Romance on the Hudson - DiningOut NJ

We all enjoy a romantic rendezvous from time to time, and more often than not, date nights begin or end around a lovely meal. Now, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to consider upping your date-night game. The search is on for delicious food and the perfect ambiance. What’s the best bet for an amorous outing, right here in our own backyard? Look east to the Hudson River coastline, which houses an abundance of eateries that offer twinkling city lights as a backdrop to romance. We’ve gathered a list of spots for your next romantic meal, with a side of enchanting views.

Bergen County

Haven {2 Main Street, Suite G, Edgewater; 201.943.1900;}
Right on the Hudson River in Edgewater sits Haven, a fine-dining spot serving up New American cuisine. Whether you are looking to gaze out at the skyline of New York City over a leisurely brunch or a quiet dinner, Haven will meet your needs. The brunch prix fixe includes the choice of one brunch item, such as Short Rib & Hash Brown Benedict or a Farmhouse Croissant Sandwich, and includes two mimosas, bellinis, or Bloody Marys. Dinner can kick off with a unique appetizer like the Pretzel Crusted Fried Calamari or the Chicken ‘Taco’ Spring Rolls and continue onto the entrée course with seafood, steak, chicken, duck, or lamb—the choices are plentiful. Whichever direction you choose to go with your meal, one thing is for certain: the views will not disappoint.

Haven {2 Main Street, Suite G, Edgewater; 201.943.1900;}

Haven – Edgewater, NJ

Le Jardin {1257 River Road, Edgewater; 201.224.9898;}
Just up the road from Haven is Le Jardin, where you’ll be able to find fine French-Continental cuisine along with stunning views of New York City and the George Washington Bridge. With an enclosed terrace and an outdoor garden, dining with a view is possible throughout the year. Guests can also feel cozy during the colder months with the intimate indoor fireplace. Executive Chef Franco Gilaga brings 30 years of culinary experience to Le Jardin, and has put together excellent bar, lunch, dinner, and prix fixe sunset menus. Be sure to add this to your list of “must-trys” when you’re in the mood for spectacular views.

Mitchell’s Fish Market {541 River Road, Edgewater; 201.840.9311;}
With locations throughout the country, we consider ourselves lucky to have access to a Mitchell’s Fish Market restaurant. It’s an added bonus that the river and city views from here are nothing short of breathtaking. Seafood, seafood, seafood—you just may have trouble deciding what to order with an abundance of options. We are also loving this spot for their happy hour because of the countless drink and bite specials. For those who are sensitive to gluten, you’ll be happy to know that the menu offers appetizers, salads, and entrées to accommodate. Slightly more casual than some of the other restaurants on our list, this is a good spot if you’re looking for more of a laid-back evening.

Orama {595 River Road, Edgewater; 201.945.2020;}
Orama on the Water, located in Edgewater, pairs custom art with phenomenal skyline views of Manhattan. Artist Alex J. Morales left no detail un-examined when he created a 10,000 tile mosaic mural surrounding the ceiling, among other creations specifically designed for Orama. Whether dining inside or al fresco, the view will certainly rival the artwork and food. With a seasonally designed menu, sample items include East or West Coast Oysters, the Charred Octopus appetizer, and the Dry Aged Duck entrée. Sweet tooth taking over your palate? Pastry Chef Carrie Spindler, owner of Goodie Box Bake Shop in Cliffside Park, has created treats such as Chocolate Cannoli Cake and Tiramisú.

Hudson County

Chart House {1700 Harbor Boulevard, Weehawken; 201.348.6628;}
On a pier in the Hudson River sits the Chart House, another fine spot for stellar New York City views. We’ve had the pleasure of enjoying the shrimp, crab, avocado, and mango appetizer, which was fresh and satisfying. Boasting seafood entrées like the Mac Nut Mahi (warm peanut sauce, mango relish, soy glaze, mango sticky rice, and Asian green beans) and Maize Shrimp and Scallops (pan-seared, creamed corn sauce, spinach gnocchi, and heirloom grape tomatoes), you’ll surely get your fill while you take in the views. Steak rivals the seafood offerings, with various cuts of prime rib, filet mignon, and steak marsala. The Chart House also offers event space—think company functions, bridal or baby showers, and wedding receptions.

Liberty House {76 Audrey Zapp Drive, Jersey City; 201.395.0300;}
Known throughout the bridal industry as one of the best wedding venues in New Jersey, Liberty House is also a great spot for a quiet date night with breathtaking views of the New York City skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. Proudly serving farm-to-table cuisine, Executive Chef Ken Trickilo gathers local ingredients to put together the freshest meals. You may be thinking that outdoor dining and drinking season is over until spring, but with custom-built firepits, you’ll be able to keep warm while you sip your beverage of choice. Longing to enjoy your favorite Liberty House cocktail at home? The venue offers “Classes in Cocktails”, so you can learn to become a mixologist.

Maritime Parc {84 Audrey Zapp Drive, Jersey City; 201.413.0060;}
Near the Liberty Landing Marina lies Maritime Parc, yet another event space and restaurant with unbelievable views. With cuisine described as traditional seafood with a modern palate, a chef’s tasting menu (always a great bet!) is available in addition to brunch, lunch, and dinner menus. Executive Chef and Owner Chris Siverson prefers to use local, organic, and sustainable ingredients paired with seafood. In addition to the restaurant, this spot is known for its ability to host fabulous private events, whether it be a wedding, gala, or corporate function. The view from the outdoor terrace will be sure to impress anyone.  Walk-in guests are welcome, but reservations are recommended. Maritime Parc opens Thursday through Saturday at 5:30pm, with hours on Sunday from 11am to 4pm.

Molos {1 Pershing Road, Weehawken; 201.223.1200;}

Molos – Weehawken, NJ

Molos {1 Pershing Road, Weehawken; 201.223.1200;}
The beautiful view in this two-story restaurant will surely stun you. A Greek and Mediterranean-inspired seafood restaurant, Molos is located right on the Hudson River. The full bar features wines from Greece, which pair amazingly well with signature dishes like the Whole Fish and the Saganaki served tableside. Many options will certainly leave you debating what to get, however the decision to snag a seat along the floor-to-ceiling windows is always a good choice. The lights of the city reflecting beautifully off the water will surely complete your meal. The second level can be reserved for private events which can accommodate up to 120 guests.

Spirit Cruises {1500 Harbor Boulevard, Weehawken; 866.483.3866;}
For those who prefer to enjoy a meal on the water instead of simply gazing at it, look no further than Spirit Cruises, which departs from Lincoln Harbor in Weehawken. Brunch, lunch, and dinner cruises conveniently give various departure times. Holiday cruises throughout December are filled with seasonal music and décor along with food and drinks. The dress code for dinner? Feel fancy with slacks and either a polo or button down shirt for men, and nice pants or a dress for women. For all other cruises, casual attire is acceptable. Looking to depart from across the Hudson? Bateaux, of the same company as Spirit Cruises, leaves from a pier on the East River.

Vu (Hyatt Regency) {2 Exchange Place, Jersey City; 201.469.1234;}
Directly across from lower Manhattan in Jersey City’s Hyatt Regency is Vu, a restaurant and lounge dedicated to bringing guests wonderful meals along with gorgeous views. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while the lounge has a full bar and small bites. We’d particularly recommend Vu for a romantic dinner or evening drinks, as the twinkling lights of lower Manhattan appear extremely close from this Exchange Place location. For the many thousands who work in Jersey City, this spot is also worth going to for a lunch date.

Waterside Restaurant & Catering
{7800 B River Road, North Bergen; 201.861.7767;}
On the edge of the Hudson River in North Bergen is Waterside Restaurant & Catering, known for its delicious food and private event space, and—you guessed it—views of the Manhattan skyline. Executive Chef Gus Shizas, an alumnus of The Culinary Institute of America, has designed both lunch and dinner menus that provide a wide range of options. From formaggi and salumi to unique main courses like the Slow Roasted Colorado Lamb Riblets and the Lobster Tacos, there is something for every diner. Gluten-free dishes are plentiful and conveniently marked on the menu for those with dietary restrictions. For the raw bar lovers dining with a large party, be sure not to miss the Frutti Di Mare Tower, with either two or three tiers available.

By Heather Dean Bennington