“I have friends in the restaurant industry who jokingly consider Valentine’s Day “amateur night ” because some folks will shell out a ridiculous amount of money for the special Valentine’s Day multi-course menu, getting suckered into paying a premium for dinner and wine and having to book reservations weeks or months in advance. I don’t consider it “amateur night” at all, but instead refer to it as “impossible to find a babysitter night.” We’re usually stuck at home, not by choice, but by necessity.” – from 3 Course Salmon Dinner on Wine4.Me.
But we don’t let that stop us from having a date night. We just do date night at home!
Valentine’s Day aside, Sean and I enjoy a lot of date nights at home, after the kids have gone to bed. In my recent article for Wine4.Me I write about how to enjoy an awesome multi-course meal at home, for V-day or really any chance you can get to enjoy a quiet and elegant meal with someone you love.
Starting with appetizers. We’re huge fans of cheese plates around here. So when it comes to date night we hit the store for a selection of cheeses and local charcuterie.
For the main dish I was recently inspired by that trip I took to Arizona, visiting Tarbell’s restaurant. I had the most amazing salmon dish.
Salmon with Sweet and Spicy Glaze
At the restaurant they prepared it similar to the way we make this salmon, by starting the cook on the stovetop, and then finishing in the oven over broil to crisp up the top. It really is the best way to perfectly cook salmon and create a great crust on the outside, with tender moist meat.
The rest of the dish was prepared simply, with some greens placed over a crispy potato cake. We created our recipe inspired by that incredible date night out. It was easy to replicate, equally delicious, yet saved us a ton of money by making it at home. Boom! Get the recipe here.
I’m ridiculously indecisive when it comes to choosing a dessert. I want to try everything! The nice thing about making dinner at home is that you CAN have everything. I like to go to the dessert counter at my local market or bakery and choose a few small bites.
The best part of date night at home is that you can splurge a little on the wine since you’re saving money by eating at home instead of paying restaurant markups! In the article I recommend a few options, but I wanted to throw out another recommendation here.
2013 Davis Bynum Pinot Noir Dijon Clone 115 Jane’s Vineyard (Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, CA)
We popped this one open to try with the salmon. Woah. This wine was a killer pairing for the flavorful salmon. It has a nice mix of red berry fruit, some earthy forest-y tones, spice, and a really nice savoriness on the palate, with a silly texture, all balanced out with fresh acidity. The grapes from this vineyard are used to blend into their Jane’s Vineyard Pinot Noir, but a small amount is held back to highlight the specific Dijon Clone 115. Only 191 cases were produced. 14.5% abv | $55 (media sample)
See the article, 3 Course Salmon Dinner and Wine Pairing, including the recipe for Salmon with Sweet and Spicy Glaze and Potato Cakes here.
For more recipes check out the recipe index.
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