. The longevity of this restaurant speaks for itself-can you believe 1938! Consiglio’s is the perfect example of the “Little Italy” restaurant offering warm, cozy, romantic ambiance, flawless service and, of course, the outstanding food. You must experience Consiglio’s Dinner Theatre & Cooking Classes. A fun evening for a group or that special date for two.
GABRIELE RISTORANTE ITALIANO- 326 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT 06477 – 203-799-2633 – www.gabrielect.com. They have been going strong since 1973 with many local and high profile regular customers. Lovely newly renovated interior, great lounge and consistently good food.
LA FAMIGLIA VINCENZO-1573 Boston Post Road, Milford, CT 06460 -203-951-0585-www.lafamigliav.com. Owner Carol Gloria offers an intimate dining with guests being her priority. La Famiglia’s main focus is to create a more personal dining experience in addition to great food and service. The menu is rooted in classic and contemporary Italian dishes along with some modern twists.
OLA RESTAURANT – 350 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT 06477 – 203-891-0522-olarestaurantct.com. This special Latin inspired restaurant is definitely the talk of the town (or should I say more like the tri-state area). Brothers Melvin and Wagner Lopez along with their lovely spouses, Andrea & Cherry, opened Ola in July of 2007. After almost nine years in Orange with little advertising, but a lot of word of mouth, incredible reviews including the New York Times, Ola’s business is booming. They now have an Ola Restaurant in Wallingford as well.
RAINBOW GARDENS RESTAURANT & BAR – 117 North Broad Street, Milford, CT 06460 – 203-878-2500- www.rainbowgardens.org Rainbow Gardens Restaurant & Bar is the quintessential example of a quaint & cozy New England family owned restaurant but with all the modern amenities. The dining area offers a series of private areas for that intimate cozy dinner. The view of the Milford Green is spectacular through large picture windows with stained glass accents. The owners of Rainbow Gardens were recently featured on The Food Network’s popular show “Chopped” family edition.
SCRIBNER’S RESTAURANT-31 Village Road, Milford, CT 06460 – 203-878-7019-www.scribnersrestaurant.com. Scribner and Susan Bliss have owned this iconic establishment for 43 years. This award winning restaurant has been consistently recognized as one of the best seafood restaurants in Connecticut. Scribner’s serves only the highest quality fresh fish and shellfish. The restaurant has an extremely warm & cozy atmosphere showcasing many antiques along with a nautical theme. Scribner’s Restaurant is located in the Woodmont section of Milford just steps away from sweeping views of Long Island Sound.
SEASONS BY JEFFREY’S – 501 New Haven Avenue, Milford, CT 06460 – 203-878-1910 – www. This exquisite location has an excellent reputation for outstanding food and service. The intimate lounge offers a fireplace and piano. Many evenings you will find guests dancing and being serenaded by owner Claudio himself. He is a true gentleman and the ultimate host with a gift of making his customers feel like they are very special and part of his family.
SOLUN TAPAS BAR & RESTAURANT-245 Amity Road, Woodbridge, CT 06525 – 203-298-9741 www.soluntapasbar.com. Owner Carols Hernandez shares his passion for tapas cuisine in a traditional & elegant style. Solun’s professional staff will make your dining experience very special, offering exceptional food, outstanding service and ambiance. Solun’s cozy bar is definitely on the top my list for a fun evening.
THE LIBRARY WINE BAR & BISTRO-60 N. Main Street, Wallingford, CT 06492 – 203-678-4656 – www.thelibrarywinebar.com. This unique establishment is literally Wallingford’s old town library. Built in 1899, it was passionately and lovingly restored back to its classic architectural beauty by the Gouveia family of Gouveia Vineyards in Wallingford. They combined the essence of historic downtown Wallingford with the old-world traditions of Portuguese and Mediterranean cuisine, along with a worldwide wine selection.
FINAL NOTES: These are a few of my favorite “romantic spots” in the area that offer great food, service and that special ambiance for the perfect Valentine’s Day celebration. Reservations are a must for all these popular restaurants. Please remember to support our local family owned businesses. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO ALL and don’t forget the romance! If you have a favorite restaurant e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.