couple date night Milwaukee romantic restaurant

Best Milwaukee Romantic Restaurants in Milwaukee

When planning a date or a special dinner with a loved one, make a romantic restaurant in Milwaukee your next destination. Whether it’s for a special event like Valentine’s Day or an anniversary, or just a random weekend night in need of some added romance, there are plenty of options in romantic restaurants in Milwaukee to pick from.

Any number of factors can go into making a restaurant more romantic than others. Something about French restaurants always ups the romance, as does intimate, darkly lit dining rooms, or fantastic views of the lake. With various specials, you also don’t need to break the bank to have a romantic night out. Read below to learn about the best romantic restaurants in Milwaukee for your next special night.


 

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1. Balzac

Balzac is a cozy restaurant off Brady Street with an extensive wine list and outrageously good small plates. The restaurant is a popular Milwaukee date night destination due to its dimly lit interior, warm ambiance, and ideal location for hitting a bar or two after dinner.

The small plates are ideal for sharing, and there are numerous specials to take advantage of to keep your romantic evening affordable, such as a Monday through Friday happy hour from 4 pm to 6 pm, when you can get $1 off tap beers, $5 house wines, and $1 off select appetizers. There is also a Mussel Monday when you can get one pound of mussels prepared one of three ways for $10, Tuesday discounted tapas plates, and half off wine pours on Wednesday. With all these specials, there are abundant reasons to schedule an unexpected romantic night out at Balzac on a weeknight.

Beyond the fantastic wine selection, Balzac makes exceptional food well-worth a stop. Most of the food is prepared as small plates so expect to order a few for the table to share. Try the duck nachos, with tortilla chips, duck confit, cheese sauce, pico de Gallo, and other toppings. The chicken liver spread on crostini with cranberry chutney and basil oil is also excellent, as are the patatas bravas, which is a classic Spanish tapas of fried potatoes in a spicy sauce, which are served along with fried rosemary at Balzac. For a prime seafood dish, try the smoked trout and artichoke dip served with rye and ciabatta crisps. You can’t go wrong choosing Balzac for your next romantic destination.

  • Address: 1716 N. Arlington Place
  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 5 pm-11 pm | Friday and Saturday, 5 pm-11 pm
  • View Menu Here

2. Buckley’s Restaurant & Bar

Buckley’s Restaurant & Bar is a cozy neighborhood restaurant tucked away in a corner building right between downtown Milwaukee and the east side. With a small and intimately lit dining room, Buckley’s definitely classifies as a romantic spot for dinner or lunch.

The location is also ideal for a Milwaukee date night restaurant since it is close to downtown attractions, museums, and the lake. While there aren’t any nightly specials at Buckley’s, the menu is affordably priced and offers a range of dining options from sharable small plates to larger entrees. Be sure to set a reservation at Buckley’s for your next romantic night out.

Shareable small plates are an excellent option for a romantic dinner. Try the grilled lemongrass shrimp served with glass noodles, lemongrass-coconut broth, peanuts, lime and herbs, or the truffled fried artichoke hearts with parmesan, chives, and lemon oil. The beetroot tartare is also a tasty choice, which comes with shallots, apricot, balsamic, and whipped goat cheese.

For larger plates, the sea scallops with charred corn, beets, peas, jalapeno, and salsa verde is exceptional, as is the pork chop that comes spice-rubbed with glazed carrots and turnips. Buckley’s usually has a steak dish as well, like the dry-aged 14oz. strip loin with grilled asparagus, roast potatoes, topped with blue cheese marrow butter. The menu at Buckley’s changes frequently, so come prepared to pick from an abundance of seasonal options.

  • Address: 801 N. Cass St.
  • Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 4 pm-10 pm | Sunday 10 am – 3 pm
  • View Menu Here

3. Lake Park Bistro

When it comes to the best Milwaukee French restaurants, Lake Park Bistro is difficult to surpass. Tucked away inside of Lake Park on the east side, Lake Park Bistro is one of Milwaukee’s fanciest restaurants. The restaurant boasts beautiful views of Lake Michigan and lends itself toward a stroll through Lake Park after dinner. The spacious dining areas are fancy but not pompous, and the service is top-notch. Reserve a table at Lake Park Bistro for Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, or any other romantic dinner you might be planning.

Lake Park Bistro is all about traditional French cuisine done to perfection. Start out with the tartare de boeuf with finely minced filet mignon, capers, mustard, red onions, and egg yolk, or try the gnocchi Parisienne, with perfectly made gnocchi dumplings tossed in white wine butter, served with sweet potatoes, mushrooms, black truffle, and topped with alpine cheese. The grand charcuterie assortment is also an impressive way to start your meal, with a country pork pate, chicken liver mousse, and three types of cheese.

For your entree, it’s hard to beat the classic steak frites, which comes with a grilled hanger steak and bistro fries served with your choice of either parsley butter, Roquefort butter, red wine shallot butter, or bearnaise sauce. The filet de sole is also a must try, with True Dover Sole sauteed in brown butter and lemon, served with french beans and potatoes, and filleted tableside. If you are looking for a fancy restaurant in Milwaukee to impress a date head to Lake Park Bistro.

  • Address: 3133 E. Newberry Blvd.
  • Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 5 pm-9 pm
  • View Menu Here

4. Lazy Susan

Set inside of a house in Bay View, Lazy Susan is perfect for a romantic dinner before heading out on date night to a few other Bay View attractions, such as the Avalon Theater, concert venues, or bars. If looking to save a little money, Lazy Susan also has some great specials for date nights in Milwaukee, such as a Wednesday dinner for two that is $40 per couple (check online for the weekly menu). There is also a delicious Korean fried chicken night every Thursday, where you get a half chicken for $30, or a full chicken for $60, which comes paired with dipping sauces, house made kimchi, spac mac n’ cheese, and sticky rice. The regular menu has also sorts of shareable dishes, and the quaint yet cozy dining room makes Lazy Susan ideal for a romantic dinner any night of the week.

The menu at Lazy Susan changes frequently, and always mixes a nice balance between vegetarian and non-vegetarian items. Try the sweet potato pancakes served with scallion, apple chutney, and mint-lime raita. The pear and fig toast is also excellent, which comes with grilled bread, fig, arugula, and balsamic. There are always tasty daily mussel preparations, in addition to larger plate options, like the grilled chicken with smoked cheddar cauliflower, apple rice, and cider reduction. The Nordic Char is also amazing, which comes with fennel, sunchokes, creme fresh, and wilted lettuce. Lazy Susan always manages to please for a romantic date night.

  • Address:2378 S. Howell Ave.
  • Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 5 pm-9pm
  • View Menu Here

5. Le Reve Pâtisserie & Café

Located in downtown Wauwatosa just west of Milwaukee, Le Reve Patisserie & Cafe is a delicious and romantic French restaurant in Milwaukee. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and has an incredible selection of desserts, in line with their dedication to serving great food and having the selections of a traditional French patisserie. Le Reve has abundant seating over two floors and has tasteful decorations reminiscent of any fine French bistro. Transport your next romantic night out to France by visiting Le Reve.

You can’t go wrong with all of the classic French dishes on Le Reve’s meu. For winter, start with the French onion soup, while for summer, try starting with the salad Nicoise, with mixed greens, potatoes, eggs, tomatoes, olives, and dijon vinaigrette. Any of the appetizers are excellent, especially the escargot in herbed butter, or the foie gras. For dinner, try the bouillabaisse, with herbed tomato broth and seasonal seafood, or the braised lamb shank with marquez sausage, swiss chard, and gremolata. Especially for a romantic night out, plan on ordering at least one dessert, such as the dacquoise, or almond meringue with fresh raspberries, or the chocolate caramel tart.

  • Address: 7610 Harwood Ave
  • Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 11am-2pm lunch and 5pm-9pm dinner | Friday 11am-2pm lunch and 5pm-10pm dinner | Saturday 9am-2pm lunch and 5pm-10pm dinner | Closed Sunday & Tuesdasy
  • View Menu Here

 

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6. Morel

Morel is one of the area’s most popular restaurants. Located on the trendy 2nd Street in Walker’s Point, the restaurant is nestled away in a historic cream city brick building with a parking lot across the street. The dining area is always dimly lit, the restaurant has a long and cozy bar, and the plates are perfectly shareable making Morel a prime destination for a romantic date night in Milwaukee.

The craft cocktails at Morel are also really well done, making this restaurant a nice stop for drinks or dinner. For some artfully presented gourmet food in a trendy setting, choose Morel for your next romantic evening.

The menu at Morel changes daily, but you can always count on seasonal specialties and rotating choices certain to impress. Try the daily charcuterie board, with locally sourced pate, salumi, and cheeses, or one of the tasty starters, like the beet salad that comes with pickled, roasted, and raw beets, feta, hazelnut, arugula and salsa verde, or the grilled herb flatbread topped with burrata and rhubarb. For your main course, try the rainbow trout with fingerling potatoes, pea tendrils, sorel, capers, and pickled onion, or the beef short ribs with bacon, broccoli, horseradish, carrot and beef jus. If you still have space for something sweet, try one of the seasonal cheesecakes.

  • Address: 430 S. 2nd St.
  • Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 5 pm-9 pm |Friday and Saturday, 5 pm-10 pm |Closed Sunday and Monday
  • View Menu Here

7. Sanford

Nestled away in a neighborhood on Milwaukee’s east side, Sanford has long been considered one of the top best restaurants in Milwaukee. With unparalleled service and a dedication to serving truly outstanding food, Sanford can impress even the most discerning dining partner. Given the superior quality of the restaurant, in addition to the intimate and dimly lit interior, Sanford also makes for a romantic dining destination, especially for a special event like an anniversary or a birthday.

Be sure to take advantage of the valet service since parking is pretty difficult near Sanford, but otherwise prepare for a memorable dinner, top-quality drinks, and a romantic evening you won’t forget.

The menu at Sanford consistently changes, though there are a few staples on the menu you can expect to find. The restaurant also offers chef surprise menus, provided you reserve ahead and alert the kitchen of any dietary restrictions. The tasting menu can also come with a wine pairing. For regular menu items, try starting with the Sanford staple grilled pear and Roquefort tart with caramelized onions and walnuts, or the house-cured pork sausage with artichoke and black olive jam. The soups at Sanford are exceptional, especially the lamb consomme with flan, tomato, and dill. For an entree, try the grilled red grouper with crab hash, pancetta, and red onion vinaigrette, or the loin of elk, which is grilled and paired with maple polenta and a tart cherry reduction.

  • Address: 1547 N. Jackson St.
  • Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 5:30pm-9pm | Friday, 5:30pm-10pm | Saturday, 5pm-10pm |Closed Sunday & Monday

 

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8. Tess

Tess is one of those hidden gems tucked away in a residential area on the east side. With a small and intimate dining room, Tess is often considered one of the most romantic restaurants in Milwaukee. In summer, there is also a scenic outdoor dining area, while in colder parts of the year you can always grab a table in the dimly lit and cozy dining room. The food at Tess is always perfectly executed with globally inspired flavors, and a number of the dishes are great for sharing. When looking for a Milwaukee romantic restaurant for date night, grab a weekend reservation at Tess.

It’s hard to go wrong with any of the menu items at Tess. For an appetizer, try the steamed mussels in coconut and chipotle broth with cilantro and mint, or the corned beef croquettes with smoked cheddar sauce and sauerkraut puree. A delicious and healthy choice is the Tess Salad, with field greens, tomatoes, cucumber, carrot, croutons, and a really tasty vinaigrette.

The dinner options are equally compelling. The San Francisco Cioppino is certain to please, with salmon, scallops, mussels, shrimp all in a garlic, white wine, and tomato broth served with crostini. The coriander duck breast is also a delicious choice, which comes served with blueberry coulis, roast carrots and potatoes, and pearl onions. There is also a Friday fish fry special, and be sure to save room for dessert since they are some of the best in the city, like the flourless chocolate cake with coffee custard.

Adam and I have dined at Tess for many of our date nights in Milwaukee when we were living on the East Side and Whitefish Bay. It was our go-to fancy restaurant in Milwaukee and the price was right and service doesn’t take forever. You can’t go wrong with dining at Tess.

  • Address:2499 N. Bartlett Ave.
  • Hours: Closed Monday |Tuesday-Sunday, 5 pm-9 pm
  • View Menu Here

9. The Pasta Tree

Italian restaurants and romance always go together well. When it comes to perfect Italian restaurants in Milwaukee for a romantic evening, it’s hard to beat The Pasta Tree on Milwaukee’s east side.

The restaurant features an intimate and comfortable candle-lit dining room, and a hidden away outdoor patio for al fresco dining in summer. Long featured in various guides for Italian dining, Pasta Tree has some incredible house-made pasta and other Italian dishes. Even better for a summer day is the Pasta Tree picnic package. The restaurant will pack up a picnic basket for you with goodies like stuffed dates, antipasto, Caprese sandwiches, and cannolis for a romantic picnic date. If that doesn’t sound like how you want to spend a summer afternoon, then set a reservation and prepare for a romantic night of sharing some of the city’s best pasta.

Come with an appetite to the Pasta Tree since the appetizers, pasta plates, and desserts are all worth checking out. To start your romantic dinner, order the antipasto plate, which comes with assorted sliced salamis, cheeses, and vegetables, or one of the house salads or soups. There are numerous kinds of pasta to choose from. Try the Scallops alla Abruzzo, or seared scallops with steamed broccoli, shaved garlic, and red pepper flakes over your choice of pasta. The chicken pesto linguine is also fantastic, which comes with kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, and sundried tomatoes in pesto.

Be sure to save room for a classic Italian dessert like tiramisu or chocolate cake. Any romantic date is made that much better at the Pasta Tree.

  • Address: 1503 N. Farwell Ave.
  • Hours: Closed Monday & Tuesday|Wednesday – Saturday 5 pm-9 pm | Sunday 5 pm-8 pm
  • View Menu Here

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