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Valentine’s Day easy gourmet curated menu, from appetizer to dessert

Oyster Stake
Picture of Oyster Stake

With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, it makes sense to go ahead and line up the food you’ll be whipping up for your love. After all, you’ll be too busy making googly-eyes at each other on the actual evening of, right? Although if it’s the food you’re making googly-eyes over, that’s totally understandable, too — especially if you rely on our delectable Valentine’s curated Day menu outlined below.

It’s often said the key to a person’s heart is through their stomach, and we’re not here to argue. In fact, we’re strong believers in food’s ability to enhance all those warm and fuzzy feelings you might have about someone (or about life in general, because obviously food is life).

Cocktail: Cardamom roasted strawberry bourbon fizz

While you’ve likely enjoyed strawberries and champagne before, you’ve never had them like this. Best Friends for Frosting adds an intoxicating combo of cardamom and bourbon to the rosy-hued cocktail, creating a bubbly beverage both you and your date are sure to fall head over heels for.

strawberry-bourbon-fizz
Photo credit: Best Friends for Frosting

MORE: 18 most romantic songs for Valentine’s Day

Appetizer: Chargrilled oysters

You know what they say about oysters, right? OK, OK … admittedly, the jury is still out as to whether these beautiful bivalves really are aphrodisiacs. But there is something about eating them that feels inherently sexy. Whichever side of the science you fall on, this cheesy chargrilled version from Closet Cooking is sumptuous enough to turn anyone into a believer.

chargrilled-oysters (1)
Photo credit: Closet Cooking

Side dish: Couscous pilaf with sautéed mushrooms

As the evening progresses and things get spicier, it only seems fitting to break out a side dish with a dynamic flavor profile. Jo Cooks’ couscous pilaf with sautéed mushrooms is packed full of Mediterranean panache thank to its star ingredients: coriander and cumin. Bonus? Back in the Middle Ages, cumin served as a symbol of fidelity and love.

couscous-pilaf (1)
Photo credit: Jo Cooks

MORE: Where did Cupid come from and why does he shoot arrows?

Side dish: Roasted asparagus with za’atar

With other more complex dishes on the menu for the evening, you need at least one that requires only a few ingredients. And that one should be The Lemon Bowl’s roasted asparagus with za’atar. These slightly crisp, flavorful spears are the perfect accompaniment to the rest of your meal, plus the za’atar spice gives it a unique, woodsy flavor.

Roasted-Asparagus-with-Zaatar-Recipe
Image credit: The Lemon Bowl

Entrée: Roasted Cornish game hens for two

There’s no rule saying you have to serve steak on Valentine’s Day. In fact, we prefer something slightly lighter for the evening, like these easy Cornish game hens from Bakers Royale. Not only are they perfectly portioned for you and your date, but they’re also elegant enough to make it look as though you spent all day lovingly preparing the dish (when in reality, you’ll have them from prep to plate in about an hour).

cornish-game-hens-for-two (1)
Photo credit: Bakers Royale

Dessert: Chocolate lava cakes

Ah, dessert — arguably the most sensual part of any meal, and certainly so if you serve these chocolate lava cakes from Sally’s Baking Addiction. This decadent treat literally oozes chocolate, which contains the libido-boosting chemicals tryptophan, phenylethylamine and theobromine.

chocolate-lava-cakes (1)
Photo credit: Sally’s Baking Addiction

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