HOW TO DO A ROMANTIC DINNER
July 09, 2018
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.
“No matter what has happened. No matter what you’ve done. No matter what you will do. I will always love you.
I swear it.”
––Defiance by C.J. Redwine
“I wanted to tell you that wherever I am, whatever happens, I’ll always think of you, and the time we spent
together, as my happiest time. I’d do it all over again, if I had the choice. No regrets.”
––Boundless by Cynthia Hand
“And in her smile I see something more beautiful than the stars.”
––Across the Universe by Beth Revis
“It’s one thing to fall in love. It’s another to feel someone else fall in love with you, and to feel a
responsibility toward that love.”
––Every Day by David Levithan
“I love you the way a drowning man loves air. And it would destroy me to have you just a little.”
––The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
“I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things.
I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable,
and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and
I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”
––The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
“I never loved you any more than I do, right this second. And I’ll never love you any less than I do,
right this second.”
––Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
“Sometimes I can’t see myself when I’m with you. I can only just see you.”
––Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
“I am catastrophically in love with you.”
––Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
“I knew the second I met you that there was something about you I needed. Turns out it wasn’t
something about you at all. It was just you.”
––Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire