The most romantic restaurant spots in NYC

The perfect date-night dinner is about so much more than who gets the bill, what you order (no garlic, please) or even a restaurant’s overall ambiance. To ensure a truly romantic evening, you need to land the right table. A plush, cozy booth, where you and your sweetie can sit side by side for plate-sharing and intimate conversation, sets the mood far better than some cramped, center-of-room two-top where you’re rubbing elbows with other patrons and straining to hear. We ventured around town to find tony tables for Valentine’s Day or your next date night, and spoke to restaurant insiders about how to snag them.

Coziest corner

At first blush, Barbounia, a Middle Eastern restaurant in Gramercy, seems a bit boisterous for an amorous evening. But table 12, nestled in the back and festooned with pillows, is the perfect place to cuddle up and split plates such as lamb-kebab terra cotta, which steams when the waiter slices open the baked crust. The sweet seat has hosted “Good Morning America” host and former Giants star Michael Strahan, and has seen a number of marriage proposals, manager Vladimir Kolotyan tells The Post.

“Once one of our own employees asked if he could use the table to propose to his girlfriend,” says Kolotyan. “He gave us the ring and we put it in an oyster shell and delivered it to the table.” Kolotyan suggests calling the restaurant to reserve the table in advance, as it’s a favorite for regulars. 250 Park Ave. S.; 212-995-0242

Nooky nook

For Banzarbar’s table 66, the journey is almost as romantic as the destination. Diners walk down the twinkle-lit Freeman Alley in the Bowery, through the rustic Freeman restaurant and upstairs to a new, candlelit, 20-seat bar room, which specializes in low-ABV cocktails and tasting menus. There, lucky couples are shown to the booth nestled into the wall next to the bar — a wood-paneled spot the staff have nicknamed “the nook.” The tiny table, which is lightly elevated on a platform and lit by an old-timey brass candlestick, is “a popular booth to ask for,” says head bartender Eryn Reece. “The [bar] is already intimate, but this is its own little world.” To score the seat, Reece says, make a reservation at Banzarbar on and add a note that you want the nook. Freeman Alley; 212-420-0012

Frisky business

You can call or e-mail the restaurant to book the spot for double (or cozy triple) dates — and if it’s solitude you seek, Blath will make exceptions for a special occasion. Recently, a couple who had a first date in the snug years ago wanted to return for a 30th birthday. “When the guest arrived, I led him to the room where his partner was already waiting with a chilled bottle of Champagne,’’ he says. 24 E. 39th St.; 646-837-6779

Burning passion

A corner banquette lit by fireplace glow, framed by exposed brick, a wood-beamed ceiling and a plant-bedecked skylight . . . Flatiron Greek restaurant Merakia has a table so dreamy that couples actually fight over it, says owner Renee Typaldos.

“One night, two couples both wanted the table for a celebration, so I strongly suggested that they simply share the table, so one would have starters there, and then they would swap at entree time,” she says. “They wound up being friendly during their dinner, and all sat together for dessert, which of course I gave them complimentary for being such good sports.’’ If you’re not willing to compromise, call ahead to book table 50 at the Hellenic hot spot, which is known for to-share dishes such as “dancing” lamb and marinated, spit-roasted chicken (both $48). 5 W. 21st St.; 212-380-1950

Wrap star

If it’s intimacy you crave, reserve table 108 at Food Network chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s upscale American restaurant the National, in Midtown East. The round table — which seats six, but they’ll give it to two on special occasions or less-busy days — is enclosed by a velvet curtain, which Zakarian had installed to “afford diners a type of privacy that’s hard to find,” especially in this bustling corner of the city. He describes the shrouded spot as great for “surprises” — and even once hid behind it, at a husband’s behest, to surprise his Food Network superfan wife. 557 Lexington Ave.; 212-715-2400

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