Instead of making reservations at an expensive restaurant this Valentine’s Day, impress your date with a memorable, private dining experience at home.
Feel free to follow the age-old tradition of preparing a four course meal – no one’s stopping you! But we suggest you think outside the candlelight and try one of these four unique ideas with that special food lover in your life.
Food and Beverage Pairing
Set up a private pairing for two using this guide for wine and this guide for beer. Your local spirits shop can help direct you to some of the best beverage options to pair with your favorite meats, preserved goods and cheeses.
Build Your Own Meal – Together
Get creative with a gourmet build-your-own food bar featuring homemade pork belly sushi or any of these non-traditional taco recipes. Preparing your meal together is romantic and fun, especially if it’s with cuisine you’ve never made before.
Have an Indoor Picnic
Push your coffee table aside, throw some thick blankets and pillows on the floor and recreate a summertime picnic indoors! This recipe list from The Gourmet Traveler has a little something for everyone. Be sure to pack your food in a wicker basket, gather all the to-go utensils you need and spread some leaves or flower petals on the floor for that extra touch.
Travel to Another Country
Take a trip around the world and customize your evening to an ethnic style of cuisine. Love Chinese? Set up your dining room with hues of red, paper lanterns and live bamboo, then serve a variety of these recipes from Serious Eats. Love Mexican? Put on some Latin American music, use a Mexican blanket for your table cloth and choose some of these authentic recipes from Saveur.
Keep in mind that you don’t need a date to enjoy these ideas on Valentine’s Day, or any day! We hope you have a wonderful meal with whoever you choose, whether that be a group of close friends or a lover.