Valentine's Day at home = better than eating out?
What can you do at home to make Valentine's day a better experience than any restaurant could ever give? Can it be done?
Set the scene, tell me what's for eats... and what creative ideas make it special. :)
Eating out on Valentine's Day has rarely been a good experience for me. The place is always too crowded, the waitstaff and kitchen is overwhelmed and the customers expect too much. It is a fact that many restaurants add extra tables just to make more money on that one day. Give me a nice home cooked meal and I'm happy.
It is rare in deed to find a restaurant that offers the optimal intimacy of a romantic Valentines Day dinner that you can achieve with a home cooked meal. If you're treating your favorite lady to an evening out so she doesn't have to cook, that's certainly worth considering. But if you're the cook, and you want to offer your "Valentine" something special from the kitchen, by all means prepare a meal yourself.
You could begin with a simple assortment of thinly sliced fresh fruit, some coarsely chopped or whole nut pieces, slices of assorted fresh cheeses, etc. Starter drinks might be something like a Manhattan or Rob Roy; serve a suitable wine with dinner.
Dinner menu might include a succulent new york strip (beef loin roast) with fresh steamed asparagus with a hollandaise sauce or oven roasted asparagus with a Balsamic vinegar and butter sauce. I might prepare Basmati rice as a starch with that meal, perhaps with herb butter.
Dessert? Chocolate dipped strawberries with shortbread cookies and coffee.
After dinner drink - a good Spanish Port wine or perhaps a King Alphonse.
I agree with escondido that restaurants are too commercial on holidays, especially this one. Is it a date? A long-married couple? Are kids involved?
A theme in the table setting makes the mood festive. For example, old-fashioned paper doilies as placemats and flowers on the table and some background music shows effort. If romantic vibes are important I would make the food delicious but simple and on the light side. Nobody feels romantic if they have heartburn! Only you know what your significant other likes to eat and drink. Mine would like seafood. I would love a simple protein with a baked potato. I would def have some chocolate element in the dessert.
Valentine's Day is a "stay home" no brainer like NYE imo.
I normally order take out that will keep for a few hours. I pick it up in the mid afternoon when the places are not busy. This year, I'm leaning towards Indian / Pakistani. Normally, I'll do sushi from a stellar place being sure to order things that will hold up fine for a few hours.