Here's our list of the ultimate second date ideas.
When it comes to planning romantic dinner ideas for two, there are many aspects to consider in order to pull off that perfect romantic meal…
We all love going out to dinner, but there are few gestures more romantic and fool-proof than preparing and cooking a meal for that special someone. The effort involved in pulling off a romantic three-course meal might be difficult, but it’s sure to impress, and with just the two of you involved it is a much more intimate occasion — so get lighting those candles.
Making sure your evening hits all the right notes doesn’t only extend to the food involved, everything from the table setting to the atmosphere should be considered. If this is all getting you a little flustered, don’t worry, with the right plan you can pull off the perfect night in and create an evening that your loved one will remember forever.
Dinner Ideas for Two — Picking the Right Cuisine
It goes without saying that you do not need to follow a specific cuisine for the entire meal and sometimes, mixing it up can be exciting. But creating a meal with a specific cuisine can transport your date to an exotic destination for the evening, or remind them of a romantic break you took together. Here is a list of our favorite cuisines to start your dinner ideas for two. Bon appétit!
Italian: Italian food is a sure-fire winner on most dinner dates — it’s easy to make, looks fantastic and is absolutely delicious as well. From creamy mushroom risottos and homemade pizzas to rich bolognese with ragu, there is so much scope to impress. Finishing the meal with homemade tiramisu and an espresso affogato will complete the Italian experience.
Spanish: The home of flamenco dancing, fiestas and amazing tapas. A list of dinner ideas for two would not be complete without including the incredible variety and flavors of Spanish tapas. Slices of Jamón Ibérico and chorizo served alongside Spanish tortilla and croquetas showcase an impressive level of skill in the kitchen and is the perfect food when it comes to sharing. Open a bottle of Rioja and let the food transport you to the hot streets of Spain.
Japanese: There is something incredibly refined about Japanese food and this cuisine should definitely find itself at the top of any list of adventurous dinner ideas for two. Bowls of steaming and spicy ramen soup and fried dumplings look impressive but are surprisingly easy to make. If you want a fun activity you can both enjoy, making sushi is an intimate and light-hearted process, not to mention that sushi is the perfect food to share once it is complete. Finish the meal with a traditional green tea or cup of sake — the perfect dinner for two!
Thai: Thai food is the ideal choice if you want something exotic but with the option of less spice and more fragrance. Green curry with rice, pad thai with noodles and sliced papaya salad, Thai cuisine offers the option to go as mild or as spicy as you, or your dinner date likes! Stir fry is also a more social cooking technique — it can be done while relaxing in the kitchen and enjoying a glass of wine together. Dinner ideas for two don’t get much better than this.
Dinner Ideas – What to do for Drinks
Dinner ideas for two means pulling out all the stops, and choosing a good bottle of wine will elevate your meal to a more memorable and refined place. It can often seem a daunting task, picking a wine to match with your meal, but there are a few tips in selecting the right bottle and ultimately making the experience more special!
White wine: When it comes to picking a white wine to match, things are fairly simple. Most white wine in supermarkets or off-licenses is dry, which is a fantastic place to start for most cuisine. Picking incredibly dry whites with acidity will cut through creamy dishes like risotto or stand up to strong cheeses — think Sauvignon Blanc or bone-dry German Riesling for something a little different. With simple dishes like summer salads, pick a simple, easy-going wine like an Italian Pinot Grigio.
Red wine: When it comes to picking a red wine to compliment your food, things become a little more difficult and a lot more exciting. If the weather is good, buy a bottle of young Pinot Noir or Beaujolais and put it in the fridge to chill — this may seem like a red wine no-no, but the cold temperature will make the tart red fruit flavors more pronounced, more refreshing and ultimately more interesting. When it comes to juicy red meat and rich Italian and Spanish food, grabbing an aged wine with lots of tannins will pair perfectly — think Rioja or Barolo.
Sweet wine/dessert wine: Romantic dinner ideas deserve a grand finale, and a glass of sweet wine might just do the trick. The world of sweet wine is making a huge comeback to dinner tables the world over. These often-overlooked digestifs offer a refined end to the meal and pair perfectly with many desserts. Grab a bottle of Hungarian Tokaji or port from Porto and prepare a cheese board — a sure way to impress your date. Everyone talks about chocolate being an aphrodisiac, but a Belgian treat alongside a glass of dessert wine is a match made in heaven.
Romantic Dinner Ideas — The Finishing Touches
So, you have bought the wine and you have your recipes and ingredients ready to cook the meal, but what about those special details that tie the entire event together? Setting the mood is important and picking the right music is integral to the atmosphere of the evening — think romantic playlists or the dulcet tones of soul music.
Planning and preparation will help you relax and enjoy the evening yourself, giving you more time for interaction with your date. Making sure the table is beautifully set is essential: napkins, the best cutlery and water and wine glasses. And a scattering of rose petals will do absolutely no harm and create the perfect romantic setting. Finally, turn the dimmer switch down, light some candles and put the sparkling wine on ice.
READ MORE: 15 Little Ways to say ‘I Love You’ – read our pro tips!
Need a romantic dinner playlist? Try this Spotify® list, put together by EliteSingles to help you jazz up your next special meal!
Still looking for that special dinner guest? Sign up for EliteSingles and meet your match!