While going out on Valentine’s Day is the norm, sometimes it’s more special and intimate just to stay in. Whether you’re cooking for your partner or you will cook together, sitting down to a delicious meal on a beautifully and thoughtfully set table is extra special. But, planning a menu and executing the perfect evening may be a bit stressful. While Solino Home has everything you need for your romantic tablescape, we also have some advice on the best way to Valentine’s Day!
Set The Tone
You can’t set the table without adding the color of the holiday - pink! When creating a table for this extra special occasion, you’ll want to impress. Contempo, a Solino Home Collection, has the perfect amount of drama combined with the right amount of softness. Blush borders flank a bright white center made of pure linen for a touch of pink that’s not overwhelming. Use the collection in its entirety or coordinate with other shades of pink for a monochromatic look that will stun.
Start with bubbles
Get in the mood immediately with some sparkling wine. While Champagne is always a nice splurge, there are plenty of sparkling wines, like cava, that are just as delicious. While oysters may be the perfect pairing - especially if you can purchase them pre-shucked - there are also some other lovely things you can do to set the tone for the evening. Put out a simple charcuterie board or make some fried mushroom caps - the earthy fungi is further complemented by the crispness and fruitiness in some champagnes.
Steak? Here’s the best way to cook it
Surf and turf dinners scream romance! But while lobster tails are pretty easy to cook, whether or not they come prepared, steak can be a bit mind-boggling. Not only do you have to pick a cut (filet? t-bone?) but you also have to know how your date likes to eat it. Tom Perini of Perini Ranch explains that both of these things are easier than you may think. He says to look for marbling in the steak - the more marbled it is, the more flavorful it will be.
“The ribeye has the most marbling and flavor — it’s typically about 16 ounces and it could be fun to share with your Valentine. The strip is leaner, but still flavorful, and has a little more ‘bite,’” he says.
From there, dry rub it up (or salt and pepper if that’s your ideal!) and cook away! If you’re not grilling, a hot cast iron pan is recommended. And, says Perini, start with medium rare. Once a steak is over-cooked, there is no going back!
Finish with chocolate and port wine
Of course you’ll want to finish with a decadent dessert and chocolate and port wine is the absolute perfect pairing. A little sip while you indulge in a chocolate cake combined with a tawny nightcap is nothing if not romantic. However, says Adrian Bridge, CEO of the Taylor Fladgate Partnership, there is an option for whatever you and your date decide.
“Aged tawny ports with their characteristic mellow spicy, nutty and oaky aromas, silky palate and opulent flavors should be paired with an almond tart, pecan pie, crème brûlée, or better than that, an apple crumble with some vanilla ice-cream,” he says.