Best Restaurant for Romance - 2011
Charming Barbette has the market cornered when it comes to bohemian notions of romance. First, the food is French, the leading cuisine in sexy eating, and the kitchen stays open past midnight every night. Second, the quirky space is dimly lit after dusk, with twinkling strings of multicolored lights draped above its sidewalk seats. Third, the quirky, casual vibe encourages guests to relax and be themselves, making it fun to look around the restaurant and play Guess the Depth of the Couple's Relationship. The twosome on a first date orders beers and splits the check. The ones at the multi-month mark reserve the corner cuddle booths and share finger foods: raw oysters, cheese fondue, mussels in a buttery broth of white wine, lemon, and garlic—plus, of course, molten chocolate cake for dessert. Pairs who already live together aren't afraid to get their hands greasy with Brie-topped burgers and a big bowl of pommes frites. The only buzz-kill at Barbette is the occasional sight of a couple more engrossed in their portable electronics than each other. The glow of a smart phone screen is not mood lighting, people.