All mamas deserve a romantic night with the one they love. Although COVID-19 has put a damper on most things, it shouldn’t stop you from having a date night out (or in!) with food from the amazing local restaurants located in our area.
We have created a guide to the best date night restaurants throughout Fairfield County. Since our loyal readers live all over, we have listed top restaurants from each area throughout our county. We have included some of the most romantic spots, as well as those more casual places where the food speaks for itself. No matter what type of cuisine you and your partner love, this guide will help you find your next favorite date night eatery. We hope you can use this guide, venture out of your comfort zone, and start tasting what Fairfield County restaurants have to offer. As always, please support our sponsors! Enjoy!
Named after Italy’s most beautiful Island located in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the western coast of Italy, Ponza Italian Kitchen & Pizza is deeply rooted in hospitality and bringing people together around the table over great food and drink. A family-owned and operated restaurant since 1980, locals have been enjoying comforting Italian cuisine and the restaurant’s signature pizza over the years when the location was known as Pasta Fair and eventually as John’s Best Pizza. Couples will enjoy this casual and inviting neighborhood restaurant, known for its live ficus tree (weeping fig) growing through the center of the restaurant! For your date night, enjoy sharing appetizers such as seafood stuffed clams, arancini filled with gouda cheese, and fresh seafood salad with olive oil and lemon. The menu also features hearty salads and mouthwatering entrees such as eggplant parmigiana, chicken or veal sautéed with mushrooms in a marsala wine sauce, zuppa di pesce brimming with clams, mussels, shrimp, and calamari with a choice of red or white sauce, jumbo shrimp with a seafood and cracker stuffing, market-fresh fish prepared with tomatoes and kalamata olives, and decadent gnocchi al gorgonzola with broccoli and sausage, or their pizza. Ponza has a lively entertainment schedule with live jazz, R&B, rock, and more. Dance, eat, drink, and enjoy – the perfect date night spot that offers a little bit of everything.
A New Canaan staple since 1979, Gates is a spirited restaurant and gathering place known for its delicious modern American comfort food with global inspirations, classic cocktails, and cold beer. The extensive menu starts with fun dinner snacks such as local oysters, street can nachos, and the restaurant’s popular chicken bites (try the sweet chili). Gates features a variety of Asian-inspired rice bowl combinations, vibrant salads, hearty sandwiches, wood-fired pizza, juicy burgers, and tacos too! Order a great bottle of wine to pair with the steak frites or spaghetti Bolognese. Visit on a Saturday to enjoy some live music in the background, on weekends for brunch (breakfast sammies and bloody marys), or during the week for happy hour. Gates is what a neighborhood restaurant and bar should be.
Receive one free dessert per table with the mention of Fairfield County Mom.
Fairfield County dining enthusiasts will recognize the Gabriele’s Italian Steakhouse brand from their restaurant in Greenwich (2011-2019), which was a popular haunt for high-profile sports and business personalities and celebrities, which set a high bar within the local dining scene over the years. This new Westport location carries on the tradition where couples can indulge a fine dining experience in Gabriele’s luxurious dining rooms (try to snag a table by the fireplace!) and grand bar lined with back-lit premium spirits. Under the direction of Executive Chef Dagoberto Turcios-Cruz, the menu takes seasonal cues from local organic ingredients. For date night, enjoy their steak-forward menu featuring signature classic cuts of hand-selected, prime dry-aged beef seasoned with sea salt and crushed black pepper. Passionate carnivores will also love their reserved international meats, including American Wagyu Premier Farms Beef, Certified Piedmontese Beef, and Japanese Kobe “A5.” For sides, try favorites like their XXL baked stuffed potato with crème Fraiche and crispy bacon, baked spinach au gratin, asparagus hollandaise, and creamy mac and cheese served classic, laced with truffle oil, or spiked with lobster. Dessert is a must at Gabriele’s beautifully prepared daily by pastry Chef Ruben Palma.
This charming destination is a European-inspired brasserie that serves scratch cuisine focused primarily on the flavors of France and Belgium with a nod to all of the best European cuisines. Bruxelles Brasserie is anchored by locally-renowned European chef Roland Olah. Start with their Small & Share section which includes Burrata, house-made Country Pork & Duck Pate, Steamed Mussels, or classic Nicoise Salad. Menu highlights run the gamut from fresh seasonal salads, chilled seafood, and house-made charcuterie, to popular entrees such as Branzino Filet, Rack of Lamb, Acorn Squash Gnocchi, and a decadent Lobster Mash. Bruxelles’ bright and whimsy décor, high-energy bar, and a clientele that includes local restaurateurs dining there on any given night always makes for a fun experience.
Rooted in the cuisine of New Mexico and its many cultural influences, RoadRunner New Mexico Kitchen + Bar offers an exciting dining experience and craft cocktail program wrapped in hospitality. Located in the Historic Black Rock District of Bridgeport, RoadRunner is a high-energy neighborhood restaurant and bar at its core, a social gathering place for great food and libations, seasonal specials and events, and live music. Kick things off with the best margaritas in town or one of their fun craft cocktails and pair those with the “Three Amigos” comprised of house-made green chile con queso, salsa verde, guacamole. Stacked green chile chicken enchiladas and the “cowboy wok”, a.k.a. fajitas, are elevated versions of your favorites. Try the surf and turf burrito filled with juicy beef brisket, spicy shrimp, fresh greens, and a de-lish coyote sauce. And nothing screams brunch date more than sharing RoadRunner’s Hangover Nachos overflowing with house-made crispy fried potatoes, bacon, egg and chorizo hash, fresh pico, salsa verde, jalapeños, and hot drawn cheese. Just sayin’.
Great things are always happening OnWashington! Comprised of 27 addresses on Washington Street Historic District, South Norwalk’s OnWashington features a global dining scene, artisan retail shops, and the best salon services in the heart of this coastal city. Enjoy a truly special date night OnWashington that starts with plenty of convenient parking (download that ParkMobile App!). Choose from a myriad of dining experiences, including Italian, seafood, French, Vietnamese, sushi, tavern fare, and even coffee and sweets. Have a romantic stroll along Washington Street and take in the energy of South Norwalk’s premiere destination – OnWashington.