Dinner Ideas for a Romantic Dinner for Two

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Chef Laura Frankel
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How to have a romantic dinner for two:

Whether you are celebrating an occasion or just being together, nothing says I Love You like a meal just for two. Going out for date night is great, but staying home and creating an intimate dinner is a loving and intimate gesture. Here are our suggestions for telling your special someone how much you care.

  • Stay home date night dinner needs to be fun and not fussy. Skip the hustle and make this night special. Wear comfy clothes, play great music, light some candles and put away the sippy cups.
  • Plan ahead and prepare as much as possible before you can, in other words, MISE EN PLACE! (everything in place)

The French know a thing or 2 about love because they aren’t running around last minute, chopping onions, measuring flour and plotzing! Measure and pre-chop your ingredients. Then, when you are cooking together or for your special someone, you are ready to go.

  • Keep the meal simple, but elegant. A perfectly cooked steak or piece of fish speaks volumes with flavor and simplicity. Overly complex dishes take too much attention from the point of the evening, which is celebrating you and your love. Many people confuse “overly complicated” with “good”. Don’t get me wrong, complicated has its place, but not when you are trying to stare into each other’s eyes.
  • Eat the meal off a platter, or better yet, right out of the pan! There is nothing fun about doing dishes, so keep clean-up to a minimum. Build salads right on the salad plates. Skip the salad bowl! A steak served right out of the pan means less time cleaning up and more time romancing.
  • Keep the meal on the lighter side. Eat a light salad or appetizer, a substantial entree and decadent but small dessert. A heavy meal will put you to sleep before the dessert is even served!
  • No need to blow the budget. Play the HIGH/LOW game with food. (Chefs do this all the time). Buy expensive mushrooms (HIGH) and serve them with potatoes (LOW). Another example is; pricey chocolate (HIGH) served with leftover challah French toast (LOW).
  • Put a little love into your food. Pull out the good sea salt, take your time to sear the meat/fish or chicken. The details are not just details. They are EVERYTHING!
  • Garnish, garnish, garnish! You eat with your eyes first. A sprinkle of finely chopped parsley adds flavor and an herbal quality to the food, but it also brightens an otherwise dark piece of food. Crispy shallots add a savory, onion flavor and crunchy texture. A red wine reduction adds flavor, moisture and, if it is served piping hot, will help keep your food hot.
  • Keep your expectations reasonable. Unless you are a chef, things may not turn out the way you hope they will. Be prepared to enjoy the time cooking the meal and most all companionship, no matter how dinner turns out. Now, go forth and romance that stove!

Here is my menu recommendation:

CITRUS SALAD WITH BABY SPINACH AND PISTACHIOS

Citrus Salad with Spinach and Fennel

Fresh, light and easy to bring together, perfect for the season. 

PERFECT BISTRO STEAK

Perfect French Bistro Style Steak

Master this simple technique and you will love eating steak at home. 

BOOZY CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING

Boozy Make Ahead Chocolate Bread Pudding

Finish the meal with this decadent prep ahead dessert you can eat right out of the dish together.