Best restaurants to share a meal with your sweetheart

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 2/5/18

Love is in the air in Central Jersey!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner on Feb. 14 and everyone is busy searching for that perfect eatery to book their romantic meal.

Are you planning on taking your sweetheart out for a night on the town? Consider booking at one of these popular restaurants that are sure to make your holiday one to remember!

Courtesy of Juniper Hill

Juniper Hill

Don’t feel like cooking on Valentine’s Day? You certainly don’t have to thanks to the homey touches that can be found at Juniper Hill in the Annandale section of Clinton Township. The restaurant was opened in April of 2017 by Josh DeChellis, who grew up in Annandale before working at celebrated restaurants around the world.

The American eatery will be offering their a la carte menu as well as $7 glass wines, plus, the romantic holiday will be marked with New Jersey oysters from The Barnegat Oyster Collective available at the bar and in the dining room.

If you go: Make reservations at Juniper Hill at 73 Beaver Ave, Annandale section of Clinton Township, by visiting juniper-hill.com or by calling 908-335-8905.

Courtesy of Catherine Lombardi

Catherine Lombardi

To start your Valentine’s Day off right, begin with a drink at the famed cocktail bar at Catherine Lombardi in New Brunswick and then head over to your table in the crimson dining room with two roaring fireplaces and great views of New Brunswick’s theater district.

To celebrate the holiday, Catherine Lombardi is offering a Brooklyn-Italian inspired a la carte menu with a $50 food and beverage minimum per person.

If you go: Make reservations at Catherine Lombardi at 3 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, by visiting catherinelombardi.com or by calling 732-296-9463.

Courtesy of Saly G’s

Saly G’s Restaurant and Tavern

Diners at Saly G’s Restaurant and Tavern in Warren always know that they’re in for a night of amazing wine, top-of-the-line steaks and homemade pastas, and this rings even more true on Valentine’s Day, when the Neapolitan-style Italian eatery will present a $65 per person (excluding tax and gratuity) three-course menu.

Visitors will enjoy a complimentary champagne toast as well as dishes such as heart-shaped ravioli, veal sorrentino and clams oreganata.

If you go: Make reservations at Saly G’s Restaurant and Tavern at 169 Washington Valley Road, Warren, by visiting salygsrestaurant.com or by calling 732-667-7400.

Courtesy of Cargot Brasserie

Cargot Brasserie

Romance is no joke a Cargot Brasserie, a neighborhood bistro that, since opening in June of 2017 in Princeton, has become the area’s go-to spot for French-inspired fare which is served inside a historic train depot with a patio.

The $55 three-course prix-fixe menu will include favorites such as seared fois gras with brioche, preserved cherry and pistachio (+$12) as well as organic king salmon with pernod vin blanc and broccolini.

If you go: Make your reservations at Cargot Brasserie at 98 University Place, Princeton, by visiting cargotbrasserie.com or calling 609-772-4934.

Courtesy of Stage Left

Stage Left Steak

A stellar wine list, one of the best cheese plates ever and a selection of “Big Boy” steaks for two — these are just a few of the reasons to take your Valentine to Stage Left Steak in New Brunswick.

The restaurant is offering the a la carte menu with a $50 food and beverage minimum per person plus a five percent discount when you use Uber or Lyft.

If you go: Make reservations at Stage Left Steak at 5 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, at stageleftsteak.com or by calling 732-828-4444.

Courtesy of the Portuguese Fisherman

Portuguese Fisherman

You may not be whisking your sweetheart off to Portugal for a romantic getaway this Valentine’s Day, but you certainly can provide them with some authentic Portuguese dishes, courtesy of the Portuguese Fisherman.

The South River staple will be offering its regular menu, including favorites such as the fisherman’s platter with a broiled seven-ounce lobster tail, scallops and jumbo shrimp ($31) as well as paelha with half a lobster, shrimp, scallops, clams and mussels simmered and served in saffron rice ($25).

Make reservations at the Portuguese Fisherman at 11 Jackson St., South River, by visiting portuguesefisherman.com or by calling 732-238-5188.

I’ll drink to that

Whether you’re planning a date night at home or a BYOB, here are this year’s Valentine’s Day picks courtesy of Amanti Vino at 30 Church St., Montclair:

Bubbly

  • Mas De Daumas Gassac Rose Frizzant 2016, $24.99
  • Bereche Brut Reserve Champagne NV, $44.99
  • Vilmart Grand Cellier Rubis Rose 2010, $164.99

White

  • Domaine Chene Macon “La Roche Vineuse” 2016, $16.99
  • Donnhoff Tonschiefer Riesling Trocken 2016, $27.99
  • Domaine Schoech Riesling Furstentum 2015, $44.99

Red

  • Sky Off-Dry Zinfandel “Red House” 2010, $14.99
  • Crauford “Kilt Lifter” Zinfandel 2013, $34.99
  • Chave Cotes Du Rhone Mon Coeur 2015, $22.99

Beer

  • Yards Chocolate Love Stout, $10.99 (6 pack)
  • The Bruery Goses Are Red, $9.99 (750ml)
  • Captain Lawrence Hops ‘N Roses, $13.99 (375ml)

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