If the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, that Valentine’s Day table for two could be the most important booking you make all year. Here’s our round-up of the capital’s most dreamy restaurants (which are romantic at any time of the year)…

1. The Forge


The layout of this sleek and chic steakhouse offers a level of privacy perfect for dinner a deux – and the international steak selection is pretty special, too.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi, daily 7pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 8188282. Taxi: Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi. 

2. Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill


The celebrity chef’s stylish eatery recently earned a coveted spot in a rundown of the world’s most outstanding wine lists.

Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi, daily 6pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 6543238. Taxi: Fairmont Bab Al Bahr.

*MORE: An Abu Dhabi Valentine’s Day that will cost Dhs100,000*

3. Bord Eau

Best restaurant in Abu Dhabi - Bord Eau

In addition to top-notch food, the dining room of this What’s On-favourite features lovely views of Maqta creek.

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Khor Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi, daily 6.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 5098511. Taxi: Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri. 

4. Brasserie Angélique

brasserie angelique

This plush eatery claimed our Favourite French Restaurant title at the 2015 What’s On Awards – they don’t come better than this.

Jumeirah At Etihad Towers, Corniche Road West, Abu Dhabi, daily noon until 3.30pm, 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 8115666. Taxi: Etihad Towers.

5. Finz


Newly refurbished, the sleek and stylish white interior makes the most of the spectacular waterside views. Snag a table outside to really set the mood.

Beach Rotana, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Wed 5pm to 1am, Thur and Fri 12.30pm to 3am, Sat 12.30pm to 1am. Tel: (02) 6979011. Taxi: Beach Rotana. 

6. Catch


With its stylish interior, Corniche setting and top-quality fare, a night out here is sure to impress.

Nation Riviera, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, daily noon until midnight, roof terrace 6pm to 3am. Tel: (02) 6110909. Taxi: St Regis Abu Dhabi. 

*THE LIST: The 20 best things we ate in Abu Dhabi last year*

7. Sontaya


Set amid lantern-lit floating pavilions and overlooking the sea, this is one of the most romantic spots to dine any time of the year.

St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, daily noon to 2.45pm and 6.30pm to 10.45pm. Tel: (02) 4988888. Taxi: St Regis Saadiyat. 

8. Pachaylen


The gold and purple décor is as eye catching as is the beautifully presented food at this restaurant.

Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa by Anantara, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, daily 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6561000. Taxi: Eastern Mangroves. 

9. Dai Pai Dong


While the menu draws inspiration from Chinese street hawkers, the dark and brooding interior is distinctly high-end.

Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, daily noon until 3pm, Sat to Wed 6pm to 11pm, Thur and Fri 6pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 8135550. Taxi: Rosewood Abu Dhabi. 

10. P&C By Sergi Arola


The tapas menu is by acclaimed chef Sergi Arola, there’s live jazz to up the atmosphere and creek views when sitting alfresco.

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Khor Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thur 7pm to 11.30pm, Fri 8pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 5098888. Taxi: Qaryat Al Beri. 

11. Beach House


The Mediterranean coastline inspires the homemade dishes served at Beach House, but it’s the romantic seaside views that will keep you coming back.

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel And Villas, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, daily 6.30pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 4071138. Taxi: Park Hyatt. 

12. 18 Degrees


One for the bucket list. Think inventive Eastern Mediterranean food served amid expansive views of the capital from one of the city’s most iconic buildings.

Hyatt Capital Gate, Al Khaleej Al Arabi St, Abu Dhabi, daily noon until 3pm and 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 5961234. Taxi: Hyatt Capital Gate. 

13. Olives

Todd English's Olives-Green Dining Room

Celebrity chef Tom English’s first UAE outpost serves homemade pastas, crisp pizzas and grills in seriously stylish surrounds. We recommend you request a table in the atmospheric green room.

Venetian Village, Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Abu Dhabi, daily 12.30pm until 3pm and 6.30pm until 11pm. Tel: (02) 4041941. Taxi: Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi. 

14. Cipriani


From the terrace overlooking Yas Marina and the Viceroy to the homemade pasta dishes, this is a good place to head if you’re looking to impress your other half.

Building 1, Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, daily 6pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 6575400. Taxi: Yas Marina. 

15. Mezzaluna


Grab a table on the fountain-lined terrace of this regal Emirates Palace restaurant and soak up the sea views – a truly romantic spot.

Emirates Palace, West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, daily 12.30pm to 3pm, 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6907999. Taxi: Emirates Palace.

16. Villa Toscana


Designed to feel like an old Italian palazzo, this restaurant serves up authentic dishes from Tuscany, Umbria, and Emilia-Romagna.

St Regis Abu Dhabi, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, daily noon until 3pm, 6pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6944553. Taxi: St Regis Abu Dhabi. 

17. Almaz By Momo


The modern Moroccan vibe and waterfront terrace make this a relaxing spot to sample celebrity chef Mourad Mazouz’s acclaimed pigeon pastillas.

The Galleria, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, daily 10am to 1am. Tel: (02) 6767702. Taxi: The Galleria. 

18. Byblos Sur Mer


Grab a spot on the spacious terraces to watch the sunset over the marina at this elegant Lebanese restaurant.

InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Thur 12.30pm to 2am, Fri and Sat 8am to 3am. Tel: (02) 6666888. Taxi: InterContinental Abu Dhabi. 

19. Stratos


Take your date for a spin at this upscale revolving bar and restaurant. There’ll be spectacular city views and even better food from the What’s On’s Chef Of The Year at our 2015 awards, Justin Galea.

Le Royal Méridien, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, Mon to Sat 3pm to 2am. Tel: (800) 101101. Taxi: Le Royal Méridien. 

20. Pearls By Michael Caines


With two Michelin stars and an OBE to his name, acclaimed British Chef Michael Caines serves up refined and delicious European delicacies in a truly spectacular waterfront setting.

Jumeirah At Etihad Towers, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, daily noon to 3.30pm and 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 8115555. Taxi: Etihad Towers.

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