I’m a huge proponent of at home date nights. That is why Austin and I finally bought a bistro table. Now we have a romantic place to entertain our date nights in. Cooking a special meal together after the kids go to bed is always a fun thing to do on our nights in.
I invited Carolyn Measly on to share with us some of her favorite French and Italian romantic dinner ideas. Here’s what she has to say-
At the beginning of a relationship, food is fun. It’s an excuse to meet up and spend time alone with one another in a quiet environment where you can chat and get to know each other’s interests, tastes, and passions. Dinner dates mean eating a whole variety of foods together.
After you get married and get into weeknight dinner routines, it can get a bit boring. That’s why coming together once a week for a romantic dinner can be very helpful! It’s a great way to bond over food: you can explore new ingredients together, cooking up new dishes.
Perhaps you’ll find something that you both really love. Here are a few continental cuisines that you should try out.
Tour De’ France
French is said to be the language of love and the cuisine is pretty romantic too! With traditional French dishes, you tend to have two extremes: casual and haute cuisine. If you fancy a nice easy dish, try ratatouille.
This homely stew is made of aubergine, courgette, and peppers in a rich, thick tomato sauce. It is warming, filling and perfect for a rainy day. Cuddle up on the sofa with a bowl each and watch some old French cinema for the perfect night in.
Alternatively, you can try out some more complex dishes. Get the evening started with charcuteries. This is essentially a board with bite size pieces of salami, ham, pate and a variety of cheeses.
For starters, soupe à l’oignon: a delicious French soup made from onions and beef stock. Mains? Coq au vin: the quintessential French dish known by all. It is a pit-roasted chicken, braised in wine, mushrooms and perhaps a little salt pork or bacon lardons. Saving the best for last, finish off with a creme brulee for dessert. Don’t forget to have the champagne chilled and the Burgundy ready to be popped.
Ah, Italian! Home to some of the world’s favorite dishes. Pasta, pizza and ice cream galore. There’s not much more you could ask for if you’re looking for a delicious, wholesome meal. Kick the evening off with nibbles like tomato and basil salad or prosciutto wrapped bread sticks. The opening course could be Fior di Tonno.
This is a mouth-watering seafood dish composed of delicate tuna slices drizzled with fresh tomato sauce and garnished with mozzarella and capers. Mains? Try making your own pizza. You can adapt the toppings to your taste, and you and your partner can have fun kneading the dough for the base and watching the whole thing come together in the oven. Dessert? Keep things light and simple with ice cream or go all out with tiramisu.