When we realized that Valentine’s Day falls this year on Monday, when many restaurants are closed, WVFC had to ask. We asked top chef Ro Howe, of Barraud Caterers, for an unforgettable dinner that we could conjure right at home. Whether or not you use her exact recommendations, we thank Ro for this recipe for romance.– Ed.

You cook at home all the time.  What can you do to make it special and different? Perhaps focusing on romantic rather than raunchy?

  1. Give each other a little gift at the beginning of the evening. Along with the bouquet of red roses guys, how about a small book of romantic poetry? Elizabeth Barrett Browning comes to mind immediately, but also look for swoon worthy words by Rabindranath Tagore. And gals, for him you can’t beat a classic Cole Porter CD to romance you by.
  2. Plan a simple dinner. Culinary gymnastics is not the point this evening.
  3. Sip Perrier or Jouet Blason Rose with oysters that your fishmonger has shucked for you. Drizzle the bivalves with a classic mignonette sauce of red wine vinegar braced with black peppercorns and minced shallots.
  4. For your entrée, you can whip up unctuous truffle-scented mashed potatoes, topped with seared filet mignon and buttered asparagus accompanied by a hefty red Barolo or Barbaresco. Those Latin lover wines!
  5. Before the finale, toss arugula, considered an aphrodisiac in the ancient world, with a simple olive oil and wine vinegar dressing for a salad.
  6. Then, yes certainly chocolate! But keep it simple and delicious. Voluptuous brownies with bright red raspberries swathed with passion fruit crème fraiche.

And let the poetry begin…….

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