6 Easy Date Night Ideas to Create a Romantic Dinner

two clear wine glasses

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Date night doesn’t have to mean an expensive night out at a restaurant. You can create a romantic, café atmosphere at home to make date night special.   You can create a café atmosphere for a romantic dinner on any type of budget, from bare bones to over the top.

Cooking a romantic dinner at home for your spouse or date is far more special and will be more appreciated than showing how much money you can spend at a fancy restaurant, or ordering dinner in a foreign language.  Showing your date your cooking skills or creating a romantic atmosphere will be more appreciated.

You can cook a delicious dinner for a fraction of the cost of a $100 dinner for tw0.  Why spend $30-$50 on a bottle of wine, when you can oftentimes find the same or a similar bottle of wine at a wine club store for $10-$15.

Your date will for sure be impressed on your 5 star restaurant-quality meal at a budget price.

Here are some fun, creative, and romantic ideas for date nights to remember.


Here are 6 Easy Ways to Create a Café Atmosphere at home for Your Date Night

With a little thought and planning, your date night at home can be more romantic and relaxing than a night out. Here are a few ideas.


1. Set an Elegant Table

Why save the good china only for holiday use? Break out cloth napkins, fine china, and crystal wine glasses to make an elegant table setting indoors or in your backyard.

If you need a beautiful tablecloth, many department stores sell tablecloths, table runners and tabescapes to create a romantic table setting for not too much money.  There are many websites that offer great affordable tips.


2. Light Some Candles

candle on dinner table

Dimming the lights to dine by candlelight creates instant romantic cafe ambiance, but be sure to use candles that are not scented.  Scented candles can compete with the aroma of dinner cooking and can trigger headaches for some.

Just place one candle on your table and several candles around the area to create a romantic ambiance.

You can buy candles in glass containers, to prevent wax from ruining your tablecloths or furniture.


3. Dine Outdoors

romantic dining outdoors

If it’s a balmy evening, move your café date night outdoors to your backyard, patio, balcony, or deck. A string of tiny, white lights artistically draped around fences, plants or trees nearby can make for a romantic view, as can a few candles or tiki torches.

If yo are concerned about bugs ruining your evening, light some citronella candles.  Citronella is a natural fly, wasp and bee repellent.


4. Plan a Fun or Romantic Dinner Theme

Date night dinner doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive, or even a boring event with zero charm. With a little thought, you can choose a fun or romantic dinner theme and cook up a special and affordable themed dinner menu.

Can’t think of a romantic theme?  No worries.  There are several professional party and event planners who have websites with affordable dinner themes for any type of dinner.  You can create a beautiful theme for far less than you think.

Does your date like certain colors, animals, entertainers, for example?

What to make for dinner?

Pasta with a simple marinara or Bolognese sauce can make for a romantic Italian dinner. Grill chicken or fish and serve with a tossed salad for a light but elegant summer dinner. Fajitas are shareable – instant romance – and are as simple as sautéing beef, chicken, or shrimp along with onions and julienned peppers and serving with tortillas and toppings.

If you don’t know how to cook, you can use a meal delivery service to restaurant quality meals.

Don’t feel like cooking? Get take-out for all or part of the dinner. You can make a salad to go with takeout pizza and a delicious Cabernet or Pinot Noir.

Make your famous double chocolate brownies to serve with wine after enchiladas from your favorite Mexican restaurant.


5. Open a Bottle of Wine

opening a bottle of wine

Enjoying a glass of wine during an at-home date night is much less expensive than ordering a bottle of wine at a restaurant, and it can be  just as elegant.

Instead of leaving things to chance, most wine club stores offer wine-pairing recommendations, or have employees who are skilled at making recommendations for the best wine to fit your meal and your budget.

A chilled Rose or Chardonnay on a warm evening is refreshing with grilled chicken or shrimp. A Pinot Noir can be versatile, pairing well with grilled meat, pasta, or pizza.


6. Turn on the Romance

Date nights at home can be more romantic than an evening out. Setting a relaxing café atmosphere shows your creativity and thoughtfulness, plus it can showcase your cooking skills.

In Closing

No driving is involved, no one will care if you slip your shoes off, and you can relax together in the comfort of your home. Plus, having a café-style date night at home can save you money while being every bit as elegant as a night out at an expensive restaurant.


Ken Weiss

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