Love isn’t just in the air — it is on the plates, in the glasses and served tableside at these oh-so-romantic restaurants all month long. Here are some of them.
This historic spot combines iconic architecture with contemporary design elements. The latest redesign includes a colorful feature wall, neon ZuZu sign, midcentury-inspired screens and cozy booths. For the ultimate date night, reserve The Rosie Room — a private, hidden dining room with pink walls and a sound system guests can tap into and play their favorite songs. Inventive dishes from chef Russell LaCasce include grilled spiced Scottish salmon with local kale and rock shrimp and pesto fettucine with Thai basil.
Bourbon & Bones
This upscale boutique chophouse features a modern and innovative menu in a hip, sexy atmosphere. From the finest wet and dry-aged cuts of beef, veal and pork, both on the bone and off, to fresh seafood, appetizers, sides and desserts, it offers the best ingredients and puts them together in delicious ways. The aroma of the kitchen and bustling bar scene is set to the sounds of up-tempo music lending itself to a romantic fine dining experience.
The love between the owners, chef Marcellino and his wife, Sima, is the foundation upon which this passionate restaurant was born. The sultry warmth of Marcellino Ristorante’s ambiance is designed as the canvas, and the authentic, handcrafted cuisine and exclusively Italian wine list, is the work of art that creates a most romantic culinary experience. Every morsel, from the chef’s infused pastas, grilled lamb chops cloaked in a luxurious balsamic reduction to Atlantic salmon sautéed with leeks and porcini mushrooms, has made many swoon.
Nothing beats the view from the patio of this restaurant at Mountain Shadows. Admire Camelback Mountain at sunset while enjoying seasonal dishes from veteran chef Charles Wiley, including ahi tartare with housemade puffed rice and Niman Ranch short rib with roasted garlic polenta. Choose the perfect pairing with a bottle from its award-winning wine selection. Enjoy the restaurant’s chic and sleek atmosphere, rounding out the evening at the oval-shaped bar. For the ultimate date night, visit on a Friday evening to catch the weekly Veuve Clicquot sabering and toast.
Lon’s at the Hermosa
Lon’s at the Hermosa offers many romantic settings for an intimate dinner experience: an outdoor dining patio featuring gorgeous flora and fauna, a trickling fountain and a massive fireplace; a ruggedly handsome indoor dining room illuminated by candlelight; and an underground wine cellar for private dining that offers seating for 12 people, perfect for a date night with your favorite friends. Locally sourced ingredients power Lon’s dinner menu, featuring classic and seasonal dishes that reflect both the adventurous spirit and the sophisticated artistry of its namesake, cowboy artist Lon Megargee. The adjacent Lon’s Last Drop bar and patio is the ideal spot to begin or end a romantic evening, with its five fireplaces and handcrafted cocktails.
Rusconi’s American Kitchen
Rusconi’s American Kitchen’s convenient-yet-unassuming location makes it one of the Valley’s best-kept secrets. With an elegant, “neighborhood” feel, Rusconi’s makes for a comfortable and welcoming experience from the moment guests walk in the door. Featuring a cozy patio, bar-side dining area and traditional dining room with visibility into the active kitchen, there are plenty of options for date-nighters to select their preferred seating a deux. Whether choosing from the excellent wine list or one of the restaurant’s specialty cocktails (The Original Rusconi is a must), romance begins with the first sip. Couples can then canoodle over a shared plate such as the artisan cheese plate or kitchen board. Mains like the braised boneless beef short ribs, grilled loin of Opal Valley lamb and natural sea scallops with garnet yam puree are all artfully prepared and presented so diners can’t go wrong.
Kasai Japanese Steakhouse
This hotspot is the perfect date night for two. The built-in dinner-tainment will wow guests as the charismatic chefs put on a show complete with fun and flames at one of the 14 teppan tables. It’s not just a meal — it’s an event! Start with items like the wagyu beef sliders made with sweet sake caramelized onions, cheese, pickle and radish aioli. Prepare to be impressed when the teppan tables heat up and the show begins. Each teppan entrée comes served with fried or coconut rice, broccolini and ends with Kasai’s signature Dole Whip frozen pineapple dessert.
Though you cannot tell from the outside, the newly opened Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant and Winery in North Scottsdale features a full-scale wine tasting room and wine shop in addition to full-service restaurant, ample bar, and outdoor patio space inside. The inspired setup allows guests to start the evening in the tasting room, where there are flights of red, white, sparkling and rose wines made from grapes sourced specifically for Cooper’s Hawk from across California and the Pacific Northwest. After a tasting, guests are whisked to a transitional area where barrel samples of wine are offered, all before being seated for a multi-course dinner.
The Craftsman Cocktails + Kitchen
Effortlessly comfortable and intimate, The Craftsman Cocktails + Kitchen was inspired by a loving and hardworking farmer who cared for his family, the land and working with his hands. Diners experience that same energy, love and come-as-you-are attitude as they enter it doors. Hand-crafted cocktails and creative tastes are their specialty, featuring in-house distilled spirits and unique American dishes. The innovative menu strikes the perfect balance between quality and creativity, courtesy of chef Christopher Nicosia, an Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame Inductee and culinary craftsman.
This intimate dining experience offers progressive American cuisine by candlelight from acclaimed chef Branden Levine, the former executive chef of Café Monarch also known for his appearances on the Food Network’s “Chef Wanted” with Anne Burrell and “Beat Bobby Flay.” Offering an á la carte menu as well as traditional and vegetarian prix fixe menus, expect offerings to change with the season but to always deliver big bold flavors.
Sexy, sophisticated and seductive from the moment one walks in the door, Ocean 44 is among the top see-and-be-seen spots in Scottsdale, especially if you have someone special on your arm. Dress to impress at this Valley gem, which is a commanding 12,000 square and boasts an elaborate glass expo kitchen, an expansive bar and multiple vibrant dining rooms, which almost have a coastal feel thanks to light colors and accents throughout.
Chic and striking in appearance and culinary offerings, The Americano is a true Italian steakhouse in the vein of The Palm, blending the European style of highly personalized, tableside service with contemporary Italian-inspired dining and American imagination when it comes to mixology. Though open less than a year, it has already earned a place in the hearts and minds of local diners. And now that Scott Conant is at the helm — acquiring the brand in October — The Americano is poised to make an even bigger mark, especially on the heels of Conant releasing his first menu in recent weeks, full of recognizable dishes that have helped define his career.