Never underestimate the power of a romantic dinner for two -- and never underestimate the importance of thinking ahead. That advice goes double for Valentine’s Day.
Dining out is—or at least it should be—a sensuous experience, in the truest sense of the word. At its best, restaurant dining engages all our senses. Those spots that do it right can seduce us and set the stage for a truly tantalizing evening.
So, have you made your reservations for a cozy V-day dinner for two? If not, don’t panic. Not yet, that is. I have the skinny on some of Fairfield County’s most amorous spots to enjoy a meal with someone special. But don't wait until the last minute or you might find yourself literally out in the cold.
For the Urban Sophisticate – Tappo is an Italian restaurant in downtown Stamford that gets nearly everything right. When I first reviewed it last January, just after it opened, I was heavy on the superlatives. And on a recent visit, I was thrilled to discover that, not only were those superlatives well used, but they are also still apt. Tappo will woo you with its urban ambiance—exposed brick, sexy black and white images on the walls and lighting that flatters everyone. But what you’ll really fall for is the food. In the hands of Chef Massimo Stecchi, your evening will be one to savor. FYI: The carpaccio appetizer, drizzled with smooth truffle butter is about as sexy as food gets. Just don’t blame me if your date ends up leaving you for the chef. Tappo is located at 51 Bank St. in Stamford. Call (203) 588-9870 for reservations.
Pour Les Amoureux – The aforementioned Italians might quibble, but it’s tough to argue against the French when it comes to romance. Café Lola in Fairfield is the perfect example of French bohemian charm. The low-key interior is dotted with quaint accents that lend just the right amount of je ne sais quois. The dining room is cozy and almost demands whispered declarations of love. The menu is a mix of Parisian bistro fare, accented with Maghreb-inspired dishes. And the whole package conjures images of a summer evening in Montmartre. What’s more romantic than that? Café Lola is located at 57 Unquowa Rd. in Fairfield. Call (203) 292-8014 to make a reservation.
For the Farm-to-Table Lover – Bill Taibe has gone and made sustainable, farm-to-table dining one of the sexiest things going in Fairfield County. LeFarm, Taibe’s flagship restaurant in Westport (look for him to open The Whelk, a seafood restaurant located on the banks of the Saugatuck River, in the coming weeks), turns up the heat on harvest-focused dining, and smartly blends country charm with urban sensuality. LeFarm is located at 265 Post Road E. in Westport. Call (203) 557-3701 for reservations.
For the Traditionalist – The best traditions become what they are by being great to begin with. And Chez Jean-Louis is about as good as exurban dining gets. Chef Jean-Louis Gerin has a mouthwatering C.V., one which boasts awards from the James Beard Foundation, Fodor’s, Zagat and even the French Government. If your goal is to impress your date with a truly unimpeachable dining experience, Chez Jean-Louis is the spot for you. The chef is even offering a special tasting menu for the occasion. And he promises to finish your evening by gifting the lady at your table with a rose, like any good Frenchman. Chez Jean-Louis is located at 61 Lewis St. in Greenwich. Call (203) 622-8450 to make a reservation.