17 Romantic Dinner Recipes

Steak Frites with Black Garlic Butter Recipe
Photo: Victor Protasio

Whether you're serving a roasted rack of lamb, or silky, rich pasta, a romantic dinner for two can make an ordinary evening a little more special. Go big with a lemon-and-herb roast chicken or steak frites, or try your hand at homemade pizza. For a special holiday, anniversary, or a spur-of-the-moment surprise, add these romantic dinner recipes to your arsenal; you'll come back to them time and time again.

01 of 17

Rack of Lamb with Mustard-Shallot Sauce

Rack of Lamb with Mustard–Shallot Sauce

A rack of lamb is the right move for a special dinner for two, as it's the perfect portion of meat to split and works with almost any side dish.

02 of 17

Oysters with Pikliz

Oysters with Pikliz
Oriana Koren

Easily elevate a home-cooked dinner by serving oysters on ice. This recipe from Edouardo Jordan can be prepped beforehand, too.

03 of 17

Juicy Lemon-and-Herb Roast Chicken

Juicy Lemon-and-Herb Roast Chicken
Greg DuPree

Pulling off a restaurant-quality roast chicken at home starts with bagging the best bird you can find. This recipe is the other essential piece.

04 of 17

Littleneck Clams In the Style of Escargot

littleneck clams in the style of escargot
Victor Protasio

Easy-to-find littleneck clams stand in for snails in this riff on the French classic. We can't imagine a better snack to pair with Champagne while enjoying each other's company.

05 of 17

Steak Frites with Black Garlic Butter

Steak Frites with Black Garlic Butter Recipe
Victor Protasio

Nothing says romance like a perfectly cooked steak and crispy fries. This one with black garlic butter is marriage material.

06 of 17

Sweet Potato Gyoza with Beet Puree

Sweet Potato Gyoza with Beet Puree Recipe
Victor Protasio

Sweet potato and hazelnut butter make up the filling for these inventive and satisfying gyoza. A silky beet puree shot through with preserved lemon adds a hit of brightness.

07 of 17

Charred Vegetable Ragù

Charred Vegetable Ragu
Victor Protasio

"Ladled over a pile of tagliatelle and topped with more cheese, this nourishing sauce tastes slow-cooked and comforting, especially on a wintry weeknight," Kelsey Youngman writes.

08 of 17

Calabrian Carbonara

Calabrian Carbonara
© Christina Holmes

Chef Andrew Carmellini uses Calabrian 'nduja, the spicy, spreadable sausage, to bring loads of delicious heat and flavor to his silky carbonara.

09 of 17

Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon and Crème Fraîche

Butternut Squash Soup with Creme Fraiche and Bacon
Erin Kunkel

Roasting the butternut squash with honey and a touch of salt intensifies the natural sweetness of the squash and caramelizes the honey. Take time browning the onions; cooking them low and slow deepens the foundational flavor of this hearty soup.

10 of 17

Grapefruit-and-Escarole Salad

Grapefruit-and-Escarole Salad
© Christina Holmes

Chef Jennifer Jasinski tops this excellent winter salad with goat cheese, toasted walnuts, and pomegranate seeds.

11 of 17

Chickpeas and Kale in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce

Chickpeas and Kale in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce
Greg DuPree

Chef Missy Robbins swaps chickpeas for pasta in her riff on spicy pomodoro. She finishes the dish with a shower of fresh herbs and salty pecorino cheese.

12 of 17

Pork Chop au Poivre with Red Wine–Shallot Sauce

Pork Chop au Poivre with Red Wine Shallot Sauce
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Steak who? This bone-in pork chop riff on the classic French au poivre preparation is so good, we may never go back to beef. Using a blend of peppercorns, not just classic black, adds notes of floral and vegetal spice to this simple dish.

13 of 17

French Seafood Bisque with Baguette

French Seafood Bisque with Baguette
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

The freshest seafood — preferably sourced from your local fishmonger — is the highlight of this velvety-smooth bisque. Take care to cook each type as directed to preserve its delicate flavor and texture. This resourceful recipe uses every last bit of your briny haul to yield a rich seafood stock that enhances this thick, soppable soup.

14 of 17

Classic London Broil with Rosemary and Thyme

London Broil with Rosemary and Thyme
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce effortlessly infuse quick-cooking flank steak with bold flavor. Serve with buttery baked potatoes and a salad of crisp lettuces, and pile any leftovers of the thinly sliced steak on crusty rolls for sandwiches.

15 of 17

King Oyster Mushroom Steaks with Pesto and Almond Aillade

King Oyster Mushroom Steaks with Pesto and Almond Aillade
Photo by David Malosh / Prop Styling by Amy Wilson / Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero

Chef Julia Sullivan employs a duo of cast-iron skillets to prepare the tender, crispy-edged mushroom steaks at Henrietta Red in Nashville; one for cooking the mushrooms, the other for pressing them flat so they cook evenly. Buttery roasted almonds balance the sharper notes of garlic and lemon in this rustic French sauce.

16 of 17

Brown Sugar–Glazed Salmon with Buttery Roasted Squash

Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon with Buttery Roasted Squash
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Chef Erick Williams recommends thick cuts of salmon for this recipe; they cook quickly while remaining juicy and tender and are well-balanced by the sweet, gingery glaze. If delicata or acorn squash aren't available, substitute butternut squash.

17 of 17

Grandma Pie Pizza

Grandma Pie Recipe
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

Spread with an oregano-spiked tomato sauce and topped with plenty of part-skim (not fresh!) mozzarella, this recipe delivers an old-school pizzeria experience at home.

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