Date night is an important night, and you want to make sure you pick the right spot for the overall vibe you’re going for.
The 14th Street Corridor is the place to be any night of the week, but the restaurant choices can become quite overwhelming. So we’ve curated three romantic, trendy, and delicious date night options for you that are sure to impress.Lupo Verde goes the extra mile. It would be perfect for a first date, but also sweet for a long-time anniversary. Located in a converted row house on the corner of T Street and 14th Street, the space is intimate with only 100 seats. The first floor features a large bar, a lounge area, and some seating in the back. The second floor is full of small cozy tables, perfect for a couple. There’s also a patio for warm nights. You’ll feel an elevated coziness the moment you walk in, from the exposed brick wall to the marble countertop of the bar, to the exceptional customer service. Lupo Verde prides itself on being stylish, while also remaining authentic homey Italian. The menu is large, with much to choose from. Start with a salumi or cheese board to share, then work your way to an appetizer or two. Pasta is highly recommended as an entrée here, although the seared scallops -- Capesante Scottate -- are definitely worth a mention! The Scialatielli al Nero is a squid ink seafood pasta made to arouse the palate, and the Gnocchi Verdi is the perfect twist on a classic. You can find the full menu here. Lupo Verde features a full list of craft cocktail choices, but where it really wins is the wine. There is nothing quite as romantic as enjoying pasta and a bottle of red wine at a romantic table in the corner of a candle-lit restaurant. The full wine list can be found here. Because the restaurant is so centrally located, you can stroll along the 14th Street Corridor after your meal and pop into one of the many bars. After a romantic dinner like that, you’ll want to extend the date as long as possible.
Compass Rose is a small space with limited seating (and it doesn't take reservations), so important to plan ahead. Be flexible and willing to wait (sometimes over an hour). Think of it as an opportunity to grab some pre-dinner drinks with that special someone and get to know them a little better! Although Compass Rose is absolutely worth the wait, it’s always good to show up not "hangry" and with someone open-minded. Once you actually do get a table, you’ll love how small the restaurant is. Everything is so personalized -- from the artwork on the exposed brick wall, to the pretty bar with teal swivel chairs. Like Lupo Verde, the venue is a converted row house, adding another level of charm. The concept of Compass Rose is international street food served in small plate format. On the menu, you’ll find tapas from all over the world, with enough of a variety to please all kinds of palates. The menu changes seasonally (though there are some tried-and-true classics that stick around), so you’ll never get bored. Because the menu is meant to share, your date becomes a collaborative experience. The must-haves are Poke from Hawaii, Curried Lamb from Jamaica, Galbi (marinated short ribs) from Korea, and Khachapuri (a cheese-filled bread with an egg and butter mixed in on top) from Georgia. The full dinner menu can be found here. Cocktails are inspired from different parts of the world as well, with such cocktails as a Bruja Biena from Mexico, a Draft Moscow Mule from Russia, and Elixir of Quietude from the United Kingdom. Of course, there is also a full beer and wine list. The menu of drinks can be found here.
Cork Wine Bar. It recently moved across the street and down the block from its previous location, but it’s still in the middle of the action on 14th Street. This place is the definition of romantic, with tons of that iconic 14th Street exposed brick, converted row house charm, and minimal lighting. It’s on the smaller side, making it cozy, but each table is placed so it feels as if you’re the only two in the room. The menu consists of new American small plates, which is not only super-trendy in Washington, D.C., but really conducive to dating, as all the food can be shared and enjoyed together. Cork has a lot of diversity in terms of vegetarian, seafood, and meat dishes so you don’t have to worry about your significant other’s tastes. For veggies, the Sautéed Mushrooms are creamy and full of flavor, while seafood-lovers will enjoy the tender Pan-Roasted Scallops. Of course, the main course here is the wine. The wait staff are skilled in finding a bottle of wine that pairs perfectly with your meal -- and within your budget. The wine list can get quite extensive, so unless you know a lot about wine and want to impress your date, it might be best to get that recommendation.
All three of these spots are romantic, charming, and popular for date night! Have you been to one of these restaurants before? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!