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Jun 17, 2010 12:31 PM

Seduction dinner, ladies?


I've reconnected with a gal who I knew years ago, when I was married and she single. I'm now single, she's coming for dinner-how does this sound? (We met for drinks recently).

with drinks
Marcona almonds, mixed olives, sliced sopressatta from my local guy

first course
Creamy gazpacho (new Cooks Illustrated recipe) with chopped shrimp garnished with toast points with a schmear of pesto

crabcakes on field greens, celeri remoulade, crispy potatoes

cold zabaglione over raspberries in a gratin dish, then bruleed.

  1. Actually that sounds very, very good! Great inspiration!

    1. Well, I'm seduced. It all sounds wonderful.

      1. I'd be less than thrilled with the gazpacho, I can't eat tomatoes. The rest sounds absolutely fantastic though!

        17 Replies
        1. re: bluemoon4515

          I agree on the gazpacho, as I don't care much for it. But now a good dill pickle soup - yum! Otherwise, what time do we eat?

          1. re: boyzoma

            Dill pickle soup being romantic??? I was going for salty first, to spur the appetite and to help the Negroni go down, then something light for the first course, then who doesn't like crab cakes? I love capers in celeri remoulade, she can pick around the potatoes, and bruleed raspberry zabaglione will put her over the top.

            I like being inventive; last summer at a farmers market I chatted with a gal over zucchini blossoms. She grabbed a paper bag and scribbled her name and phone number on it. We spoke and for the first dinner I cooked her I did Marcella Hazan's recipe of veal, asparagus, fontina with marsala in parchment paper (think paper bag).

            1. re: johnlockedema

              Gotta love it! You must have the "gift" of gab. And I love marsala (especially in sauteed mushrooms) and that reminds me to make some veal marsala and/or chicken marsala soon. As for the soup, my DH and I used to have wonderfully romantic dinners at the Trianon restaurant where Dill Pickle soup was served first.


              1. re: johnlockedema

                I hope she got the papillote/paper bag thing, that's a very nice touch.

                1. re: buttertart

                  I had written her number on the outside of the parchment paper bag, she couldn't miss it!

                    1. re: johnlockedema

                      PS whatever way you go, don't bring Locke into the conversation. Ladies who love discussing Locke are rather thin on the ground in my experience. Worthy of course but...<<yawn>>> I think it's time for me to go...

                      1. re: buttertart

                        Unless it's John Locke from Lost. I don't mind discussing him one bit.

                        1. re: small h

                          Oh silly me, I wasn't thinking nowadays, I never watched the show.

                          1. re: buttertart

                            I once had a girlfriend who was into Hobbes and sidewinder chimichurri. A real pistol, that girl.

                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                              Locke and Hobbes, no. Calvin and Hobbes yes!

                        2. re: buttertart

                          John Locke? This is a first date. Careful for that "Invisible Hand."

                          Hobbe's Leviathan however conjures up a whole different image. He/She/They will eat anything. Your culinary problem is solved.

                          1. re: FoodFuser

                            Excellent points, both. It seems the John Locke in question may not be the one we have in mind.

                            1. re: FoodFuser

                              The date with a Hobbesian, however, could easily turn out to be short, nasty and brutish.

                  1. Gazpacho not so much. But I'd put out for the rest. ;-)

                    17 Replies
                    1. re: mcf

                      Atta girl, mcf. Oh, and the crystal is Baccarat Nancy, the china is Ceralene Festivities, and the silver is Tiffany Audubon.

                      1. re: johnlockedema

                        Actually John - Keep the gazpacho - It's so perfect this time of year. I'm not saying I'd put out but you're definitely a keeper (especially in the kitchen). dunno much about china and crystal so I'll trust your word on that.

                        1. re: johnlockedema

                          Could you at least lose the crystal, china and silver for the first date? That's scarier than having it at home IMO. Screams VERY SPECIAL OCCASION. I'm 63 but that would give me the shivers. He and I and the good stuff. No, no, no :)

                          1. re: c oliver

                            I know her well enough to know she'll like it, and she's been asking me to cook for her all summer.

                            1. re: johnlockedema

                              Ah. Well. Not trying to sound snarky, but if you know so much about her tastes, why bother asking for advice about the dinner?

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  Well, I've gotten some nice suggestions-I didn't think about sopressatta being too garlicky-point well taken. Champagne (rose or full bodied brut), served through the meal-point well taken. Roxy Music background music-point well taken. What I haven't asked for is relationship advice, which some want to comment on. I can handle that end just fine, this ain't my first rodeo!

                                  1. re: johnlockedema

                                    If you think menu and tablesetting advice is relationship advice, well, I'm just shocked. These types of things are regularly discussed on CH. I have ethical issues with rodeos so don't know what you're alluding to.

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      c oliver, you were the one who sounded like you'd be creeped out by a first date at someone's home AND even more if it was served on fine china, crystal, and silverware. Isn't that you offering relationship advice?

                                      I never asked for feedback other on what I'm serving. and I'm grateful for the menu feedback I've received from fellow chowhounders.

                                      1. re: johnlockedema

                                        I'm not trying to be argumentative. There are people who have posted here on CH that they keep the TV on during dinner parties, that they use or don't use cloth napkins, all manner of things of that sort. If this post had been on the Home Cooking board, it would have narrowed its focus to the menu. Being on GC opened it up to other comments. Just like having the boss or the in-laws over for dinner, a "seduction dinner" has nuances that go beyond the menu. Not relationship advice in the least. I and a few others just felt that you could use a little nudge to the more casual, middle of the road. Obviously not your style. Enough said.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                lol! It scares me too in a way, but to me it screams "trying to show the gal how weathly I am". I agree.

                                1. re: mcel215

                                  We share similar socio-economic levels, 'trying to show the gal how wealthy I am' simply doesn't enter into it. We 'get' each other, and I'm ok if there are a few Chowhounders that I wouldn't 'get' either.

                                  1. re: johnlockedema

                                    I have been on a lot of first dates in my time. I have also dated people who have the finest crystal, china and 'similar socio-ecomonic' level. I am simply stating that on a first date, I wouldn't want such a formal dinner date. It would appear (besides my first statement), much too formal to have fun and relax.
                                    And you are right, JMO.

                                    1. re: mcel215

                                      Again, I'm not asking for advice how to frame the date, I know my friend well enough to know she'll love it. If that's not your thing, well, it's not your thing. Doesn't mean it can't be someone elses thing.

                                      1. re: johnlockedema

                                        Yes, but you added the element of fine china and crystal into your post, therefore I gave feedback on it.

                                        And I absolutely love exquisite table settings, just not on the first date.

                                        I like your menu, minus the sopresatta, which you have removed.

                                      2. re: mcel215

                                        Not anything like a first date if she is asking to be dinner guest. Can be romantic if he brushes the crystal and china off the table and gets right to it.

                                        1. re: phantomdoc

                                          If they have chemistry, then they have romance. From what the OP has said thus far, I think he has a good sense of things.

                                          Beautiful food deserves a beautiful setting, and an appreciative companion. The Op seems assured of the latter.

                            2. Make sure she eats seafood. I personally love gazpacho and done correctly I'd totally swoon but it is a very polarizing food. People either love it or hate it.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: melpy

                                Ditto re: be sure she eats seafood (this coming from one woman who doesn't). And while I love gazpacho, if the goal is in fact seduction I might think twice about serving a dish thet typically involves large quantities of uncooked garlic and onions . . . Dessert sounds fabulous btw.

                                1. re: cookie monster

                                  Good call! Women can be uncomfortable if they don't think they have stellar breathe. Raw onions are one to avoid!