A list of Canada's most romantic restaurants has some local representation.

The Heartland Cafe is among the 15 Alberta establishments featured in OpenTable's 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in Canada 2022.

The list is based on over 726,000 reviews submitted by OpenTable users from Jan 1-Dec. 31, 2021.

Owner of the Heartland Cafe, Laszlo Radi, says his restaurant's placement on the list came as a surprise since romanticism wasn't top of mind when designing the place.

"I don't know if our intention was to make it romantic. We want the customer to feel at home, so we want, when you walk in, you have things to look at like pictures, flowers, plants, like a home feeling."

He feels there's always room for improvement, but he has a personal metric for gauging if the Heartland's atmosphere is sufficient.

"Every time when I sit down after work, having a glass of wine and maybe dinner, I look around and say, 'Yes, this is a restaurant where I'd like to be when I have free time or when I go out.'"

According to OpenTable's country director for Canada, Matthew Davis, there are quite a few things that can contribute to that romantic feeling.

"Some of the big ones are atmosphere, lighting, menu, and service are really important, of course, and they all contribute to a diner's perception of what is typically romantic."

Radi feels the exterior of the restaurant probably plays a big factor in the overall experience.

"I think we're very lucky, because the existing building, the church, it was a very good base to build up something because it's very unique. It was built in 1906 so it's a very old building, not so many around here."

Davis shared a few more noteworthy aspects of the list.

Of the provinces featured, Ontario tops the number of restaurants featured with 42 total (likely due to their population), with B.C. close behind, followed by Alberta.

He says 61 per cent of Alberta respondents said they associate dessert with romanticism, even more so than wine which is the norm.

"It was certainly interesting to me that Alberta was favouring dessert over wine on such a great number. As an Australian myself, I've found a unique love of Albertans because they also enjoy a drink."

Though Radi is planted firmly in the wine camp, the dessert/wine divide brought to mind a proverb from his homeland of Hungary.

"We used to say, back in my old country, 'Some love the wife of the priest, some love the priest.'"

The full list can be seen here.