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Share your heart & meal in Manteca
Soft chandeliers and elegant dinner tables and booths enhance the romantic setting inside the popular Isadores restaurant on North Main Street in Manteca. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO


• YUKIMI:  1242 W. Lathrop Road

• ERNIE’S FOOD AND SPIRITS: 1351 N. Main Street

• ANGELANO’S: 1020 N. Main Street

• ISADORE’S: 680 N. Main Street

Manteca may not be San Francisco or New York but it does offer a smorgasbord of culinary pleasures that its 70,000+ residents can go to for a romantic dining destination.

The choices, though, may be light years away from those in the City That Never Sleeps, aka Big Apple, or in Baghdad by the Bay. And that dearth may mean no five-star, world renowned restaurant by the ocean like the Cliffhouse, or the dizzying visual feast proffered by a revolving restaurant offering a 360-degree view of San Francisco. But all those enviable ambience factors, subjectively speaking, are more than made up by some of the more subtle qualities, in the romantic sense, that anybody in the Family City can be truly proud of.

We list four of the restaurants as among the most romantic dining destinations, in part, because of their popularity during Valentine’s Day. If you happen to be a procrastinator, or one who waits for the last minute to make a reservation for a night out with the special someone in your life, you will need all the luck you can get to squeeze in a dining table at any of the following restaurants.

Classy, excellent food, great service, not to mention a good romantic ambience – i.e., quiet – are some of the things online customer reviewers list as the main reasons they enjoyed their dining experience there.

• Ernie’s Food and Spirits – 1351 N. Main Street

One extremely impressed diner had only one word to describe this restaurant tucked in the old Valley Cinema neighborhood commercial center near the North Main Street and Northgate Drive intersection. “Wow!” The restaurant, which prides itself with not only five-star quality cuisine but connoisseur-quality libations as well, has been described by an impressed diner as “likely the finest restaurant in all of San Joaquin County,” with the meals likened to “something out of New York City, San Francisco or Las Vegas” and the price “splurge worthy.” It’s a dining place to go and impress a special date.

• Isadore’s, 680 N. Main Street

Owners Isadore and Laurel Fang are the powerful culinary couple behind everything that’s praiseworthy about this dining place on North Main Street in Manteca. Isadore is the seasoned and experienced chef in the kitchen. Wife Laurel is the similarly experienced and ever-pleasant face that greets all guests at the well-appointed and elegant entrance to the dining areas that can only be described as romantic complete with soft Victorian-style lighting and Tuscany-style murals on the walls throughout all of the dining rooms including the bar.

Isadore’s is a perennial favorite dining destination for romantic couples, with reservations fully booked days before Valentine’s Day.

• Angelano’s, 1020 N. Main Street

This fine-dining restaurant offers family-style cuisine ranging from seafood, Italian, American, Greek and vegetarian cuisine. Its quiet ambience combined with its antique décor that border the walls above the cozy dining booths enhance the pleasant dining experience. Subdued lighting heightens the romantic atmosphere throughout.

• Yukimi, 1242 W. Lathrop Road

Located in the Raley’s Shopping Center at the corner of North Union and Lathrop Road, Yukimi has one thing that separates it from all of the above. An impressively outfitted chef cooks the food in front of you. Combine that with a generous sprinkling of humor courtesy of the chef, plus the fiery volcanic visual effect that ushers in the main cooking show – that’s how the onion that is part of the vegetable dishis cooked – and you have an evening to remember with that special someone on Valentine’s Day.