When you think of a romantic dinner, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the location, the ambiance, the meal or the person you are with? Many think that if it takes place in an exotic location, has grape vines dancing along the ceiling and maybe even has a harpist playing soft music in the back ground that it is considered ‘romantic’. After talking to many of my friends, I have come to realize that it is not the location or even the expense of the meal that makes it romantic; it is the person you are with. You can be in the most popular romantic restaurant in the city, but it still is not romantic for you because you are with the wrong person. I am sure that the restaurant would be ideal with Mr. or Ms. Right, but what if you don’t have a restaurant like that in your hometown, or you need to know someone to even get a reservation.
The restaurants on my list are very romantic to me because of the person I was dining with at the time. If you would like to visit the websites of the following restaurants, just click on their hyperlink.
The first restaurant on my list is the first romantic restaurant my husband took me to almost 17 years ago, on our first date anniversary. It is Shadowbrook located in Capitola, California. I had never heard of this place and was very hesitant to go at first. I wasn’t good with new places, but my now husband told me it was beautiful. He was right. Shadowbrook is located at 1750 Wharf Road, Capitola-by-the-Sea, California 95010. Phone numbers are (800) 975-1511 or (831) 475-1511.
To quote directly from their website, “Located beside lush Soquel Creek in Capitola-by-the-Sea, Shadowbrook Restaurant is best reached by its own quaint cable car, or a meandering garden path. Since 1947 Shadowbrook has continued to provide world-class service, fine food, wines and liqueurs in an atmosphere of Old World charm and grace.”
I have been there once and it has left a lasting impression. We did not take the cable car down to the restaurant, but instead chose the beautiful garden path. It was well worth it. Romance was around every turn and my future husband was there around each one, holding my hand and showing me the beauty of this phenomenal place. I didn’t think it could get any better, and then we stepped inside. This wonderful place is right out of a movie setting. It did have the vines dancing across the ceiling and the ambiance. I was in awe.
I had the fresh rainbow trout and he had the prime rib. The portions were just perfect, not too much and not too little. My trout was cooked perfectly and melted in my mouth. The skin was not dry, but had a nice crisp to it that added wonderful flavors to the already succulent fish. My date had no complaints about the prime rib. A few of the specials are listed below, directly from their website. I highly encourage you to see their full menu. These few listings are just a touch of what they offer.
“Kurobuta Pork Prime Rib $25.95
Slow-roasted Kurobuta pork rack, herb spaetzle, creamed Bloomsdale spinach, Yorkshire pudding, pork jus and apple compote. 10 oz. cut””Cold Water Rock Lobster Tail
Butter poached and served with champagne beurre blanc, blue lake green beans and buttermilk mashed potatoes.
Single Tail $29.95 / Double Tails $49.95
Single Tail and Char-grilled Filet Mignon $49.95″
“Prawns- Three Ways
Three Bacon-wrapped Prawns with pickled ginger sauce, three Coconut Prawns with sweet chili sauce and three Scampi Prawns. Served with jasmine rice and seasonal vegetables $25.95″
The next restaurant on my list, El Torito, is another wonderful, romantic restaurant that my now husband and I frequent whenever we can. They are located at 2950 Lakeside Drive Santa Clara, CA 95054. Their phone number is 408-727-4426. They have locations all up and down California and one location in Oregon. We now have two children together and do not have much time or money, so visiting Shadowbrook is out of the question on our budget now.
El Torito has been a staple in our lives since the first year or so we began dating. It is a traditional Mexican restaurant. It is not a taqueria or a bar; it is a full service restaurant with a full, delicious menu. The ambiance is wonderful. Between the mariachi music playing in the background, to the festive colors and traditional Mexican décor, this restaurant is truly romantic for us. This is a family restaurant, from seeing full families enjoying their meals, to the ‘first dates’ sitting at the bar; it is a fun and wonderful place to eat. The food is wonderful and my husband and I love it. We can sit for hours, (or as long as the babysitter allows) and just sit and talk and enjoy the wonderful food. To see a .pdf of their menu, click here, and to see their online menu, click here and here. Their prices are budget friendly and their food is addicting.
Black Angus is an excellent steakhouse and has a bit more of a traditional romantic feeling than El Torito does. They have many locations, but the one we like is 740 E. El Camino Real Sunnyvale, CA 94087, (408) 245-4501.
When seated in a booth, the walls of each booth are well above your head. You have to stand up to be able to look over these wonderful tall booth walls. This does not make a claustrophobic atmosphere, but instead, it makes it very quiet and romantic. You can talk to your date without having to listen to someone in the next booth laughing through their baked potato and it landing on you. (Yes, this has happened to us in other restaurants.) The food is heavenly. Come hungry because the portions are huge. First you choose an appetizer, but don’t let the simple descriptions fool you. The food is delicious and you will not leave hungry. At Black Angus, you will leave every time with a doggy bag. With all this food, you would expect really high prices, but that is far from the truth. Here is a sample of what they offer: (click here for the .pdf of the menu.)
Filet Mignon, Center -Cut, 6oz $20.99, 8oz $22.99
Sesame-Teriyaki Top Sirloin. Glazed with their house made Sesame-Teriyaki sauce. 8oz $18.99, 11oz $20.99
Bacon -Wrapped Filet Mignon. Wrapped in crisp Applewood smoked bacon. 6oz $21.99, 8oz $23.99.
These three restaurants are both mine and my husband’s favorites. Hopefully they will become favorites of yours as well. Enjoy!