An elegant dinner for two doesn’t have to require hours and hours of prep time. From spicy lobster
fra diavolo to sweet and sour pork chops, these 17 recipes—all easy to scale down for two people—strike a balance between easy and impressive.
Maiale in Agrodolce (Sweet and Sour Glazed Pork Chops)
Honey and balsamic vinegar are the sweet and sour agents in this recipe, which pairs especially well with
stewed sweet peppers.
See the recipe for Maiale in Agrodolce »
An adaptation of a regional French classic, this version swaps out the traditional Dijon in favor of a grainy, seeded mustard.
Inspired by a story that first appeared in our June/July 2010 issue, chef Tom Colicchio created this beautiful dish of halibut with chanterelle mushrooms and pleasingly bitter fresh chamomile.
Roasting beets and puréeing them with a little balsamic vinegar makes a sweet, earthy spread that’s a perfect base for slices of smoked salmon and peppery watercress.
This spicy seafood pasta features large pieces of sweet lobster tossed with bucatini and a fresh, flavorful tomato sauce.
In this creamy dish, the fennel is braised in milk until it becomes tender.
Mussels in White Wine
Serve these garlicky mussels with crusty bread.
See the recipe for Mussels in White Wine
Parsley and Pancetta Salad
Crisp, salty pancetta, earthy parsley, and lemon combine beautifully in this salad from Houston’s Dolce Vita restaurant.
See the recipe for Parsley and Pancetta Salad »
This rich, silky mousse brightened with tangy lemons makes an elegant end to a meal.
Poppy seeds lend their toasty aroma to a creamy pasta dish based on one served by chef Matthew Accarrino at
SPQR in San Francisco. Get the recipe for Tagliatelle with Poppy Seeds and Prosciutto »
Warm Salad with Jerusalem Artichokes, Bacon, and Radicchio
In a hearty salad adapted from Jamie Oliver’s cookbook
Cook With Jamie: My Guide to Making You a Better Cook (2007, Hyperion), the warm but crisp ingredients make a perfect wintery salad. ** See the recipe for Warm Salad with Jerusalem Artichokes, Bacon, and Radicchio »
This simple yet sophisticated, airy yet intense concoction has been a hit with home cooks in America at least since the New York Times published its first recipe for the dessert in 1955.
Get the recipe for Chocolate Mousse »
Fried fish with a brown butter sauce and almonds is a French classic, and one of the most popular dishes at the beloved New Orleans restaurant Galatoire’s.
Warm Soft Chocolate Cake
This signature dessert is loved for the unfailingly delightful surprise of the cakes’ oozing centers.
See the recipe for Warm Soft Chocolate Cake »
Japanese-style Linguine with Clams
The dried seaweed
nori lends a Japanese flavor to this classic dish.
See the recipe for Japanese-Style Linguine with Clams »
Chef Gabrielle Hamilton of New York City’s Prune restaurant gave us her recipe for this delicious pasta, which is tossed in brown butter and pine nuts, then topped with sunny-side-up eggs.
The crispy bits and juices left in a skillet after frying steaks make a delicious base for a creamy, cognac-laced pan sauce.