It’s so easy to frequent tried and true restaurants we know and love, especially for date nights. But quite a few new restaurants have opened in the DMV area since last fall, and what better time to try one of them than for a special outing like Valentine’s Day (or surrounding days or weeks!)?
Some of these restaurants just opened up, some have been open for a few months and some have special menus for Valentine’s Day. Read about them below, and let us know which ones you went to in the comments!
1. Hell’s Kitchen
652 Wharf St SW, Washington, DC 20024
With its grand opening on Jan. 30, Hell’s Kitchen opened in the Wharf just in time for Valentine’s Day. This isn’t DC’s first Gordon Ramsay restaurant (Fish and Chips opened in October, also in the Wharf), but if you’re a fan of the show, this could be a unique Valentine’s Day experience! The restaurant’s interior looks like the restaurant on TV (with the exception of outdoor space on the first and second levels, which likely won’t be in use in February) and will serve the classics Ramsay is known for, like beef Wellington and sticky toffee pudding. Hell’s Kitchen also offers a three-course fixed price menu for $89.95.
1902 Reston Metro Plaza, Reston, VA 20190
Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse started in Boston and has opened in Atlanta, Texas, Pennsylvania, and now Reston Station in northern Virginia. This spacious steakhouse has mood lighting every night during dinner service for all you romantics, but it also serves lunch and brunch. They will have a three-course fixed price menu for $95 on Valentine’s Day, but if you can, arrive early to take part in their happy hour from 3-6 pm.
3. Mi Vida
1901 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Nothing says romance like tacos and margaritas. The second location for this delicious Mexican restaurant is in Logan Circle (the first is in the Wharf) has a Valentine’s Day menu that starts now through February 14, which includes a double chocolate heart cake with raspberries, but you can also order tacos, enchiladas and guacamole a la carte. Their happy hour is 11:30 am (!) until 6 pm Monday through Friday, too, if you can make a day date happen.
4. Manifest Bread
6208 Rhode Island Ave, Riverdale Park, MD 20737
If you want to have a casual day date for Valentine’s Day, check out Manifest Bread. This small bakery in Riverdale Park, Maryland serves everything from muffaleta sandwiches, cookies, savory and sweet pastries and breads of the day. Tuesdays they’re unfortunately open the shortest amount of time (8 am – 2 pm), but their bread of the day is baguette – buy the baguette and pastries, pack some cheese and wine and have an impromptu picnic.
5. Joy by Seven Reasons
5471 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase, MD 20815
This Latin American restaurant truly does evoke joy with its food, which was the main reason behind opening. Tequenos, scallops, even almond milk soft serve is on the menu. Plus, the restaurant donates leftover food to migrants who arrive in DC. What’s not to love about that?
6. Junction Bistro Bar
238 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002
Junction has several bakeries and bistros in different locations, and opened its fourth last fall in the Mosaic District. It serves a variety of food options, like Thai street noodles, reuben egg rolls, Brussel sprouts salad, falafel bowls and avocado toast. Besides food, this place pays tribute to classic movies with large murals from various movie scenes – think Doc and Marty McFly from Back to the Future next to Samuel L. Jackson from Pulp Fiction. On Valentine’s Day, there will obviously be screenings of classic romantic films: The Notebook from 5-7 pm and Casablanca from 7:30 – 10 pm, as well as a $45 three-course meal.
7. Le Clou
222 M St. NE, Washington, DC 20002
Chef Nicholas Stefanelli has a few restaurants under his belt (Officina, Masseria) and Le Clou is his latest endeavor. Located in NoMa’s new Morrow Hotel, this chic French restaurant has seafood towers, escargots and bourguignon on the menu. Share a fruit tart, pot de creme au chocolat or a cheese plate on Valentine’s Day.
8. 1799 Prime Steak & Seafood
110 S Pitt St., Alexandria, VA 22314
If you’re in the mood for steak and cute cobblestone roads, have Valentine’s dinner at 1799 Prime in Alexandria. You can choose from options like shrimp cocktail, baked lobster tail, steak au poivre and pork chops within a three-course fixed price menu or order a la carte on Valentine’s Day. They also have a happy hour from 3-6 pm Monday through Friday in the Peacock Lounge.
502 H St. NE, Washington, DC 20002
Irregardless may not be a word, but it is a trendy restaurant on H Street. The two-story eatery has two $85 prixe fix menus – one vegetarian and one omnivore – with options like scallop schnitzel, grilled octopus, tomato tartare and sweet potato gnocchi, but you can also order those entrees a la carte. Their cocktail list is also made to impress: How Now Clear Cow is banana-infused rum, peppercorn mezcal and blood orange, and Snow on the Beach is spiced rum, coconut rum and lemon with egg white.
10. Little Vietnam
828 Upshur St NW, Washington, DC 20011
If you want a very intimate dining experience, check out Little Vietnam in Petworth. There are only eight two-top tables and six seats at the bar overlooking an open kitchen. Although the food is casual, it’s good: fried egg salad, lemongrass chicken, pho, Tom Yum tofu – if you’re hankering for classic Vietnamese food on V-Day, you’re in luck.
Have fun checking out these amazing restaurants! And if you are looking for more fun on a budget, check out these 52 cheap or free date ideas!