oysters with prosecco mignonette
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Chocolate body paint and rose petals are for amateurs. We all know that the way to someone’s heart is via the belly. If these dishes look familiar, it’s because they’re the all-stars of precoital dining, the greatest hits that will never disappear from Valentine’s Day menus (even if you secretly want them to). So don’t go rogue and try to be creative; make these dishes, because they taste good and you want to eat them. 

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Crab Cakes with Quick Aioli

easy crab cakes with aioli and lemon

Chowhound

Nothing says “I love you” like a crisp, freshly pan-fried crab cake, just like this recipe—perfect for making ahead and heating at the last minute—says you’re the perfect unflustered spouse or potential partner. Our quick aioli, made with store-bought mayo, extends the narrative. Get our Crab Cakes with Quick Aioli recipe.

Oysters with Prosecco Mignonette

oysters with prosecco mignonette

Chowhound

Valentine’s Day just wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without something bubbly. The mignonette sauce for these highly seductive oysters on the half shell calls for a splash of Prosecco, Champagne, or whatever else is tickling your nose in the glass. Get our Oysters with Prosecco Mignonette recipe.

Easy Cheese Fondue

cheese fondue recipe

Chowhound

Maybe it’s the luxurious texture, the richness, or the possibility that your forks will accidentally touch mid-dip: Whatever it is, fondue is sexy. This recipe will have you and your Valentine twirling in no time. (Don’t forget dessert fondue either.) Get our Easy Cheese Fondue recipe.

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Basic Steamed Lobster

Basic Steamed Lobster recipe

Chowhound

Lobster is a luxury food that actually tastes luxurious, and the act of eating one in the shell—cracking claws, picking out the flesh—is, like love, not something that takes well to hurrying. Get our Basic Steamed Lobster recipe.

Warm Lobster Salad

Warm Lobster Salad recipe

Chowhound

If your baby isn’t into getting his or her fingers all lobster-y from a whole steamed specimen, this salad is an elegant, no-bib solution. Get our Warm Lobster Salad recipe.

Shaved Black Truffles Over Fresh Pasta

Fresh Black Truffle Pasta recipe

Chowhound

The aroma of fresh black truffles is deep and enchanting, and this beautifully simple pasta lets those truffles shine. You’ll also impress your Valentine with how much you dropped on dinner, and/or how frugal you are not to be paying restaurant prices. Get our Shaved Black Truffles Over Fresh Pasta recipe.

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Pepper-Crusted Filet Mignon with Béarnaise Sauce

Pepper-Crusted Filet Mignon with Bearnaise Sauce recipe

Chowhound

Beef filet looks and tastes fancy, but it’s the simplest thing to make. Here, a black pepper crust gives it personality, and the béarnaise gives it glamour. Get our Pepper-Crusted Filet Mignon with Béarnaise Sauce recipe.

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Red Velvet Cake

red velvet cake recipe

Chowhound

Everything about “red” and “velvet” signals Valentine’s romance, and there’s nothing about baking a chocolate cake for your sweetie that doesn’t score you points! Get our Red Velvet Cake recipe.

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

homemade chocolate dipped strawberries

Chowhound

Compared to sour, underripe, store-bought ones, DIY dipped berries are a revelation: better fruit, better chocolate, more seduction. Get our Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries recipe.

Chocolate Lava Cake (with Raspberry Coulis)

individual molten chocolate lava cakes recipe

Chowhound

The ultimate Valentine’s dessert: opulent, rich, and—in its own small way—grand. After this, you’ll want to stack the plates in the sink and take it to the couch. Get our Chocolate Lava Cake recipe (and our Raspberry Coulis recipe to top it off).

Check out our Valentine’s Day giveaway on Instagram (three lucky winners will get lots of goodies from Hotel Chocolat)! And get more romantic recipes, tips, and tricks at our Valentine’s Day headquarters, including great Valentine’s Day gift ideas to inspire adoration.

Related Video: How to Make a Valentine’s Day Cocktail with Kombucha

All featured products are curated independently by our editors. When you buy something through our retail links, we may receive a commission. For more great hand-picked products, check out the Chowhound Shop.

This post was originally published on January 25, 2011 and was updated on January 31, 2019 with new images, links, and text.

Photos by Chris Rochelle for Chowhound.

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