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Today I am joining with many other bloggers sharing some of the destinations for a dinner out with your sweetie in their ‘hometown.’ The bedroom community of Anchorage where we live is a bit limited in places I’d consider for a romantic night out so I expanded my range to include the entire Anchorage bowl (running from Chugiak in the north to Girdwood in the south.) As my husband and I have only gone out to eat on our own a handful of times up here, I had to poll a few of my friends to help grow this list. Now I have to make plans to check out more of these romantic restaurants in the greater Anchorage area.
Romantic Restaurants in the Greater Anchorage Area We Have Visited
Up in Eagle River (just a 20 minute drive from downtown Anchorage), there is a family run establishment which has a good blend of delicious food along with the more beautiful and quiet ambiance that many equate with a romantic restaurant. Piccolino’s Restaurant doesn’t look like it would be much as it was built as part of a ‘strip mall’, but stepping inside it definitely has the feel of visiting an Italian or Greek location. We went there 2 years ago for a date night and thoroughly enjoyed our dinner. As it was early on a weeknight, it was rather spartan for patrons. However, I never drive past their Eagle River location on a Friday or Saturday night without seeing an overflowing parking lot. We both had Italian dishes when we went, but they also offer a few Greek dishes and pizzas that friend assure me are quite tasty.
Johnny Woo’s is a Korean establishment in the same plaza as Piccolino’s. While some might not consider the ambiance to be as romantic, I love the feeling of privacy a booth can provide. And, the food is wonderful to eat with the server bringing out an array of condiments for the table to share. Until 2 years ago, I had never tried Korean food. The dishes we bought on our date night here were fabulous, quite possibly the best Asian food we’ve had in Alaska. Not only is the food great, but compared to many places in Alaska the pricing didn’t have me wishing I’d just made dinner at home. I can’t wait to go back here for another date night.
Juno Restaurant is inside of the Crowne Plaza Anchorage-Midtown. Now, I know there are some people who turn their noses up at hotel restaurants. However, I have found that some beat out other options in the area. We actually had been gifted a night at the hotel which included some money towards dinner. We couldn’t find much up on the website about the place beyond the note that it is “Featuring both traditional American and Alaskan bistro style regional menu items.” We went on the Saturday night after Christmas. There wasn’t a crowd in the place (only one other couple dining when we were) although a few people staying in the hotel came in to get take out. One negative we’d seen on a review site was about the staff. Wintertime seems to have less patrons and therefore fewer staff which meant there were lag times from our server. However, we were not in a rush and prefer to not be hovered over and found our server worked fine for us.
The dinners were quite tasty and unlike some areas of the country there wasn’t a mark up on pricing. My husband did comment that the pairing of sides seemed unusual to him, but he thoroughly enjoyed his selection. (And, yes, we cross tasted each other’s meals as that’s one of the fun things of dining out for me.) Bonus is that you can make a night of it by getting a room in the hotel.
Romantic Restaurants in the Greater Anchorage Area Friends Recommend
As I haven’t gone to these yet, I just have a list and a few comments by friends. I suspect I’ll be making my way to a few of these in the coming year.
Club Paris was recommended by 2 friends. They apparently have a HUGE 4 inch filet mignon on the menu which would probably be big enough for 2 people to share or you could have leftovers from your meal for lunch the next day.
Ginger is a location for Pacific Rim cuisine.
Aladdin’s in midtown was recommended by a friend who lives in the Mat-Su Valley. They offer Fine Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Cuisine and I suspect I’ll love it, too.
Sullivan’s Steakhouse is in the heart of downtown Anchorage in the same building structure as the 5th Avenue Mall which means close by garage parking. While several friends mentioned it as a romantic restaurant, they did so with some qualifying statements. One friend noted that “it can be crowded and noisy at times.” Another said she “couldn’t stand it there.” A third said it was the ‘nicest’ place she and her husband had gone, but found it “crowded and overpriced.” And a fourth friend shared with me that their decadent chocolate cake looked an awful lot like the All-American Chocolate Cake from Costco with a big price tag. Unlike other locations in this post, this one could be considered a ‘chain’ as there are locations around the United States.
Haute Quarter Grill used to be located in Eagle River, but has since moved into Anchorage. We had considered going there a while back, but had serious sticker shock looking at their menu and opted to go somewhere a little less romantic as our budget that night was tight. However, I had heard rave reviews of the food from multiple people in the past and am sure that their food is delicious.
Table 6 was noted for a “lower price point that Haute Quarter Grill” and a more casual atmosphere in midtown Anchorage. This is a branch off of the Haute Quarter Grill after seeing so many people wanted to sit at table 6 , the ‘friends and family table’ near the kitchen. The menu is more reflective of a meal with close friends and family than a special night out on the town.
ORSO in downtown Anchorage was recommended by several friends. “Seafood Mac & Cheese almost makes me forget I’ve completely overdressed for the occasion.” She wasn’t alone in that sentiment, either. They seek to offer best Alaskan seafood and produce, which means gorgeous vegetation during the summer when the Mat Su valley is in full production.
Maxine’s Fireweed Bistro was shared by a friend who qualified that they are “pricey but the food was tasty and great ambiance.” They state that everything is made from scratch and they seek to use the freshest of local ingredients whenever possible. They are located in midtown Anchorage after having been in Girdwood for years.
Kinkaid Grill was recommended by a friend who’d just recently gone there. She said “It’s small, but very elegant. Food was delicious and the service was top notch. Reservations are required.” They are located just minutes from the Ted Stevens International Airport and are only open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
The Crow’s Nest in the Captain Cook Hotel had many thumbs up votes from my female friends and their spouses. “Always good food and love the ambience.” “Very expensive, but beautiful ambience, unobtrusive service and magnificent food well presented.” Considering they sit atop one of the hotel towers with stunning views of the Cook Inlet, Downtown Anchorage and the Chugach Mountains, I can see where the location is worth a premium price.
Finally, one friend issued the reminder that even McDonald’s can be a romantic destination if you are with the right person.
What are some of the more romantic restaurants in your area?
What makes a restaurant ‘romantic’ in your mind?