However, preparing the perfect romantic dinner isn't quite so easy. It takes planning and preparation. A truly romantic meal isn't late, it doesn't come with a kitchen full of dirty dishes and it doesn't show the labor involved. If you want to surprise someone with a great meal you're going to have to plan ahead.
Picking a Menu: Select dishes that are particular favorites. It doesn't do well to surprise someone with a meal that is too exotic for their tastes. Stick with things you know will be well received. Of course this doesn't mean the same old pork chops. This is time for you to dress up meats and vegetables with different flavors. Take time to find the right recipe. Remember that a romantic meal should be loaded with flavor, but not loaded with weight. A romantic meal won't leave you lethargic and in need of a nap.
Planning: When planning your special meal start by preparing a complete list of all ingredients for your meal. Some ingredients are best at their freshest so don't shop too far in advance. You also need to plan for your time. Preparing sauces, cutting vegetables, and marinating meats ahead of time will save you time when it comes to actually putting the meal together. If it can be prepared ahead, do it. You might also want to schedule yourself some alone time earlier in the day or the night before to do some of this.
Make sure that you run through the whole process a day or two in advance. Will you need to get fuel for the grill? Do you have enough garlic? Do you need to pick up a bottle or two of wine? Ask yourself these questions beforehand to you don't have to disappear on your special night to pick up last minute items. After all you don't want to be seen rushing about in a sweat moments before the plates are set on the table.
Cleaning Up: Yes, before you serve your meal you want to already be cleaning. You won't leave a fond memory of the evening if the person you're preparing all this for ends up washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen for an hour. When you're finished with something, wash it and put it away. Now this is why grilling your perfect meal is the perfect solution. Not only are you going to have a meal that has the flavor of a real fire, the aroma of grilled foods, but you won't have to be washing pots and pans afterward.
Cooking: The other great virtue of the grill is that it is fast. You won't have to spend a lot of time waiting for dishes to cook on the grill. Picking a menu of foods that grill quickly is helpful. When you are ready to cook, have the grill good and hot and everything you are going to be cooking on hand. Also have serving dishes close by. Once you have put all this work into the meal the hardest part is being patient. Make sure that each item is grilled to perfection.
Presentation: Studies have shown that how a meal looks is nearly as important as how it tastes, so don't just throw food on a plate. You want to make sure that you have it arranged to enhance the quality of the meal. Place the main item towards the lower center of the plate, and then arrange the side dishes around it. Try to avoid compartmentalizing the foods. There should be a small amount of overlap between the items on the plate but each item should have its own space. Now you are ready to serve. Drinks, the meal and any decorations should be in place.
Let them Enjoy: Now is time to sit back and watch them enjoy their meal. Its okay to apologize for obvious mistakes but don't go fishing for complements. The perfect romantic meal is just a part of a romantic evening. If you put out a spectacular meal, but act like it was nothing you'll make it even better.