With Valentine’s Day coming up many couples are planning date nights. However, there is no need to make reservations, it’s easy to plan a romantic dinner at home! Save the time and hassle of going out by planning the perfect evening in with these tips and recipe ideas for a romantic meal you will never forget!
Plan your romantic dinner on a day that isn’t likely to get interrupted by work or other outside commitments. If you have children, see if a relative can keep them that evening or even hire a babysitter to watch them to ensure your dinner isn’t interrupted.
The first step in planning a romantic meal at home is choosing the cuisine to prepare. Does your significant other enjoy Italian food? Would you like to try something more exotic like Thai or Filipino cuisine? Think about what your other half has enjoyed eating in the past for inspiration. Decide on your cuisine and then narrow down menu options more specifically. Having a cohesive cuisine theme can help you decide on appetizers and desserts as well.
Foods to Avoid
Choose foods that aren’t heavy on onions or garlic so there’s no bad breath to contend with. Also, opt for foods that aren’t a pain to clean up after, so that your evening after your romantic dinner isn’t spent doing dishes. If you are trying a new recipe, either give it a test run beforehand or have a backup plan like ordering takeout in case things don’t go as expected.
Choose appetizers such as salad or simple finger foods. If preparing a salad, be sure that the lettuce and other ingredients are finely chopped so they are easy to eat. Like stated above, avoid strongly flavored salad dressings such as Caesar. Keep finger foods simple and easy to eat such as bite-size skewers of cheese and fruit. Charcuteries boards with various cheeses, fruit, and cured meats are another great option for a romantic meal at home.
Finish off your romantic dinner at home with a decadent dessert. Don’t opt for very heavy sweets that will make you feel tired and sluggish, instead choose a lighter option such as a rich chocolate mousse or fruit tart.
Pairing wine with dinner definitely makes the evening feel more romantic. Choose a special wine to share, and don’t be afraid to opt for multiple varieties to go along with each course. Wines should proceed from dry to sweet as the meal goes on. Consider finishing the evening with a small glass of port or other fortified wine as a sophisticated option. If cocktails are more your speed, a pre-dinner drink can be followed by after dinner Scotch.
A romantic dinner at home isn’t just about the food! Create an amorous atmosphere to match by dimming the lights and pulling out those candles. Avoid heavily scented candles so the smell doesn’t interfere with the flavors of dinner. Set soft music playing in the background for added romance. Be sure the house is clean beforehand as well. Fresh flowers on the table are another easy way to give the look of a fine dining restaurant inexpensively, along with setting the table with cloth napkins and nice plates. You can even break out the china and silver! It’s also helpful to dress up just as you would for a dinner out on the town. Make the night special with these easy finishing touches.
It’s easy to see that planning a romantic dinner at home is a great alternative to going out to a restaurant! Start planning your romantic meal now. For more dining inspiration, check out these International Must-Try Foods Off Your Bucket List.