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All for Love

For a great meal with a side of romance, there are plenty of worthy options across Greater Orlando.

With love in the air as Valentine’s Day approaches, couples throughout Central Florida will be celebrating one another in various ways. So, we felt it was only right to highlight some of the area’s finest restaurants that not only serve up amazing food, but also provide the right ambiance that helps set the stage for a romantic evening. These 28 spots check all the boxes and are just another example of how nuanced and extraordinary our local dining scene truly is.

As you step into the warm dining room and live piano music fills the air, you know you are in for a special evening. Chef Tony Lopez’s seasonally driven menu boasts standout starters like the escargot or smoked salmon carpaccio, and classic entrées like seared duck breast and Australian rack of lamb.

Housed in a building that dates back to the ’30s, this splendid steakhouse keeps all of its historic charm while introducing plenty of contemporary flair. You can’t go wrong with any of the steaks, chops or fresh seafood, which pair perfectly with a bottle from the respectable wine list or one of the signature cocktails.

This stunning dining room oozes elegance and sets the scene for a memorable night out with your significant other. The European-inspired menu is full of highlights like the grilled octopus and the braised lamb rigatoni, but don’t miss the Tomahawk Experience—a 40-ounce tomahawk steak that is flambéed tableside with cognac for a dramatic presentation.

This sophisticated Michelin-starred restaurant located along the rooftop of the Four Seasons delivers the wow factor with everything from its dynamic décor to the Spanish-inspired dishes coming out of its kitchen. The paella is can’t-miss, the flight of wagyu cuts is sublime and the rest of the menu reads like a greatest hits collection.

A destination dining experience inside Disney’s Grand Floridian, this storybook dining room is where you’ll find some of the most decadent dishes being created anywhere in the country. With three distinct dining experiences—including the Chef’s Table where the skilled chefs will create a personalized meal right before your eyes—the possibilities are seemingly endless.

Since opening its doors a few short years ago, John Tesar’s Michelin-starred restaurant has become one of Orlando’s most in-demand reservations. Guests can expect ornate plates of seafood and pasta, dry-aged steaks and other dynamic dishes that showcase deft technique and Instagram-worthy presentation.

When you’re looking for a unique way to woo you loved one, head to this intimate eatery that serves sinfully sweet creations that will make you glad you saved room for dessert. With cozy seating and plenty of mood-setting ambiance, this place makes for a great encore to your evening.

Whether sitting down for a meal inside the sleek dining room or enjoying lighter fare inside the accompanying lounge, you’ll be impressed by the dazzling offerings here. The restaurant also regularly hosts live music and its excellent happy hour specials are available Monday through Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m.

Whether dining on the large patio or peering through the window-paned doors, this Park Avenue restaurant is a great place to people watch while waiting to delve into a menu full of outstanding offerings. Think wood-fired pizzas, polished plates of pasta and other mouthwatering Italian specialties.

This popular Disney Springs locale is a haven for oenophiles thanks to its highly touted wine list crafted by master sommelier George Miliotes. With carefully chosen bottles of vino from around the world, you’re bound to find many possibilities to pair with the enticing array of small plates and meat-and-cheese boards.

Few spots offer as picturesque a setting as this Winter Park mainstay that specializes in creating the right atmosphere for parties of two. You’ll want to grab a spot on the deck to catch the sunset over Lake Killarney as you dine on favorites like pan-fried snapper or the center-cut filet mignon.

For a little more than three decades, this staple in Orlando’s fine dining scene has earned its reputation as a special occasion restaurant. With quintessential steakhouse décor, a wine list that boasts more than 4,500 bottles and a great selection of prime cuts and seafood specialties, it’s no wonder why Christner’s has experienced such longevity.

A longtime favorite, local lovebirds regularly flock to Café Trastevere for a night to remember. The dining room is quaint yet comfortable and the quality Italian cuisine is refined without being pretentious.

With serene views of historic Lake Ivanhoe and an equally stellar menu to match, a table at Russell’s is highly coveted. We’re partial to the roasted beet and burrata napoleon, the grilled swordfish and the crispy duck confit served simply with sautéed spinach.

With so many choices along I-Drive, Vito’s stands out amongst the crowd thanks to its tantalizing menu and attentive service. You’ll find prime cuts, fresh fish and lots of Italian delights. But for a real showstopper, order the wagyu surf and turf for two—a colossal lobster tail and your choice between a 10-ounce filet or a 36-ounce tomahawk ribeye.

Start you night off with a cocktail at the centrally located bar before moving to a table to peruse the seafood-focused menu. Highlights include the fresh oysters and the jambalaya, but the handful of entrées grilled over hardwood charcoal and Florida oak are equally divine.

This rooftop getaway allows you to soak up the atmosphere while you chow down on vibrant sushi rolls, lemongrass potstickers and smoked pork belly bao buns. It’s also the perfect place to sip sake or perhaps a Japanese craft beer while you catch Disney World’s nightly fireworks in the distance.

Nothing sparks a little romance like cozying up to your loved one as you sip vino from the extensive wine list and nibble on hand-selected cheese boards or perhaps indulge with the finest caviar. But beyond the smaller “bites,” this place also serves up marvelous main courses as well, including a recent pan-seared grouper with lobster risotto.

With an inviting dining room that pays homage to Tuscany, the attention to detail shown in the kitchen and an impeccable wait staff, Christini’s is beloved by many. The accordionist roaming the dining room only adds to the ambience as you choose from any number of well-executed Northern Italian specialties.

Chef Norman Van Aken has been synonymous with Orlando’s fine dining scene for years and at his namesake restaurant he shows why he’s stood the test of time. Whether sitting in the dining room or enjoying a night out on the terrace, you’ll be eager to sink your teeth into the James Beard winner’s scintillating menu that showcase the finest ingredients and seasonal offerings.

This vibrant dining room is the go-to date-night place for couples new and old alike. And it’s easy to see why with a menu full of grand comfort food—think crispy mac and cheese croquettes or the braised short rib stroganoff—and expert bartenders showcasing the latest in modern mixology.

After recently undergoing a renovation, this restaurant is better than ever. Everything from the curries and noodle dishes to the basil stir-fried rice and dumplings are alluring, but for us the sushi is the star of the show. Immaculate and incredibly fresh, the signature rolls here are as elevated as they are enjoyable.

At this charming staple among the local dining landscape. Three-course prix-fixe dinners come with optional wine pairings and the cheese plates makes for a great beginning or ending to the night. The neighboring Tasting Room offers its own dining options along with nearly 30 specialty cocktails.

With a stunning dining room to match its superb menu, Bacán provides the kind of experience discerning gourmands crave. The grilled branzino and birria short ribs are true headliners, but if you are in a sharing mood, they offer larger plates perfect for two—we strongly recommend the crispy whole Florida snapper with grapefruit mojo and fennel salsa.

Sear + Sea serves up intoxicating dishes that take you on a culinary journey of flavor, from the scintillating starters to the museum-worthy desserts. A 1,200-bottle wine cellar and a wonderful cocktail list are the perfect reason to arrive early and head to the bar or linger a while after your meal.

Inspired by his upbringing in Sicily, chef/owner Francesco Aiello and his talented team pour their heart and soul into their food. Treat yourself to impressive pasta dishes, lavish seafood and other Italian favorites, including the gourmet pizzas torched in a wood-fired oven until thin and crispy.

Thanks to the chill vibe, an approachable menu full of star turns and a cocktail list that is far from run of the mill, Market to Table has gained a loyal following over the years. And with a seasonally rotating menu, there is always a new reason to visit.

Not only does this Latin hotspot offer a menu overflowing classic Cuban dishes and some remarkable cocktails (try any one of the nine mojito varieties), it’s also a place to dance the night away. On Friday nights, live bands provide the rhythm while DJs keep the party moving on Saturdays—both in the main room and out on the patio.