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Technique

11 Romantic Dinner Ideas for Two

Nothing cheesy about this menu—except for the eggplant parm.

By Rachel Baron
Feb 12, 2024
Diners enjoy a meal of steak and salad with a glass of red wine on an elegantly set table.
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Scrambling for last-minute reservations doesn’t have to be the norm for Valentine’s Day—you can craft a perfectly romantic dinner for two right in your own kitchen. Here are some of our favorite special-occasion mains and desserts for you to choose from, perfect for sharing—whether that’s with your partner, your roommate, or your best friend.

Mexican-Style Steak Au Poivre with Chipotle Cream Sauce

James Beard Award-winning Chef Edgar Rico combined his classic French culinary training with the flavors of his Austin, Texas restaurant, Nixta Taqueria, to give a classic French dish—Steak Au Poivre, or pepper steak—his own richly flavorful spin. The rich pan sauce swaps out the traditional cognac for mezcal, and features the addition of smoky and spicy chipotle chiles.

Skillet Roasted Chicken With Hen of the Woods, Leeks, and Pan Sauce

There’s a lot to love about this crispy roast chicken from food stylist and cookbook author Melina Hammer—not least of which is the fact that it all cooks to golden-brown perfection in a single skillet, leaving you plenty of time to curate the perfect tablescape with Melina's tips.

Steak Frites

You wouldn’t make hand-cut, hand-fried french fries for just anyone, would you? Save this bistro-worthy recipe designed for two from Jo Chan, Chef-Partner of Austin’s Bureau de Poste, for someone you really care about.

Eggplant Parmesan

Romantic dinners don’t have to be fussy. This cozy, layered dish from Chef Jesse Griffiths of Austin’s Dai Due is the perfect example of that, excellent for a chilly weeknight at home—preferably with a glass of good red wine.

Caramelized Mushroom Lasagna

Creminis are a little pricier than your standard white button mushrooms, but they have a deeper, meatier flavor—perfect for a special occasion dish like lasagna. This recipe comes courtesy of Houston’s Chef Chris Shepherd, who caramelizes the mushrooms before building the sauce, resulting in a rich, deeply flavorful dish that’s perfect for the vegetarian in your life.

Pork Chops with Apples and Radishes

There’s only one pairing more perfect than you and your date—and that’s these succulent pork chops with apples from Chelsea Fadda, executive chef of Austin’s Pecan Square Café, that comes together beautifully in our Stainless Clad Saute Pan.

Minute Steak with Rosemary Smashed Potatoes and Peppercorn Pan Sauce

Steak and potatoes might not sound particularly elegant, but just wait until you plate this one up: Chef Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel of Birdie’s in Austin slices the finished steak against the grain before drizzling with a green peppercorn pan sauce, then serves with crispy mashed potatoes.

Margherita Pizza

Homemade pizza is already a labor of love: no need to make it more complicated. Chef Ian Thurwatcher of Austin’s Intero sticks with a classic margherita recipe, topping handmade dough with fresh mozz, a simple sauce, and plenty of hand-torn basil. Serve with a verdant salad and glass of red, and prepare for the compliments to pour in.

Risotto Bolognese

This dish from Playa Provision’s Brooke Williamson combines two of our greatest loves—risotto and bolognese—into one Dutch oven-friendly meal. It’s also especially perfect if your ideal Valentine’s Day involves a post-dinner nap.

Coffee and Spice-Crusted Filet Mignon with Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Black Garlic

At-home date nights don't have to be any less fancy than a dinner at a nice restaurant. Case in point, this impressive steak dish that starts with the highest-quality cut you can find (Chef Dustin Valette recommends prime, 21-day dry-aged Wagyu) and ends with a finishing dollop of umami-laden black garlic purée. Pair with a great bottle of red and wait for the compliments to pour in.

Spaghetti Bolognese

We’re not sure what it is, but something about a homemade bolognese just feels romantic—especially if you pronounce it with a proper Italian accent. Chef Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel’s recipe is a little less time-consuming than the traditional, slow-simmered version, but it’s still utter perfection for a weeknight Valentine’s.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Diamonds

Courtesy of Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi, these crispy, chocolate-topped peanut butter bars require no baking whatsoever: just pop the whole pan in the freezer for 40 minutes to firm up.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

No surprises here: this recipe for chocolate chip cookies, courtesy of Chef Sarah McIntosh of Austin’s Épicerie, is as classic as they get. Dunk ‘em in cold milk, or—if you wish—serve with a cheeky glass of port.

Double Crust Apple Pie

This is about as classic (and delicious) as it gets—a no-frills apple pie with a flaky, buttery crust on both top and bottom, thanks to pastry Chef Hannah Smith. The handmade crust may take more time than its store-bought counterpart, but the extra effort is 100% worth it—especially if you're looking to really impress your dinner guest.

Olive Oil Cake with Brûléed Stone Fruit and Chantilly Cream

With a buttery-yet-light crumb and subtle grassy flavor, olive oil cake always feels a little bit more elevated than its buttery counterpart. Chef Susana Querejazu of Lutie's, a restaurant at Austin’s Commodore Perry Estate, bumps things up even further with brûléed stone fruit and hand-whipped chantilly cream. If stone fruit isn’t available where you live, feel free to use whatever’s in season.

Ready to Cook?

Nothing’s more romantic—or a better expression of love—than a great meal made from scratch. And with high-quality cookware like our Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, French porcelain Pie Dish, and Blue Carbon Steel Frying Pan, you can spend less time stressing over dinner—and more time putting together the perfect playlist.