HOW TO DO A ROMANTIC DINNER
October 25, 2017
The way to a man’s (and a gal’s) heart is through the stomach! No better way to win over the object of your affection than by sharing a delicious gourmet meal and a good bottle of wine. If you really want to impress, why not lose the restaurant booking and have a Romantic Dinner at Home instead?
WHAT DO I NEED FOR A ROMANTIC NIGHT IN?
Hosting an intimate dinner date à deux does not mean taking the easy way out and ordering in a ready-made meal, but it does mean a bit of planning and preparation.
Make sure you book your date in advance – imagine pulling out all the stops, only to find out that s/he can’t make it on the night in question
Be sure to find out if there are any foods which your lovely lady or gorgeous guy cannot eat – serving shellfish if he’s allergic or carpaccio if she’s vegetarian will pretty much scupper your chances of success
Research romantic menu ideas which take into account their special requests and your culinary ability (to save time, see our menu ideas, below)
Prepare a shopping list of ingredients and décor items to decorate your table
Give dishes you’ve never attempted before a trial run before the big night
Select some appropriate mood music to play softly in the background Give yourself plenty of time – if you’re not a practised cook, best take the afternoon off to prepare!
ROMANTIC DINNER AND DESSERT IDEAS
To snag a mate, heed the golden rule to cooking a goodhome-cooked meal– peg the menu to your abilities. Making your own sushi or whipping up a lobster bisque may seem a good idea when casually flicking through the pages of a food mag or surfing the food channels on TV, but if you’re a part-time cook, ‘tis better to prepare an honest yet tasty Chicken à la King with a fresh side salad than an ambitious dish which falls short of expectations. Have a look at these yummy menu ideas,in order of increasing difficulty:
EASIEST: Tomato and Basil Pesto Bruschetta
EASY: Grilled Asparagus with Olive Oil, Lemon and Parmesan
MODERATE: Chicken Liver and Orange Pâté
INTERMEDIATE: Moules Mariniere (Steamed Mussels) with Beurre Blanc Sauce
EASIEST: Pasta Nepolitana
EASY: Sautéed Calamari with Parsley and Garlic
MODERATE: Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
INTERMEDIATE: Ostrich fillet with red wine sauce
EASIEST: Citrus-Infused Strawberries with Fresh Cream
EASY: Vanilla Ice Cream and Homemade Chocolate Sauce
MODERATE: Chocolate Mousse
WINE FOR A ROMANTIC DINNER:
Champagne cocktails are a slick and sophisticated way to break the ice on what may be a nervous encounter. Serve one (or two) on your date’s arrival and follow up with a decent bottle of wine. Finish off your meal with a digèstif (a port, cognac or grappa). Remember, food and wine pairings can make or break a meal.To find out more, read:
Wine for Dummies, Part I – White Wines
Wine for Dummies, Part II – Red Wines
Wine for Dummies, Part III – Champagne, Port and Sherry
After-Dinner Cheese and Coffee
Follow dinner and dessert with a small cheese platter and strong, black filter coffee. Drinking coffee after a meal is said to aid digestion and nibbling cheese offsets the sweetness of dessert.
Learn how to create the perfect cheese platter
HOW TO DECORATE A ROMANTIC DINNER TABLE
QUICK TIPS TO CREATE A PRETTY, WARM AND COSY FEEL:
Make use of ambient lighting or turn the dimmer switches down a tad
Use a beautiful arrangement of flowers to create a focal point
Arrange candles around the your table centrepiece
Scatter some chocolates on the table– both as decoration and to peck at
Use your best glassware, dinnerware and cutlery!
Browse through our food and entertaining ideas for more inspiration.