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Q. What’s the perfect romantic meal to make for my date night?  — Rebecca, Neenah

A. Steph, this is a tough question for me to answer for you, but I know how I would answer it for my date night. As I try to do whenever I entertain, I attempt to make all of my preparations in advance so when my guests are present, I can spend time with them instead of in the kitchen. I would have the ambience appropriately set including music, lighting and candles. I would start with a nice wine or a cocktail and have a small starter course, something to arouse the taste buds, but is small and easy to eat. A spicy shrimp with a sweet chutney might be nice, or perhaps a small portion of soup. I would likely have some sort of light salad — nothing heavy, but rather something springy and fresh with a light vinegar dressing, and perhaps an artisan roll. For an entrée, again I would keep it small and light with a 4-ounce portion of meat or fish accompanied by some vegetables prepared nice and crisp (al denté). And, for dessert, as you might have guessed, it would have to be chocolate. Date night is not the time for a slice of grandma’s apple pie, right? Something smooth and decadent to go with a nice port wine, a rich coffee or other after-dinner beverage would be perfect.

How does that sound to you, Steph?

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