10 Best Romantic Restaurants in St. Petersburg, FL 2017

Best Restaurants for Valentine's Day
& Other Special Occasions

Valentine's Day is right around the corner, plus there's almost always something to celebrate; like birthdays, anniversaries ... or a "just because" romantic dinner, or maybe a second or third date.

(Don't get too romantic on a first date. It's creepy.)

If you're looking for strictly Italian, check out our 10 Best Italian Restaurants in St. Pete, or for Steak, here's our 10 Best Steaks in St. Pete.

So, how do we define a romantic dinner? A picnic in the park with wine and cheese can definitely be romantic, but for this list we're going with the more elegant as most people do when they're celebrating a special occasion like Valentine's Day, anniversaries, or birthdays, or even Mother's Day. You might want to bookmark this list for future reference guys (and ladies). That'll help you to score points with your better half when future romantic dinners are required.

A romantic dinner or restaurant can have different meanings to different people.

What makes a restaurant romantic?

Some things could be; warm, low lighting, candle lit tables (fake candles work), pleasant décor, harmonious colors, elegant furnishings, a good wine list, ambience, good view, low background music, and of course, great food and service.

What did we leave out?

Raise your hand if you guessed it. If you did get it, you might be a local. What's the romantic requirement not on the above list?

Low noise or no noise.

It's a fact of life, especially in Downtown St. Pete, that it is nearly impossible to find a good restaurant that doesn't get noisy when they are busy, and they're often busy. We had to remove noisiness as a disqualifier or there would only be one or two restaurants on the list.

In case you're wondering, Valentine's Day is on a Tuesday this year. All of the restaurants on the list offer outdoor seating, which can still be nice in February.

The 10 Best Romantic Restaurants in St. Petersburg, FL for 2017

1. Rococo Steak

Rococo Steak

Rococo Steak

In a 1920s manse, this baroque-chic steakhouse serves grass-fed beef, seafood, small plates & wine.

A member of our FB group, Lindsey Foss said; "We are big fans of Rococo. They really go out of their way to make you feel special and create a beautiful ambiance."

We've found the same to be true. They also do a lot of weddings in their elegant, grand setting, and they are one the only restaurants on the list that we've never heard get noisy.

Rococo Steak
655 2nd Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 822-0999
http://www.rococosteak.com/

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2. IL Ritorno

IL Ritorno

IL Ritorno

IL Ritorno has an intimate setting with rustic brick walls and a view of the new / temporary park across the street. The setting and the amazing food remind us of being in Manhattan. The service is impeccable and you won't find food like this anywhere else.

It's old country Northern Italian with a modern twist. The wine selection is not huge, but it is unique and high quality. They have some small batch wines from Italy that you can't get elsewhere.

IL Ritorno
449 Central Ave #101
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 897-5900
http://www.ilritornodowntown.com/

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3. The Birch & Vine

The Birch & Vine

The Birch & Vine

Choice New American kitchen featuring a seasonal menu & cocktails in a modern interior with a patio.

In the Birchwood boutique hotel on Beach Drive, the main restaurant is The Birch & Vine. They also have a rooftop lounge called The Canopy that has a smaller menu, drinks, and spectacular views of the water, parks and Beach Drive.

You could arrive early, start at The Canopy for the daytime views. (You do need to be early for this as the sun sets at 6:21 pm on Valentine's Day in 2017.)

Either way, you can finish the evening with a nightcap at The Canopy with the night time views.

The Canopy at The Birchwood

The Canopy at The Birchwood

The Birch & Vine
340 Beach Dr NE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 896-1080
http://www.thebirchwood.com/birchandvine/

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4. Sea Salt

Sea Salt St. Pete

Sea Salt St. Pete

Sea Salt St. Pete is one of the grand anchor tenants of Sun Dial Shops in the heart of Downtown St. Pete. They are an excellent 5-star gourmet restaurant with the freshest fish (most of it local), largest selection of oysters, and great steaks with several dishes having unique eclectic twists that us foodies love.

Sea Salt
183 2nd Ave North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 873-7964
http://seasaltstpete.com/

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5. Castile Restaurant

Castile Restaurant

Castile Restaurant

Castile is located inside of The Hotel Zamora on Gulf Blvd., just 0.3 miles north of The Don CeSar. We think of The Hotel Zamora as our Birchwood at the beach (rather than Beach Dr). They are both lavish boutique hotels with a luxurious atmosphere that includes a festive rooftop lounge and a restaurant downstairs that serves hedonistic delights.

They have a new Chef, Nicolas Lebas. Born in Marseille, France, Lebas incorporates his expertise in authentic Southern French cooking style with classic Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine. The posh dining room boasts a chic interior featuring colorful plush booths and sultry art. Also, enjoy the 360° Rooftop for sunset or nighttime views of the beach and Intracoastal.

The celebration starts early at Castile with a  special prix-fixe menu, available on Friday, February 10th and Saturday February 11th.  Priced at $55 per person, the special three-course menu, expertly crafted by Executive Chef Nicolas Lebas, will showcase the restaurant’s Mediterranean fare and regional freshest catches.

Here's Castile's Prix-Fixe Menu for Valentine's Day 2017

360 Rooftop at Hotel Zamora / Castile Restaurant

360 Rooftop at Hotel Zamora / Castile Restaurant

Castile Restaurant
3701 Gulf Blvd.
St Pete Beach, FL 33706
(727) 456-8660
http://www.castilerestaurant.com/

6. Brick & Mortar

Brick & Mortar

Brick & Mortar

Rustic-chic nook with seasonal, New American fare, unique wines & craft beers, plus outdoor seating. It's a little more casual, but quaint with amazing food creations that you've never heard of, nor can you get anywhere else. They usually do not take reservations. This is the first Valentine's Day they are going to be opened, and at press time, they were considering taking reservations just for this day. We will update when the info comes in.

Brick & Mortar
539 Central Ave
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 822-6540
https://www.facebook.com/brickandmortarkitchen/

7. Gratzzi Italian Grille

Gratzzi Italian Grille

Gratzzi Italian Grille

Who knows food and romance like the Italians, eh? Fuhgettaboutit! Gratzzi Italian Grille is a long established favorite right in the heart of Downtown St. Pete. On nights that other restaurants have half of their tables empty, Gratzzi has a wait around the block.

They have something for everyone with all the Italian classics covered, to exotic specials like Gambas, (Gigantic Mediterranean Prawns that could beat up a lobster - their lobster dishes are amazing too), Rack of Elk, and the Veal Ossobuco is to die for! Mama mia!

Gratzzi Italian Grille
211 2nd St South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 623-9037
http://gratzzigrille.com/

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8. Parkshore Grill

Parkshore Grill

Parkshore Grill

Refined space for steaks & seafood paired with fine wines served inside or on the sprawling patio. Parkshore Grill is another long-established favorite that was here long before the restaurant boom and still stands tall with excellent cuisine, professional service and an elegant setting in the scenic heart of Beach Drive.

Try the Beef Wellington, The Parkshore Filet Mignon & Lobster Tail, Parkshore Salad, and the Blue Cheese Stuffed Meatballs. The Parkshore Martini is a favorite as well.

Here is Parkshore's Special Valentine's Day Menu

Parkshore Grill
300 Beach Dr Northeast
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 896-9463
http://www.parkshoregrill.com/

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9. Cassis American Brasserie

Cassis American Brasserie

Cassis American Brasserie

Cassis American Brasserie has also become one of the old standbys. Not quite as old as Parkshore or Gratzzi, they have evolved nicely over the last 7-years and have really upped their game. Not only do they have excellent cuisine, but a professional staff in the front and back, and they bake their own bread and make all of their desserts in-house as well. They are in the heart of Beach Drive with great people watching and beautiful views of the park and Tampa Bay.

Here is the Cassis Valentine's Day Menu

Cassis American Brasserie
170 Beach Dr. Northeast
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 827-2927
http://www.cassisab.com/

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10. The Pearl Restaurant

The Pearl is casual, but intimate fine dining. They focus on Mediterranean, Moroccan, Seafood, and even have sushi. They have excellent food and service. It's in a strip mall, so it doesn't look that fancy from the outside, but it is one of the nicest and best restaurants on Treasure Island. It is also the only other restaurant on the list besides Rococo that doesn't get noisy. Our friend Jason Peterson says; "It's kind of a hidden gem of fine dining."

The Pearl Restaurant

The Pearl Restaurant

The Pearl Restaurant
163 107th Avenue
Treasure Island, FL 33706
(727) 360-9151
http://www.thepearlfinedining.com/

 

10 Best Romantic Restaurants in St. Petersburg, FL 2017
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What makes a restaurant romantic? Some things could be; warm, low lighting, candle lit tables (fake candles work), pleasant décor, harmonious colors, elegant furnishings, a good wine list, ambience, good view, low background music, and of course, great food and service.

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