Just because I’m on record as not believing in a “Central Jersey” isn’t stopping me from writing this article any more than not believing in romance is. This isn’t about me after all. It’s about you Central Jersey lovebirds.

The wedding site The Knot chose the most romantic restaurants for any occasion in various regions of New Jersey. What more romantic occasion than Valentine’s Day? So here’s a look at their picks for the most romantic restaurants in Central Jersey for a beautiful Valentine’s dinner experience.

Let’s start with one I’ve actually been to for a Valentine’s Day.

Grain House, Basking Ridge

This cozy restaurant is part of the Olde Mill Inn property famous for weddings. Yes, there’s even a romantic gazebo nearby.

The Grain House has stood since the 1700s and you can feel its history and charm as you enter. It still has its original 18th-century ceiling beams.

The bar is breathtaking. The atmosphere is both elegant and comfortable at the same time and if you have Valentine’s Day dinner here, I can tell you firsthand the service is impeccable. Where so many restaurants get overwhelmed on such a popular and important occasion The Grain House never feels chaotic and the staff is never off their game.

Photo via Sergio Alves Santos on Unsplash
Photo via Sergio Alves Santos on Unsplash

Find The Grain House at 225 Morristown Rd, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920.


Osteria Cucina Rustica, Marlboro

The Knot calls this restaurant “next-level Italian.” As New Jersey loves its Italian food why not bring it to the next level here for Valentine’s Day? A rustic atmosphere with lots of natural wood and a brick patio greet you.

While the food is tremendous the service is too. Osteria in Italian means “a place where the owner hosts his guests.”

Find Osteria Cucina Rustica at 91 S Main St, Marlboro, NJ 07746.


The Frog and The Peach, New Brunswick

Dine with your Valentine in a nature vibe here where greenery surrounds the white linen tablecloths. This place was doing a farm-to-table concept before it was a trend and probably before anyone even knew what to call it.

Photo by Ibrahim Boran on Unsplash
Photo by Ibrahim Boran on Unsplash

You can enjoy truffle tastings here and learn more about wines. With accolades and awards too numerous to count this is long considered one of the finest restaurants in the state.

Find The Frog and The Peach at 29 Dennis St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.


Undici, Rumson

You might say they’re all about the wine. They literally have the state’s largest selection of wines from Italy.

Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash
Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash

Undici is tucked away inside what looks like a Tuscan farmhouse and offers flavorful Italian food, great service and indoor/outdoor seating.

Find Undici at 11 W River Rd, Rumson, NJ 07760


Whispers, Spring Lake

The Knot calls this Victorian-inspired place with a BYOB protocol one of the most romantic restaurants in Central Jersey. The dessert selection is supposed to be beyond tempting.

Tucked away inside the Hewitt Wellington Hotel you could even dine here as part of a romantic weekend getaway.

Find Whispers at 200 Monmouth Ave, Spring Lake, NJ 07762


La Cipollina, Freehold

Italian food served in the ambiance of brick walls and soaring columns, white linens and tuxedo-clad servers. If you want to impress your Valentine’s date this will.

Their motto is “We Cook It, We Live It, We Love It," according to their website. Sounds like you’ll love it too.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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