Whether you’re celebrating with your significant other for the first time or the twentieth, you’re probably already trying to come up with some winning Valentine’s Day dinner ideas. Not every couple wants to battle the masses for reservations at the trendiest restaurant in town. The truth is you can have a special and romantic evening right in your own home.
There’s a lot to be said for not having to book a babysitter or pay for an expensive prix fixe menu. But Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be just another home-cooked dinner night. You should always step it up a notch by making the atmosphere and food as romantic as possible. Here are some tips for creating a romantic Valentine’s dinner at home.
Choose Your Location
Your first step will be deciding where in your home you are going to have the meal. Sure, you can choose the dining room table. But there are other options. For example, you can set up an indoor picnic with a nice blanket, picnic basket, and some pillows for comfort.
Another idea is to set up a small folding table somewhere in your home, such as in front of the fireplace or window. Cover it with a nice tablecloth, and you have the makings of a restaurant-worthy seating area.
Presenting Your Dinner
Once you’ve chosen a location, you’ll want to make it look amazing. Put out your special dishes and tableware that only come out for special occasions. Grab some fresh flowers from your garden or the grocery store to use as a centerpiece. Don’t forget your favorite glassware for those special drinks. Finally, if you’re cooking a fancy meal, you can even create a print-out of a personalized menu to lie on the plates and commemorate your meal.
Romantic Dinner Drinks
It’s common to plan some drinks to go along with your romantic dinner date. Wine and champagne are classic Valentine’s Day drinks that will set the mood. You can also choose alcohol-free versions and extra garnishes, such as strawberries or raspberries, to make your drinks seem more luxurious. You can also try your hand at mixing your own cocktails or mocktails to complement your meal.
When you’re celebrating a special day like Valentine’s Day, you should give some thought to your ingredients. Consider the concept of “umami,” which is Japanese for a “pleasant, savory taste.” Most people are fond of these flavors, so it makes sense to include them in a special meal. Foods that include them are things like beef, pork, chicken, and seafood. Others include aged cheeses, mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and asparagus.
Certain foods are also considered aphrodisiacs, so you might want to explore a few of these. While science may not fully back up the idea of food influencing feelings, there’s always the power of suggestion. Foods included on this list include lobster, figs, oysters, okra, and even red wine.
Cooking a Meal Together
Smithsonian Magazine reports that creative projects, like baking and cooking, are mood-lifting and inspire positivity. Cooking together is a great way to inspire communication and spend some quality time creating something you’ll both enjoy.
To make this activity successful and not stressful, it’s a good idea to divide up the responsibilities. After 30 minutes or so, you might want to switch roles to keep it interesting.
Fun Valentine’s Activities
If you and your partner enjoy games, think about having a blindfolded taste test as part of your meal. You can do this with drinks, different cheeses, desserts, or just about anything. One partner will wear a blindfold as they taste items prepared by others and try to guess their names or ingredients.
Another trend in dining that you both might find a lot of fun is to cook part of your meal at the table. For example, who doesn’t love cheese or chocolate fondue? Another option is to place a small girl or hot stone in the center of your table that can cook meat or vegetables.
Delicious Valentine’s Desserts
Finally, even if you typically skip dessert, this is a night you might want to indulge. You can grab a pre-made fancy dessert from your local bakery. Or, you can whip something up at home, such as brownies or a chocolate cake.
Get Everything You Need for Your Romantic Valentine’s Dinner at Nick’s of Calvert
No matter which of these romantic Valentine’s Day dinner suggestions you decide to incorporate into your plans, you’re going to need some supplies. Nick’s of Calvert has everything you could possibly need, from specialty meats and cheeses to the freshest produce. Our full service meat counter is the centerpiece of our store. We offer many pre-made items to supplement your meal and sell a full selection of beer, wine, and liquor. Visit our location today or call us at (410) 414-7105 with any questions.