Whether for a special occasion or “just because,” tonight might be a great night to surprise that love of your life. A sweet, romantic dinner for two can be the start of a beautiful evening of cuddling or canoodling with your partner. To get things going, here are a couple recipes anyone can cook in no time and with little fuss. There are also some tips to further set the mood.
Leave the dishes for later because you might be … busy.
Grilled Chicken and New Potatoes
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders
1 medium leek
2 bunches green onions
1 1/2 pounds small new potatoes, washed and halved
1 tablespoon each crushed red pepper and garlic powder, mixed and divided
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
1. Preheat grill or oven to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat.
2. Remove leek roots and dark green tops and discard. Cut in half lengthwise and thoroughly rinse with cold running water. Scrub if needed to remove dirt. Cut into thin slices.
3. Toss leek, potatoes, 3 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 Tbsp red pepper/garlic mix.
4. Divide leek mixture into 2 large pieces heavy-duty aluminum foil. Fold sides over mixture and double-fold the top and sides to seal.
5. Cook packets for 12 minutes (cover grill if using).
6. While leeks look, Meanwhile, toss chicken, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and remaining red pepper/garlic seasoning, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and 1/2 tsp. salt.
7. With tongs, shake foil packets to mix and return to grill or oven. Add chicken to grill or place in dish in oven for 5 minutes;
8. Turn chicken. add green onions, and cook all for 4-5 minutes or until chicken is done.
9. Open foil packets carefully to avoid burning from steam.
10. Drizzle with remaining 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and serve.
Lemon Garlic Pasta
10-15 garlic cloves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive iil
4-5 Tbsp. lemon juice (1 large or 2 small lemons)
Pinch of salt
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (more if you like spicy)
1/2 lb. angel hair pasta
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Peel peeled garlic cloves and place in oven-safe dish. Drizzle with olive oil and cover with foil. Roast for 30-40 minutes until golden brow. Cool for 2-3 minutes, then finely chop.
3. Cook pasta according to package directions. If you prefer a thicker noodle, linguine works great as well for this dish.
4. Put olive oil and chopped garlic in large sauté pan over medium/low heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes stirring constantly.
5. Add lemon juice and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes.
6. Reduce heat to low. Add salt and red pepper flakes.
7. Add cooked pasta and toss with lemon garlic sauce until fully coated.
8. Serve with drizzle of olive oil, lemon zest, fresh grated parmesan cheese and (optional) red pepper flakes.
Here are some other things to keep in mind to complement that secy, scrumptious meal.
Make it Fancy
That special china you have that rarely gets used? This is the perfect time to roll it out and use those expensive plates, real silver, and elegant stemware. Set the table with a special-occasion linen tablecloth and cloth napkins. Instead of putting that tub of butter on the table, use a small butter dish and knife. Let the setting represent the mood you’re trying to set for your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife.
Add Some Melodious Music
Whether your taste is Belafonte, Beatles, Brahms, or Bieber, play the music that means something to you, your partner or both of you. It doesn’t need to be “Let’s Get It On,” to set a romantic mood (though that song works anywhere and anytime!). Adding the right music, whether country, classical or something in between, stimulates the aural senses.
If ever there were a time to use those tall sexy candles you never have used, this is the time. Flickering candlelight, dripping wax, and the play of light and dark add visual stimulation that will dazzle your date.
Dinner should be a great start to a special evening.
Are you looking to tie the knot in London with the wedding reception of your dreams? Fortunately, there are a number of lovely options for you to choose from. Make your day extra special with family, friends, great food, and a lifetime of memories.
Here’s a look at four London restaurants known for their special wedding experiences.
Metro Garden Restaurant and Bar
The Metro Garden features three wedding packages — the Traditional, the Indulgence and the Bespoke. The Traditional package features a premium wedding or brunch, complete with Prosecco and canapes upon arrival, a two-course meal and house wine. The Indulgence includes champagne and canapes, a three-course meal and premium wines. For those on a budget, the Bespoke offers lovely garden buffet or barbecue options, an afternoon tea, brunch or roast. Metro Garden can serve parties from 5 to 80.
Pearson Room Restaurant
Located in the heart of Canary Wharf, the Pearson Room features multiple event spaces that can hold upwards of 350 people. The decor is described as “1950s Hitchcockian” with an easy-going, comfortable feel. Large windows feature superb views of Canary Wharf The renowned menu features seafood, pasta, and meat dishes from around the world.
1 Lombard Street
Located in the heart of London, 1 Lombard Street is an exquisite choice for weddings in the Square Mile. Receptions are available for 60-200 seated guests with room for a dance floor. Standing receptions can accommodate 400 guests. The extensive menu includes seafood; filet mignon, sirloin or rib-eye steaks; as well as chicken, pork, and veal options. The desserts are to die for, including a dark chocolate fondant with violet ice cream and a winter fruit basket with honey & spice mascarpone.
Brasserie Blanc – Tower of London
Noted chef Raymond Blanc has six London locations. At the Tower of London location, there is an exclusive hire option providing room for 250 dining or 350 for drinks. Brasserie Blanc offers multiple wedding packages to fit your style and budget. The menu features traditional French cuisine.
There are so many wonderful choices in London. Spend your special day in style!