Romantic Valentine's Day Dinner Ideas

Plan a romantic at-home dinner date for Valentine's Day with our steps for setting the mood, plus our best recipes and thoughtful gift ideas.

Set the mood.

Mix and match your favorite shades of red and pink to create a romantic setting. Set the perfect mood with simple place settings and decorations, such as a bouquet of pinkroses or carnations for a centerpiece. Make the dinner table look special by setting out your best china on an elegant napkins, and if the dining room is near a fireplace, get a cozy fire going to add to the ambience.

Start the music.

We've started the perfect Valentine's Day dinner playlist with 20 of our favorite romantic songs; put this playlist on repeat or use it as inspiration for making your own Valentine's Day dinner extra romantic.

"The Very Thought of You" -- Woody Herman Orchestra, Flip Phillips "All the Way" -- Frank Sinatra "The Nearness of You" -- Norah Jones "It Had to Be You" -- Billie Holiday "L-O-V-E" -- Nat King Cole "I Just Called to Say I Love You" -- Stevie Wonder "More" (Theme from Mondo Cane) -- Frank Sinatra "Anema E Core" -- Perry Como "Life Is Beautiful" -- Tony Bennett "Call Me Irresponsible" -- Michael Buble "Unforgettable" -- Nat King Cole "You Belong to Me" -- Dean Martin "My Cherie Amour" -- Rod Stewart "Love Is Here to Stay" -- Frank Sinatra "That's What Love Is" -- Bobby Darin "How Are Ya' Fixed for Love?" -- Keely Smith, Frank Sinatra "My Romance" -- Sammy Davis, Jr. "I'm in the Mood for Love" -- Nat King Cole "You Make Me Feel So Young" -- Frank Sinatra "The Way You Look Tonight" -- Rod Stewart

Dim the lights.

Create a romantic Valentine's Day atmosphere with candlelight. A centerpiece with a cluster of different sizes of pillar candles will give your romantic dinner table the perfect glow, or for a different look, scatter votives across the table and windowsills.

Cook your best recipes.

You've heard it before: The way to the heart is through the stomach. Cook the perfect Valentine's Day dinner for your sweetheart with our suggestions for starters, the main course, and dessert -- or mix and match the recipes for your special menu. Not sure which wine goes best with your main dish? Take a look at our romantic food and wine pairings to get started.

See 17 romantic food and wine pairings.

Romantic Starters

These appetizers are light and easy to make for a two-person dinner.

Peppered Herb Cheese Ball

Sweet-&-Fiery Polenta Fries

Salmon "Martini" Starters

Olive-Cherry Bruschetta

Delicious Main Courses

Sweet Valentine's Day Desserts

Don't forget a thoughtful gift.

Handmade cards and gifts are often the best way to tell your Valentine "I love you." Here are some of our favorite gift and card ideas:

  • Make a handmade card with an inside joke to make him or her smile on this day for lovers.
  • Give a blank journal with a sentence written on each page telling why you love him or her or recounting a funny story in your relationship.
  • Buy a bottle of wine from a significant year, such as your wedding anniversary or the year your first child was born.


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