A friend recently asked where she should have dinner for her first anniversary with a guy. I was tongue-tied at first; having waxed poetic about what to cook for romantic date meals for years, I scrambled to come up with some decent restos to suggest. Then it occurred to me: Brooklyn is perhaps the best borough to find restaurants that exude a cozy, intimate, and homey air, yet serve incredible food. Places where you can sink into a table and get lost in your deep conversations, without feeling as if the staff is trying to scoot you out as soon as possible. These most romantic restaurants would have their own personality quirks, just like your date, but never succumb to over-pretentiousness.
Fresh flowers and backyard settings weigh into this calculation, too, as well as plenty of options to imbibe with on the menus. This list may also favor establishments that have well withstood the test of time, as they’ll provide a better guarantee of greatness and less claustrophobic waits due to recent hype. Here are our picks for the best candlelit meals to enjoy eating out for a date, now, in Brooklyn.