Louisiana is already known for its cuisine, so you don’t have to worry about impressing your date with the flavors and quality of the food you’ll eat on a night out in the Bayou State. But you still might be a bit concerned about finding a spot that serves the state’s signature tasty fare while maintaining a romantic ambience — you have a significant other to impress, after all.
Not to worry: you’ll find countless romantic eateries across the state that can create just the right vibe, whether it’s your first date or one-hundred-and-first. We’ve narrowed it down to the top 10, so find the restaurant closest to you, make a reservation and watch as sparks — and forks — fly.
1. Maison La Cur – Baton Rouge
Nestled inside of a cozy cottage, Maison La Cur juxtaposes its homey vibe with high-end French cuisine — with a bit of Louisiana influence, of course. When settlers from French Canada relocated to Louisiana, they made well seasoned, resourcefully harvested food their trademark; today, that’s known as Cajun cuisine. With such game as venison, wild boar and dove on the menu, it’s clear to see Maison La Cur, too, gets its inspiration from the state’s wilderness.
2. Vic & Anthony’s – Lake Charles
No date-night list would be complete without a fancy steakhouse, and Vic & Anthony’s fits the bill. The eatery has everything meat lovers could ever ask for: USDA Prime Midwest grain fed beef served alongside fresh seafood and a vetted wine list. Plus, the restaurant is located inside of the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino — if your dinner date goes well, you two can try your luck at the slots or tables and make the evening even more memorable.
3. Bella Fresca – Shreveport
Bella Fresca prides itself on serving upscale dining in an unpretentious atmosphere. If that’s not enough to ease the pre-date jitters, grab a glass of wine from Bella Fresca’s extensive list of pours, which has been lauded by both Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast’s magazines: they have more than 60 bottles to choose from, as well as 25 varieties available by the glass.
4. Bayona – New Orleans
Much like Maison La Cur, Bayona beckons guests to unwind amid the 200-year-old French Quarter in which it’s housed. But Bayona forges its own path as far as its cuisine goes, thanks to long-time chef Susan Spicer, who gets her inspiration from far-flung places including North Africa, Italy, Asia and France. Spicer hopes the internationally inspired fare gives diners a taste of the world while they’re comfortably dining in the Big Easy, and, considering her restaurant’s pristine reputation, she’s accomplished her mission.
5. Milford’s on Third – Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge locals might be wondering why we’re suggesting a casual deli as one of our top 10 most romantic restaurants in the state of Louisiana, but stay with us. Milford’s serves up some seriously stacked and tasty sandwiches, which are available to go. Once you and your date choose yours, grab a blanket and head to one of the city’s best picnic spots for a romantic, out-of-the-ordinary date in Arsenal Park, State Capital Park or even Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center.
6. Tunk’s Cypress Inn – Boyce
If you and your date are in the mood for seafood or Southern fare, look no further than Tunk’s Cypress Inn. Favorites like alligator, oysters, crawfish and crab fill the menu; in fact, there’s an entire section dedicated to crab alone. You can even grab a seat on the restaurant’s porch, which overlooks the serene — dare we say, romantic — waters of the Kincaid Reservoir.
7. Pamplona Tapas Bar – Lafayette
Sharing a handful of small plates on a date is a great way to break the ice: you’ll have to order together and decide on the tapas you’d like to sample. Then, you can talk about how wonderful your decision-making skills are once the delicious food has arrived. This is particularly true at Pamplona Tapas Bar, which draws inspiration from Spain’s signature cuisine, as well as from the country’s neighbors: Northern Africa, Italy and France.
8. Restaurant Sage – Monroe
Restaurant Sage’s white tablecloths give you all the upscale restaurant vibes you could want on a first date. To go along with the fancy dining room, the Monroe eatery serves up farm-to-table meat that’s not only fresh and expertly prepared, but also a proven way to boost the local economy: local buyers can make cheaper purchases, while local farmers improve their businesses. Now, that’s a date everyone can feel good about.
9. Brigsten’s – New Orleans
Creole food is New Orleans’ signature, as the word was originally used to describe the people born in the Louisiana settlement. The food incorporates a variety of flavors from different countries, not surprising considering the diversity of the area’s settlement. Brigsten’s has honed this local cuisine and classics like shrimp remoulade will knock your date’s socks off — and probably yours, too.
10. Grotto – Lake Charles
Finally, no list of romantic date night suggestions would be complete without a little bit of pasta. You and your date can share a plate of spaghetti, as they do in romantic comedies past and present. Or, you can forge your own paths and choose your own plate of lasagna, ravioli a la vodka or salmon brioso, all of which is hand-prepared in-house.
Where will you take your date on your next night out? Where is your favorite romantic spot in Louisiana? Add to our list in the comments section below — and enjoy your night out with your special someone.