How to Cook For a Date

Ready to let your domestic diva or Renaissance man take center stage? Tie on that apron and start cooking. A quiet home-cooked dinner for two, with a little style and sizzle thrown in for good measure, can turn up the heat just when you need it.


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    Ask your date tactfully if he or she has any food preferences. Stay away from fish unless you're grilling it outside--you don't want your house and clothes reeking of trout.
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    Pop a cork--[Open a Champagne Bottle|champagne], Prosecco and other bubbly drinks aren't just for big events. Start off the evening with a little toast to the night ahead.
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    Think aphrodisiacs (if not now, then when?). Set up a sumptuous finger feast with caviar, oysters, lobster, figs, mango and artichoke leaves dipped in butter. If your date is an outdoor lover, pack your feast in a basket and head to the beach or a quiet, scenic park. See 321 Plan an Outdoor Party.
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    Start with soups or savory tarts--they're more unusual and impressive than your typical green salad.
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    Try a cheese course before dessert, paired with thin slices of baguette, toasted nuts with a drizzle of honey and olives for a sophisticated touch.
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    Finish it off with a chocolate fondue or flourless chocolate cake. Chocolate, unlike whatever follows the meal, is a "sure thing."


  • Get a meat thermometer that reads in doneness rather than temperature, for example, "well-done steak" will be easier to comprehend than 170 degrees F (77 C).
  • If you're planning on cooking anything that you've never prepared before, consider giving it a practice run... You wouldn't want your soufflĂ© to fall on the big night!
  • Music is always a good way to set an atmosphere, but make sure to use relaxing and smooth songs.
  • If you're pressed for time, or you're a wreck in the kitchen, buy prepared food from a high-end market and plate it up at home. Or get takeout to serve as appetizers, such as sushi or spring rolls. Find a little French bakery where you can pick up a delicious dessert.
  • Don't forget the candles! Mood lighting is always a nice touch.


  • Take into account any food allergies your date might have. Nothing would ruin the moment more than finding that they either cannot enjoy the meal, or worse, have a reaction to it.

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Categories: Ideas for Dates