California, New York, Virginia and Colorado restaurants make the strongest showing. Standout cities include Colorado Springs, Las Vegas, and Virginia Beach. OpenTable, a provider of online restaurant reservations and part of The Priceline Group announced the 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America for 2016. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Featuring beloved restaurants adept at delivering hospitality with a personal touch, often from owner-operators, the complete list spans 33 states and includes honorees such as The Cellars in Virginia Beach, Forbes Island in San Francisco, and Zenkichiin Brooklyn.
California has 15 winning restaurants, followed by New York and Virginia with eight apiece, Colorado with seven, and Arizona, Florida, and Texas with six each. Hawaii and Nevada each have five winners while North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina each boast four.
Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Washington count two winners per state. Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Utah are also represented.
Exceptional ambience is the common thread at the winning restaurants, from those set in historic buildings, such as the Rainbow Room atop 30 Rockefeller Center, to those associated with cozy inns and luxe resorts, including Duling Kurtz House and Tidepools at the Grand Hyatt Kauai.
Establishments serving American and French cuisines dominate the list; however, Italian restaurants and steakhouses also proved popular, as did those specializing in perennial favorite fondue.
"Food is inextricably – and deliciously – tied to love and romance," says Caroline Potter, OpenTable Chief Dining Officer. "This year's honorees represent the perfect places for diners to savor their love, whether it's marking a moment in time or creating a new shared memory over fine fare in an intimate and special setting."
The list of the 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America is generated from more than 5 million restaurant reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners between December 7, 2014 and December 6, 2015.
All restaurants with a minimum "overall" score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of reviews for which "romantic" was selected as a special feature.
Based on this methodology, the following restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, comprise the 10 Most Romantic Restaurants in America according to OpenTable diners.
2016 Top 10 Most Romantic Restaurants in America
Addison Restaurant – San Diego, California
Alizé at the Top of the Palms Casino Resort – Las Vegas, Nevada
Aly's Restaurant – Solvang, California
Ambience – Los Altos, California
Bistro Romano – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Bouchard Restaurant and Inn – Newport, Rhode Island
Briarhurst Manor – Manitou Springs, Colorado
Cacharel Restaurant – Arlington, Texas
Café Central – El Paso, Texas
Café Matisse – Rutherford, New Jersey
If your restaurant clients are promoting their participation in Restaurant Week with you, try getting them to take a romantic angle to reach new and different audience segments. As OpenTable proved, diners are interested in ambience and romantic offerings during a special meal or while trying a new restaurant on a special date. And AudienceSCAN data reveals that 11% of Americans plan to attend Restaurant Week in the next 12 months. They like staying involved in city life, so you could try tying in with a "night on the town" promotion with museums and art galleries because these diners are 138% more likely than average to be members of museum or arts groups. Hit these romance-loving Restaurant Week Diners with emailed ads or newsletters because 41% took action after receiving them.