Restaurants are packed on Valentine’s Day, so I think it’s one of the best evenings of the year to dim the lights, put on some soft music and enjoy a special dinner at home. Plan your menu a day or two in advance, keep it relatively simple, and it’s bound to be an evening to savor.
Start with a Pink Cocktail
A bubbly drink along with a romantic toast is a classic way to begin your celebration. You can make up a batch of sparkling Apple-Pomegranate Fizz opens in a new tab in just a few minutes, and you can even make it non-alcoholic if you like. Pair it with a simple appetizer like shrimp cocktail or cheese and crackers and your meal will be off to a great start.
Herb-Roasted Lobster and Steak opens in a new tabMake the Main Course Memorable
Spend some time choosing a real show stopper for your entrée, but make sure it’s not so complicated that you’ll be stuck all night in the kitchen. Looking for indulgence? If surf-and-turf is your idea of a great meal, then a dish like Herb-Roasted Lobster and Steak opens in a new tab is the way to go, and the recipe can easily be halved to serve just two. For a playful meal, consider a shared entrée like this Romantic Rice Bowl opens in a new tab — you can feed each other with chopsticks, and most of the chopping and prep can be done in advance.
Lighter Can Be Romantic Too
Who says rich, decadent foods are the only ones that make our hearts beat faster? This outrageously healthful Beet Hummus opens in a new tab is wonderful served with unusual dipping veggies like fennel sticks, daikon rounds and hot-pink radishes. Or if your idea of a sensual meal is a luscious salad, try this beautiful Berry Goat Cheese Salad opens in a new tab.
Leave Time to Relax
Choose at least one or two dishes that can be prepared ahead so you can spend more time at the table and less in the kitchen. Look for side dishes that you can make a day in advance, or consider a soup course; this elegant Pea and Asparagus Soup opens in a new tab requires just a few minutes of reheating and a quick garnish. And remember that you don’t have to make everything yourself if you don’t want to; buying a few prepared items is great idea if it frees you up for fun!
Chocolate-Dipped Figs with Almonds opens in a new tabCelebrate Dessert
If romance is synonymous with chocolate for you, indulge in deliciously easy-to-make Chocolate-Dipped Figs with Almonds opens in a new tab, or pull out all the stops with a decadent cake like Raspberry and Cocoa Linzer Torte. opens in a new tab Or take it easy and put out a platter of some delicious seasonal fruits to share together—it’ll make an idyllic finish as well.
What’s your menu romance?