7 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 stay in for a cozy evening with your partner. 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 and wine pairings for a romantic dinner at home. We hope these help spark a little Valentine’s cooking inspiration!

The Perfect Pairing

“If you’re planning to enjoy a single bottle that night, nothing is as versatile as Champagne. My recommendation is the Laurent-Perrier Brut Rosé Champagne ($99.95), widely available at the LCBO. Typically rosé is fuller bodied than white, which makes it a bit more food friendly. Plus, it suits the occasion! If you’re looking for less expensive alternatives, the Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Rosé Brut ($32.95) or the De Chanceny Cremant de Loire Rosé Brut ($19.60) are perfect for the occasion!” – Yuuji Nagaoka, Assistant General Manager at Leña Restaurante

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, Chef de Cuisine 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

Get Your Hands Dirty

“For me it would be potato gnocchi in a nice rosé sauce. It’s pretty simple to make, and it’s a fun dish to make together with your hands. It’s basically the food equivalent to the pottery scene from Ghost!”- Bill Osborne, Chef de Cuisine at Biff’s Bistro

Keep it Simple

“The goal is to enjoy the meal together and not be cooking something really elaborate all night, so make sure to keep it simple! I’d suggest starting off the night with oysters and Champagne, then move to a simple (but delicious!) cacio e peppe spaghettini.” – Julie Marteleira, Executive Chef at Leña Restaurante

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, Jump, and Liberty Commons

Red Red Wine

“With Valentine’s Day falling in the dead of winter, bold red wines are the perfect way to warm up a cold, snowy night. I’m particularly loving the 2014 Vacqueyras ‘Les Christins’ from Famille Perrin ($24.95), one of the most renowned wine-making families in the world. This wine is brash and powerful with floral notes and layers of deep dark fruits. Being the classic Southern Rhône blend of Grenache and Syrah, the complex red fruit flavours go well with red meats, chèvre, or even chocolate-covered strawberries!” – Matt Mahoney, Assistant Manager at Biff’s Bistro