As an authority on aphrodisiac foods, I’m asked the same question by both professional chefs and home cooks: What do you put on the menu for a memorable Valentine’s Day romantic dinner? In this article, I’ve put together my best at home Valentine’s Day ideas for a truly romantic experience. Best of all, these tips don’t have to be saved for Valentine’s Day dinner. You can use these date night ideas all year to keep the romance alive.
The most important tip for Valentine’s meals at home
My advice is simple and perhaps a little surprising.
No single recipe or ingredient is right for every couple.
What do I mean? Well for example, oysters would always be on my romantic menu. They can be served simply, on the half shell, without the stress of cooking. And this shellfish’s delicate, briny flavor and creamy, voluptuous texture can tune the mind in for experiencing this sensual pleasure.
Best of all, nutritionally speaking, oysters deliver lean protein, perfect for giving the diner sustained energy for a long night of passion. And they’re a great source of zinc, which promotes good blood flow. And without the blood flowing at its optimal rate, matters of sexual excitement may be unachievable.
So what’s the problem with recommending oysters as the stars of your Valentine’s Day dinner menu? For starters, too many diners have allergies to these plump jewels of the sea. (Nothing kills a stay-at-home Valentine’s Day experience faster than a trip to Urgent Care.) And an even greater number of food lovers–even among the adventurous–have an aversion to the glistening flesh and slippery texture of the sensual bivalve.
What has special meaning to you both?
If what you are planning is an intimate, Valentine’s Day menu for two, think of ingredients that may have special meaning to you both. This is one of the easiest and best ways to make Valentine’s Day special. But don’t just limit it to ingredients.
Plan a whole experience from the music to the decor with things that give you shared joy. You don’t have to sit at the dining table, either. Does your lover like getting cozy in front of a fire in the living room? What about a picnic in bed?
What not to do for Valentine’s at home
Another important consideration? Do not weigh down your Valentine’s Day menu with heavy foods.
What do most of us want to do after devouring a big, succulent steak? We want to take a big nap. But that’s is not the result we are working toward with a Valentine’s Day menu! You want that satisfaction to occur after the meal, not at the dining table.
Serving sensual foods
I recommend composing dishes with more than one texture to give a variety of tactile sensations. Things like spice-rubbed, seared scallops over a creamy celery root puree garnished with toasted bread crumbs or pumpkin seeds excite the tongue with more than just flavor.
More Valentine’s Day dinner ideas
Consider skipping or limiting portions of heavy foods like beef and lamb, cream sauces, pastas and potent cocktails on your romantic home date. You’ll be better off sticking with seafood, pork, vegetarian dishes or, for something exotic, wild game.
But keep in mind that you don’t have to cook. Although cooking together can be a very romantic experience if both you and your loved one have a passion for cooking, making a fancy meal on a night when you’re supposed to devote your attention to one another can be stressful, not to mention unproductive! So it’s ok to order delivery or takeout!
Don’t forget to consider what you’re going to drink in advance of this romantic date night. Champagne makes a great starter for the meal. And it has many aphrodisiac effects, some of which you may already know and some that will probably surprise–and hopefully excite–you. Just make sure you have the bottle chilling before you’re ready to start your romantic celebration.
Also, if you and your partner both enjoy the intense, hot brew, end your meal with coffee.
Why? Because coffee is an aphrodisiac with mood-enhancing properties. Of course, it will also give you a surge of energy after the meal, which (will hopefully) inspire some serious stay-at-home Valentine’s Day fun.
Get more information on aphrodisiac foods for Valentine’s Day
If you want to learn more about the world’s most alluring aphrodisiac ingredients, check out my dictionary of aphrodisiac foods.
And if you want more romantic date recipe ideas, I recommend taking a look at my cookbooks, Fork Me, Spoon Me and Romancing the Stove. Also, be sure to take a look at my newest cookbook, the aphrodisiac dessert book Eat Cake Naked: aphrodisiac desserts to heat up your love life, co-authored by Eat Something Sexy’s in-house nutrition expert Delahna Flagg.
More at home Valentine’s Day ideas
- If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day menu to try, we have a fun suggestion for a Greek menu inspired by Eros
- Try making simple sushi together
- If you both enjoy wine, consider creating a Valentine’s Day wine tasting following the tips in this article on the Best Wines for Valentine’s Day
- Try one (or all!) of the 50 Ways to Feed Your Lover
- Lastly, discover how to use food as a love language and speak to your lover with one of these love language gift ideas
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