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Plan A Romantic Dinner

Mon, Feb 05, 24  |  entertaining

Romance shouldn’t be reserved for just holidays or anniversaries. Why not surprise that special someone tonight with a delicious dinner for two? Here is our guide to hosting the perfect romantic dinner.


Let’s start the evening off right. A champagne / sparkling wine toast sets the tone and indicates that this isn’t just any dinner. Here are some of our favorites in every price range.



Choice Plus


Wild Card – Dom Perignon


Here is a menu, complete with recipes, that is sure to please that special someone no matter the occasion. Also, you can stop by Colonial for food and wine ideas. We have Chef Henrik on staff ready to help!

First Course: Strawberry Salad

It starts with a nice light strawberry salad with pomegranate seeds and a vanilla vinaigrette. Pair that with some bubbles, because, ya know, bubbles are great!  

For the Salad:

  • 10 Strawberries, quartered (washed and stemmed)

  • Seeds from 1 Pomegranate

  • 1 pkg 50/50 Salad Mix

  • 1 small red chili, diced very small

  • Shaved Parmesan

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped

  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 Tbsp. Champagne vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp. hot water

  • 1 ½ Tbsp. honey (or to taste)

  • ½ tsp. dried tarragon

  • ¼ tsp. salt

  • fresh ground pepper


Place the oil, vanilla bean pods and seeds into a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring the oil up to a low simmer, and then remove from heat and let stand at least 1 hour to infuse the vanilla flavor. Strain the oil through a fine sieve to remove the vanilla pod (the seeds will remain in the oil). Cool completely. Combine all ingredients except the oil in a small immersion blender or food processor, pulsing until the mixture is completely blended and smooth. Slowly add the oil while blending until the mixture is completely emulsified. Transfer to a small bowl or squeeze bottle and chill before dressing salad.


Toss the greens with the fruits and chili in a large bowl with the vinaigrette. Shave the Parmesan on top.

Main Course:
"Kissing Shrimp" with Cheddar Whipped Potatoes and Vegetable Lei

Get the largest shrimp you can find that still have the heads and shells on. When shelling the shrimp, save the heads and shells and place in a saucepan with a pound of unsalted butter and heat over low heat for about an hour to infuse the butter. Strain through a fine mesh strainer pressing down on the shells to extract as much flavor as possible. Let that cool to room temperature and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use. 

For the Shrimp:

  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 lbs. jumbo raw shrimp (de-shelled and de-veined)

  • 1 shallot

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 3 sprigs thyme

  • ½ cup Laxas Albarino

  • 2 Tbsp. shrimp butter


Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the shallot and saute until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Deglaze with the Albarino and add the thyme sprigs. Add the shrimp to the pan. Cook, tossing the shrimp for about 4 minutes. Add the shrimp butter and continue cooking for 4-5 more minutes.

For the Whipped Potatoes:

  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • butter

  • 1 cup grated white cheddar cheese

  • heavy cream


Boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water until fork tender, about 20-25 minutes. Drain and add butter, cream and the grated cheese. Whip until completely smooth.

For the Vegetable Lei:

  • 1 Tbsp. butter

  • ½ lb. fresh green beans

  • 1 zucchini

  • 1 red bell pepper


Slice the green beans in half lengthwise. Julienne the red bell pepper and the zucchini. Heat the butter in a skillet and saute the veggies until tender, about 4-5 minutes.


Mound the potatoes in the center of your plate. Intertwine 2 of the jumbo shrimp on top of the potatoes. Arrange the vegetables in a circle around the outside of the potatoes. Drizzle a little of the pan juice from the shrimp over the top and garnish with a sprig of thyme.

Dessert: Strawberries & Chocolate

For dessert, why not stick to the classic strawberries and chocolate. After all, you do already have some strawberries. Melt down some high quality chocolate like some Ghiradelli. Once it's melted add a little heavy cream and whisk until the chocolate has a sheen to it. Drizzle over your strawberries and enjoy. Pair these with Rosa di Rosa Sparkling Wine for a perfect ending to your Valentine's Day meal.


Roses are traditional and expected. There is nothing wrong with going this route. But if you want to do something very personal and special, have a look at what’s blooming right now. Cut a dozen of any one, or a combination. Then arrange them loosely in a vase. If you have herbs in your garden, add a few fresh sprigs of rosemary and chive stems for greenery.

DIY Flower Wine Bottle

For this simple centerpiece, simply tie flowers, ribbons or greenery around the neck of a bottle of champagne or wine. Secure with floral wire if necessary.

Cranberry Cosmopolitan

  • ½ oz. tart cherry juice concentrate
  • ½ oz. freshly squeezed
    lime juice
  • 1 oz. Cointreau or triple sec
  • 3 oz. Tito's Vodka

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add tart cherry juice concentrate, Cointreau, lime juice, and vodka. Shake until well chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lime slice or twist and serve.

Valentine's Delight

  • 1 1/2 oz. Basil Hayden’s Bourbon

  • 1 oz. Graham’s Ruby port, the sweeter the better

  • 1 oz. Kahlua

  • 1 1/2 oz. heavy cream

  • ground nutmeg

In a shaker filled with ice, add first four ingredients and shake vigorously. Strain into a large chilled martini glass. Gently sprinkle nutmeg on top.

Love At First Sight

  • 1 bottle chilled La Gioiosa Prosecco

  • 1/2 oz. Pallini Limoncello

  • 1/2 oz. Grey Goose Vodka

  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau

  • dash of grenadine, for color

  • Maraschino cherry

In a shaker of ice, pour Limoncello, vodka and Cointreau. Shake for an extended period – at least 20 seconds. Pour this medley into a tall fluted glass. Fill the rest of the glass with Prosecco. Add a touch of grenadine and stir gently, and drop a maraschino cherry into the glass.


  • 3/4 oz. Tia Maria

  • 3/4 oz. Carolan’s Irish Cream

  • 3/4 oz. Dekuyper Dark Creme de Cacao

  • 1 oz. heavy cream

  • 2 Marischino cherries

Add first four ingredients to a shaker half full of ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Spear the two cherries on a long pick and balance from rim to rim on top of the glass.


For more romantic ideas, check out these pages below:

By robert@colonialwineshop.com

Tags: romance