Just because an evening out is out of the question right now, doesn’t mean you must forego a special date night. We asked some of the nation’s finest hotel and resort chefs to help couples recreate a restaurant-quality romantic dinner at home—from cocktail to dessert—using easy-to-source ingredients to minimize shopping trips.
Heavy-Handed Gin & Tonic
Courtesy of Kanu at Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid, New York
3 oz. barreled aged gin
1⁄2 oz. honey liquor
1⁄2 oz. lime juice
Splash hand-crafted tonic
Preparation: Shake all ingredients with ice and double strain. Top off with hand-crafted tonic. Garnish with lime wheel (and consider adding an edible flower, like a lavender bud, from your home garden, if applicable ).
Cucumber Zucchini Salad with Hearts of Palm
Courtesy of Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, Arizona
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 ripe heirloom tomato, diced
1 medium green zucchini, peeled and diced
4 stems parsley
1 yellow onion
1 tsp. cumin
1 oz. extra-virgin olive oil
1 oz. yuzu juice (substitute any citrus juice, such as lemon, lime, orange)
4 oz. small end of fresh hearts of palm, sliced into rings (substitute canned or jarred if necessary)
1⁄2 oz. paprika
Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let sit overnight before eating.
Potato Broccoli Gratin with Garlic
Courtesy of Gaby Brasserie Française at Sofitel New York, in New York City
1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1 head broccoli, cut into small pieces
1 qt. heavy cream
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
nutmeg, to taste
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 oz. Parmesan, shredded
Preparation: Mix the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and crushed garlic with the heavy cream. Add sliced potatoes into the mix, then add shredded Parmesan and Gruyere cheese. Stir well.
Using either individual or one large baking dish, place some melted butter and spread all around to avoid anything sticking too much. In the bottom of the dish, place a layer of potatoes, about one inch, then add some pieces of broccoli, and cover with more potatoes.
Pour the liquid mixture on the top of the potatoes. Cover the dish(es) and bake in the oven at 325 degrees F. for 35 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the dish. To check doneness, insert the blade of a knife. It will slide in easily once the dish is sufficiently cooked.
For optimal quality, let it rest, then reheat, adding more cheese on top and browning in the oven.
Courtesy of The Tap Room at Pebble Beach Resorts, Pebble Beach, California
22-oz. bone-in, center cut rib-eye steak
salt and pepper, to taste
Pro Tips for a Pebble Beach-Worthy Steak
The best-tasting steak starts with the best beef. The Tap Room culinary team uses prime grade beef, which represents less than 1 percent of the beef produced in the US. It is hand-selected for Pebble Beach Company and typically sourced from Omaha, Nebraska.
The team recommends that guests enjoy this dish medium-rare to rare, as that temperature really showcases the product and retains some of the integrity of the marbling, keeping the beef moist and flavorful.
Season with salt and pepper before searing or grilling. This will impart a more intense natural flavor and, in the end, will require less seasoning.
Let the chop rest after grilling. This loosens up the muscle of the beef and makes it more tender. The difference of 5- to 10 minutes of rest can transform the muscle into a very tender, delectable Delmonico.
Most guests can, in fact, finish the 22-ounce piece of meat. But sharing is a great choice—particularly for those who want to leave room for dessert!
Key Lime Tart
Courtesy of 3800 Ocean at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa, Riviera Beach, Florida
Brown Sugar Graham Crust
1 1⁄2 C graham cracker crumbs
1⁄4 C brown sugar
6 Tbsp butter, melted, hot
Preparation: Combine graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar with whisk. Add in melted butter. Portion into desired mold. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Key Lime Custard
14 oz. condensed milk
3 egg yolks
4 oz. lime juice
2 Tbsp lime zest
Preparation: Combine all ingredients together in bowl. Pour into baked graham shell. Bake at 350 degrees F until the pie jiggles just slightly and doesn’t stick to your finger when touched. About 10 to 12 minutes.
4 egg whites
1 1⁄2 C sugar
Preparation: Combine sugar and egg whites in a bowl over a pot of boiling water. Whisk constantly until the egg whites reach 160 degrees F. Take off heat and immediately transfer to a mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until cool and the meringue is stiff and glossy. Pipe as desired on top of the pie. Torch with blow torch or put under broiler until desired color.