A date night at home can be just as special as a date night out on the town. All you need are some creative ideas, time to set it up properly, and a partner who’s excited to participate. Here are three ideas for an epic date night at home, whether you’re craving a juicy date or want a whole day of fun in the sun.
We definitely feel our most fancy when getting dressed up and heading to our favorite chophouse for an over-the-top, splurge-worthy dinner. And while we all can’t have our own dry-aging rooms on-premise, it’s fun and simple to create your own steakhouse dinner at home. Here’s how to do it right, from setting the mood to sourcing the best ingredients for your meal.
When planning the menu, think about your favorite dishes from a steakhouse and make them your own. We suggest starting with oysters and shrimp or crab cocktail, as well as a classic wedge or Caesar salad. Steakhouse sides are very personal, so choose a few that make you happy — think creamed spinach, thick-cut bacon, maple-glazed carrots, and a potato dish, whether they’re baked and loaded or served au gratin. As the steak is the star of the meal, we like to splurge and buy the best (especially because it likely costs less than what you’d pay at a restaurant anyway). Our go-to is the Dry Aged Bone-In Ribeye from Snake River Farms, but if you’re a fan of filets, the Dry Aged American Wagyu Filet Mignon topped with Chef’s Gold (dry-aged beef fat) is the best we’ve ever had. As for dessert, sweets like cheesecake, flourless chocolate cake, creme brûlée, and baked Alaska are all decadent steakhouse nods.
A properly set table will help to distinguish your special steakhouse date from other dinners at home. If you have a tablecloth and linen napkins, now is the time to use them. Set the table with your favorites plates, steak knives, and wine glasses. Light taper candles and put on some fun and jazzy music like Moses Boyd or Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra. Never underestimate the power of fresh flowers.
To make this date night feel really special, dress up! If you want to wear a suit and cocktail attire, go for it. But maybe a nice button-down will feel more elevated than your current everyday style. Either way, putting on the ritz will make the date feel even more legit.
Start the date right with an ice-cold martini, your raw bar selections, and salad of choice. If you have outdoor space, enjoy your cocktail hour with some fresh air, weather permitting.
After a proper cocktail hour, move to your dining table for the main event. If you’re eating a bone-in steak, serve the meat alongside the bone, just like they would in a restaurant. Arrange all of your sides and choose a proper wine to go with the meal — we suggest a Cabernet Sauvignon if you’re having ribeye and Pinot Noir if filet mignon is on the menu. If you prefer lighter wines, a bottle like Tormaresca Calafuria Rosé is a nice match. It’s made from 100 percent Negroamaro grapes and has enough tannic notes to stand up to the red meat.
Cordials are a must when serving your fancy dessert, and we love sampling a variety when we’re feeling swanky. Copper & Kings Mistelle Dessert Wine is a gorgeous bottling that’s made by blending Muscat Eau de Vie and unfermented Muscat grape juice and maturing it in a Zinfandel red wine barrel. You can never go wrong with an amaro like Fernet-Branca or Montenegro, and Casamara Club is a great option if you want something bitter and bubbly sans alcohol. If you have an outdoor space and fire pit, end the night on an extra high note with a pour of your favorite after-dinner libation and a plate of chocolate truffles.
An epic date night doesn’t have to be an evening-centric event. Although you could make this a nighttime affair, we love to start our at-home spa day early to maximize relaxation time. Make yourself a breakfast smoothie, take a nice steam shower, and throw on a cushy robe to put yourself in relaxation mode.
Like we said above, make sure you have a soft robe and comfy sandals or slippers to experience your spa day date. Choose one room of your house to be the treatment room (the bathroom is good for facials while a bedroom works best for massage) and another to be the relaxation room. In the treatment room, lay out all of the products you’re going to use so they’re easily accessible. If you’re doing massages, dim the lights and set up some electric votive candles so you don’t have to worry about blowing them out when you move between spaces. If you’re doing facials, you’ll need bright light so you can see what you’re doing.
The relaxation room can be anything you make it, whether you prefer a quiet reading nook or want to watch movies while you unwind. But just like any great spa, you need to stock the relaxation room with snacks and beverages so you can sip and munch while you lounge. For snacks, set out bowls of unsweetened dried fruit, mixed nuts, and crispy, omega-3-packed Goodfish salmon skin chips. As for beverages, place a selection of teas next to mugs and an electric kettle, and keep a few bottles of kombucha (we love Health-Ade’s Cayenne Cleanse and Ginger-Lemon) on ice. If you live in a state where cannabis is legal, serve Calexo — a sparkling THC beverage made with natural juices and botanicals — for maximum tranquility. When you’re in the room, light a candle like Voyage Et Cie Tulum Coconoix, which will fill it with an earthy, beachy scent.
If you’re doing massages, take turns giving each other 20-30 minute massages. Use a little coconut oil with a drop of essential oil to moisturize the skin while you relieve tense muscles. If you’re doing facials, cleanse your skin well and use a pore extractor to remove extra dirt and blackheads, if you desire. Next, use a cotton pad to apply a toner — we love Paula’s Choice Resist Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner because it’s gentle on the skin and contains beneficial antioxidants and skin-soothing ingredients. Next, move on to an exfoliating mask. You could easily make one with ingredients from your kitchen or use something like the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask. After application, relax for about 20 minutes before rinsing off. Next, apply a gentle purifying mask, like Mario Badescu’s Flower & Tonic Mask. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes. To remove more clay-like masks like this, we suggest using a damp towel because water itself won’t remove every last bit. Finally, apply a soothing and hydrating mask like Ren Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask or Korres Greek Yoghurt Probiotic SuperDose Face Mask. Leave it on for 15 minutes while you luxuriate in the relaxation room.
While we’re calling this date the “tiki brunch,” we like to think of it as an all-day, tropical, treat-yourself affair. Choose the nicest day out of the weekend, pull out your favorite beachy outfit, and get ready for a day full of maximum relaxation and delicious eats and drinks.
While this date is really built for the outdoors, you can totally recreate it inside, minus a few elements which will be pretty clear as we talk about them. Prep and clean your grill, and set up an outdoor bar cart with everything you need to stay refreshed throughout the day.
The date will start off with brunch, and we suggest making breakfast sandwiches with candied bacon, egg, cheese, and grilled pineapple to start. Pair the meal with a couple of Jungle Birds, a cocktail made with rum, pineapple juice, lime juice, and Campari. You’ll also want to build an epic pu-pu platter that you can snack on for the remainder of the day. Grill skewers of barbecue chicken, shimp, and pineapple, and don’t forget a few fried noshes like crab rangoon and spring rolls. If you really want to have a decadent date, pile on the saucy ribs and wings to help you soak up all that tiki goodness.
As for the drinks, it really depends on your personal preferences, but you can’t go wrong with any tiki libation. First, stock your cooler with plenty of water to stay hydrated, and make a tropical lemonade with coconut water and mango slices. Then stock your bar cart with ingredients for
After waking up, dress in your brightest tropical attire, brew a cup of coffee or tea, assemble your breakfast sandwiches, and enjoy them in the morning sun. Put a lei around your partner’s neck (and have them do the same to you), pour yourself a Jungle Bird, and start to feel the chill vibes wash over you. You’re doing it right!
This date is all about relaxation, so there aren’t any hard and fast rules about how to do it correctly, but a fun activity is to have a friendly garnishing contest with your partner. The art of the tiki garnish is a fun one to learn how to master, and you’ll have a blast doing it together. Gather things like fruit, fruit scraps such as peels and pineapple fronds, and inedible garnishes like vintage stirring sticks and mini flags. Remember that when garnishing tiki cocktails, more is more. Put on some island music and enjoy your drinks in the pool. When you’re feeling peckish, grill the skewers and warm up the other elements of the pu-pu platter. As the sun is setting and you’ve finally gotten your tiki fill, whip up a Scorpion Bowl nightcap, and relish in your mini vacation.
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