Splurge This Valentine's in These 10 Romantic Restaurants

With February upon us, those who are in love, engaged, married, or just starting to know each other are surely thinking about where to spend the day of hearts already. Like the Christmas season, it is probably during this time that restaurants are busiest, so unless you want to spend Valentine's queueing up (or moping around, like me), you would want to make reservations right away. Whether you're looking for a classy restaurant to celebrate your nth anniversary, a unique experience to impress your partner with, or a swoon-worthy venue to get that "yes", these 10 restaurants will surely help you in setting up the perfect mood. Call them (or call me, I need a date, LOL) and thank me later.

This list is not ranked.

1 71 Gramercy

Dining with a view is always a great idea—if you can peel your eyes off each other, at least. But at 71 Gramercy in Century City, Makati, the breathtaking cityscape might succeed in distracting you for a moment or two. Set atop the luxurious Gramercy Residences, 71 Gramercy bar and lounge sets the mood perfectly for an intimate, classy dinner of exquisite food and fancy cocktails. The Cured Salmon, Tuna Salad, and Gruyere Souffle are fresh and simply divine, and once your appetites are aroused, continue with their Crab & Shrimp Risotto, Roast Lamb, and grain-fed Wagyu Steak. Desserts are not to be missed, and make sure you come before the sunset!

71 Gramercy
71st Floor, Gramercy Residences, Kalayaan cor. Salamanca St., Century City, Makati City
Budget: PhP2,000 up for 2

2 | CRU Steakhouse

Special occasions call for special ways of celebrating, and if you’re fond of steaks and looking for a place to visit for your anniversary or Valentines’ date, CRU Steakhouse in Manila Marriott Hotel is the perfect venue. The majestic, sleek, and luxurious restaurant boasts a premium line up of dry-aged steaks, French-inspired appetizers, and exquisite seafood dishes. I recommend the Sauteed Duck Liver, Seared US Scallops, and Salmon Tartar for starters—as well as the creamy, earthy Wild Mushroom soup with hints of truffle. The US Certified Angus Beef Bone-in Rib Eye is impressive and comes with tasty sides (black truffle risotto!). Order some wine and share a Chocolate Caramel Crunch Log right after.

CRU Steakhouse
G/F Marriott Hotel Manila, #10 Newport Bldv., Newport City, Pasay City
+632.988.9990 local 8109
Sun – Thu: 6:00PM – 10:30PM; Fri – Sat: 6:00PM – 11:30PM
Menu: click here
Dress code: smart casual; shorts and slippers not allowed
Budget: PhP4,000 up for 2

3 Caruso Ristorante Italiano

My quest for the best Italian restaurant in Manila led me one day to Reposo in Makati—at the chic, Milan-inspired Caruso Ristorante Italiano. Unlike the usual Italian places adorned with checked tablecloths and brick walls, Caruso boasts of elegant, sophisticated interiors with high ceilings, muted tones, and big windows. Start with a selection of cheeses and cold cuts paired with their delicious homemade bread. I loved their prosciutto and mortadella, as well as the Insalata Rusa made with cooked Parma ham. They have a good wine selection that would pair with meats or even pasta, and for that sweet finish, get the Panna Cotta—the best in Manila.

Caruso Ristorante Italiano
210 Nicanor Garcia St., Bel-Air, Makati City
11:30AM - 2:30PM; 6:00PM – 11:00PM
Budget: PhP2,000 up for 2

4 The Tasting Room

If the thought of enjoying a degustation in a fine dining, luxurious hotel restaurant sounds appealing to you, it’s worth checking out The Tasting Room at the Crown Tower, City of Dreams Manila. The original branch in Macau boasts of a Michelin star, and helmed by Chef William Mahi, the one in Manila is tastefully elegant—lavish yet understated. The lowest-priced option is the 5-course dinner, and if the Amuse Bouche is any indication of how impressive the menu is, then yes, this degustation is the bomb—I loved the trio of goat cheese, foie gras and limoncello. The 52-Degree Egg is delicate and delicious, while the French Lamb Saddle is unforgettable. The Guanaja Chocolate dessert is multi-layered and impeccable.

The Tasting Room
Ground Floor, Crown Tower, City of Dreams Manila, Roxas Boulevard, Parañaque City
6:00PM – 11:00PM
City of Dreams Manila Website | Facebook | Instagram
Budget: PhP6,400++ (5 courses) to PhP9,000++ (8 courses) for 2

5 Black Sheep

For the couple who is adventurous with food, Black Sheep in Chino Roces, Makati is the perfect venue for further gastronomical explorations together. Helmed by the young but dynamic chef, Patrick Go, this Asian restaurant fuses flavors seamlessly and dishes out creations that are playful, intricate, and always sophisticated. There are no glorious skyline views or romantic lighting here—only you, your partner, and your mutual love for well-executed food. Get the signature Foie Long Bao for a mind-blowing introduction into the chef's skills, then go for the Pig on a Pillow and fall in love with its components: pork face, kale, spiced honey, and uni. Heed my warning though: instead of gushing about each other, you might end up gushingtogetherabout the food.

Black Sheep
UPRC 1 Building, Chino Roces Ave, Makati City
12:00PM - 3:00PM; 6:00PM - 10:30PM
Budget: PhP2,000 up for 2

6 Atelier Vivanda Manila

Newcomer Atelier Vivanda Manila may not be as romantic as others—no candle-lit tables, flower arrangements, or dramatic lighting—but if you want to impress a date, take him/her to this French casual bistro owned by 2 Michelin-starred chef Akrame Benallal. The restaurant specializes in steaks, and matches them with sides (heavenly potatoes), apps, and desserts that are almost as astonishing. Get the Black Angus Rib Eye or the Holstein Beef, and for sides, the Pomme Dauphines—creamy, cheesy, croquette-like balls. Order some wine and cheese from the BRVT bar, and end with their delicate Custard Pie!

Atelier Vivanda Manila
UA8 Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Budget: PhP5,000 up for 2


How about a good excuse to suit up and be dapper for a night? Blackbird in Ayala Triangle Makati is one of the most romantic and fancy dinner places to go to. The aviation-themed restaurant offers a curated menu of European-Asian flavors. Complete with a mighty fine bar list and to-die-for desserts, this place is ideal for a quiet evening with just good food and superb service. Make sure to reserve in advance as the place attracts a sizable crowd during peak hours. Order some appetizers because the mains take 15-20 minutes to prepare. You can also chill at the bar lounge or the alfresco area while waiting.

Nielson Tower, Ayala Triangle Park, Makati Ave, Makati, Metro Manila
Budget: PhP3,000 up for 2

8 | VU's Sky Lounge

If you seek a bit of privacy in the midst of the Ortigas CBD, hop 45 floors up to VU's Sky Lounge in Marco Polo Hotel. Enjoy delectable tapas buffet style paired with exquisite wines, cocktails, and liquors. Admire the spectacular views of Manila and relish a romantic late dinner date with the city lights as your backdrop. Quite literally a bar and lounge in the sky, VU's will certainly sweep your date off his/her feet and take his/her breath away.

VU’s Sky Lounge
45th Floor, Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas, Meralco Ave. and Sapphire St., Ortigas Centre, Pasig City
3:30PM – 1:30AM
Fax: manila@marcopolohotels.com
Email: vus.mnl@marcopolohotels.com
Budget: PhP3,000 up for 2

* Marco Polo Ortigas also offers special Valentine' staycation packages starting at PhP5,800++/night, available from February 13 to 15 and can be upgraded to include Valentine brunch at VU's or in-room dinner. Check out their website for more details.

9 | Balducci

Perhaps one of the most underrated restaurants in BGC, Balducci is a rustic Italian restaurant in Serendra offering a cozy and romantic dining set-up. The wooden doors, brick façade, and incandescent lighting exude the feel of a Tuscan home, and Balducci’s menu offers authentic dishes to match. Try the Parmesan Cheese Basket, Tomato Soup, and Bruschetta for starters, and for mains, the steaks. Balducci makes awesome pastas too (truffle duck ravioli, please!) and make sure you order some wine and dessert to finish.

Balducci Ristorante
Space C, 104 C/F Retail Area, Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Menu: Click here
Budget: PhP2,000 up for 2

10 | The Black Pig

Not the typical place you would associate with a romantic date, Black Pig in Commercenter, Alabang is a warm, dimly-lit bar and restaurant serving up delicious charcuterie, draft beers, and wines. Appetizers are must-tries—especially the charcuterie board—and if you are a fan of craft beer, you can also order a flight set consisting of different flavors. Try the Tea-Poached Salmon, then finish off your hearty meal with the signature Chocolate Praline Mousse.

Photo credit: The Black Pig
The Black Pig
2/F, The Commercenter Alabang, Commerce Avenue, cor. East Asia Drive, Filinvest, Muntinlupa City
Budget: PhP2,000 up for 2

Got anything to add to the list? Drop a comment below!

Special thanks to Marnelli Santos and Criselle Mallare-Pablo.

If you like my posts and would love regular updates on travel photos, food finds, restaurant reviews, dance articles, and drunken tales, follow Pepe Samson on Facebook!

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