Celebrating Valentine’s Day or your anniversary? Planning a date night with your sweetheart? Hoping to wow your date on a first rendezvous?
Then I recommend dining at one of the five most romantic restaurants in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to set the mood with a fantastic meal in a cozy setting. Dining at these restaurants will have you falling in love — at least with your food and drinks.
Grove | East Hills
Consistently named Grand Rapids’ best restaurant, Grove offers unique dishes created with locally sourced ingredients. Try the three-course prix fixe for a culinary adventure, sampling a variety of flavors. Or, order main dishes a la carte, and get cozy with your date, sharing an appetizer of salmon ceviche or pork belly tacos. Be sure to save room for dessert for two!
For my fellow wine lovers, you should consider adding the custom 3-oz. wine pairing for your dish. The impressive drink list also features Michigan craft beers, tantalizing cocktails, and a nice selection of sparkling, white, rosé, and red wines by the glass or bottle.
Grove | 919 Cherry Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Divani | Heartside
With its dim lighting and beautiful wine wall, this chic fine-dining restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids is just the place to win a wine lover’s heart. The dinner menu features filet mignon, jumbo diver scallops, and duck prepared two ways. The extensive wine list includes a small selection of Grower Champagnes and a variety of French, Italian, Spanish, South American, Oregon and Napa Valley bottles. Plan your date for a Thursday evening when live music sets the mood!
Divani | 15 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Maru Sushi & Grill | East Hills
I recently had a successful first date at Maru, so I had to include it on this list. What I loved about Maru is it’s a contemporary sushi restaurant with pretty inventive rolls. You’ll even find a selection of vegetarian options, and you can substitute brown rice. The sushi is some of the most complex and interesting I’ve found in Grand Rapids. The rolls are also on the larger side, so you can make a meal out of sharing two rolls and an edamame appetizer. Looking for a drink? I recommend the mango martini.
Maru Sushi & Grill | 927 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Bistro Bella Vita | Heartside
This Italian restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids may be my absolute favorite romantic restaurant. Every time I walk into Bistro Bella Vita, the dining room’s warm yellow glow transports me to Tuscany, where I imagine I’m viewing the sunset over rows of grape vines. On date night, share a gourmet pizza or indulge in a rich, heartwarming pasta dish. The wine list has Italian vino to pair with your food, but I recommend trying one of the 20 martinis. Top off your romantic meal splitting the carrot cake topped with vanilla mascarpone cream, walnuts, pistachios, and a cinnamon caramel sauce.
Bistro Bella Vita | 44 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Reserve Wine & Food | Center City
On a warm summer night, sipping a glass of rosé with someone special on Reserve’s upstairs patio would be my ideal date night. The patio looks directly out to the beautiful Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids.
In winter, nestle in at the bar inside the contemporary chic dining room to taste a wine flight and share a customized charcuterie and cheese plate.
Reserve Wine & Food | 201 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
What is your favorite romantic restaurant?