Sure, we’re all getting a little sick of our own cooking this year—but is there really a better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a home cooked meal prepared with love? For this Valentine’s Day dinner (and for all those special date night dinners to come), it helps to have a few romantic
recipes for two up your sleeve. Sophisticated entrées, chocolate desserts, and a bubbly beverage or two will remind you and your sweetie that love is in the air (even in your very own kitchen).
If you and your date are staying in together (lucky you!), consider marking the occasion with some lavish seafood like oysters, lobster, and crab—or maybe with a special Italian-style steak for two. Logging online for a Zoom date instead? Pour yourself an eye-catching festive beverage like a pink champagne cocktail or a vibrant red
And don’t forget dessert—chocolate-lovers have plenty of options on this list, as do cooks looking for lighter, fresh red fruit desserts. As for that morning-after
breakfast in bed? Plan ahead so that the two of you can enjoy breakfast pastries like flakey croissants, savory danish, or sweet Mexican- or French-style crêpes. After all, a special day merits great meals, morning, noon, and night.
Here are our very best Valentine’s Day dishes to make on February 14th.
Bistecca alla Fiorentina with Watercress and Pistachio Salad
Fresh yuzu fruit can be tough to find, but the bottled juice is readily available at Japanese markets or online.
Get the recipe for Jalapeño Mignonette »
Roast Duck with Figs
This classic pasta, from award-winning chef Fulvio Pierangelini at his restaurant, Irene, in Florence, Italy, is enriched with the lobsters’ coral, or roe sac. It adds a pop of briny flavor to the pasta, but can be omitted if the lobsters you buy don’t contain it.
Get the recipe for Lobster Linguine with Chiles »
Get the recipe for Najmieh Batmanglij’s
almond cake with saffron and rose water.
Get the recipe for Broiled Oysters with Parmigiano and ‘Nduja »
Sparkling rose adds berry notes to this take on a French 75. Replacing the gin traditionally used, Calvados imbues a richer, woodsy, and slightly sweeter flavor.
Get the recipe for Pomme Rosé
Get the recipe for Tustacas de Chocolate »
Butter and loads of herbs make a lobster pan-roast even more lavish; a flambée with bourbon lends as much flavor as it does drama.
Lemon Meringue Tarts
All clams need is garlic and wine to make a perfect pot of steamers. Serve with plenty of crusty bread.
Get the recipe for Garlic-Steamed Manila Clams »
For this ode to the Game of Thrones noblewoman,
Punt e Mes—the dark and bitter quina-vermouth hybrid—is softened with a long pour of champagne. Get the recipe for Lady Stoneheart »
A creamy eggplant purée, enriched with béchamel and Gruyère cheese serves as a bed for meltingly tender lamb shanks, slow-braised in red wine and aromatics.
Get the recipe for Lamb Shanks in Red Wine with Creamy Eggplant »
The oldest and most popular dessert at San Francisco’s legendary Zuni Café, this gluten-free chocolate cake boasts a fine, tender crumb and bold chocolate flavor.
Get the recipe for The Best Flourless Chocolate Cake »
A combination of earthy white truffles and salty pistachios puts a decadent twist on classic caramel corn.
Get the recipe for White Truffle-Pistachio Caramel Corn »
Chocolate Ganache Tart with Sea Salt Espresso Beans
Two types of soy sauce and a touch of sugar give this dish—beloved throughout China—its signature glossiness and a deep red-brown tint. Serve the tender pork belly morsels and boiled eggs with a light vegetable, like bok choy.
Get the recipe for Shanghai Red-Braised Pork with Eggs »
Whole garlic cloves perfume the braise for this tangy beef dish from Marvin Gapultos’
The Adobo Road Cookbook (Tuttle, 2013). Get the recipe for Filipino Beef Short Ribs Adobo »
Icelandic Langoustine Soup
At New York’s
Milk Bar, Christina Tosi makes this towering cake every spring, when sweet and tiny tristar strawberries are in season. This is by no means an everyday cake, but it’s worth the work that you’ll put in, and worthy of a special occasion. Get the recipe for Strawberry Lemon Cake »
For this dish, pork and fresh clams are braised in an aromatic mixture of wine, tomato, and red pepper paste.
Get the recipe for Braised Pork and Clams »
Champagne goes especially well with cream-based soups like this one because the wine’s effervescence offers such a pleasing contrast with their silky texture. The recipe for this luxurious bisque is based on one in La Cuisine by Raymond Oliver (Leon Amiel, 1969).
Seared Scallops with Steamed Brussels Sprout Leaves
The Original Fettuccine Alfredo
Mixing the ingredients on a warmed platter will help them melt quickly to make a satiny sauce. For the best results, use dried pasta, which doesn’t break as easily during tossing as fresh egg pasta does.
See the recipe for The Original Fettuccine Alfredo »
Cajeta, a homemade caramel used in traditional Mexican desserts, is a terrific sauce to have on hand for drizzling over ice cream or baked treats.
Get the recipe for Crepes Cajeta »
A well-made paella contains a feast within a single pan.
Get the recipe for Shellfish Paella
Ginger and Cocoa Nib Cannoli
Two days resting in the fridge helps cannoli dough become light and bubbly. You will need cannoli molds for frying. Serve within a few hours, before the shells soften.
Get the recipe for Ginger and Cocoa Nib Cannoli »
Flank steak, also known as London broil, isn’t the most tender cut of beef, but it is one of the most flavorful. The key to getting a tender flank steak is to let the meat marinate for a good, long time—in this case, in a mixture of red wine, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, various spices, and fresh rosemary—and then carve it across the grain into thin slices before serving.
Get the recipe for Drunken Spaghetti »
Get the recipe for Baked Egg Danish with Kimchi and Bacon »
This herb-adorned rack of lamb is seared then roasted at high heat for a crispy brown crust.
Molten Chocolate Cake
Red wine is reduced with spices and bright citrus zest and then drizzled over fresh strawberries, ice cream, and grilled bread in this delicious, simple dessert.
Get the recipe for Strawberries with Wine »
Oysters are the perfect aphrodisiacs to have on Valentine’s day. Believed to increase fertility, these half shells evoke images of romance. Grill them for your lover and sprinkle some pecorino and bottarga before serving.
Get the recipe for Grilled Oysters »
Master pastry chef Jacques Torres likes to fill
basic crêpes with this combination of bananas and homemade Nutella. Get the recipe for Chocolate-Hazelnuts and Banana Crêpes »
This elegant cake is soaked in a fragrant lemon syrup, perfumed by flower waters. The garnish is candied rose petals sprinkled with toasted coconut.
Get the recipe for Semolina-Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Waters »
Crabmeat is rubbed with a smoky chile paste, then sautéed and tossed in a refreshing salad of creamy avocado, tart grapefruit, and herbs.
Get the recipe for Sautéed Crab with Avocado, Grapefruit and Herb Salad »
This colorful side is unbelievably simple, requiring only radishes, olive oil, thyme, and salt and pepper.
Roasted Radishes »
Puréed pecans enrich a butter sauce for pan-seared filets of trout.
Editorial assistant Zainab Shah adapted this moist chocolate cake with dense, fudgy icing from her mother’s trusted recipe.
Get the recipe for Chocolate Cake with Fudge Icing »
Pepper, cloves and cinnamon give the bright strawberry sauce in this dessert a spicy kick, offsetting the rich creaminess of sweet cheese.
Get the recipe for Coeur à la Crème with Caramelized Strawberries »
Instant espresso powder and chocolate-covered espresso beans gives SAVEUR staffer Krystal Stone’s iced brownies a concentrated flavor and a zingy, caffeinated boost.
See the recipe for Krystal’s Espresso Brownies
Beautiful homemade croissants, each containing a bar of high-quality dark chocolate, make for an impressive and indulgent addition to a breakfast spread.
Fudgy and moist, these sweet bites are made from an easy brownie recipe that appears in
Chocolate: From Simple Cookies to Extravagant Showstoppers by Nick Malgieri (HarperCollins, 1998). Get the recipe for The Ultimate Fudgy Brownie Recipe
Rosemary-Rubbed Beef Tenderloin
Seasoned with fresh rosemary and garlic, this juicy beef tenderloin is the perfect main dish to serve to big groups; any leftovers can be used in sandwiches the day after.
Get the recipe for Rosemary-Rubbed Beef Tenderloin »
Linguine with Crab in Spicy White Wine Sauce