Romance is defined in the dictionary as:

A feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.

I say take that feeling of excitement and mystery, combine it with great food and wine, and you just may have earned a "definite maybe" for Valentine's Day evening. I love going out to dinner with my wife, whether it be a special occasion or not, but we're still madly in love after 40 years of marriage.

If you're in a somewhat new relationship, where you make your Valentine's Day dinner reservations can say a great deal about your current relationship. This would be considered a special occasion, which means taking her to a classy restaurant is recommended.

Since I consider myself Dr. Romance (Mindy would disagree) here are my recommendations for mixing romance with fine dining:

  • 1

    Bernard's Restaurant - Ridgefield

    I confess, I've never had the privilege of dining at Bernard's but I've heard many great things. I'll tell you right now, it's a foodie type restaurant, which means, 'you get what you pay for.' And the wine selection, my God the wines! Bernard's was named as one of the most romantic restaurants in the state by Connecticut Magazine. For reservations, call 203-438-8282.

  • 2

    Pappadella's Restaurant - Danbury

    I personally recommend Pappadella's! This unpretentious restaurant at 129 Padanaram Road near Clapboard Ridge Road in Danbury is old-school northern Italian. Chefs Andreas and Luis were the former chefs at La Fortuna in Bethel. Here's what I was really impressed with, if the dish you were craving was not on the menu, they would do their very best to create it just for you. Pappadella's is perfect for both groups or just the two of you. Call 203-743-6804 for reservations.

  • 3

    The Schoolhouse at Cannondale - Wilton

    This small cute romantic eatery has some of the best ratings on Yelp and has won the Open Table Diner's Choice Award for the last three years, not to mention the dozens of accolades from Connecticut Magazine. The food is adventurous and pricey. If you're a cheeseburger and fries kinda guy, don't spend the money. Call 203-529-7751 for reservations.

  • 4

    The Fireside Tavern at Sharpe Hill Vineyard - Pomfret

    I must warn you that the Fireside Tavern at Sharpe Hill Vineyards is located in Pomfret, CT and is approximately 1 hour and 44 minutes from Danbury. This is the restaurant you choose when you're ready to take your relationship to a serious level. Featured on the website, onlyinyourstate.com., they state that,

    The warm lighting and flower accents make this room ooze with romance.

    If you're a wine enthusiast, this is the restaurant for you! They're only opened on Friday and Saturdays for dinner and reservations fill quickly. Call right now if you're considering a reservation for the Friday after Valentine's Day. The number is 860-974-3549 X10.

  • 5

    Della Francesca - Danbury

    Della Francesca, at 46 Mill Plain Road in Danbury is a gourmet Italian eatery that's not only known for its northern Italian cuisine but also for its warm romantic feel inside the dining room. Some Yelp reviewers claim that the food is on par with the authentic Italian cuisine found in restaurants in Florence, Sorrento, and Tuscany in Italy. For reservations, call 203-791-2068.

  • 6

    Union League Cafe - New Haven

    The accolades just keep piling up for the Union League Cafe in New Haven, Top 10 Best Food - Zagat Guide, Best Overall Restaurant - Connecticut Magazine, "Extraordinary" - New York Times. If French food is your thing, this eatery is one of the best in the state. Reservations are highly recommended by calling 203-562-4299.

  • 7

    Mezon Tapas Bar & Restaurant - Danbury

    Located on restaurant row on Mill Plain Road in Danbury, Mezon became one of Danbury's favorite restaurants as soon as they opened. The food experts at Connecticut Magazine named Mezon one of CT's best Tapas restaurants. If you love Paella as much as I do, do yourself a major favor and order this amazing dish that originated on the east coast Spain. When you make your dinner reservation at 203-748-0875, let them know you'll be ordering the Paella.

  • 8

    Castello - Danbury

    Castello is located at 2 Padanaram Road close to the intersection at North Street. I've had the pleasure of dining twice at this old-school Italian restaurant. The restaurant is family owned and you can tell by the service. Both times, the food and service were wonderful. If you're a fish fan, order the Bronzino. It was awesomely awesome both times! Call 203-743-3828 for Valentine's Day reservations.

  • 9

    Lucia Ristorante - New Milford

    Lucia Ristorante is located at 51 Bank St. in downtown New Milford. Reviewers love the small comfy feel inside the eatery. All pastas are handmade on the premises and the eggplant parm is said to be the best that many reviewers have ever eaten. Service is said to be second to none and the Muscles Gorgonzola are to die for. Call 860-355-5100 for reservations.

  • 10

    121 Restaurant - Oxford

    121 is located at 7 Juliano Drive in Oxford. Chef Beck Bolender will be preparing a special Valentine's evening menu. Click on 121atoxc.com to check out the dinner selections. Many Yelp reviewers mentioned it was a bit pricy but raved about the food. Call 203-262-0121 for reservations.