Skip the crowded restaurants and pricey prix fixe menus on Valentine’s Day and delight in a home-cooked meal together with your sweetheart. This menu rivals any fancy restaurant but is entirely doable at home. Pop open a bottle of bubbly, then spend the evening preparing it together—it’s a fun (not to mention romantic) way to celebrate.
A sparkling aperitif is a must for Valentine’s Day. We love this rosy raspberry Champagne cocktail, made from fresh raspberries macerated in crème de cassis and bathed in chilled Champagne. Pour one for each of you, toast to a romantic night, and sip while you cook.
For your first course, prepare this roasted beet salad with peppery watercress, creamy goat cheese and crunchy walnuts for a mix of textures and colors. Then, savor steak, topped with a rich but simple herb butter and served alongside crispy frites. For something a little bit green, sauteed spinach is the perfect accompaniments.
Top off the luxurious meal with the official flavor of Valentine’s Day: chocolate! These soft chocolate mini cakes have a deep chocolate flavor that’s not too sweet; their tops are puffed and dry, while the center is warm, molten and impossibly silky.
The fun of this meal is cooking it together, so there’s no need to work ahead. Still, here’s how you can time it to make the most of the occasion.
First things first: mix your cocktails! Then roast the beets, since they will take some time. While they’re cooking, you can set the table and slice the potatoes for the main event. You can also assemble the rest of the salad and prep the chocolate cakes in the ramekins so they are ready to go in the oven. Finally, sear the steak. As it rests, make the pan sauce, fry the potatoes and saute the garlic. Serve everything onto two plates, and enjoy! Bake the chocolate cakes as you eat the main course.
With dinner, drink a Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux wine that will complement a hearty steak. Need a recommendation? We like this affordable Bordeaux from the Williams-Sonoma Wine Shop.
You don’t need a fancy table to create a beautiful setting. Light several small votive candles and arrange them down the center of your table and around the dining room for ambiance.
Surprise your special someone by tucking a personal note (written on the back of one of our punny Valentines, perhaps?) somewhere unexpected—in the folds of a napkin or under a wineglass.
Play music that has sentimental meaning for the two of you. Start off the evening with your song, or create a custom playlist to listen to during dinner. Happy Valentine’s Day!