Few things in life can be more exciting — or more daunting — than the Special Occasion. Be it a birthday, holiday, anniversary, promotion, graduation, or something different altogether, special occasions call for special meals, eaten at special restaurants. Even though more and more of us are eschewing fancy sit-down spots these days for less-expensive home cooked and fast-casual meals, there will always be a reason to visit fancy restaurant for a fancy meal, and finding that perfect restaurant can prove to be pretty stressful. That’s why we’ve tracked down the best restaurant for celebrating a special occasion in every state: These places will always be a sure bet.
So what exactly makes a restaurant an ideal special occasion place? These are restaurants where you’ll want to dress up a little beforehand, and be prepared to spend a little (or a lot) more money than you usually do when dining out. Maybe you had to work hard at securing that in-demand reservation. Maybe there’s a white tablecloth on your table, and a menu that offers high-end fare (especially celebratory dishes like steak and lobster). If you’re really looking to splurge, maybe there’s a prix
-fixe menu and add-ons like caviar and foie gras. There should ideally be a good wine list and a wide variety of cocktails, and of course a nice selection of desserts. It should be romantic, but not so romantic that a family will feel out of place. And a private room for larger groups is always nice. Above all, it should be a restaurant that makes you feel special just by being there.
All of the following restaurants fit that bill to a tee. There’s just something in the air at these kinds of restaurants — bustling, celebratory, upbeat, refined — that puts us in a celebratory mood, or enhances the jovial mood we’re already in. After all, we’re celebrating a special occasion!