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Old 08-01-2011, 02:57 PM   #1
Master Chef
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
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Romantic Meals

I really don't know where to put this. But quite often we get requests from young people wanting to plan a meal to woo someone.

What are your stories about romantic meals prepared by or for you?

What restaurant meals were the most romantic?


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Old 08-01-2011, 03:15 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
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For me a few stand out. Most are with my husband (long before he was!).

He took me to brunches and dinners in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. These were places I could never afford to go to myself, but it wasn't about the money. It was the atmosphere.

So I tried to pay him back, more or less, by making him dinner for Christmas Eve. Now, mind you, we really weren't that serious at that point. I just knew I couldn't afford the places he took me, and I was sure that it wasn't exactly within his budget.

So I bought a duck. I'd never cooked a duck. For that matter, now that I think of it, I'm not sure I even ever ate duck. I made it up as I went along. For some reason I just decided that was fancy, and I was going to do it. I bought red wine to use in the marinade, in spite of the fact that at the time I only drank white wine and no clue as to what I was buying, and Virginia had weird alcohol purchasing laws at the time. But I made a marinade of wine, onions, garlic.

I bought an avocado and some shrimp. Again, huge bucks for me. That, at least, was a huge success, marinaded shrimp in avocado halves. I really do not remember how I prepared them, but they were very pricey for my budget and I was thrilled.

But the duck? When I pulled it out of the marinade, it was a virulent shade of purple. When my date arrived, I was in tears. No way was that edible (although I bravely put it in the oven). Then, I didn't know that duck was so friggin' fatty that the apartment was literally smoking. My boyfriend arrived with me in tears.

In fact, the duck was perfectly fine. I don't remember what I made for sides (the shrimp in avocado halves was the appetizer, so I must have had a salad and starch, and maybe a desert). After baking, you couldn't tell the duck had looked so hideous going in.

My now husband arrived for the dinner to find his girl-friend in tears.

He married me anyway.

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Old 08-06-2011, 07:08 AM   #3
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For the hubby and I, romantic meals involve one thing, time set aside with no distractions for just us. Honestly, you can make just about any meal romantic so long as the focus is on spending time together and enjoying each others company. Atmosphere can be a big help with this. Nice scenery, seclusion or the ability to get lost in a crowd and not be noticed all work well. Anywhere that friends frequent is probably not going to work well because you may run into people you know who are going to want to visit and disrupt the meal. I think personal touches and effort also go a long way toward making something romantic. Fancy restaurants are romantic because they tend to be pricey and allow couples an appropriate atmosphere. The cost is a financial effort. However if you know your date's/SO's favorite food is mac and cheese and you know a place that has the absolute best mac and cheese ever for take out, order the take out, find a park, bring a pretty garnish to put on top and that can be just as romantic as the fancy restaurant.

As for specific meals that I've done that were romantic, I can think of two. One was an anniversary dinner that I did when the hubby and I hit the 5 year mark. I made a nice meal with some of his favorite foods, lit candles in the house and created a path from the front door to the kitchen with decorations/mementos that sort of chronicled how we ended up together. Like I put a menu from the restaurant we ate at on our first date on the front door, a glass of water with a red hotwheels car in it (long story but a big turning point for us was when he drowned his car while we were out for a drive) and other little things that represented key moments in our time together. I set this up while he was at work and had it ready for him when he got home. I turned off the phones, hid the power cords to the computers and the remote to the tv and made sure to lock the door once he was inside. No interruptions, no distractions, just the two of us talking and reminiscing about our journey together.

The other main one that I remember was completely at random. I just decided one night that we needed time together so I got foods that I knew he'd like, prepared them and surprised him with them when he got home. It was another night where I turned off the phones and removed all distractions. We spent the night just talking and relaxing and enjoying being with each other.

We've had lots of little romantic outings also. He'd pick me up from the college campus for a lunch break and have a mini picnic packed. We'd go to a park and eat and talk and then he'd take me back to the campus. We even made camping romantic by picking a secluded spot on a lake and bringing steaks to cook over the fire. We set up candles, just the plain little camp ones, on the picnic table and used "fancy" paper plates and clear plastic dinnerware.

It really doesn't take a lot to be romantic, you just have to want to do something nice for the other person and make it about being with them.
Just because something has a duck bill doesn't mean it's a platypus. It might just be a duck.
Roger Miller: You can't roller skate in a buffalo heard, but you can be happy if you've a mind to.
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:27 AM   #4
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
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Our most romantic meals were memorable not for the food but for the connection we shared as a couple. There have been picnics, expensive restaurant meals and home cooked meals. My only consistent memory of all these occasions, is that I need to remember to eat lightly or the most "romantic" part of the evening ends up being rather delayed!
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
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