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A couple seated side-by—side at a wooden table surrounded by various white plates with veggies and different cuts of meat. In the middle is a large tomahawk steak with the bone hoisted in the air. Harper’s

15 Restaurants for a Romantic Night Out in Nashville

Dimly lit cocktail lounges, moody cafes, and atmospheric restaurants around Music City

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A romantic night out might look like a restaurant dimly lit by chandeliers or candles — something a bit moody and hushed with private booths, carefully plated dishes, and an enchanting view to go with dinner. But it can also be a cozy yet lively cocktail lounge with superb hospitality, colorful lighting, and creative drinks to inspire interesting conversation. Whatever it is, take heart: These romantic Nashville restaurants and bars all have something to make your night out feel special and inspire you to feel some type of way.

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Peninsula

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The floor-to-ceiling glass windows at this moody East Nashville tribute to the Iberian Peninsula are the scene-setting ideal for a romantic date. Grab two seats at the painted tile bar or reserve a table in the dimly cozy dimly lit dining room and enjoy one of Peninsula’s variations on the gin and tonic with some tapas proportioned perfectly for an adventurous pair that wants to try different things. For a truly Iberian experience, have a slice of Spanish tortilla. 

The Germantown location of this luxurious Charleston-based chain makes believers out of those who don’t think Nashville has a grip on Japanese cuisine. Expect A-5 wagyu beef prepared tableside; pristine nigiri and sashimi; head-turning rolls like the NashVegas with crab, goat cheese mousse, and spicy tuna; fun cocktails and a good selection of sake in a moody setting splashed with lavender banquettes and manzanita branches. You can also take your mind off of ordering with an omakase tasting of the chef’s choicest daily offerings.

A long leather banquette framed by bare tree branches and oversized lamps overhead. O-ku/Facebook

Tailor Nashville

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Germantown has no shortage of date-worthy spots, but chef Vivek Surti’s Tailor Nashville promises an unforgettable dining experience influenced by his South Asian American heritage. The dinner party-esque evenings require a ticket for one of two seatings nightly where you’ll be treated to a set meal with high-touch service, making it easier to focus on your date and the conversation at hand. The menu changes seasonally but may include items like roasted eggplant, lentils and rice, and mango shortcake for dessert followed by the restaurant’s famous chai.

Margot Cafe & Bar

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A beautifully converted former service station, chef Margot McCormack’s East Nashville institution creates an inviting vibe with bright pops of color and exposed brick across two levels and a patio. Margot Cafe & Bar weaves local produce and goods like Mr. Aaron’s pasta throughout an ever-changing menu that leans French and Italian, offering seasonal hits from roasted cauliflower and tomato fennel bisque to turmeric marinated cod with basmati rice.

The front exterior of Margot Cafe and Bar in East Nashville, with some bare brick walls and some painted brick walls.
Margot Cafe & Bar.
Margot Cafe & Bar

Joe Muer Seafood - Nashville

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Over in Capitol View, Joe Muer brings romantic Old Hollywood glamour to the scene with waiters in formal jackets and its flashy red-and-gold accented room. You’ll also find fresh, sustainably sourced seafood, a raw bar with shrimp the size of your fists, and mains like lobster pot pie, ginger-seared Hawaiian yellowfin tuna, and king crab legs on the daily menu. Don’t skimp on the selections showcased on the dessert cart that gets wheeled out at the end of every meal.

Red velvet booths set with white table cloth and wine glasses Joe Muer/Facebook

The Standard at the Smith House

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The Standard is located in the former Smith House, the last grand townhouse in downtown Nashville and a testament to 1840s Italianate architecture. It’s old-world, graceful, intimate, and exactly where you want to lose yourself to creamy bowls of lump crab bisque, boneless ribeyes in red wine veal bourdelaise, crisp martinis, and the company of a special someone.

Harper's

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Harper’s in SoBro has a decidedly more romantic vibe than your typical chophouse — you can thank the vibrant floral wallpaper, cozy dining nooks, lush greenery, and intricate stonework and archways for that. The showy menu of slow-roasted ribeyes, delicate slices of elk tenderloin in a blackberry demi-glace, 40-day dry-aged bone-in NY strip, and massive desserts (like a creme brulee that’s torched tableside) impress with both style and substance.

A dimly lit dining room with four dining alcoves decorated with floral wall paper, surrounded by wood tables set for dinner Harper’s

Four Walls

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You’ll have to find your way to the second floor of The Joseph in downtown and wind your way through a couple of halls before you find the host stand for Four Walls. But once you’re there, expect an elegantly appointed — dare we say, sexy — small space with fringe hanging from the ceiling and knowledgeable barkeeps mixing drinks using green tomatoes, Calpico, and smoked bitters over an oxblood marble bar. The snacks may look casual here (they’re served in bags and jars), but don’t be fooled — the beef bulgogi jerky and vegan chicharrones are some of the best in town.

Dinner With Friends

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With finely tuned service and attractively plated dishes like Mongolian duck and lamb chops, Dinner With Friends is an enchanting fine-dining spot in the West End. There’s no alcohol here, so the restaurant curates a nice mix of mocktails like a turmeric Meyer lemonade and the Refresher, which blends papaya, watermelon, pink grapefruit, and mint.

The Late Great at Virgin Nashville

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Virgin Nashville’s speakeasy-style space, The Late Great, is eclectic, yet romantically comfy, in a classy boudoir kind of way. The space is adorned with folk art paintings, funky wallpaper, country music memorabilia, plush love seats, and couches. The bar focuses on savory drinks — like the White Lightenin’ made with vodka, cucumber, lemon, Greek yogurt, and dill — developed by Hope Rice, who formerly collaborated with the bar at Audrey. In lieu of shots, the menu also features “pocket cocktails,” miniature-size versions of classic drinks.

The Iberian Pig

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The Gulch’s new Spanish-inspired tapas spot comes to Nashville by way of Atlanta, and the deliciously broody atmosphere in the former Colt Chocolate factory lends itself to an intimate meal of perfectly plated tapas made for sharing with a special someone. Highlights include the grand Iberico charcuterie plate, albondigas (Berkshire pork meatballs), ensalada de pera (pear salad), roasted mushroom flatbread, and the house sangria. On special occasions, you might find the foie y churros (Hudson Valley foie gras, truffle churros, and cherry mostarda) available for dessert.

An abstract pink table filled with a variety of different sized plates and serving utensils for dishing up various Spanish tapas like olives, jamon, and cheese The Iberian Pig

Miel Restaurant

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Seema Prasad’s cozy West Nashville restaurant has been a consistent date-night winner for well over a decade, with such touches as an impressive wine list and a lovely patio and garden supplying herbs for seasonal cocktails. Miel’s chef, Jason LaIacona, refreshes the menu daily, so you may or may not see repeats of standouts like beet-cured salmon, braised short rib, and house pappardelle with foraged mushroom marsala sauce.

Giovanni Ristorante

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After 27 years in Manhattan, Giovanni Ristorante found its way to Nashville and firmly planted its flag near Midtown with a snappy bi-level space. Murano glass chandeliers, Venetian plaster, and a Hermes (yes, that Hermes) upholstered bar ensure you’ll eat with your eyes first before even getting to enticing plates like risotto del giorno, pappardelle alla Norcia with black truffles, and tagliatelle with veal.

Park Cafe

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Park Cafe is a Sylvan Park gem that nails the cozy vibes inside and out alongside a solid menu from executive chef Paul Wright. Look out for jumbo mozzarella-stuffed beef tenderloin meatballs, three cheese tortellini with lemon mascarpone sauce, and salmon served with Szechuan green beans, chile plum sauce, and coconut rice.

Always playing at the historic Melrose theater-turned-restaurant on Eighth: impressive food and inventive cocktails in one of the most romantic settings in Nashville. Menu staples continually shine, like the Moroccan-braised lamb shank with pearl couscous, butternut squash gnocchi in pesto cream, and one of the best cheese and charcuterie spreads in the city.

Peninsula

The floor-to-ceiling glass windows at this moody East Nashville tribute to the Iberian Peninsula are the scene-setting ideal for a romantic date. Grab two seats at the painted tile bar or reserve a table in the dimly cozy dimly lit dining room and enjoy one of Peninsula’s variations on the gin and tonic with some tapas proportioned perfectly for an adventurous pair that wants to try different things. For a truly Iberian experience, have a slice of Spanish tortilla. 

O-Ku

The Germantown location of this luxurious Charleston-based chain makes believers out of those who don’t think Nashville has a grip on Japanese cuisine. Expect A-5 wagyu beef prepared tableside; pristine nigiri and sashimi; head-turning rolls like the NashVegas with crab, goat cheese mousse, and spicy tuna; fun cocktails and a good selection of sake in a moody setting splashed with lavender banquettes and manzanita branches. You can also take your mind off of ordering with an omakase tasting of the chef’s choicest daily offerings.

A long leather banquette framed by bare tree branches and oversized lamps overhead. O-ku/Facebook

Tailor Nashville

Germantown has no shortage of date-worthy spots, but chef Vivek Surti’s Tailor Nashville promises an unforgettable dining experience influenced by his South Asian American heritage. The dinner party-esque evenings require a ticket for one of two seatings nightly where you’ll be treated to a set meal with high-touch service, making it easier to focus on your date and the conversation at hand. The menu changes seasonally but may include items like roasted eggplant, lentils and rice, and mango shortcake for dessert followed by the restaurant’s famous chai.

Margot Cafe & Bar

A beautifully converted former service station, chef Margot McCormack’s East Nashville institution creates an inviting vibe with bright pops of color and exposed brick across two levels and a patio. Margot Cafe & Bar weaves local produce and goods like Mr. Aaron’s pasta throughout an ever-changing menu that leans French and Italian, offering seasonal hits from roasted cauliflower and tomato fennel bisque to turmeric marinated cod with basmati rice.

The front exterior of Margot Cafe and Bar in East Nashville, with some bare brick walls and some painted brick walls.
Margot Cafe & Bar.
Margot Cafe & Bar

Joe Muer Seafood - Nashville

Over in Capitol View, Joe Muer brings romantic Old Hollywood glamour to the scene with waiters in formal jackets and its flashy red-and-gold accented room. You’ll also find fresh, sustainably sourced seafood, a raw bar with shrimp the size of your fists, and mains like lobster pot pie, ginger-seared Hawaiian yellowfin tuna, and king crab legs on the daily menu. Don’t skimp on the selections showcased on the dessert cart that gets wheeled out at the end of every meal.

Red velvet booths set with white table cloth and wine glasses Joe Muer/Facebook

The Standard at the Smith House

The Standard is located in the former Smith House, the last grand townhouse in downtown Nashville and a testament to 1840s Italianate architecture. It’s old-world, graceful, intimate, and exactly where you want to lose yourself to creamy bowls of lump crab bisque, boneless ribeyes in red wine veal bourdelaise, crisp martinis, and the company of a special someone.

Harper's

Harper’s in SoBro has a decidedly more romantic vibe than your typical chophouse — you can thank the vibrant floral wallpaper, cozy dining nooks, lush greenery, and intricate stonework and archways for that. The showy menu of slow-roasted ribeyes, delicate slices of elk tenderloin in a blackberry demi-glace, 40-day dry-aged bone-in NY strip, and massive desserts (like a creme brulee that’s torched tableside) impress with both style and substance.

A dimly lit dining room with four dining alcoves decorated with floral wall paper, surrounded by wood tables set for dinner Harper’s

Four Walls

You’ll have to find your way to the second floor of The Joseph in downtown and wind your way through a couple of halls before you find the host stand for Four Walls. But once you’re there, expect an elegantly appointed — dare we say, sexy — small space with fringe hanging from the ceiling and knowledgeable barkeeps mixing drinks using green tomatoes, Calpico, and smoked bitters over an oxblood marble bar. The snacks may look casual here (they’re served in bags and jars), but don’t be fooled — the beef bulgogi jerky and vegan chicharrones are some of the best in town.

Dinner With Friends

With finely tuned service and attractively plated dishes like Mongolian duck and lamb chops, Dinner With Friends is an enchanting fine-dining spot in the West End. There’s no alcohol here, so the restaurant curates a nice mix of mocktails like a turmeric Meyer lemonade and the Refresher, which blends papaya, watermelon, pink grapefruit, and mint.

The Late Great at Virgin Nashville

Virgin Nashville’s speakeasy-style space, The Late Great, is eclectic, yet romantically comfy, in a classy boudoir kind of way. The space is adorned with folk art paintings, funky wallpaper, country music memorabilia, plush love seats, and couches. The bar focuses on savory drinks — like the White Lightenin’ made with vodka, cucumber, lemon, Greek yogurt, and dill — developed by Hope Rice, who formerly collaborated with the bar at Audrey. In lieu of shots, the menu also features “pocket cocktails,” miniature-size versions of classic drinks.

The Iberian Pig

The Gulch’s new Spanish-inspired tapas spot comes to Nashville by way of Atlanta, and the deliciously broody atmosphere in the former Colt Chocolate factory lends itself to an intimate meal of perfectly plated tapas made for sharing with a special someone. Highlights include the grand Iberico charcuterie plate, albondigas (Berkshire pork meatballs), ensalada de pera (pear salad), roasted mushroom flatbread, and the house sangria. On special occasions, you might find the foie y churros (Hudson Valley foie gras, truffle churros, and cherry mostarda) available for dessert.

An abstract pink table filled with a variety of different sized plates and serving utensils for dishing up various Spanish tapas like olives, jamon, and cheese The Iberian Pig

Miel Restaurant

Seema Prasad’s cozy West Nashville restaurant has been a consistent date-night winner for well over a decade, with such touches as an impressive wine list and a lovely patio and garden supplying herbs for seasonal cocktails. Miel’s chef, Jason LaIacona, refreshes the menu daily, so you may or may not see repeats of standouts like beet-cured salmon, braised short rib, and house pappardelle with foraged mushroom marsala sauce.

Giovanni Ristorante

After 27 years in Manhattan, Giovanni Ristorante found its way to Nashville and firmly planted its flag near Midtown with a snappy bi-level space. Murano glass chandeliers, Venetian plaster, and a Hermes (yes, that Hermes) upholstered bar ensure you’ll eat with your eyes first before even getting to enticing plates like risotto del giorno, pappardelle alla Norcia with black truffles, and tagliatelle with veal.

Park Cafe

Park Cafe is a Sylvan Park gem that nails the cozy vibes inside and out alongside a solid menu from executive chef Paul Wright. Look out for jumbo mozzarella-stuffed beef tenderloin meatballs, three cheese tortellini with lemon mascarpone sauce, and salmon served with Szechuan green beans, chile plum sauce, and coconut rice.

Sinema

Always playing at the historic Melrose theater-turned-restaurant on Eighth: impressive food and inventive cocktails in one of the most romantic settings in Nashville. Menu staples continually shine, like the Moroccan-braised lamb shank with pearl couscous, butternut squash gnocchi in pesto cream, and one of the best cheese and charcuterie spreads in the city.

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