Romantic Ideas for Valentine’s Day Dinner at Home
Our chefs and managers share their favourite dishes and drinks for a romantic home-cooked meal for two!
While Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse for a night out on the town, sometimes it’s nice to skip the reservations and cozy up for an evening in. And although it’s tempting to just throw on Netflix and hit up UberEats, we’re all about going that extra mile to craft a delicious home-cooked meal for two – made with a little love! Here, a few of our chefs and managers share their go-to dishes for a romantic dinner at home. We hope these help spark a little Valentine’s cooking inspiration!
Ready to Shuck
“Oysters Rockefeller are a fun, sexy and simple starter than can easily be prepped ahead of time. There are plenty of variations to this recipe, but I suggest topping your oysters with a creamy Béchamel sauce with Gruyère, sautéed spinach, lemon zest, and freshly grated horseradish – et voilà! They pair really nicely with a sparkling rosé – I’m partial to the Laurent-Perrier Rosé Champagne.” – Kevin Ramasawmy, Executive Chef at Bar George
Stir the Pot
“I’d suggest a butternut squash risotto with roasted tomatoes, garlic shrimp and balsamic reduction. Risotto is a slow-cooking dish and sets a pace for a romantic, special evening at home. While the risotto cooks, you can open a bottle of white wine, take turns stirring the pot, and get ready for a wonderful dinner to come. Plus, there’s nothing more romantic than a little bit of seafood.” – Omar McLeod, Chef de Cuisine at O&B Bayview Village
Pizza My Heart
“While UberEats usually tops my list for date night (a nice big bowl of wonton soup in particular), I’m lucky enough to have a nice little pizza oven on my balcony. A simple pizza using quality ingredients is always an easy go-to. Personally, I like pesto with a nice burrata — the two make for a killer combination. Easy, straightforward, simple and delicious.” – Ron McKinlay, Executive Chef at Canoe.
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
“There is something romantic for me about a whole roasted chicken. As the chicken roasts, that amazing aroma fills the room and sets the mood. Plus, having to carve it off the bone is a great way to impress your date. I’d serve it with a Champagne mushroom cream sauce, since I figure we’d already have a bottle cracked. If you feel like splurging, why not shave some truffle over everything (and I mean everything). The best thing about this dish is that it’s simple, but you look like a rock star when you pull it off perfectly.” – John Horne, District Executive Chef at Canoe, Auberge du Pommier, Biff’s Bistro, and Maison Selby
Don’t Forget the Drinks
“Valentine’s Day calls for sparkling wine, aka bubbles. I like to reach for Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé. Pale pink in colour with red berry fruit notes, it’s a perfect match for any romantic occasion. As for a Valentine’s day cocktail, I’d recommend trying a Kir Royale. For a simple twist, add a splash of Chambord (instead of Cassis) and garnish with raspberries. Also known as a Chambord Royale, it’s an easy and impressive cocktail. You can also adjust the sweetness level to your taste with the amount of Chambord you add to the glass. Since Chambord has a base of cognac, it adds layers of complexity with subtle vanilla and oak notes. Cheers!” – Hannah Bacchus, Director of Restaurant Operations at Kindred Food + Drink, Alchemy, Braven
A Sweet Finish
“For a date night dessert I don’t want to make something that will keep me in the kitchen for hours. I’ll most likely prepare something simple yet decadent like brown butter chocolate brownies or soft dark chocolate cookies, warm from the oven with ice cream, gooey caramel and chewy hot fudge. Cookie dough can be made in advance and baked in minutes while enjoying appetizers or a main course. Brownies can be kept warm in a slow oven. The smell of warm chocolate, butter and sugar kicks the craving for indulgence into overdrive. At that point, all that’s left to do is to scoop some good quality ice cream and drizzle with sticky sauces. 1 dish, 2 spoons.” – Genelle Bachand, General Manager, Oliver & Bonacini Artisan