Life during the Covid-19 pandemic has turned many lives upside down. Even people who have an otherwise normal life that continues during the pandemic have found themselves needing to make adjustments.
Restaurants all over the country are either closed, only offering take out or have massively changed the way they operate. That’s bad news if you want to impress a date with an elegant and upscale meal.
Luckily, you can recreate the restaurant experience at home even if you aren’t a trained chef. With a few easy, yet refined recipes under your belt, and some creativity, you can have an elegant meal that impresses your date and can turn out even better than going to a restaurant anyway.
In this article, I will give you a few ideas to make your date night special.
Set the menu with some upscale ingredients
Think about some of the menu items you would typically find at an upscale, fine dining establishment. What makes them stand out? For instance, you can get a surf and turf meal at your local chain restaurant so what makes that special?
The types of ingredients are very important. Your local chain restaurant is using cheap, inferior quality ingredients. If you want to do a surf and turf, as an example, you need to get items like American Wagyu beef from a good purveyor and not just some cheap London broil from your local supermarket. Even if you aren’t a foodie you will notice the difference.
Keep that in mind when setting your menu and try to find some local ingredients that a fine restaurant would use and avoid the basics from a supermarket.
Look around online at some of the menus that your local high end restaurants are offering and see which of the meals you can recreate at home without too much fuss. If you get the best ingredients then you don’t need to do much to make them taste good anyway.
Set a theme
You can have even more fun with an at home restaurant experience by pretending like you are traveling somewhere else and then decorating the house to reflect it.
For instance, to pretend you are on an Italian holiday, use that as the theme and then put up some pictures of iconic Italian locations. Have some of the Coliseum, a Tuscan landscape or photos of the canals of Venice to set the mood.
Set your table to look like it’s Italian by using some majolica plateware and a bottle of Italian red. Put on some classic Italian music and let the scents of marinara sauce wafting through the house do the rest to set the mood.
Take it slow
One of the best things about eating at home is that you are not being rushed so the restaurant can turn the table over. With this in mind you can really take your time.
Start by having a pre-dinner cocktail with some finger food hors d’oeuvres. Plate up some slamm bite sized treats and have a spritz to leisurely sip on while you get an appetite for dinner. If you have a backyard, then this is the ideal location to do this with some tiki lights lit and some romantic music.
Then, pace the rest of the meal. Prepare it to be served in courses that are easy to put together at the time you want to eat so you aren’t slaving in the kitchen the whole night. A cold appetizer that is already plated is a good way to start the actual meal. Then move onto the main course when you’re ready.
End it on a sweet note
You can make an entire meal with not much effort if you plant it right, but save some effort for the dessert. Take some time to learn how to make an elegant dessert that is really going to impress. It is usually the dessert that is most impressive and romantic for your date.
Gauge what his or her tastes are like for sweets then do your research. Find the dessert that you feel like fits the rest of the meal and then try making it a few times before the big night. You’ll want to perfect it before you serve it for the first time at the end of an already memorable meal.
A lot of restaurants are hurting right now and many will not survive this year. If you do have the opportunity to give them a hand with your business, then buy some gift certificates to give out as gifts or use yourself once this whole thing is behind us. Then you will still have your favorite restaurant to go to when your date becomes your spouse!