Romance, like beauty, resides in the eye of the beholder....or so we found when we polled Morris County and Sussex County residents regarding their favorite restaurants for Valentine’s Day!

Local Love

While your typical candlelight-and-fine-wine restaurants appeared on the list (we’re talkin’ about you, Restaurant Latour), many residents prefer not-so-fancy local joints for their Valentine’s dinner celebrations. Need to make your Valentine’s Day dinner plans? Read on for some great, locally-sourced Morris County and Sussex County recommendations:

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Restaurant LatourHamburg: Located in the Crystal Springs Resort, this New American restaurant ranks in Zagat as one of the top romantic dining spots in New Jersey. An incredibly extensive wine cellar and original menus sourced daily from New Jersey ingredients, combined with great service and a gorgeous setting, make this place a top Valentine’s Day destination. Say locals, “Pricey, but worth it.” Call (844) 225-4957 for further information.

Blue Morel Restaurant and Wine BarMorristown: Seeking a NYC-feel without the tunnel traffic? Check out this New American in the Westin Governor Morris Hotel! Swoon over the beautiful atmosphere, while sampling the great wine list and top-notch menu. Expensive, but a “special occasion-worthy experience”, we’re told. Call (973) 451-2619 for more information.

St. MoritzSparta: Our personal favorite, this upscale-casual restaurant set down the street from Lake Mohawk recalls a cozy European country inn. Wood-grilled cuisine, and classic American and European dishes served with charm win us over time and again! Call (973) 729-5677 for more information.

Scalini FedeliChatham: Locals recommend you arrive hungry to this upscale Italian restaurant set in a beautifully restored farmhouse! The prix fixe-only menu delivers large portions of delicious fare served with loads of complimentary nibbles, all delivered at a moderate price. Call 973-701-9200 for more information.

Andre’sSparta: Local Kathy Pross (amongst others) recommends this Yelp 5-star French-Asian favorite, known for it’s Seneca Lakeside location, tip-top service and inventive daily tasting menu. It’s BYOB, so save on the wining and splurge on the dining! Call 973-726-6000 for further information.

Pub 199Mount Arlington: This casual, always-packed local joint serves up super steak and seafood, with top reviews going to their king crab legs! Inexpensive (cash-only) and laid-back, this pub’s a perfect destination for celebrating Valentine’s with a group of couples. Call (973) 398-7454 for more information.

The Station RestaurantMountain Lakes: Seeking a Valentine’s Day restaurant that hits the sweet spot between upscale and laid-back? Head to this historic former train station for a “Cheers”-like atmosphere with top-notch, completely from-scratch cuisine. The American-eclectic menu offers a vast range of options, but locals recommend going for a steak. Call (973) 335 5330 for more information

Pub 517Hackettstown: Awesome steak and seafood abound at this down-home joint set back in a field. Locals recommend going for the crab legs and calamari, but note that everything’s great! Quick, friendly service adds to a fun date night, but leave the credit cards at home--this place is cash-only. Call (908) 850-6140 for more information.

There you go---our round-up of locally-recommended Morris County and Sussex County Valentine’s restaurants! Better call soon, though--Valentine’s weekend’s upon us!!