Your Guide To Acing Valentine’s Day Dinner

You could make reservations at the fanciest restaurant in town, but if you ask us, nothing is more romantic than a home-cooked dinner made with heart and soul.

With a little planning, anyone can put together a feast that will impress your significant other. So dim the lights, grab some flowers, and let’s get cracking on a meal to remember.

Start the Day Strong

Show your partner just how much you care by treating them to breakfast in bed—you’ll rack up bonus points before things even get going. This is the time to go all out with their favorites: French toast, pancakes, or waffles, to name a few. Our obsession at the moment is Bread Gal’s white chocolate French toast, which add a luxurious touch with bits of the creamy candy.

There are also plenty of quick options, in case you’re not much of a morning person. Artisanal pastries, yogurt with granola, and fresh fruit are all excellent options. Also, don’t forget to pour some fresh orange juice and a good cup of coffee.

>> Shop everything for a breakfast in bed

Appy Hour Bites

Before you get to the main event, you’ll want to set the mood with a few light bites. For a date night, oysters practically scream sensuousness—they’ve long been thought of as aphrodisiacs, after all. Oysters from Great Gun Oyster Co. are a FreshDirect favorite because they’re harvested locally from Long Island’s Moriches Bay, so they can’t be be beat when it comes to flavor and freshness. For tips and tricks on serving oysters and other celebratory shellfish, check out our guide here.

If seafood’s not your partner’s thing, a cheese and charcuterie board will satisfy the desire to indulge. We typically recommend that you include a few different cheese varieties when building the board such as a Brie, cheddar, blue, goat, alpine, etcetera. You can balance it out with complementary meats, fresh fruit, nuts, and preserves to help balance the full fat of the cheese and to elevate the flavors. For some crunch, add locally-made crackers and breads.

For extra credit, you can turn your selections into a meat and cheese bouquet. Check out the post below to see how it’s done.

The Main Event

Once you’ve made it to dinner, you’ll want to serve up something that’s worthy of your best plates. Rather than trying to fuss over a complicated or unfamiliar recipe, we suggest sticking to something that you know you can effortlessly ace.

Steak is always at the top of this list, especially with a well-marbled cut like a rib-eye or New York strip. And all it takes is a few simple steps: season it well, sear over high heat in a heavy pan, then let it finish to your desired doneness over gentle heat or in the oven. To get the full breakdown, check out our guide here, as well as our suggestions for sauces to serve along with it. On the side, potatoes and roasted veggies are all you need, as well as a glass of full-bodied red wine.

>> Shop the ingredients for a steak dinner on FreshDirect.

Scallops with Winter Squash

If red meat isn’t your thing, seafood is a reliable choice. One of our favorites for a special meal is brown butter scallops, which have an incredible richness and big flavor. Like steak, scallops just need a simple sear in a pan. To serve, we like to add some simply-roasted butternut squash, which provides an equally rich but subtly sweet counterbalance. Get the recipe here.

>> Shop the ingredients for brown butter scallops on FreshDirect.

Pink Pasta Valentine's Day

If you’d rather keep things meat-free, make like Lady & the Tramp and go for pasta. For an extra on-theme main, we love to cook up this recipe for pink pasta, which gets its color from beets. It’s deceptively simple to make yet it packs a visual punch—you can be sure your sweetheart will be posting it to the gram to show off how much they love you.

Lastly, if you’re more confident in your pick up lines than in your cooking skills, there’s no need to worry. FreshDirect carries a number of elevated meal kits that’ll help you along the way, as well as prepared dinners that will completely change your idea of food in a box. With one of these easy options, you’ll have more time to focus on sprinkling rose petals everywhere and creating the perfect ambiance.

>> Shop no-stress meals on FreshDirect.

Wines For Your Valentine

Wines and spirits are sold by FreshDirect Wines & Spirits, License # 1277181620 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215, Tel: (718) 768-1521, M-W 1pm-10pm, Th-Sa 11am-10pm, Su 12pm-8pm

One alcoholic drink instantly comes to mind for the holiday: Champagne. It’s hard to go wrong with the bubbly stuff, because it pairs well with almost anything and even comes in a rosé variety if you want to get heavy-handed with the charm. But it would be a missed opportunity to just stick to the obvious choices. An even better route would be to match the drinks with the food, and to show how you don’t miss any details when it comes to your loved one’s preferences. If you’re serving red meat, a big red like cabernet can be just as poetic as an epic romance, while a sumptuous white like Chablis will create a harmonious balance with seafood or veg-based dishes. And after the meal, a bit of port or a liqueur would be the perfect luxurious note to end the evening on, or perhaps a custom cocktail inspired by your boo. Get our experts’ recommendations for Valentine’s Day drinks at the link below:

>> Shop Valentine’s Day wines & spirits from FreshDirect Wines & Spirits.

Sweets Worthy of Your Sweetheart

Valentine’s just wouldn’t be Valentines without some form of chocolate. You can go the traditional route and pick up an assorted box. But there are plenty of creative ways to add it to the mix. Chocolate-dipped strawberries are an excellent choice, along with chocolate fondue, chocolate cake, or a chocolate pudding or souffle. FreshDirect has dozens of chocolate treats that’ll help you end the day on a sweet note. So go nuts and fill up on confections at the link below:

>> Shop Valentine’s Day treats on FreshDirect.

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