August evenings are just about the loveliest. And the loveliest of the evenings are meant to be enjoyed with those we love. So this week we will give you everything you need, to have a romantic evening al fresco. Yes, you have a plethora of restaurants with outdoor dining that you can take your honey to for a romantic evening out. But how much privacy do you think you’ll get, among the other patrons only 2 feet away from your elbow and pedestrians zipping past you on the sidewalk. We think that you can be as romantic as you want in the privacy of your own backyard, patio, balcony, or rooftop.
When you are planning your meals, think simple. Remember that this is outdoors and you don’t want to keep going in and out of the house or apartment to get your 6 course meal. The idea is to sit back relax and enjoy each other’s company and take in your beautiful surrounding not stressing over the complicated meal.
If you feel you must cook for your honey, because, let’s face it, nothing says “I want to take care of you this evening” than actually getting down and dirty with ingredients and producing a yummy meal, we suggest this simple recipe for two of Bistro Roast Chicken we found on My Recipes. Honestly, yummy chicken made this simple should be illegal, but here it is:
2 chicken leg quarters (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 whole garlic heads
Preheat oven to 375°.
Rinse chicken with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Loosen skin from thigh and leg by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Combine basil and next 5 ingredients (basil through pepper). Rub herb mixture under loosened skin. Place chicken on a broiler pan. Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone.
Remove white papery skin from garlic heads (do not peel or separate the cloves). Wrap each head separately in foil; place on broiler pan with chicken. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 450° (do not remove chicken from oven). Bake 30 minutes or until thermometer registers 180°. Cover chicken loosely with foil; let stand 10 minutes. Discard skin. (or eat that too we don’t judge).
But not all of us can work in the kitchen without it ending up with our house smelling like smoke and an impromptu visit from the fine gentlemen from the fire department. For those of us that are charred food experts there are God sent delivery services like GrubHub and Seamless that will bring you food from just about any restaurant of any cuisine in any part or your city. Just download the app, choose your dishes (including dessert), time your delivery and bam you’re food if on it’s way and you didn’t have to slave over a stove and you have to do is dish it onto a plate and make it look pretty.
You will be out on a warm evening so you need something refreshing and light. We suggest a nice cool and crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Get an ice bucket and stick a bottle or two (or four, again no judgment here) in to chill and make sure to take the bottle(s) out in the bucket. Nothing as unappetizing as a warm white wine. And no matter what you do, do not ruin a good wine by adding ice in your glass…just don’t. We love the Robert Mondalvi Fume Blanc Sauvignon Blanc, but to be completely honest you can’t go wrong with a good Chardonnay or even Rose. Just chill them, always chill them.
And since there are apps for the food delivery, remember that your wines can also be delivered to your door and yes there are apps for that like Drizly and Minibar. Isn’t the modern days we live in just marvelous? No more going to sketchy looking liquor stores or fighting the checkout counters of grocery stores anymore. With click and click-click and clickety-click, bam bottles at your door.
Lighting is what’s important when setting up a romantic environment. Yes, even outdoors. You need to fish out your christmas lights and hang them on your trees or anything you can wind them on. Get battery operated tealights you can float in a vases full of water and just spread them round your table, floor and anywhere and get lanterns to hang especially to illuminate your way back into the house. Make sure all the lights are soft and in only one color. Either golden twinkles or red but don’t go crazy with a whole bunch of different colors. It could make it look a little tacky and no-one wants that. We are going for elegance and romance.
Never forget the Dukes of everything romance and that is flowers. You need a small centerpieces to put on your table to tie everything together. Choose an arrangement that is in a small container that sits perfectly in the center of the table and will allow you to look at your honey. And just like the the food and the drink, flowers are only a few clicks away from showing up at your door.
When done with your evening romancing your love, and you’ve talked about everything and anything but you just don’t want to end the night yet, it’s time for an activity that required very little talking, and that is watching a movie. For an evening like you just had we recommend Kate and Leopold. This old fashioned romance in a modern world will conclude your evening with an exclamation point.