Valentine’s Day is arguably the most expensive night of the whole year to dine out—and reservations can book up for the best restaurants months in advance. If you haven’t lined up plans for this year, make the pro move to stay in and host your own romantic dinner for two. On the menu? Steak and other classic French bistro fare. Keep reading for our recipe suggestions.
To Start: Champagne or Sparkling Wine
It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without some bubbly, so don’t forget the Champagne or sparkling wine (we recommend something dry). Keep it in an ice bucket at the table, so your meal doesn’t have to be interrupted by trips to make refills.
First Course: Lyonnaise Salad
Begin your classic bistro meal with a classic French salad, salade frisée aux lardons. The combination of weightless, slightly bitter frisée, creamy poached egg and flavorful, rich pork belly bits is the perfect way to whet an appetite.
Main Course: Steak Frites
If there’s one iconic French bistro meal, it’s steak and fries. Our lightened-up recipe calls for an indoor grill and an air fryer, but you could make the dish in a pan or traditional grill. (If you don’t have an air fryer, try our recipe for traditional pommes frites instead.) Serve a bottle of Beaujolais or Cotes du Rhone alongside, and don’t forget aioli for dipping.
For Dessert: Chocolate Pear Tartlets
Close out the meal with a pretty pear and chocolate tart. You can either make them in 3-inch tartlet pans, or larger, 9-inch tarts. Serve glasses of port or dessert wine to complement the dish.
Still on the hunt for a thoughtful present? Check out our Valentine’s Day gift picks for more ideas.