Heading out for date night is always a fun and exciting way to get to know someone better, but planning a romantic dinner at home can take intimacy to the next level, as long as it is not the first date. These days we all seem to have limited options for date nights out. With a thoughtfully prepared menu, your favorite music, and no travel time involved, you will have more time to spend with each other. Here is how you can plan a romantic dinner at home in just a few simple steps:
Step #1: Make Sure Your Home is Clean and Organized
When your date comes to your home for the first time, make sure your living room and bathroom are clean and organized. You want to make sure your home looks great and is reflective of your personality. I suggest doing this the night before so you can focus on cooking and looking beautiful on the day of your date. You do not want to be stressing out and cleaning until last minute on date night. You would then be too tired to be good and joyful company. Once your home is clean, you can move onto finalizing your plans for a romantic night.
Step #2: Plan Your Menu
If you have not broken bread together much, you first want to find out if your date is allergic to anything or does not like any type of food.
You will want to select your beverages based on the menu you will select. Red or white wine, beer, vodka, sodas, select juices, still and sparkling water are all nice to have on hand. If you know your date cannot live without Diet Coke or a certain type of wine, it might be nice to go the extra mile and pick some of that up. If you normally go out to a restaurant to have something special, replicating that same treat can also create a romantic atmosphere by showing how much you care for your date. If you want to make it even fancier, you can also make cocktails to share. My personal favorites are Margaritas and Aperol Spritz.
While you enjoy your drinks, you will also want to sample an appetizer or two. After all, the best dinners have dainty appetizers to snack on while sipping your drink. Your appetizers set the tone for your main course, so make your selections accordingly. To reduce the preparation time, select something simple. Some of my favorites (depending on the main course) are cheese/grape appetizers, antipasto platter or endive salad with walnuts, pears, and gorgonzola.
Choosing your main course may take a little bit of thought depending on who you are sharing the meal with. It should be a dish you would both enjoy. Balsamic roasted chicken, panko-crusted salmon, filet mignon, and seafood pasta are just a few of my favorites. The oven is your best friend when it comes to the main course. Anything you can put in the oven and forget about for 45 minutes to an hour would be a plus. While you may be drawn to a luxury or elegant meal, it is better to keep it somewhat simplistic. Save your go-getter attitude for the dessert course!“
“When you set the table, make sure to have the drinks, pitcher of cold water, and ice ready to go. Use one of those folding side tables or bar carts if you do not have a server by your dining room table. Running back and forth to the kitchen during dinner is no fun. You also want to make sure you have your table set up, so you minimize the amount of times you get up.” Mel
Preparing a luxury dessert may be up your alley. If it is, go for it! You can always make it the day before and save it (if you can resist!), or you can dig that ice cream out of the freezer with all your favorite toppings. It’s up to you! And when cooking gets the best of you, always have a backup plan. A few amazing take-out restaurants can save the day if you’re not a confident cook.
Step #3: Set the Mood
When you’re eating at home, you want to make it feel like an occasion. Location, decorations, and dishes, and dress can help with this.
If you typically eat on the couch, head up to your rooftop patio, or use your nice dining room table that’s normally reserved for holidays. This alone will help it feel special and romantic. The setting of your date will help make the atmosphere more elegant.
Decorations and Dishes
You can also add exceptional touches like nice dishes or romantic decorations. If you have crystal glasses or the cloth napkins that rarely get used, these can be a wonderful way to dress up a romantic dinner. Flowers, candles, and soft music can also help set the scene. If you find you’re lacking “special” dishes or decorations, make your own! Create place cards from any pretty paper you have around the house and use a phone to play soft music. It is the thought that counts.
Finally, dress up! This may feel like a hassle at first, but as soon as you’re wearing dinner attire, you’ll love it because it makes the event both fun and fancy. Just make sure you and your partner are clear on this, so you both match and feel comfortable with the dress code.
Step #4: Enjoy
Lastly, sit back and enjoy. This is the time to take advantage of the romantic setting you created together. It may not be your usual date, but you’re now in a setting that you’re comfortable in. You’re eating food specially prepared, and if anything goes wrong, it’s a bonding experience you can laugh about in the future. Be sure to silence all phones and avoid unnecessary distractions. Time together is what it’s all about!